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This is an open book examination relying primarily on the Gray text, with one question drawn from the Rosenthal text. Please provide references to any material not from the Gray or Rosenthal if you choose to use supplemental resources (which is not required but certainly encouraged if you wish).

1.    We have discussed the idea of states being “laboratories of democracy” – places where government can try innovative solutions to policy problems that may become models for other states to follow. Please discuss this idea in some detail. Do you agree or disagree with it? Give a number of specific examples from your reading to support your position.
2.    How important are the “politics” of a state in determining the policy position its government will support? Define “politics” broadly to also include socioeconomic factors in a given state. Use a wide variety of examples from your reading to support your opinion.
3.    Describe the importance of intergovernmental relations (IGR) to states as they develop and implement policies. Discuss these relationships completely (state-federal, state-state, state-local) and provide specific examples of how IGR actually works in reality.
4.    Discuss the significance of political participation in the states. Include the following in your answer: political parties, direct democracy, interest groups, lobbying, public opinion. Provide specific examples to support your opinion about how influential, or not, they are relative to each other.
5.    Describe the evolution of state legislatures as discussed in class and the readings. What are the key elements of “reform”? Have these changes improved the capacity of state legislatures? Please provide detailed examples to support your opinion.
6.    Please use the framework in the Rosenthal book to describe the role of state governors as policy leaders. Use the governor you have been assigned to write about as an example if you wish, or compare other governors from the text or your other reading. What are the important factors for success??
7.    Discuss the elements of fiscal policy as relates to state government. Describe, in detail, the various sources of revenue and categories of expenses. What is the role of debt and future obligations? How does the budget guide state government in addressing policy issues?
8.    Choose one of the following policy areas in state government: health and welfare programs, education (primary/secondary or higher), environmental, or economic development. Describe, in detail, the role that states play in developing, influencing, and administering initiative in this particular area. Give specific examples where you think that states have been successful or not.

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