GOV 310L Module Notes.docx

Or dem o by the 1970s we have lost most of the

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way (rep. or dem.) o By the 1970s, we have lost most of the marginal districts, polarized 30-50 seats that are competitive out of 435 in the house Still looks like that today Redistricting: o Every ten years at the census there is apportionment Determines how many house members are given to each state, done internally with localities as well Re-districting happens to, you have to redraw the lines to contain the same number of people (only allowed to differ by 10-12 people) Gerrymandering, a particular kind of districting- drawing the lines in a way to maximize the number of seats a party gets Eldridge Gerry drew a salamander shaped district in new jersey Court requirements for redistricting o Contiguity (one segment, people oughta be next to one another) o Compactness – shared interest o Historical connectedness Keep districts that have been districts together Not always enough to overturn it o Polarization in congress: distance between republicans and democrats has increased in time (on core issue) Up ticks, at historical highs o Senate descriptive representation Genderwise, terrible 2% to 13% African American 3% to 9% Hispanic
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100-40% college educated 57-0% lawyers They don’t look like us Structure of the Texas State Legislature o Bicameral, senate of 31 members, house of 150 members (Set by 1876 constitution) o Representatives 2 years, senator 4 years o House: 51 democrats, 99 republicans o Senate: 11 democrats, 20 republicans o Republican supermajority, but dems still have some level of control over what happens Texas legislators are the lowest paid in the nation (7200 dollars yearly), perdiem for days working Part time job, get a full time job Don’t want a professional legislature, not an active government Power of the TX legislature o Senate: lieutenant governor, serves as senate president (dan Patrick), pres. Pro tempore, craig estes o House, speaker, joe straus Structure of the legislature o Only meets every two years, 140 day sessions—longer term commitments o Only required to pass a balanced budget Redistricting battle in Texas o Why important? Sets the lines for elections, most purely political of all legislative activities o State legislatures draw congressional/state districts Shapes national government o 2000 census gave us 2 new districts, districts had to be redrawn Shift inpopulation Narrowly divided legislature—more even partisan power Didn’t reach decision, shifted decision to a board o Board had 4 republicans and 2 democrats o Biased districts o Upheld by SC o Shift in partisan power o In 2003 called to replace the districts drawn in 2001, only for congressional districts Needed 2/3 to have a meeting, democrats left so there was no quorum Crossed border where texas rangers had no jurisdiction Killer D’s were promised the redistricting would not be covered in the regular session o They called for a special session o Month long standoff—unprofessional Lecture quiz 2: o Texas state legislator’s pay is ____ compared to those in other states.
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