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Midterm Review, Chapter 6
Terms in this set (23)
How are representatives "responsive" to their constituents? (3)
2. Public Goods
Why is it is much more difficult for representatives to act as agents of their constituents on policy matters?
1. Some legislators are "trustees."
2. The relevant constituency is not always apparent.
3. Even though some legislators are "delegates," many do not have opinions.
Why is the most important reason for variations in the amount of casework is the attitude of legislators themselves?
1. Some simply enjoy doing it
2. A majority of state legislators believe constituency service helps at election time
3. The support developed may also allow the representative to take a position on an issue contrary to strongly held views in the district
4. The legislator's belief about the scope of government is also important, with those supporting a limited role for government being less receptive to casework.
6 factors that differentiate b/w legislatures-
4. Selecting Leaders
Those arguing for an increase in the size of legislatures often argue that...(4)
1. The more the members, the fewer the constituents. With fewer constituents, a legislator is more likely to have face-to face dealings with them.
2. A large number of members allows for a more effective division of labor and specialization. This makes administrative oversight easier.
3. One political party can more easily dominate a smaller-sized legislature.
4. The legislature is designed to provide a cross-section of all points of view. A larger legislature is better able to achieve this end.
Those arguing for a decrease in the size of legislatures often argue that...
1. Fewer legislators does not mean less responsive legislators. Using modern communication mechanisms, a legislator can easily reach, and be reached by, many more constituents.
2. Legislative elections will be more competitive.
3. With a smaller legislature, there will be better discussion and clearer debate. There is more opportunity for each member to make his or her views known, to have his or her voice heard.
4. Large legislative bodies cost more.
What 5 functions do caucuses perform in the state government?
1. Choosing party leadership
2. Keeping members informed
3. Discussing policy to help leaders assess membership opinion
4. Building cohesion Mobilizing votes
What 4 important things does the staff do?
1. They keep the leadership informed about the concerns and needs of the members.
2. They tell leaders what is going on in the chamber and committees.
3. They keep the membership informed about the wishes of the leadership, the scheduling of legislation, and the status of members' bills.
4. Finally, staff frequently represent the leadership in behind-the-scenes negotiations.
What 5 things does a legislature do?
1. Chief administrator
2. Building coalitions
3. Providing information
4. Party spokesman
5. Chamber representative
What 4 formal powers does the Speaker of the House have?
1. Appointing party leaders and committee chairs
2. Controlling the committee system
3. Controlling house procedures
4. Legislative tenure
What are the committee chair's powers?
1. To preside over committee meetings;
2. To supervise and direct the staff of the committee; and
3. To prepare reports of the committee and submit them to the body.
Legislatures typically establish committees, because it enables them to. . .
1. Do many things that, because of sheer size, they otherwise would be unable to do.
2. Conduct more business - by dividing the workload among members - than could be done if the whole body were obliged to devote itself to each particular subject.
3. Act with a greater degree of freedom than usually is observed in full assembly.
4. Be assured of the presence during floor debate of members who have made some examination of the question.
During committee consideration, members have an opportunity to...
1. Hear from supporters and opponents of a bill;
2. Look closely at the details of proposed legislation;
3. Give thoughtful considerable information about the subject;
4. Become knowledgeable enough to make an informed decision about whether to vote for or against a proposal.
Committees in Missouri
-On average a member of the Missouri House serves on 4 committees and considers 90-100 bills each year.
-Consequently, they are able to attend about 75% of their committee meetings.
-Similarly, on average a member of the Missouri Senate serves on 6 committees and considers 140-160 bills each year. Again, this makes attendance very low (67%).
What four things do legislatures do?
3. Administrative oversight
4. Constituency service
3 ways states balance budgets-
1.The governor must submit a balanced budget (44 states) 2. The legislature must pass a balanced budget (41 states)
3. The legislature cannot carry over a deficit from the previous year (38 states)
How do state legislatures oversee states agencies?
1. standing committees are responsible for continuous review of the work of the state agencies within their jurisdiction.
2. Legislatures can also create special committees or staff agencies designed to evaluate the operation and performance of a given agency.
3. Finally, in 41 states, legislatures can review the rules and regulations developed by agencies. In some, these rules/regulations can be vetoed through a bill/resolution (28 states).
Principal-agent problem -
This occurs when a person or organization ("agent") makes decisions on behalf of another person or organization ("principal").
Bureaucratic drift -
A bureaucrats' tendency to implement policies in a way that favors their own political objectives rather than following the original intentions of the legislation.
Passing rates for bills on average, in Mo, and in Ks
-On average, the passage rate for all 50 states is around 20%
-In Missouri, the passage rate is around 10%
-Kansas, the passage rate is around 12%
What 4 things influence policy-making?
2. Electoral Cycle.
is the effect on public opinion when many citizens move away from moderate positions and toward either end of the political spectrum, identifying themselves as either liberals or conservatives.
Cross-filing (3 things)-
1. Candidates for state and federal offices could run in the primaries of multiple parties without specifying to which party they belonged.
2. The only information on the ballot other than the candidates' names was their occupation, most importantly whether they were the incumbent. If they were, their names also appeared at the top of the ballot.
3. If a candidate won both the Republican and Democratic primary, they would be the only one listed on the ballot for the general election, making the general election essentially meaningless.
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
Daniel M. Shea
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