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With an emphasis on public policy and active learning, this popular and highly accessible text introduces the essentials of Texas government and its often colorful politics in a way that any student can understand.
An abundance of useful study aids and exercises in every chapter and a lively, straightforward writing style makes the material accessible to students of every level. Showing students the impact that government has on their lives, this insightful and sometimes humorous critique of Texas government engages students in the course material and encourages them to become active participants in the course and their government. Published as a “Longman Study Edition” this text contains a battery of practice chapter tests for student self study and review.
New to the Eleventh Edition
· Full coverage of the 2008 election has been added to the text. Chapter 4 includes updated voter turnout rates from the 2008 election and changes the turnout basis from voting age population to voting eligible population, Chapter 6 looks at the demographic trends that may well bring the Democratic Party back into power sometime between now and 2020, and Chapter 7 discusses the Texas Two-Step and its role in the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
· “Around the Nation” features have been updated throughout the text to reflect current hot topics in state politics across the nation, including the Massachusetts healthcare program as an example of a state serving as a “laboratory of democracy”; cash-for-grades student incentive program in Washington, DC.; Campaign Finance Reform in Arizona; Party Politics in Kansas; healthcare reform in San Francisco; and toll road privatization in Indiana.
· New material on social issues has been incorporated throughout the text. Chapter 1 discusses how religion impacts public policy in Texas; Chapter 14 examines sobriety checkpoints as a way to reduce drunk driving; and updated data on death penalty verdicts and executions looks at the national trends and compares them to the Texas criminal justice system.
· The issue of expanding legalized gambling to raise revenue is explored in Chapter 2 to analyze the role of the Texas Constitution in the policymaking process, and the potential adoption of a constitutional amendment. Chapter 10 looks at the Texas Supreme Court decision in the case of Cull v. Perry Homes.
· A new Chapter 3 opener discusses Governor Rick Perry’s rejection of federal stimulus money earmarked to shore up the state’s unemployment insurance fund.
· Legislative politics and processes are analyzed in Chapter 8 by examining the fate of environmentally friendly legislation in the 81st session of the Texas legislature.
· Chapter 9 discusses insurance regulation in the Lone Star State, focusing on the role of the TDI. The section on the SBOE discusses the recent debate over the state’s high school science curriculum.
· The state budget crisis that Texas will soon be facing is discussed in Chapter 13.
CHAPTER 1: THE PEOPLE, ECONOMY, AND POLITICAL CULTURE OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 2: TEXAS CONSTITUTION
CHAPTER 3: THE FEDERAL CONTEXT OF TEXAS POLICYMAKING
CHAPTER 4: POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
CHAPTER 5: INTEREST GROUPS
CHAPTER 6: POLITICAL PARTIES
CHAPTER 7: ELECTIONS
CHAPTER 8: THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE
CHAPTER 9: EXECUTIVE BRANCH
CHAPTER 10: JUDICIAL BRANCH
CHAPTER 11: CITY GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 12: COUNTIES, SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AND SPECIAL DISTRICTS
CHAPTER 13: STATE BUDGET POLICY
CHAPTER 14: CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Answers to Practice Test Questions