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A case study of Idaho's legislative process and the factors of influence that shape legislative decision-making on education issues

Posted on:1997-06-18Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Gonzaga UniversityCandidate:Canfield-Davis, Kathryn MFull Text:PDF
GTID:1466390014481411Subject:Political science
The purpose of this study was to investigate the process by which three education-related bills passed through the Idaho State Legislature. This study was also designed to identify factors of influence that shape legislative decision-making on education-related issues as perceived by Idaho's lawmakers and observers of the legislative process.;This investigation utilized a descriptive, single-case study strategy. Sources of evidence included direct observation, archival records, documentation, interviews, and tape recordings of committee meetings and senate floor sessions. Key participants in this study were comprised of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, legislators, lobbyists, and legislative and governmental staff.;Results of this study show that a bill's fate is subject to many planned and unplanned sequential steps, and to a collection of diverse personalities that drive the legislative process. A bill's advancement through the process was affected by the part-time service status of legislators, personality conflicts among lawmakers, committee rivalry, leadership's assignment of bills to committees, committee chairs, the Lieutenant Governor's power to break tie votes in the Senate, and the Governor's veto authority. Demographic factors of influence that were shown to shape legislative voting decisions included: legislator's occupation, conservative values, personal convictions, and region or legislative district of representation.;Other factors of influence upon voting behavior were the time of a bill's introduction during a session, committee testimony, floor debate, long-term exposure to a bill, additional or new information, fiscal impact, party affiliation, legislative camaraderie, and interest in re-election.;Results of this study show that trust forms the foundation upon which other factors of influence depend. Some of those factors were: sponsors of bills, party leadership, lobbyists, constituents, school superintendents and board members, and teachers.;Conclusions focused upon strategies to improve the potential for passage of an education-related bill in the Idaho Legislature. Drafting legislation in clear, concise language that does not appear to significantly alter the status quo; meeting with and obtaining input from all interested stakeholders; building a coalition of support; and identifying a well-respected, highly trusted, and credible legislator to sponsor the bill will improve the likelihood of its passage.
Keywords/Search Tags:Process, Legislative, Factors, Influence, Bill
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