The Use of Faith in Legislative Decision-Making: Bill Sponsorship

The Use of Faith in Legislative Decision-Making: Bill Sponsorship

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2388-8.ch003
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Abstract

In recent decades, same-sex marriage has emerged as a national political issue. As a result, state legislators have sponsored and passed statutes on an array of issues directly related to this topic. This chapter investigates how faith influences an individual legislator's political judgment in the early-stages of decision making related to sponsored bills. At this stage in the legislative process, influences are minimized. The findings indicate that even while legislator's partisanship and ideology largely structure decision-making, legislators as conservative Protestants are more likely to responds when issues involve morality.
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Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things which are God's. ~ Matthew 22:21

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Background

Policy decisions in state legislatures may be influenced by any number of sources known to shape human behavior (Patterson, 1983). To pinpoint the factors of influence upon legislative decision-making, researchers have observed the norms governing legislators' behavior, the roles they assume, and the goals and objectives that motivate them (Clausen, 1994). In addition to roll call votes, the legislative process offers members a variety of opportunities to take public positions. Chief among these is a members’ ability to sponsor and cosponsor legislation without institutional limit on the type, subject, or number of pieces of legislation (Oleszek, 2007).

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