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New York State Government: Second Edition (Rockefeller Institute Press) [Paperback]

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Item description for New York State Government: Second Edition (Rockefeller Institute Press) by Robert B. Ward...

New York State Government: What It Does, How It Works is the first comprehensive examination of New York State government in over two decades. Robert B. Ward's book gives readers a thorough grounding in the state Constitution, the three branches of government in Albany, and the broad scope of state activities and services. This highly readable text presents rich and valuable insights into the competition that powerful actors engage in to develop and carry out public policies.

The treatment of each major topic -- such as health, education, public safety, environment, jobs and welfare, and transportation -- starts with historical development, critically important given the Empire State's leading role in the making of America.

Overall, the book sheds light on the reasons and the ways that New York State government changes over time in response to motivated leaders and the will of the people. It includes assessments of the State's leading governors and other instrumental players involved in the governmental process.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   612
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.7"
Weight:   2.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2006
Publisher   State University of New York Press
ISBN  1930912161  
ISBN13  9781930912168  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robert B. Ward

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert B. Ward is Director of Research at the Public Policy Institute of New York State.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Federal Government
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > State & Local Government
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > U.S.

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Not your ordinary read  Mar 15, 2003
New York State Government: What it does, How it works
By Robert B. Ward

Publisher: Rockefeller Institute Press, Albany, New York 12203-1003, 2002

Robert Ward, who has been involved in New York State government for over 20 years, gives us a great road map to what has happened in the Empire State politically and substantively in his book New York State Government: What it does and How it works. This readable, one volume work gives a great overview of the structure, purpose and implementation of New York's large government on both a legislative, judicial and administrative level. It is a nice review for those involved in government and a good beginning for those who seek to be in or who are new to government. Directors of associations directly impacted by government, new legislators and regulators and public policy students will find this a useful start in learning the somewhat complex way in which the Empire State operates and carries out its government mission.

As Ward points out, it is the administrative governmental structure, which has grown significantly since the 1970's, that carries out the nuts and bolts of New York State Government. Ward's premise that "the power of an agency executive with a vision, personal drive and the support of elected leadership can make an enormous impact on state government" is carried out in his summary of changes in the Department of Motor Vehicles. A State agency most New Yorker's must visit during their lives, Ward, on page 285 of his book, shows how the "bureaucratic ineptitude" of the way in which licenses and motor vehicle registrations were issued was changed by Governor Cuomo's Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner, Patricia Adduci.
The involvement of employees as well as customers combined with focused "executive support" lead to greatly reduced lines and improved customer service at the Department. In a more micro way, this example highlights how committed attention and creative thought can change the way the State administers its programs. This portion of the book also highlights how the Pataki administration continued these reforms through the implementation of several technology-based improvements. These efforts, at a minimum, have resulted in less waiting time at the DMV, and, in a broader context, prove how effective leadership and commitment can garner positive change in a administratively detailed government structure.

In the end, Ward's book posits, what is the role of state governments? A great question in a time when state government decision-making is beginning to dissipate. As Ward points out, the federal government's role in a traditionally state issue--- insurance--- has become more pronounced with the repeal of Glass-Stegal. The federal government's involvement in the lowering the drinking age and education are significant signs in the reduced role, based on the significant financial needs of state government, states will play in policy making and control of their agenda. In the end, says Ward, voters who care about these issues "should recognize federalism matters." In his concluding remarks, Ward gives us a glimpse of his view that, "perhaps the only safe prediction is that the balance of power will continue to shift. Governors, legislators, and elected leaders at the federal level will push and pull to control the policy debate. Such competition over ideas and political influence will serve all America-as long as an informed citizenry is a full partner in the conversation." It is difficult to argue with this advice.

For a good, basic understanding of New York State's government, Ward's book, New York State Government: What it does, how it works, is a good reference.

New York State Government: An owner's manual  Nov 14, 2002
This should be required reading for anyone who lives in, does business with or reports on New York State government. Ward combines a bird's-eye view, honed through years of thoughtful observation, with an intellectual appreciation for the nuances of politics and policy.

Many have criticized -- with considerable justification -- the rat's nest of rules, regulations, traditions, politics and georgraphic considerations that so determine what happens and doesn't happen in New York. But few have taken the time to understand that there is indeed a method to this madness. Ward is among those very few, and his book is both insightful and practical.


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