In one of the only accounts of Latino legislative behavior, Stella M. Rouse examines how well the growing Latino population translates their increased presence into legislative influence. Latinos in the Legislative Process explores Latino representation by considering the role of ethnicity throughout the legislative process - from bill sponsorship, to committee deliberations, to floor votes - in seven state legislatures. Rouse first identifies issues that are priorities for Latinos and tells us whether a Latino political agenda exists. She then provides a theoretical framework for ethnicity in legislative behavior and outcomes. Rouse demonstrates that ethnicity is a complex dynamic that plays a variable role in the legislative process. Thus, Latino representation cannot be viewed monolithically.
Stella M. Rouse is Assistant Professor of Government and Politics, and Fellow at the Center for American Politics and Citizenship, at the University of Maryland.
1. Introduction; 2. In the 'interest' of Latinos: defining Latino issue priorities and establishing a Latino political agenda; 3. Agenda setting: the conditional role of ethnicity; 4. Latino interests and Latino representation in legislative committees; 5. Vote choice and Latino representation; 6. The influence of Latino representatives: the cases of Arizona's SB 1070 and California's AB 9; 7. Conclusion: where Latinos stand in the representative process; Appendices; References; Index.