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State Legislatures Today: Politics Under the Domes Paperback – October 5, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0136033554 ISBN-10: 0136033555 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (October 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136033555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136033554
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This brief and inexpensive book examines state legislatures and state lawmakers, putting them in historical context, showing how they have evolved over the years, and differentiating them from Congress.  It covers state legislative elections (including the impact of redistricting, candidate recruitment, etc.), the changing job description of state legislators, legislatures as organizations, the process by which legislation gets produced, and the influences upon legislators.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LEON L CZIKOWSKY on January 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides great insights into how state legislatures across the country operate. It is well researched and presented. It is full of insights, including some of the following.

State legislatures in 2009 faced budget deficits due to declining tax revenues from a poor economy's lowered spending. State legislatures also faced several controversial issues, including how the death penalty, gay marriage, and energy issues. Numerous subjects were considered by state legislatures that received much public comment, including disallowing text messaging while driving (which passed in nine states), hate crimes (Maryland made attacking a homeless person a hate crime), puppy mills conditions, etc. Among the many topics legislators faced included, in the Arkansas legislature, a bill that proclaimed "Arkansas's" as the correct possessive spelling.

The number of members in a legislative chamber goes from a low of 20 Alaska State Senators to a high of 400 New Hampshire House members.

From 1966 to 2009, there were an exact number of both Democrats and Republicans serving at the same time in 38 legislative chambers. This causes organizational difficulties in designating majority control of leadership and committees. Even having an odd number of members doesn't avoid ties from happening, as Maine elected one independent Senator while also electing 17 Republican Senators and 17 Democratic Senators.

The Illinois legislature found more bills were introduced and its operating costs increased after it reduced its number of legislators. It is theorized that the size and political diversity of a state does more to determine how much work legislators do more so than the number of legislators it has.
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