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Comparisons of Texas Legislature and US Congress: differences in powers (find one power in list of choices that only Texas has but Congress doesn't)
The US Congress does not redraw districts within the states. In Texas, the Texas Legislature redraws district boundaries.
differences in budgeting (2 questions);
- 1. Texas passes a biennial budget (2-year budget), while US Govt. passes a 1-year budget
- 2. Texas must abide by a balanced-budget and spending-limit amendments to the Texas Constitution, while US Govt. can run budget deficits
- 3. A budget deficit occurs when government spends more money than it receives in taxes and fees. Texas Constitution prohibits Texas from running a budget deficit.
Why conservatives objected to Joe Straus (R-SA) being elected Speaker of the House in 2009 and 2011?
- Because Joe voted FOR
- ---expansion of casino gambling
- ---consumption of alcohol during Sunday morning church hours, and to make it easier to sell alcohol without community approval which is needed as of today.
- Joe also voted AGAINST
- ---school choice,
- ---parental rights, and
- ---using statistically provenmethods to strengthen marriage and reduce divorce by encouraging pre-marital counseling.
****(So basically, the things Joe supported were things Christians did NOT support, and things Christians supported, Joe did NOT support.)***
prominent bills that become law in 2011 but did not in 2009 because of changes in the margins in the Texas legislature;
- ---Abortion (Sonograms): Doctors will be required to take a sonogram of the fetus 24 hours before a woman receives an abortion
- ----Voter ID: To reduce voting fraud, Texans will have to present a picture ID before voting
2009: teen tanning law (know details; scenario given);
Prohibits a minor below 16 ½ years from using a tanning bed. Minors between 16 ½ and 18 years must have parental permission to use a tanning bed
What did the Woodlands do in 2007 to prevent being annexed by Houston?
To avoid being annexed by the City of Houston, the Woodlands has agreed to pay Houston a sum of money... the Woodlands can now incorporate into its own city in 2014
2007: struggles between the governor and legislature (examples of sep. of powers);
- ---Gov. Perry wanted HPV vaccine to be mandatory for 6th grade girls to prevent them from a sexually-transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer.\
- ---Instead now, parents will be informed with information and the parents will decide if their daughter should get the HPV vaccine.
- ---Although Gov. Perry is a Repub. and Texas Legislature is Repub. there is still struggle over power. These are examples that the legislature in Texas is more powerful than the Governor.
How the Texas Legislature resolved the 2005 dispute with homeowners’ associations who had banned yard signs?
Homeowners' Associations cannot ban political yard signs
2003 Redistricting controversy: reason Republicans gave for wanting to redistrict at mid-decade—and—how the U.S. Supreme Court decided the redistricting case (2 questions)
- ---Republicans wanted the partisan split in the US House (from Texas) to better reflect the voting behavior of Texas, which became more Republican over previous decade
- ---A Quorum is a Texas Constitutional requirement: 2/3rds of members (21 of 31 members in Senate; 100 of 150 members in the House) required present on
- the floor of each house to conduct business.
- ---In 2003, during the regular 140-day session, more than 50 Democrats fled to Oklahoma to prevent a
- quorum in the Texas House
Line-Item veto powers: Governor vs. President
Governor has the power to do line-item veto. The president does not. Congress passed a limited line-item veto for President, but once challenged in court, US Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional.
Pocket veto powers: Governor vs. President
Governor does NOT have it, President does. When a governor does not sign legislation and the Texas Legislature is out of session it automatically becomes law.
Explain the Governor’s budgetary powers
- ---Budget Execution Authority - can transfer money from one agency to another or one program to another when legislature is out of session
- ---Must also have approval of Legislative Budget Board (LBB), chaired by Lt. Governor and Speaker of House, so there are checks on the governor's budgetary power between legislative sessions
Veto powers among members of the Texas executive?
Veto, Line-item veto, and agenda setting during special sessions
What controversial legislation regarding inmates (prisoners) did Rick Perry sign?
- ---Signed law for inmates to obtain court-ordered DNA testing
- ---Signed law for choice between life-in-prison and death penalty
What Perry did following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005)?
Governor Perry sent some National Guardsmen to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005...he mobilized the National Guard for Hurricanes Rita (2005) and Ike (2008) also
What did Gov. Perry do to shore-up (win) enough conservative voters to defeat Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Republican primary?
The anti-Washington DC sentiment in the country also helped Perry associate Kay Bailey Hutchinson with DC
In the 2006 Governor’s race, how did Carole Keeton Strayhorn try to use the TransTexas Corridor Initiative to turn the Republican base against Rick Perry?
Challenged Perry on his proposed TransTexas Corridor initiative, as a wrongful use of Texas' Eminent Domain power
What significant powers does the Texas Attorney General have?
Represents Texas in civil cases and some criminal cases, Provides legal interpretation of laws, when there is confusion
Powers of the Texas Supreme Court (know details);
- ---hears civil cases,
- ---establishes rules for lower level civil courts,
- ---conducts proceeding to remove judges,
- ---approves establishment of law schools, and appoints members of Board of Law Examiners (which
- prepares bar exams)
What prompts accusations of corruption in the Texas court system?
Law firms that present cases in Texas courts help finance the campaigns that elect judges who preside over those courts
Campaign finance laws for judicial candidates in Texas (know details)?
- Campaign Finance Restrictions - enacted in 1995 (Judicial Campaign Fairness Act) but they are voluntary...if a statewide judicial candidate voluntarily compiles in a campaign, the judicial candidate can only accept:
- 1.) up to $5K from individuals,
- 2.) $30K from law firms,
- 3.) $300K from PACs, and they are restricted in the amount of money they can spend
Reason Texas Supreme Court rebuked the executive branch in the case involving the polygamous sect (separation of powers issue)?
The court felt the sweep was too broad and should have been focused only on children on which there is evidence of abuse.
Legal qualifications for judges (know column on qualifications)?
- Usually have to be lawyers
- ---Justice of Peace does not have to be a lawyer.
- ---County Judge presides over the Constitutional County Court, but really has few judicial responsibilities. The County Judge is mostly a chief executive of the county, similar to a Mayor of a city or a Governor of a state. That's why the County Judge has no real legal qualification; chief executives don't have to be lawyers
Meaning of retribution v. rehabilitation in the context of criminal justice?
- Retribution--Making someone make up for what they've done (Punishment they deserve)
- Rehabilitation--Includes psychotherapy, trips to rehab, etc...
What is Harris County known for?
“And more people are put to death in Harris County, Texas than in any other county in the country”
The answers to the 3 questions juries must ask before sentencing a defendant to death (see lecture notes)
- ---Was the conduct of the defendant that caused the death of the victim committed deliberately and with the reasonable expectation that the victims' death would ensue?
- ---Is it probable that the defendant would commit additional criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society?
- ---Is there anything in the circumstances of the offense and the defendant's character and background that would warrant a sentence of life imprisonment rather than a death sentence?
The ratio of jobs created in the Great State of Texas compared to the 2nd best job creator, Florida (2000-2010) (also compare total jobs created
in each state)?
- ---Texas created 1.1 million jobs. Florida created about 300,000 jobs. Texas created more jobs then the next 5 job creating states. Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Utah, Washington.
- ---District of Columbia and 18 other
- states added jobs but 26 states lost jobs.
Besides job growth, on what economic and/or energy indicator(s) does Texas lead the nation?
Texas ranks #1 in exports to foreign countries (2001-2007) Texas trades most with Mexico and Canada, mainly due to the NAFTA (1993 - present), which created a free trade zone between the US, Canada, and Mexico
On what economic/social welfare indicator(s) does Texas rank worse or worst among the states making it a “not so great state”?
Though Texas has 34 billionaires (2007), it's average wealth is low in comparison to other states, 37th of 50 states in household income
Family income that qualifies for S-CHIP in Texas?
What do lottery revenues pay for in Texas (may not be in lecture, look at textbook)?
Whyy are “sin” taxes so high in Texas and across America?
The one type of tax that the people of Texas (and people across the nation) are "sin" taxes, which are taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. This is why local, state and federal taxes on "sin" products are so high. Our political leaders (local, state, and federal) know that they will not face a backlash of the voters if they raise taxes on "sin" products.
The dominant trend in Texas party politics since the 1970s?
Texas was a strong Democratic state in the 1970s. Though in the 1970s, many Democrats were conservative.
The process for becoming a delegate to a national convention in a presidential election year?
- 1.) You would have to be nominated and elected by those present at the precinct convention.
- 2.) Then you would have to be nominated and elected at the country or senatorial district convention afew weeks later,
- 3.) And, finally the same would have to occur at the
- state convention in June.
Who or what selects the presidential electors in Texas who then vote in the Electoral College?
In 2012, the state parties will select 36 presidential electors, given that Texas received 4 additional U.S. House seats following the 2010 census
2007: Texas passed stiffer laws against dog fighting—which sports figure made this a national issue?
What conservative positions Texas’ last Democratic governor took?
Opposed tax increases (including personal income tax), supported prison expansion, supported free trade (NAFTA), and encouraged businesses to locate in Texas?
How do the powers of the Texas governor compare to other governors around the country?
Weaker than other states
Age requirements for Texas judges on the highest level courts in Texas?
What Rick Perry offered his conservative base to make them comfortable with his HPV vaccination program?
"I understand the concern some of my friends have in requiring this vaccine, which is why parents can opt out if they so choose, but I refuse to look a young woman in the eye who suffers from this cancer and tell her that we could have precvented it."
What Merck did to encourage states to use its drug to vaccinate school-aged girls?
They came up with an ad ("One less statistic") featuring school-aged girls, and also told the states that you have to get the girls with this before they're sexually active, because if they've already contracted it, the vaccine does no good for them.
Why Texas is so important in determining textbook standards used in middle- and high-schools?
According to publishing insiders, textbooks are often tailored to fit Texas' standards because Texas is the largest buyer of textbooks, that means the choices made in Texas could determine the books that other states would buy.
What word did the School Board use to replace "imperialism” in social studies textbooks?
Imperialism was replaced with "expansionism".
The "biggest Texan" profiled in the video?
George W. Bush is the "biggest Texan" profiled in the video.
How Paul Begala (political commentator) described Texas politics (in 2002)?
"Texas is a very Republican state, it's South Carolina on steroids. They go out there and they find a Republican candidate, and they vote for them."
What evidence was allegedly withheld by the prosecutor (Ken Anderson) from the defense and jury in the Michael Morton case?
A police report, in which the wife's mother told investigators that the 3-year-old son had witnessed the murder, and described to her in detail how he saw someone else kill his mother. He also said that the father (Ken Anderson) was not there.
How much money was Michael Morton awarded for being wrongfully convicted and detained for 25 years?
What is the purpose of the Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB)?
To redraw legislative districts if the legislature fails to do so.
Why Democrats voted for Joe Straus for speaker of the house in high numbers in 2009?
They wanted to oust former speaker, Craddick, who made many enemies in his 3 year term. Even though Straus was arepublican, he was the better choice for Democrats.
Why does Texas create so many jobs?
Because it has rejected the economic model that now prevails in Washington. Texas stands out for its free market and business-friendly climate.
What state does the Wall Street Journal highlight as being the anti-Texas (i.e., a state the WSJ is critical of)?
California is the anti-Texas, poor economy despite its large population.
The reason for job growth in Texas
The high rate of population growth translates into above-average job growth through a couple of channels (retirees, Mexican Americans in search for happy life, etc.), and rapid growth leads to lower wages which attracts businesses.
Why did John Higgins (CEO of NUETEX Advanced Energy Group) move his LED manufacturing plant from China to Houston?
"Moving was a no-brainer. The cheap pricing of supplies and natural gas allows them to offer their products to people at a much cheaper price than when they were in China."
According to Patrick Jankowski of the Houston Greater Partnership, how many new jobs is Houston expected to create in 2012?
Graphic for 5 layers of the Texas Courts
- 1.) State highest appelate courts (Supreme court and Court of Criminal Appeals)
- 2.) State Intermediate Apellate courts (Courts of Appeals, determines which higher court case goes to)
- 3.) State Trial Courts of general and Special Jurisdiction (District Courts)
- 4.) County Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (County Level Courts)
- 5.) Local Trial courts of limited Jurisdiction (Municipal and JoP courts)
Poverty rate in Houston V. US
20% in Housotn, 13% nationwide
How many special sessions can a governor call during an interim (between regular sessions of the Texas Legislature)?
How many jurors must agree to sentence a person to death?
All jurors must agree