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SAGE Publications
Virginia Government: Institutions and Policy / Edition 1

Virginia Government: Institutions and Policy / Edition 1

by Liliokanaio Peaslee, Nicholas J. Swartz
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Equally at home as a companion to an introductory text or as a stand-alone resource, Virginia Government offers an excellent introduction to the political institutions, actors, and policy processes of the Old Dominion State. Paying special attention to the governing arrangements that make Virginia unique, from statewide city-county separation to a single-term governor to shifting electoral alignments, Peaslee and Swartz strike the perfect balance, combining necessary background and historical analysis with current events and policy issues to make the information relevant and engaging for today’s students. Grounded in the comparative method, the text provides useful comparisons with governing institutions, political processes, and public polices in other states and localities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452205892
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 10/10/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Liliokanaio Peaslee is assistant professor of public policy and administration in the Department of Political Science at James Madison University. She has an undergraduate degree in political science, a master’s degree in social policy, and a joint PhD in politics and social policy. Dr. Peaslee has published in the areas of community policing, youth development, rural education and employment policy, and university–community partnerships. Her research currently involves evaluating mentoring programs for at-risk youth.

Nicholas J. Swartz is assistant professor of public policy and administration in the Department of Political Science at James Madison University. He is also the director of the Master in Public Administration Program. He has an undergraduate degree in political science, a master’s degree in public administration, and a doctorate degree in public policy. Dr. Swartz has published in the areas of emergency management, city–county governmental consolidation, local government and nonprofit management succession planning, and university–town collaborations. He has worked with a number of local governments and nonprofits in Virginia to facilitate local community and economic development.

Table of Contents

List of Tables, Figures, and Boxes x

Preface xiv

About the Authors xvi

1 An Introduction to Government and Policymaking in the Commonwealth 1

One State, Many Virginias 2

An Unparalleled Political History 4

A Snapshot pf Virginia Citizens 5

The Economy 7

Plan of the Book 8

Key Concepts 9

Suggested Resources 9

Notes 9

2 A Framework for Governing: Exploring the Virginia State Constitution 11

Forms of Government 11

How and Why State Constitutions Vary 12

The Evolution of Virginia's Constitutions 13

The 1776 Constitution 13

The 1830 Constitution 15

The 1851 Constitution 16

1864: The War Constitution 16

The 1870 Constitution 16

The 1902 Constitution 17

The Current System: The Constitution of 1971 18

Conclusion 23

Key Concepts 23

Suggested Resources 24

Notes 24

3 From Blue to Red and Back Again: Voting and Political Participation in Virginia 25

Gaining the Right to Vote 26

Redistricting 30

Primaries and Elections 32

Voting in Virginia 33

Impact on National Politics 34

Direct Democracy 36

Other Forms of Political Participation 37

Conclusion 38

Key Concepts 39

Suggested Resources 39

Notes 39

4 Organized Interests: Political Parties and Group Politics in the State Capital 42

The Purpose of Parties 42

Party in the Electorate 43

Party as Organization 44

Party in Government 44

Virginia's Political Parties 45

Interest Groups 49

Conclusion 56

Key Concepts 57

Suggested Resources 57

Notes 57

5 The Virginia General Assembly: Lawmaking in the Nation's First Legislature 60

Structure of the General Assembly 61

Lawmaking Power 66

Constituent Services 68

Judicial and Executive Oversight 68

Impeachment Power 69

Apportionment of State Legislators 69

Legislative Leadership and Party Control 70

A Profile of Virginias Legislators 71

Conclusion 73

Key Concepts 74

Suggested Resources 74

Notes 74

6 Steering the Ship of the State: Executive Power in Virginia 77

Virginia's One-Term Governor 78

Powers of the Office 80

The Governor as Party Head 82

The Governor as Chief Budgeting Officer 83

The Governor as Chief Appointer and Administrator 83

The Governor as Spokesperson for the State 84

Life after Living in the Governor's Mansion 84

The Constitutional Executive Officers 84

The Office of Attorney General 87

Conclusion 89

Key Concepts 89

Suggested Resources 89

Notes 89

7 Law and Order in Virginia: The State Court System 90

Virginia's Court Structure 90

Magistrates 91

District Courts 92

Circuit Courts 93

Court of Appeals 94

Virginia Supreme Court 95

The Administration of Justice 96

The National Court System 96

Judicial Policymaking 97

State Judicial Selection 98

Who Are Our Judges? 99

Tenure and Compensation 100

Conclusion 102

Key Concepts 102

Suggested Resources 102

Notes 102

8 Administering Government: Bureaucratic Power and Politics in Virginia 105

Sources of Bureaucratic and Administrative Power in Virginia 106

The Virginia Merit System 110

Measuring Effectiveness and Improving Efficiency 113

Conclusion 117

Key Concepts 117

Suggested Resources 117

Notes 118

9 Paying the Bill: Budgeting and Finance in Virginia 119

The Biennial Budget 119

The Virginia Budget Process 120

Timeline 121

Where the Money Comes From 122

Where the Money Goes 126

Virginia's Fiscal Health and Solvency 127

How Is Virginia Doing? 128

Conclusion 130

Key Concepts 130

Suggested Resources 131

Notes 131

10 Municipalities and Metropolitanism: Local and Regional Governance in Virginia 132

Municipal Governments 133

Incorporation and the Growth of Local Governments in Virginia 136

County Governments 137

Local Government Revenue 140

Annexation and Governmental Consolidation in Virginia 143

Regionalism in Virginia 146

Conclusion 151

Key Concepts 152

Suggested Resources 152

Notes 152

11 Inside the Laboratory: Public Policymaking in Virginia 154

The Policy Process 155

K-12 Education Policy 157

Funding for K-12 Education 159

Academic Achievement in Virginia 159

School Choice 163

Health and Human Services 165

Poverty in Virginia 165

Major Social Welfare Programs 166

Accessing Health Care in the Commonwealth 169

Major Health Policies 171

Energy and Environmental Policy 173

How Virginia Uses Energy 174

Virginia's Energy Policy 174

How Does Virginia Stack Up? 177

Emergency Management and Homeland Security 180

Federal Government Location and Impact on Homeland Security 182

Economic Development Policy 184

Agencies Aiding Virginia Businesses and Workforce Development 186

Conclusion 187

Key Concepts 188

Suggested Resources 189

Notes 190

Index 193

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