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PBJ: Politics, Bureaucracy and Justice Journal Volume 5, Issue 1

PB&J: Volume 5, Issue 1

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PB&J Volume 5, Issue 1

Article

Community Shared Solar in Virginia: Political and Institutional Barriers and Possibilities

Author: Gilbert Michaud

Abstract: Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy has provoked intense policy debate at the state level in the United States. Electric utility providers and other interests have fought to scale back or cut favorable state policies as grid-connected solar PV installations have increased. One innovative approach to dealing with these challenges is to permit community net energy metering (NEM) or "shared solar" that allows multiple electric utility customers to share the costs and benefits of ownership in a local solar PV facility. This has stimulated the development of off-site shared solar arrays, or solar gardens, and increased access to PV technology. In Virginia, however, no rules exist that require electric utilities to permit community shared solar through NEM. This article utilizes the punctuated equilibrium theory (PET) framework and a historical institutionalism methodology to examine the political forces that shape state policy and to analyze why Virginia has dismissed community solar legislation multiple times. Such an approach is useful in understanding how other historically laggard states may adopt community shared solar legislation in the future.

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Article

Students' Opinions about Concealed Firearms on University Campuses

Authors: Sharon D. Eaves, Mark A. Shoemaker, & Alexander W. Griego

Abstract: Texas Senate Bill 11 passed and will become law in August 2016. The legislation allows individuals with concealed firearms licenses to carry their handguns on all public university campuses in Texas. Prior research indicated that most students do not support such a law (Cavanaugh, Bouffard, Wells, & Nobles, 2012; Thompson et al. 2013). In two experiments we examine if university students' opinions can be altered by the framing of the questions on the survey and how different beliefs and knowledge about school violence and Second Amendment rights relate to feelings about Texas Senate Bill 11. Results showed that framing did have a small influence on approval of a law like Texas Senate Bill 11. Overall, more students disliked the law than those that liked the law. Males and Republicans were most likely to support the law.

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Article

The Dream Team, Texas Democrats, and Turnout: A County-level Analysis of the 2002 Elections in Texas

Authors: Reed L. Welch & John David Rausch Jr.

Abstract: In the 2002 statewide election Texas Democrats assembled the Dream Team, a racially diverse set of candidates consisting of Tony Sanchez, the first Hispanic candidate for governor; Ron Kirk, the first African-American candidate for U.S. Senator; and John Sharp, an experienced White candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Democrats hoped that the Dream Team would increase voter turnout among minorities in a state with a rapidly growing Hispanic population. Yet the hoped for turnout did not materialize and the Democrats were shut out of statewide races for the second consecutive gubernatorial election. Using county-level data, this article examines the effect the Dream Team had on voter turnout, especially among Hispanics, and how it affected the election results.

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