Section 1: The Executive Branch of State Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION : – What are the powers of Georgia’s governor?
Section 1: The Executive Branch of State Government What words do I need to know? –governor –lieutenant governor
The Executive Branch of State Government Similar structure to federal government State constitution organizes government structure Governor elected to four-year term by popular vote of citizensGovernor Two consecutive terms allowed Qualifications: –30 years of age –citizen of the US for 15 years –resident of Georgia for six years Lieutenant governor takes over if governor dies or resignsLieutenant governor
Formal Powers of the Governor Executive: appoints state officials, makes sure laws are enforced Legislative: sends requests and messages to legislature, vetos bills or signs them into law as necessary, call special session of legislature Judicial: pardon convicted criminals, appoint state justices
Informal Powers of the Governor appoints people to state boards and executive offices issuing proclomations representing the state in various meetings and events working with legislators to get laws passed guiding state agencies communicating personal position on important issues
Office of Lieutenant Governor elected by popular vote at the same time the governor is elected same qualifications but can serve an unlimited number of consecutive terms presiding officer in the Senate controls committee appointments in the state Senate, assigns bills to committees, recognizes Senators who wish to speak
Georgia’s Other Elected Officials Attorney General Commissioner of Agriculture Commissioner of Labor Commissioner of Insurance Secretary of State State School Superintendent Public Service Commissioners All serve four year term (PSC members serve six year term)
Appointed Officials, Boards, and Commissions statutory officials: jobs are called for by state law some boards and agencies created by law Examples: –State Board of Pardons and Paroles –Board of Natural Resources –State Personnel Board –Board of Public Safety Click to return to Table of Contents.
Section 2: The Legislative Branch of State Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION: –What does the legislative branch of government do in Georgia?
Section 2: The Legislative Branch of State Government What words do I need to know? –public regulation
Legislative Branch law-making body in Georgia officially known as Georgia General AssemblyGeorgia General Assembly bicameral (two-houses): House of Representatives and SenateHouse of RepresentativesSenate only House can write spending bills; Senate confirms appointments made by the governor
Members of the General Assembly 180 members elected by popular vote no limit on number of consecutive terms members’ districts have about the same number of voters Qualifications –citizen of US and Georgia at least 2 years –legal resident of district at least 1 year –Senators: at least 25 years old –Representatives: at least 21 years old
Legislative Sessions 40-day session, January – March members of house of representatives elect Speaker of the House lieutenant governor presides over senate but has no vote Speaker can vote if there is a tie
Committees organized like Congress in committees and subcommittees bills may start in House or Senate standing committees: permanent part of the General Assembly interim committee: works on assigned special tasks conference committee: works out agreements between house and senate on bills joint committee: has members of House and Senate to work on assigned topic or issue members serve on several committees
Types of Legislation can pass laws, amend (change) them, or do away with them some law topics: –taxes –education –property –criminal matters and punishments –public health –regulation of businesses & professions
How a Bill Becomes a Law any senator or representative can propose a bill bills related to spending must begin in the House same version of the bill must pass House and Senate compromise bill may come from conference committee governor can sign or veto the bill if it passes both the House and Senate
Reapportionment Occurs each 10 years following the census legislature must redraw the voting districts to make them have the equal numbers of people 2001: districts drawn by Democratic legislature ruled unconstitutional 2004: revisions made to district map2004 gerrymandering: drawing up a election district to support a particular group Click to return to Table of Contents.
Section 3: The Judicial Branch of State Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION –What is the role of the judicial branch in Georgia government?
Section 3: The Judicial Branch of State Government What words do I need to know? –felony –misdemeanor –Supreme Court –court of appeals –trial courts –jurisdiction –grand jury –trial jury
Judicial Branch made up of state’s courtsstate’s courts purpose: –interpret state constitution –protect legal rights of citizens –enforce laws of the state due process of law: courts make sure that everyone is protected from abuse by the government civil cases: disputes between citizens criminal cases: involve violation of laws felony: serious crime with severe punishments allowed misdemeanor: less serious crime with smaller punishments
Georgia Courts Supreme Court is state’s highest courtSupreme Court justices elected by popular vote to six-year term Chief Justice is chosen by the other justices appellate: court which reviews cases – no witnesses and juries court of appeals: second highest court trial courts: hears criminal and civil cases –examples: magistrate, juvenile, state, superior, probate, municipal (city court) jurisdicition: range of action over which court can rule
Jury System a trial by one’s peers grand jury: determines if enough evidence exists to indict (officially charge) a person trial jury: citizens whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence of a person charged with a crime
Separation of Powers each branch of government has its own powers similar to US Constitution designed so that no branch or person can become too powerful checks and balances system depends on citizens choosing wisely when they vote Click to return to Table of Contents.
Section 4: Young People and the Law ESSENTIAL QUESTION –How are young people affected by the law?
Section 4: Young People and the Law What words do I need to know? –truancy –juvenile
Young People and the Law Over 2,500 children in jail in Georgia juvenile: citizen under the age of 17 truancy: failure to attend school juveniles must follow state’s laws, but violators may be tried by a juvenile court Common crimes: smoking, drinking alcohol, loitering (hanging around a public place without permission), violating curfews, running awayCommon crimes
Juvenile Court System every county has a juvenile court purposes: –help and protect children –ensure protection of children coming under their jurisdiction –provide care for children removed from their home delinquent act: act that would be a crime if committed by an adult (example: burglary) status offense: act that would not be a crime if committed by an adult (example: smoking)
Steps in Juvenile Justice Process 1.juvenile “taken into custody” 2.intake: intake officer evaluates case 3.detain or release (to parents) 4.detained juveniles sent to RYDC (regional youth detention center) 5.probable cause hearing before a juvenile court judge 6.dismissal, informal adjustment, or formal hearing 7.if the juvenile committed a serious offense or multiple offenses, a judge has many sentencing options
Georgia’s Seven Deadly Sins Act 1994: legislature addressed issue of increasingly violent youth crime juveniles charged with certain crimes (murder, rape, armed robbery with a firearm) could be treated as adults by the courts superior courts handle these cases mandatory 10-year sentences were a part of the new law
Rights of Juveniles juveniles have the right to a fair and speedy trial no juries in juvenile cases parents or guardians may be present at hearings attorney must be provided if child’s parents cannot afford one
Students’ Rights Under School Law sometimes students’ rights have been in conflict with schools’ authority courts have ruled that students’ civil rights are in effect at school; however, schools have been given broad power to control and manage the school environment
Students Responsibilities Under School Law students have a legal right to a free public education responsibilities of students: –attend school regularly from ages 6-16 –follow reasonable rules and regulations –work with school officials to prevent disruption and violence which keeps students from learning and achieving Click to return to Table of Contents.