Spring 2017 - 61375 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Texas Legislative Process and Internship
Instructor permission is required to enroll in this class. Class Meetings: For the first month, our class will meet on Friday mornings at the LBJ School from 9:00 am -12:00 pm. After the first month, depending on students’ internship schedules, we may meet at a different time and location, such as early morning, lunch, or Thursday evening at the Capitol. Internship: Students in this seminar will intern for a member or committee of the Texas Legislature, nonprofit interest group or media outlet involved with the Texas Legislature. Seminar Background: How does the Texas Legislature really work? What are the roles of legislators, staff, and committees? What are the functions of various State agencies, boards, commissions, and elected officials? What are the important public policy issues in the State of Texas? How do lobbyists and interest groups influence the process? In this course students will learn about the Texas Legislature, Texas state agencies, interest groups, and lobbyists. We will investigate the inner workings of the Texas Legislature on a formal and an informal basis. Students will learn the formal legislative process including the procedural rules for bills, committees and floor debates. Also, students will investigate the informal process of lobbying and behind the scenes negotiating. Additionally, we will examine the legislative and policy implications of the 85th Texas Legislature that begins January 10, 2017. Course Deliverables: Each student write two issue papers regarding major bills or issues that the student followed during internship. Each student will write a final term paper regarding the major bills or issues that the student followed during the internship. Each student will make class presentations. Students participating in this course will gain the following experiences: Inside knowledge of the Texas Legislature Lobbying process Team building Report writing Public speaking Interning during the spring with the Texas Legislature, a nonprofit interest group or the media Tracking and implementing legislation State of Texas politics and policy process