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Government Texas 2306. Unit 2 The Texas Constitution. Texas Constitutional History. 1827 Constitution of Coahuila y Tejas 1836 Texas Republic Constitution 1845 Statehood Constitution 1861 Confederacy Constitution 1866 Readmission Constitution 1869 Reconstruction Constitution

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government texas 2306

GovernmentTexas 2306

Unit 2

The Texas Constitution

texas constitutional history
Texas Constitutional History
  • 1827 Constitution of Coahuila y Tejas
  • 1836 Texas Republic Constitution
  • 1845 Statehood Constitution
  • 1861 Confederacy Constitution
  • 1866 Readmission Constitution
  • 1869 Reconstruction Constitution
  • 1876 Constitution
reconstruction constitution of 1869
Reconstruction Constitution of 1869
  • Created a modern state government
  • Created a strong state government
  • Weakened local government
  • Created a strong governor4 year term; high salary, appointive powers
  • Annual legislative sessions
  • Black equality
constitutional convention of 1875
Constitutional Convention of 1875
  • Weaken state government
  • Place fiscal limits on government

Two Major Goals

delegates to 1875 constitutional convention
Delegates to 1875 Constitutional Convention

90 Delegates:

  • 75 Democrats & 15 Republicans
  • 41 farmers
  • 38 Grange members
  • 29 lawyers
  • 20+ ex-Confederate army officers
  • 84 whites & 6 blacks (all Republican)
1876 constitution
1876 Constitution
  • 1.Weakened Governor
  • 2. Weakened Legislature
  • 3. Fragmented Court System
  • 4. Restricted Public Education
  • 5. Limited Public Debt
  • 6. Restricted Powers to Tax & Spend
  • 7. Strengthened Local Government
  • 8. Provided Regulations on RR & Businesses
governor
Governor
  • Shortened Term from 4 to 2 years
  • Appointment powers limited
    • Judges now elected
    • Plural Executive—dept. heads elected
  • Removal powers limited
  • Directive powers (to issue executive orders) limited
legislature
Legislature
  • Biennial legislative sessions
  • Salary reduced, put in constitution -$7,200
  • Constitutional rules
    • All bills-3 readings on 3 different days
    • All bills must 2 House & 2 Senate floor votes
judiciary
Judiciary
  • Fragmented court system
    • Dual court structure
  • Low qualifications
  • Lower courts – no official records kept
restricted public education
Restricted Public Education
  • Power to run public schools taken away from state government
  • Power to run public schools given to local government—locally elected school boards
fiscal limits
Fiscal Limits
  • Limited Public Debt
    • Limited to $200,000 maximum
  • Restricted Powers to Tax & Spend
    • No state income tax without voter approval
    • Constitution requires balanced budget
    • Comptroller issues revenue estimate = maximum spending limit of state budget
final provisions
Final Provisions
  • Strengthened Local Government
    • Local courts created
    • Public schools locally run
  • Provided Regulations on RR & Businesses
good points
Good Points
  • Weaker state government = less chance of abuse of power
  • Limits on taxing, spending, & borrowing- keeps spending & taxes lower and no state deficit.
  • Stronger local government makes it easier for citizens to influence important decisions affecting their daily lives
  • Regulation of railroads & corporations
bad points
Bad Points
  • Not a forward looking document
  • Too long
  • Excessive detail
  • Outdated sections
  • Badly written
  • Too restrictive
  • Diffusion of power = no leadership
  • To develop state programs-must amend constitution
state constitutions a comparison 1
STATE CONSTITUTIONSA COMPARISON1

AVERAGE LENGTH

  • ·National ave: 30,000 words
  • ·Texas Const.: 93,000+ words
  • ·US. Const.: 8,700 words
state constitutions a comparison 2
STATE CONSTITUTIONSA COMPARISON2

AVERAGE NO. OF AMENDMENTS

  • ·National average: 117 amends.
  • ·Texas Const.: 455 amends.

(as of Nov. 2007)

  • ·US Const.: 27 amends.
texas constitution the 3 branches 1
TEXAS CONSTITUTION& THE 3 BRANCHES1

GOVERNOR

·Weak figure-head –

·Limited appointment, removal, & directive powers

· Ranked 50th (1971) & 36th (1996)

texas constitution the 3 branches 2
TEXAS CONSTITUTION& THE 3 BRANCHES2

TEXAS LEGISLATURE

  • Part-time—biennial sessions--maximum of 140 days
  • Low paid - $7,200/year
  • Inadequate staff
  • Excessive constitutional rules
  • Ranked 36th
texas constitution the 3 branches 3
TEXAS CONSTITUTION& THE 3 BRANCHES3

TEXAS JUDICIARY

  • Dual Court System
  • Judges elected in partisan elections & low qualifications
  • Ranked 42nd
texas constitution the 3 branches 4
TEXAS CONSTITUTION& THE 3 BRANCHES4

RESULT:

oA power vacuum filled by lobbyists & interest groups

o Little regulation, leadership, & oversight

amendment process
Amendment Process
  • TEXAS

·  Need 2/3 majority approval of Texas House & Senate

·  Ratification by voters-simple majority

  • UNITED STATES

·  Need a 2/3 majority of U.S. House & Senate

· Need a ratification by ¾ (38) of State Legislatures

constitutional revision attempts
Constitutional Revision Attempts
  • 1957- Texas Legislative Council
  • 1966 - Governor Connally & Study Commission
  • 1971-74 - Study Commission & Constitutional Convention
  • 1975 - Election – 8 constitutional provisions
reasons for failure
Reasons for Failure
  • Anti change conservative philosophy
  • Ignorance of the Public
  • Public Apathy
  • Organized opposition of powerful wealthy interest groups