Revista de Sociologia e Política
Print version ISSN 0104-4478
TOMIO, Fabrício Ricardo de Limas and RICCI, Paolo. The state government in Brazilian political experience: legislative performance in state assemblies. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.41, pp. 193-217. ISSN 0104-4478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-44782012000100012.
This article analyzes the legislative process and performance in 12 Brazilian state legislative assemblies during two legislative periods (1999-2002 and 2002-2006). Our initial goal was to provide a perspective on the volume and dynamics of legislative production through identification of determining aspects of decision-making processes and analysis of certain indicators, such as the volume of the projects presented and the success rate of bills and vetoes. We also look at the content of the proposals presented by governors and state representatives, using this variation to problematize the state legislative process. As a result, some interpretative considerations can be made. Thus, in the first place we see that the legislative dynamic of state assemblies depends on the institutional resources that are constitutionally conferred upon political actors by the Federal Constitution, which in turn restricts the legislation that state representatives are able to propose and limits governor's legislative autonomy. Yet this does not annul the differentiation process that springs from different political party perspectives. Rather, we have a clear indication that political party dynamics and effective interaction between government and opposition within assemblies explain the variation encountered between states. In the second place, our data show that there is a diversified state legislative dynamic that is not annulled by Executive power. The volume of proposals presented by state representatives that do not distribute concentrated benefits are an indication of a "desired" agenda, geared primarily toward defining norms and directives of state public policy.. Yet at the same time, we see that although the legislative success of state representatives is high when compared to that of federal representatives, it is basically limited to one type of norm: concession of concentrated benefits, among which public utility declarations stand out. Our research efforts and the data presented here should call attention to the need for future research on state assemblies, seeking a better understanding of the way Brazilian institutions work within the sub-national ambit.
Keywords : Legislative Process; Legislative Assembly; Executive-Legislative Relations; Political Institutions.