This paper extends punctuated-equilibrium theory to the local level by investigating how local political institutions influence local emergency management policy processes in county governments in Florida, U.S. The results show that county governments with a reformed form of government and home rule charter prioritize emergency situations more quickly in the policy process resulting in larger-scale budget changes than counties that have a traditional commission form and no home rule authority. Higher level of punctuation in counties with reformed political institutions is explained by political and administrative incentives of county mayors and managers, as well as political and fiscal discretion from state government.
- Form of government
- Home rule charter
- Local emergency management policy
- Policy process
- Political institution