Political Science 330

POSC 330
State and Local Government

Catalog Entry

POSC 330. State and Local Government. (AG)
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: POSC 120

Governmental institutions and processes, political parties, voting at state and county levels.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Major topic areas that may be included in this course are:

I. Intergovernmental Relations

A. Federalism
B. Constitutional Restrictions on States
C. Intergovernmental Obligations
D. Conflict and Cooperation Among the States

II. State Constitutions

A. Original State Constitutions
B. Contemporary State Constitutions
C. Constitutional Growth and Change
D. The Model State Constitution

III. State Executives

A. Governor
B. Nature of the Executive Function
C. Other Executive Officers
D. Administrators

IV. State Legislature

A. Descriptive Features
B. Functions and Powers
C. Committees
D. Election
E. Apportionment

V. State Judiciary

A. Organization
B. Selection
C. Judicial Review
D. Judicial Administration

VI. Local Government

A. Dillon's Rule
B. Forms of Government
C. Local Executives
D. Local Legislative Functions
E. Local Judiciaries

VII. Parties and Pressure Groups

A. Legal Status
B. Decentralized Nature
C. Party Membership
D. Party Finance
E. Party Organization

VIII. State And Local Revenue

A. Sources
B. Trends
C. Principles of Taxation
D. Alternatives to Tax

IX. State and Local Expenditures

A. Direction
B. Trends
C. Major Problems
D. Financing


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be primarily a lecture class, but small group exercises and discussions, in-class exercises, discussions involving the entire class, and a charter writing simulation may also be used.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To familiarize students with institutional and legal features of governments at the state and county levels.
2. To show the relationship between the federal government and state and/or county governments.
3. To demonstrate the influence of the political environment on state and county governments.
4. To foster an awareness of the political economy of state and county governments.


Assessment Measures

Class performance may be evaluated with objective and/or essay examinations, writing assignments related to class readings, quizzes, in-class writings, class participation, participation in a simulation, oral presentations, and a research or analytic paper.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 1998 Reviewed M. J. Franck, Dept. Chair