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36 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Characteristics of TX Legislature
181 Members
Meets in regular session for 140 days every other year
Represent single-member districts
House has more rules and restrictions than the Senate
Diffusion Gerrymandering
the minority party is mixed into the majority party so that only majority representatives are selected
Concentration Gerrymandering
concentrates teh opposition into one district so they will have less influence; in this way the majority can still get the number of seats they want
Pairing Gerrymandering
draw new lines and current representative end up in each others districts
Typical Texas Governor
white, Protestant, educated, conservative, "Good Cittizen", married, professional, male
Election of Texas Legislators
legislative elections are held on General Election days
Primary elections are held to nominate legislative candidates
Legislative candidates require a plurality vote to win election to office
Powers of Presiding Officers
Appoint most committee members; Appoint committee chairs; Assign bills to committees; Schedule legislation for floor action; Interpret procedural rules when conflict arises; Appoint chairs to conference committees; Serve and appoint members to the Legislative Audit Committee and the Sunset Advisory Commission
Senatorial Courtesy
the Senate will ordinarily not confirm the appointment of an individual to whom the senator from the appointtee's district objects
Information and Research
Is the most important tool used by the state bureaucracy and lobbyists to affect legislation
Ex Officio
holding a position because some other office is held. Holding two offices
Texas Redistricting
Texas Constitution requires the state legislature to reapportion the seats (allocation representatives to districts) in both houses of Congress after each national census
"Benefit Theory" of taxation
those who use, pay more
Characteristics of Special Session
Is held whenever called by the governor
Is limited to a maximum of 30 days
Can consider only subjects subitted by the governor
Two thirds rule
the process by which bills are scheduled for floor action in the Texas Senate
Special Bill
gives an exemption to persons and/or property from a general bill
Joint Resolution
the process the legislature uses to ratify amendments to the United State Constitution
Reynolds vs. Sims
determined that the legislature district lines be redrawn every ten years after the Federal Census
Functions of the TX Attorney General
Enforcement of anti-trust and consumer protection laws
Defends orders issued by regulatory agencies
Issues advisory opinions on legal questions involving state and local governments
Progressive Tax Rates
increase as the base increases; for example, federal income taxes
Regressive Tax Rates
taxes for which the effective rates are higher for low and middle income taxpayers; for example sales and consumption taxes
Line of succession
Lt. Governor, president pro tempore, the chief justice of the texas supreme court will preside over the senate if the governor is being tried on articles of impeachment
Fiscal Priorities in TX
Education; Health & Human Services; Transportation; Other; Public Saftey & Criminal Justice; General Government
Secretary Of State
Keeper of the "Great Seal of TX"
Regulates notaries
Regulates TX elections
Grants charters to TX corporations
Regulates clubs like AAA
Weak office of Governor
Independent elections of other key executives
Inability to appoint members of all state boards and commisssions
Plural Executive
an executive branch of government in which other officeholders are elected independently of the governor
Constitutional Powers of the TX Governor
Appointing judges to vacancies on state courts
Line item veto on budget bills
Call special sessions
Qualifications for Governor
At least 30 years of age
Not be a Communist, Facist or Nazi
Belief in a Supreme Being
Be a Qualified voter
Simple Majority
the process by which articles of impeachment must pass the Texas House
Severance Tax
a tax levied on the removal of natural resources (oil, and gas) from the earth
Legislative Budget Board
responsible for proposing the legislature's version of the proposed biennial budget. The governor also propses a budet to the legislature
Sunset Advisory Commission
systematically evaluates most government agencies and departments. The commission may reconmmend restructuring, abolishing, or altering the jurisdiction of an agency.
Zero Based Budgeting
Starts from scratch every year but assumptions and negotiations cause cuts
Incremental Budgeting
Most used system; based on the previous spending record and adds a % increment to adjust for inflation and population growth; its flaws are a loss from next years budget
State Comptroller of Public Accounts
Estimates the state's income for the proposed bienniel budget
Central Accounting officer of the state
Chief tax collector
Budge revenue estimator (budget must go to this office before Governor approval)
Railroad Commission
Grant permits to drill oil
Enforcing controls on strip mines
Regulating intrastate railroads
"Good Tax"
raises sufficient revenue; meets least resistance by the public; costs little to collect