Legislative organization in the American states: The role of executive reorganizations
Delgado, Laura L.
Hamm, Keith E.
Doctor of Philosophy
Reorganizations occur in all institutions, whether political or business or personal. Sometimes the reorganizations happen so slowly that they are almost indiscernible over time. At other times, the effects of the reorganization are immediately apparent. The consensus regarding political institutions, at least, is that change occurs slowly, when it occurs at all. This research focuses primarily on legislative change at the state level, and examines one particular reason for legislative change: change in the executive branch. The theory posits that one reason for state legislatures to reorganize their institutions is preceding executive branch reorganization. Legislatures should reorganize concomitant to executive branch reorganization and should do so in a way that brings their structure more closely into alignment with the structure of the executive branch. Legislatures possess compelling reasons to attempt to match the structures of their institutions with those of the executive branch. Doing so facilitates better oversight and helps to reduce information and power asymmetries. The results demonstrate that while legislative change by itself is sufficient to increase the degree to which legislative structure is congruent with that of the executive branch, the increase in congruence is maximized when a legislative reorganization follows an executive reorganization.