Gubernatorial Leadership and State Policy

Gubernatorial Leadership and State Policy

Gubernatorial Leadership and State Policy

Gubernatorial Leadership and State Policy

Synopsis

State governments produce a wider range of policies affecting he lives of their citizens than any other level of government. It is crucial, as this book shows, that a state government have an effective governor at the helm in order to achieve responsive and effective policies. Herzik and Brown have brought together a collection of in-depth essays that analyze the factors that influence gubernatorial performance--including the governor's role in the state policymaking process.

Excerpt

Governors are the most salient political actors in state government. Whether the true power center of a state rests with the particular occupant or resides elsewhere, the office of governor is the focal point of state government organization and policymaking. At a minimum, governors set the mood or tone of the state political environment. More commonly, governors take the lead in setting the agenda for public debate, framing issues, setting policy priorities, and influencing policy outcomes by using any number of powers or tools at their disposal.

The power and respect accorded governors has varied over time. Over the past three decades governors have assumed an ever greater role in the state policy process. Governors and states have always addressed policy issues that directly affect the quality of life of citizens. As a group, state governments develop and implement a wider range of policies than the national government. These traditional or perennial state policy concerns include most of the basic services such as education, highways, welfare, healthcare, and public safety utilized by citizens on a daily basis. However, the policy role of governors has also expanded significantly to meet new social needs and citizen demands in areas such as environmental quality, economic development, and consumer protection. Indeed, policy innovation across a wide spectrum of state policies is often the result of gubernatorial leadership. Several factors have influenced the increasing importance of gubernatorial leadership in the policymaking process. Nearly all governors now enjoy a fairly extensive army of formal powers that help them mold policy and guide it through the political process. Increased staff support allows governors to more actively develop policy and oversee its implementation. At a more macropolitical level, changes . . .

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