Why Are You Here? A Primer for State Legislators and Citizens is a challenge to America’s 7,382 state legislators and their constituents to critically examine their state legislature and take appropriate action to improve it. This is a handbook telling how legislatures came to be, how they function, and discussing how they have fallen in public esteem. The book provides an analytical discussion for evaluating how any legislature deals with four issues: personal greed, criminal and ethical scandal, the influence of money and lobbying, and self-serving legislative seat apportionment. The last section is a “Legislative Toolbox” that provides information helpful in evaluating legislatures and readings of a patriotic nature that enhance idealism and spirit.
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About the Author
Franklin L. Kury served six years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and eight years in the Pennsylvania State Senate. He was a leader in environmental and government reform legislation. His first book, Clean Politics, Clean Streams, was cited by name and used by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the landmark environmental law decision in the Robinson Township case in 2013.
Visit the author's website at www.franklinkury.com.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Handbook for Action
PART ONE: ORIGINS AND PURPOSES
Chapter One: The Constitutional Basis
Chapter Two: The Work and Nature of Legislatures
PART TWO: SOURCES OF DISCONTENT
Chapter Three: Personal Benefits versus Public Service
Chapter Four: Scandal and Ethics Questions
Chapter Five: Expenditures of Money Meant to Influence
Chapter Six: Apportioning State Legislative and U.S. Congressional Districts
PART THREE: THE ULTIMATE QUESTION–WHY ARE YOU HERE AT YOUR STATE CAPITOL?
Chapter Seven: Legislators
Chapter Eight: Constituents
PART FOUR: THE LEGISLATIVE TOOLBOX
A.Online and Organization Information Sources
B.Bibliography and Suggestions for Further Reading
C.Readings for the Legislative Spirit
1.Article 61 of Magna Carta
2.Burke’s Bristol Constituency Speech (excerpt)
3.The Declaration of Independence
4.De Tocqueville’s Comments on American State Legislatures.
5.Legislative Corruption in Montana (Montana Supreme Court Opinion Excerpt)
6.Amanda Holt on Legislative Redistricting
ABOUT THE AUTHOR