A concise and provocative introduction to State Legislative Politics, State Leglislative Politics Today is designed as a supplement for State and Local courses and upper level courses on legislative politics.
This brief and inexpensive book examines state legislatures and state lawmakers, putting them in historical context, showing how they have evolved over the years, and differentiating them from Congress. It covers state legislative elections (including the impact of redistricting, candidate recruitment, etc.), the changing job description of state legislators, legislatures as organizations, the process by which legislation gets produced, and the influences upon legislators.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: 99 Chambers and Why They Matter
State Legislatures in Historical Context
State Legislative Evolution in the Nineteenth Century
State Legislative Evolution in the Twentieth Century
State Legislatures Today
Number of houses
The Nebraska exception
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 1-1: The Legislative Representation and Efficiency Tradeoff
Bicameral size differences
Terms of office
Differences with Congress
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 1-2: Domes?
Further Exploration of State Legislatures
Chapter 2: State Legislative Campaigns and Elections
Differences in Electoral Rules
Type of primary election
Timing of primary election
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 2-1: When Residency Requirements Bite
Case law and state redistricting
Campaign finance laws
The recruitment of women and minorities
How Campaigns Are Run
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 2-2: The Art Science of Doorbelling
Turnover, Party Competition and Elections
Term limits and turnover
Competitive versus non-competitive states
The effect of region
Chapter 3: The Changing Job of State Legislators
What difference does professionalization make?
Professionalization levels in current state legislatures
Examining the components of professionalization: salary and benefits
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 3-1: The Pennsylvania Pay Raise Fiasco
Examining the components of professionalization: time demands
Examining each of the components: staff and facilities
Explaining the number of women and minority legislators
Diversity by other measures
The Job of State Legislator
Legislative Careers and Legislature Career Opportunity Types
Chapter 4: Legislative Organization across the States
Feature: Under the Domes 4-1: The Battle over the Gavel in the Alabama State Senate
Feature: Under the Domes 4-2: Leadership Retribution in State Legislatures
Career Opportunity Types and Committee Membership and Leadership
Where are Decisions Made in State Legislatures?
Chapter 5: The Legislative Process in the States
Variation Across the States
The Three Tracks of the Legislative Process: Bills That Die, Bills That Fly, and Bills that Crawl
Steps in the Legislative Process
Introduction and first reading
Feature: Under the Domes 5-1: “There Ought to Be a Law” or Why Legislators Introduce Bills
Referral to standing committee
Committee action and second reading
Third reading, debate and floor vote
Feature: Under the Domes 5-2: Fun with Quorums
Same steps in second chamber
Potential conference committee
The governor’s desk
The Budget Process
Influence on Legislative Decision-Making
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 5-3: “I Voted for that Bill Before I Voted Against It”: Why Floor Votes Don’t Necessarily Tell the Whole Story
Chapter 6: The Legislative Context
Public Opinion, Constituency, and the Representational Role
Different views of constituency
Public Opinion, Organized Interests, and Lobbying
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 6-1: Lobbying Outside the Box
What lobbyists do
Interest groups and campaign financing
Public Opinion and Direct Democracy
The popular referendum
The Governor and the Legislature
Setting the agenda
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 6-2: Vanna White, Frankenstein, and the Partial Veto in Wisconsin
Other gubernatorial weapons
State courts and policy mandates
State courts, direct democracy, and policymaking
The Fiscal Factor
The Federal Factor
Chapter 7: Are State Legislatures Representative Institutions?
What Do Election Results Tell Us About Evaluations of State Legislative Performance?
How Highly Do Citizens Rate Their State Legislature?
How Much Do People Know About Their State Legislature and Legislators?
How Much Information about State Legislatures is Available?
Do State Legislators Represent Their Constituents?
Feature: Politics Under the Domes 7-1: When Politics and Policy Collide in he State Legislature
The Dynamics of Representation at the State Level
The components of representation
The changing dynamics of the job
A Final Assessment
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State Legislatures Today: Politics Under the Domes, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book
$19.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-75115-0