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Chapter 4: Louisiana’s Government: Rights and Responsibilities

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0 Louisiana: The History of an American State
Chapter 4 Louisiana’s Government: Rights and Responsibilities Study Presentation ©2005 Clairmont Press

1 Chapter 4: Louisiana’s Government: Rights and Responsibilities
Section 1: Democratic Government Section 2: Structure of State Government Section 3: Local Governments Section 4: Citizens and Government

2 Section 1: Democratic Government
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How does Louisiana’s constitution set out a plan for organizing the government?

3 Section 1: Democratic Government
What words do I need to know? 1. government 2. parish 3. constitution 4. federalism

4 The History of Louisiana Government
Influenced by its colonial founders Spanish: parishes (geographical divisions of the Catholic church) French & Spanish government influences: civil laws based on civil codes

5 The History of Louisiana Government
Also based on British common law system common law (follows precedents) civil law (uses a written code) criminal law (protects society from criminals)

6 Foundations of Government
People given authority to write a state constitution prior to statehood April 30, 1812: Louisiana 18th state to enter the Union Constitutional government State powers derived via US Constitution, describing specific state and local responsibilities

7 The United States Constitution
Reflects government by the citizens: “We the People” (1st phrase in Preamble) Identifies purpose, organization, & purpose of government Establishes division of power (federalism) Article 4: U.S. Constitution Discusses shared relationship between state & federal governments Indicates powers belonging to the state Bill of Rights (Tenth Amendment)

8 The State Constitution
Provides a framework for the state government Acts in the interest of the people Protects the rights of citizens State bill of rights stronger than the US Bill of Rights non-discrimination laws stronger & more detailed and specific Louisiana history includes 11 constitutions Click here to return to Main Menu.

9 Section 2: Structure of State Government
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How does Louisiana’s government operate?

10 Section 2: Structure of State Government
Executive Branch Governor Lieutenant Governor Attorney General Secretary of State Treasurer Other Elected Officials Legislative Branch State Legislators Legislative Sessions Law Making Judicial Branch Civil and Criminal Law Louisiana’s Court System Juries Funding State Government The State Budget Taxes Other Sources of Revenue

11 Section 2: Structure of State Government
What words do I need to know? 1. checks & balances 2. veto 3. executive branch 4. governor 5. budget 6. lieutenant governor 7. attorney general 8. secretary of state 9. treasurer 10. legislative branch 11. bicameral 12. census (Continued)

12 Section 2: Structure of State Government
13. reapportionment 14. speaker of the house 15. president of the senate 16. constituent 17. bill 18. judicial branch 19. civil law 20. criminal law 21. jury 22. taxes

13 Section 2: Structure of State Government
Louisiana’s constitution: Patterned after US Constitution Three branches of government Power divided Checks and balances veto: refuse to approve

14 Executive Branch Implements the laws Operates state government
Oversees state services Governor – chief executive officer Other elected officials include – lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture and forestry, & commissioner of insurance

15 Governor Must be at least 25 years old
A citizen of the US & Louisiana at least five years Elected for a four-year term Can serve two back-to-back terms Duties: prepares & submits a budget to the legislature Appoints citizens to boards & commissions Calls special sessions of the legislature

16 Lieutenant Governor Serves as a public relations office for the state
Heads the State Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism Somewhat like being vice president of the United States Acts as or replaces governor if needed

17 Attorney General Heads the state’s legal office, the Department of Justice Provides opinions on questions of law to all state agencies & other government groups Can bring legal action on behalf of the state 1990s – Louisiana joins other states’ actions to sue tobacco companies Defends Louisiana laws if challenged

18 Secretary of State Chief election officer for Louisiana
Sole supervision duties of state held elections Keeps official records Publishes the acts and journals of the legislature Keeper of the Great Seal of the state

19 Treasurer Elected head of the Department of the Treasury
In charge of the state’s money Keeps records of the state’s income and expenses Invests state monies not needed Provides the governor and the legislature a yearly financial report

20 Other Elected Officials
Commissioner of Agriculture Promotes agriculture & forestry Oversees soil & water conservation Commissioner of Insurance Enforces insurance laws passed by the legislature The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) Supervises education Appoints the state superintendent of education Three members of the board governor appointees

21 Legislative Branch Consists of two bodies:
(1) house of representatives (2) senate Based on model called bicameral (two chambers): camera - Latin word for “chamber” Contains 144 members (39 Senators / 105 Representatives) elected from geographic districts New districts redrawn every 10 years based on US census and new population numbers (reapportionment)

22 State Legislators Old enough to vote (18 years old) old enough to be elected Candidate must be a registered voter A resident of the state at least 2 years One year resident of the district Elected for two-year term Maximum of three terms (total of 12 years)

23 Legislative Sessions Meets every year
Even-numbered years: meets 30 days during a 45-day period Tax bills: can only be passed in even-numbered years Odd-numbered years: meets 60 days during an 85-day period Speaker of the House: resides over the House of Representatives President of the Senate: resides over the Senate constituents: people legislators represent

24 Law Making Writes and approves laws
Proposed laws (bills) in either chamber A bill becomes law: Approved by both the house & senate Signed by the governor

25 Judicial Branch Interprets & applies the constitution and laws of the state Protects the rights of the citizens life, liberty, or property exception: by due process of law Rules established by courts

26 Civil and Criminal Law Laws divided into two categories
Civil laws: relationships between & among individuals Elected & appointed officials Laws enforced by sheriffs, police, & city marshals District attorneys: prosecutes criminal cases in district courts Clerks of court: keeps official records for a parish

27 Louisiana’s Court System
Three levels District courts, courts of appeal, & the Louisiana supreme court District courts (main trial courts) Hears both civil & criminal cases Court of appeals (2nd step in the judicial process) to appeal – take a case to a higher court for rehearing Louisiana state supreme court (hears appeals from lower-level courts) Always reviews case in which defendant has been sentenced to death

28 Juries Three reason for going to court as a witness
as a participant in a civil lawsuit as a person charged with a crime jury duty – when a citizen serves on a jury Grand jury 12 citizens serve for six months 1st step against accused criminal Decision to indict a person Regular trial hears evidence and rules on the defendant’s innocence or guilt

29 Funding State Government
State needs money to function Budget requires detailed planning from state government to meet needs of its people

30 The State Budget Budget requires plan of receiving & spending money
Revenue estimate each year How much? How to spend? Budget from governor Includes revenue & expenditure Balanced budget state constitutional requirement

31 Taxes Taxes: federal, state, and local monies collected from citizens that help provide government services Sales tax: charges on items purchased (largest single source of tax revenue) Excise tax: charges on gasoline, alcohol, soft drinks, and cigarettes Severance tax: charge for removing natural resources Income tax: based on salary/income Property tax: on homes and land Homestead exemption tax: based on value of a home according to the exemption scale Taxes on vehicles

32 Other Sources of Revenue
Additional tax revenue Fees from drivers’ licenses Fees from business licenses Interest from state investments Money earned from oil & gas royalties Royalties from state-owned lands Hundreds of millions of $ paid to state in settlements Monies received from the 8g fund The Millennium Trust Fund  of budget received from the federal government Borrowing money by selling bonds to investors Gaming (legal term for gambling) Click here to return to Main Menu.

33 Section 3: Local Governments
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: What are the types of local governments?

34 Section 3: Local Governments
- What words do I need to know? police jury home rule municipality

35 Parish Government Primary local government division
System of 64 parishes since 1912 Parish government & courthouse located in town or city known as the parish seat 1st set up as church divisions during Spanish colonial Louisiana

36 Police Jury Citizens chosen to supervise (or police the parish)
Group referred to as a jury 46 (out of 64) parishes still the same 5 – 15 elected members Passes local laws for the parish Responsible for building and maintaining parish roads & buildings

37 Police Jury Authority to raise money for expenses
Appoints parish registrar of voters & the treasurer, tax collector, sheriff, district attorney, clerk of the court Create special districts Report only to the voters

38 Other Parish Government Plans
Local governments have more power through Louisiana’s current constitution home rule: power of political subdivisions to govern themselves home rule charter: community can organize local government in a form other than police jury combined government: city and parish government in one body

39 School Boards Same political boundaries as the parishes
Exceptions: City districts of Baker, Bogalusa, Monroe, and Zachary Board members elected based on population Four-year terms for members Not a part of parish government Closely regulated by the state School operating monies come from the state and from local taxes and bonds Board appointed superintendent in each local system

40 Municipalities Political boundaries Cities and towns
villages: smallest municipalities (population from 150 to 999) town: larger municipalities (when the population reaches 1,000) city: population A mayor & a council (or a group of commissioners): elected by each local group Click here to return to Main Menu.

41 Section 4: Citizens and Government
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizens?

42 Section 4: Citizens and Government
What words do I need to know? open primary lobbying civic

43 Voting and Elections 26th amendment (1971): US constitution changes right to vote from 21 to 18 Must live in parish to register in that parish register at registrar of voters’ office, by mail, or at the Office of Motor Vehicles Voter not limited to one party runoff election: when two candidates receive the most votes – either from the same party or different political parties

44 Political Parties Organizations of people having similar ideas about how government should be operated 1st parties: formed around Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton Major political parties: Republican Party & Democratic Party In Louisiana, more registered Democrats Vote more by factions factions: groups of voters with a common interest – includes Catholics, Protestants, Acadians, & African Americans, etc.

45 Campaigns Candidates: campaign to win votes Methods of campaigning
Traditionally: Spoke directly to the people More recently: television, radio & newspaper ads Hiring of political consultants Fund-raising now essential Campaign financing limited by law Disclosure required of amount of money contributed and contributor

46 Lobbying Efforts made to influence a legislator
Lobbyist not limited to a special group, person, or persons Lobbying: done through letters and visits to the Capital Some lobbyists volunteer, others paid MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving): example of a lobbying group Methods of lobbyist limited – example: using money to buy influence prohibited Lobbying at State & National levels often affects the law makers final decisions Click here to return to Main Menu.

47 Click here to return to Main Menu.

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