Tx Govt Ch 7 Vocab

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1

Reapportionment

The redrawing of district and precinct lines following the national census to reflect population changes.

2

Ex officio

Holding a position automatically because one also holds some other office.

3

Gerrymander

A district or precinct that is drawn specifi cally to favor some political party, candidate, or ethnic group.

4

Cracking

A gerrymandering technique in which concentrated political or ethnic minority groups are split into several districts so that their votes in any one district are negligible.

5

Packing

Gerrymandering technique in which members of partisan or minority groups are concentrated into one district, thereby ensuring that the group will influence only one election rather than several.

6

Pairing

Placing two incumbent office-holders in the same elective district through redistricting. This is usually done to eliminate political enemies.

7

Incumbent

The current holder of an office.

8

Descriptive representation

The idea that legislative bodies should represent not only voters’ political views but also the demographic and geographic characteristics that affect their political perspectives.

9

Term limits

Restrictions on the number of times that a politician can be reelected to an office or the number of years that a person may hold a particular office.

10

Retainers

Fees charged by lawyers. Some special interest groups place lawyer- legislators on retainer with the intent of legally compromising their objectivity on important matters of public policy.

11

The Lobby

The collective characterization of the most politically and economically powerful special interest groups in the state.

12

Standing committees

Permanent committees that function throughout the legislative session.

13

Subcommittees

Divisions of a committee that consider specific subtopics of a committee’s primary jurisdiction.

14

Conference committee

An ad- hoc committee that meets to resolve differences between Senate and House versions of the same legislation.

15

Interim committee

Committee that meets be-tween legislative sessions.

16

Joint committee

Committee that includes members of both houses.

17

Ad- hoc committee

A temporary committee.