State Legislators(8 pages)
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- Lecture number:
- Lecture Note
- Texas A&M University
- Pols 207 - State & Local Goverment
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Lecture 11 Outline of Last Lecture I. Types of Primaries a. Closed, Open, Blanket, Nonpartisan, Semi-open, Semi-closed, Runof II. Public Relations Firms, the Mass Media, and Campaigning III. Money in Elections IV. Three Core Functions of State Legislatures a. 1) Policy-making b. 2) Representation >> Policy Representation, Casework, Pork Barrel Policies c. 3) Oversight Outline of Current Lecture: I. Characteristics of State Legislators a. Occupation, Education, Ethnicity, Gender, Wealth and Social Status II. The Incumbency Advantage a. Visibility, Money, Structure III. Professional vs. Less Professional Legislators a. Professional Legislators >> full time job, low turnover, higher salaries, provide more services IV. The Lawmaking Process Chart a. House or Senate Introduction & Referral of a bill b. Committee Action c. Floor Action d. Conference Committee e. Governor acts V. Legislative Districts (Single-member, malapportionment) VI. Drawing of District Lines VII. Homework Reading: a. Chapter 5 Parties and Campaigns in the State: Section State Party Organizations and Activists b. Chapter 6 Legislature: Section Leadership and Role Playing in the States Current Lecture Characteristics of State Legislators Characteristics of State Legislators Dominant background characteristics of state legislators o Occupation dominated by lawyers (deal with laws) others include business owners (deal with regulations, want to shape policy) legislator is not always a full time job, often 140 days every other year o Education mostly college educated o Ethnicity/Race primarily Anglos/Whites from 1970s to today, significant increase in representation of minorities POLS 207 2nd Edition most notable increase in African Americans Hispanics, African Americans, and other minorities have been on the rise o Gender on average, women hold 20% of legislative seats across the country Why are women underrepresented? when women run for state legislator, they have an equal chance of winning therefore, underrepresentation is primarily due to fewer women running women run less often o Wealth and Social Status upper class background average income is higher than the average income of a resident in the state most state legislators typically increase their wealth while serving in the legislator not because they are well paid but maybe because attracted more business while serving o lawyers take on more cases o being a legislator is like free advertising for one’s job The Incumbency Advantage about 90% of legislators are reelected incumbents = legislators running for reelection have a big advantage Three major factors contributing to the incumbency advantage: o 1) Visibility get media attention for doing their job as a state legislator, go back to home town to speak at a meeting quoted in the newspaper, newspaper photo when open a new facility, etc. o 2) Money incumbents attract more money and donations than challengers want to put money towards somebody who is going to win, so since incumbents have a better chance of winning, groups want to back the winner not the loser want to have clout with ...
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