HCCS Texas Legislature Discussion

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1) You choose a concept and post an original thread which thoroughly explains the concept in a way that others can understand the ideas you are laying out.

2) You must respond to 2 other posts from other students on different topics than the one that you used in your post. Your responses must always be respectful. The goal of your response is to restate the things you thought were most important from the concept they discussed and to elaborate on anything that might have been missed (if anything) in their explanation or that you felt was particularly relevant to the concept.

Choose 1 option below:

Option 1: Texas Legislature

Explain the similarities and differences in the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress and detail the formal and informal (what members actually are like in their age, profession, gender, demography, etc.) requirements to be a member of either the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate as well as what the pay and benefits are for members. What are the basics of the two chambers of the Texas Legislature in their structure. Identify the offices and the people who occupy the top position in each chamber and how they are selected. Explain how leadership in the Texas legislature has historically been bipartisan unlike the U.S. Congress and more driven by personality and what the recent trends have been under Dan Patrick. Review the differences in the types of bills and resolutions that can be passed, the various committees that exist and the importance of the Calendars Committee. Describe the legislative process and the various ways a bill can die in each chamber – including ways specific to each chamber. Identify the influences a governor, interest group, the courts, the media, and the public have on the legislative process.

Option 2: Texas Executive Branch

Explain the factors that led to the current plural executive structure in Texas and what the goal of the framers was in creating this unique structure. Identify the nine positions (7 elected officials, 1 appointed, 1 board, and 1 commission) that create the executive branch in Texas and the responsibilities for each. Explain how the governor can be very powerful even though his/her formal powers are very limited in the state constitution and why many view the lieutenant governor as the most powerful office in the executive branch. Identify the formal and informal (the reality of who gets elected in age, gender, race, ideology, etc.) requirements to be governor and how they might be removed by the impeachment process and the role of each legislative chamber in that process. Identify the formal powers of the governor and the power of appointment as well as the role of the governor’s staff. Mention the role of senatorial courtesy in the governor’s relationship with the legislature. Close your discussion with comments on the role of the Sunset Advisory Commission (SAC) and its effect on government agencies and administration. 

Option 3: Texas Judiciary 

Describe the basic structure of the high courts in Texas, what kinds of cases each handles, and the qualifications and terms of office for each. Give the functions of the various courts in Texas including state district courts, county courts-at-law, intermediate-level courts of appeal, county judge, justice of the peace and municipal courts. Explain the basics of the legal process and the differences in requirements for conviction in civil or criminal cases and the various types of crimes that can be charged. Describe the role of the grand jury and the way that ways that most criminal cases are adjudicated. Describe the partisan influences on how judges are chosen in Texas and the problems with having judges selected in partisan elections and the ways that voters make decisions in most judicial elections. Finally, discuss reforms that have been offered in how we select judges in Texas, the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act impact, and how judges are disciplined if necessary.

P/s : Finish part 1 and then I will show you others’ answer so that you can respond 2 post about 2 or 3 sentences.

1.In the recent decade, Texas’s population has grown rapidly. Whites population is known as the largest ethnic group, but it reduced to 42% in 2017. However, ethnic groups like Latino, Africans, and Asians have grown expeditiously due to immigration. Texas appears to have a population that is younger and has lower income compared to the country. In addition, three other important factors for growth are a natural increase between births and deaths, international immigration, and domestic immigration in particular from Mexico and from other States. The development of international immigration has above 17% and 30% for domestic immigration, while natural increase considered on top of half the growth. Therefore, Texas had a population of 28 million by 2017, and this is becoming increasingly diverse. Texas is known as the slave state due to the independence of Mexico has expanded the restriction on slavery, which creates the opportunity for Southerners to extend the system towards to West. By the Civil War, the number of slaves increased above 182,000 slaves that live in Texas, about one-third of the state’s entire population. In the U.S, African Americans had been second-class citizens, but they were deprived by the political system and oppressed by the popular culture. However, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act helped open up the Texas political system to African Americans, and a small number of African American candidates started winning elected office in the state in 1966. In 1972, Barbara Jordan became the first Texas African American woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The African American population of the state remains concentrated in east Texas where the nineteenth-century plantation and sharecropping structures were dominant. Texas had seen rapid economic development across a diverse economic base entrenched in technology after a stable increase in oil prices. Austin, Dallas, and Houston are known as the national center of high technology industry. Austin is the center of government business in the state, Dallas is known for its high-tech and manufacturing jobs, and as well as Houston establishes the oil refineries along the ship’s channel, making it one of the nation’s leading energy centers. The policies of the Trump administration have only magnified the issues raised in the debate between Patrick and Castro. Some argue that Patrick ‘s views will drive the growing Latino population away from the Republican Party because the harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric is perceived as anti-Latin. Patrick argued that he is supporting legal immigration and that he just wants to stop illegal immigration. Castro and others have argued that the United States is an immigrant country and that a structured way of changing the immigration system must be in place. Critics argue employers in Texas are greatly benefiting from the hard work of undocumented immigrants and that as long as jobs are open, immigrants will find a way to make it to the United States amid costly attempts to secure borders. Interestingly, calls to build a wall to keep undocumented workers out may slow down the flow of Latinos to Texas, but it’s hard to imagine Texas without a growing population fueled by loose immigration rules. Apart from Trump’s policies, Latinos will be playing an increasingly significant role in the state’s economic and political life as the Latino population ages and makes its way through the educational system. All political parties will have to change their priorities and beliefs over the next 30 years to meet the demands of an electorate increasingly dominated by young Latino voters.

2.The similarities and differences in the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress are that the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are considered for re-election every even year. The Senators, serve six-year terms and elections to the Senate are staggered over even years so that only about one third of the Senate is up for re-election during any election. The requirements to be a member of the Texas House of Representatives are being a U.S. citizen, at least be 21 years old, qualified voter, and be a resident of Texas for at least 2 years and district for at least 1 year. The requirements to be a member of Texas Senate are being a U.S. citizen, at least 26 years old, qualified voter, and being a resident of Texas for at least 5 years and district for at least 1 year.

The basics of the two chambers of the Texas Legislature are the Texas House of Representatives which has 150 House members and the Texas Senate which has 31 senators. The leader of the Texas Senate is the Lieutenant Governor, and the leader of the Texas House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House and he or she has a team of helpers who assign members to committees and direct bills to proper committees for consideration.

A bill is the form for most legislation, whether permanent or temporary, general or special, public or private. A bill that originates in the House of Representatives is identified by the letters “H.R.”, meaning “House of Representatives”, followed by a number that it retains throughout all its parliamentary stages. Bills are eventually presented to the President for action when they are approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Joint Resolutions originate either in the House or the Senate. There is only a little practical difference between a bill and a joint resolution. Both are subject to the same procedure, except for a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. Approval of such a resolution by two-thirds of both House and Senate, it is sent directly to the Administrator of General Services for submission to the individual state’s ratification. Joint resolutions become law in the same manner as bills. Concurrent Resolutions are matters affecting the operations of the House of Representatives. On approval by both the House and Senate, they are signed by the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate. They are not presented to the President. Simple Resolutions are a matter concerning the operation of the House of Representatives alone. A resolution affecting the House of Representatives is designated “H.Res” followed by the number.

The legislative process is; Step 1: Bill is written and presented to the House of Congress, step 2: Bill is assigned to a committee, step 3: if released bill gets put on a calendar, step 4: Bill is read on the floor and the bill is voted on by the entire House, step 5: introduced in the Senate, step 6: Bill goes to a committee, step 7: Bill is voted on by the entire Senate, step 8: Bill goes to a conference committee by the U.S. Government, and step 9: Bill is signed or vetoed by the president. The various ways a bill can die in each chamber are Committee chair refuses to schedule bill for a hearing (pigeonholing), does not get enough votes to get out of committee, does not get enough votes to be put on floor of the House from Calendars Committee, tie vote or failure to get a majority, Senator calls for written notice of hearing 48 hours prior to hearing, Filibuster, Failure to get achieve 2/3 Rule (changed to 3/5 rule in 2015) to bring vote up for debate, and veto by the governor.

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