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State Legislatures Today: Politics Under the Domes 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0136033554
ISBN-10: 0136033555
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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.

About the Author

Peverill Squire, Ph.D., University of Iowa
Peverill Squire is professor of political science at the University of Iowa, where he has served as chair of the department. Professor Squire received his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1990, he was a visiting professor at Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan, where he taught a course on American politics. During the 1999-2000 academic year, Professor Squire was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer, holding the John Marshall Chair in Political Science at the Budapest (Hungary) University of Economic Sciences.
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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: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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