The new face of state and local government
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The New Face of State and Local Government. Chapter 21. Introduction. Subnational Governments: State & local governments have been characterized by revitalization and diversity since the 1960’s. States have become more active players in policymaking.

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  • Subnational Governments:

    • State & local governments have been characterized by revitalization and diversity since the 1960’s.

    • States have become more active players in policymaking.

    • States still remain diverse in their populations and policies.

State constitutions
State Constitutions

  • In General…

    • Each state has its own unique constitution.

    • They are subordinate to the U.S. Constitution.

    • State constitutions have more detail about specific policies.

    • It is argued that specific interests worked to protect their issues in the constitutions, since it is harder to amend the constitution.

State constitutions1
State Constitutions

  • Government under the Texas State Constitution (Figure 21.1)

State constitutions2
State Constitutions

  • Amending State Constitutions

    • Few states rewrite their constitutions.

    • States often use the “cut and paste” method of changing their constitutions by only updating a few sections of the document at a time.

    • In general, a state’s legislature proposes a constitutional amendment, and then it is put to a vote in an election.

    • Some states allow citizen initiatives.

State elections
State Elections

  • Gubernatorial Elections

    • Elections are becoming more centered on the candidates - like presidential elections.

    • Elections are generally held in even numbered, non-presidential election years so the governor is the main candidate.

    • The elections are expensive and candidates raise most of the money themselves.

State elections1
State Elections

  • State Legislative Elections

    • Have the smallest constituencies for state & federal governments, yet the least well known.

    • State districts had to be redrawn after 1962’s Baker v. Carr specified the “one person, one vote” idea in state elections.

    • These campaigns are getting more expensive and more candidate centered.

State elections2
State Elections

  • State Legislative Elections

    • Partisan Competition, Legislative Turnovers, and Term Limits.

      • Partisan competition is close in most states, often resulting in divided government.

      • There is generally high turnover in state legislatures which some think leads to new policy ideas.

      • Some states have decided to “force” turnover by using terms limits.

State elections4
State Elections

  • The Changing Face of State Elected Officials

    • The old rule of white, male elected leaders is going away as more women and minorities are getting elected to governorships and legislatures.

    • Progress has been slow in recent years, in part because of women running for federal offices.

State elections5
State Elections

  • Female Representation in State Government (Figure 21.2)

Governors and the executive branch
Governors and theExecutive Branch

  • The Job of Governor

    • Expected to fulfill many duties, some formal, some not.

    • There is a wide diversity in the amount of formal powers each governor has.

    • Many governors have a line-item veto that allows them to cancel parts of a bill.

    • Today’s governors use “personal powers” to help accomplish their policy goals.

Governors and the executive branch1
Governors and theExecutive Branch

Institutional Powers of the Governors

Figure 21.3

Governors and the executive branch2
Governors and theExecutive Branch

  • Other Executive Officers

    • Many other state executives are elected separately from the governor.

    • Major state executives include:

      • Lieutenant Governor

      • Attorney General

      • Treasurer

      • Secretary of State

      • Auditor

State legislatures
State Legislatures

  • General Information:

    • Generally operate like Congress

    • Have become more professional:

      • longer sessions

      • higher salaries

      • more staff

    • But others argue that it takes away from the “citizen legislature” favored by many.

State legislatures1
State Legislatures

Legislative Professionalism

Figure 21.4

State court systems
State Court Systems

  • State Court Organization

    • Many state court systems are confusing with many specialized courts.

    • There have been efforts to consolidate the number and type of courts.

    • Many states have established intermediate courts of appeal to take some of the workload off the state’s supreme court.

State court systems1
State Court Systems

  • Prototypical Modern State Court System (Figure 21.5)

State court systems2
State Court Systems

  • Selecting Judges

    • States use a variety of methods in choosing judges.

      • Election (both partisan and non partisan)

      • Appointment (mostly with confirmation)

    • Relatively new method is the merit plan.

      • Governor appoints one of several screened judges

      • Voters approve / disapprove in an election

Direct democracy
Direct Democracy

  • Methods of citizen control of the Government:

    • Initiative: Some states allow proposed changes to laws be put on the ballot if enough signatures are collected.

    • Referendum: Used by most states to let voters approve / disapprove state legislation.

    • Recall: A few states allow voters to vote someone out of office.

State and local government relations
State and Local Government Relations

  • There is no guide for a state and its local governments.

    • Dillon’s Rule: Local governments have only those powers and duties explicitly given to them by the state.

    • Some states allow home rule where a local government adopts a charter (like a constitution) to govern its activities.

Local governments
Local Governments

  • Types of Local Government

    • Counties

    • Townships

    • Municipalities

      • Town meeting

      • Mayor-Council

      • Council-Manager (city manager)

      • Commission

    • School Districts

    • Special Districts

Local governments2
Local Governments

  • Mayor-Council Government (Figure 21.6)

Local governments3
Local Governments

  • Council-Manager Government (Figure 21.7)

Local governments4
Local Governments

  • Fragmentation, Cooperation, and Competition

    • There is not much cooperation among local governments in a state to solve problems.

    • Regional governments are able to coordinate some activities in some areas.

    • Differences in opinion on needs and competition make cooperation difficult.

    • COGs can coordinate some activities as well.

State and local finance policy
State and Local Finance Policy

State Government Revenues and Expenditures

Figure 21.9

State and local finance policy1
State and Local Finance Policy

Local Government Revenue and Expenditures

Figure 21.10

Understanding state and local governments
Understanding State and Local Governments

  • Democracy at the Subnational Level

    • States have been willing to let local governments be created to handle local problems and operate very openly.

    • But, there are problems with lack of voter participation and coordination among local governments as well as competition for economic development.

Understanding state and local governments1
Understanding State and Local Governments

  • The Scope of Subnational Government

    • State and local governments are growing faster than the national government.

    • Some states have sunset legislation that calls for the reviewing of agencies to see if their programs are still needed.

    • Some local governments are better able at policymaking than their states and have taken the lead in solving problems.