1Chapter 4: Louisiana’s Government: Rights and Responsibilities Section 1: Democratic GovernmentSection 2: Structure of State GovernmentSection 3: Local GovernmentsSection 4: Citizens and Government
2Section 1: Democratic Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION:How does Louisiana’s constitution set out a plan for organizing the government?
3Section 1: Democratic Government What words do I need to know?1. government2. parish3. constitution4. federalism
4The History of Louisiana Government Influenced by its colonial foundersSpanish: parishes (geographical divisions of the Catholic church)French & Spanish government influences: civil laws based on civil codes
5The History of Louisiana Government Also based on British common law systemcommon law (follows precedents)civil law (uses a written code)criminal law(protects society from criminals)
6Foundations of Government People given authority to write a state constitution prior to statehoodApril 30, 1812: Louisiana 18th state to enter the UnionConstitutional governmentState powers derived via US Constitution, describing specific state and local responsibilities
7The United States Constitution Reflects government by the citizens:“We the People” (1st phrase in Preamble)Identifies purpose, organization, & purpose of governmentEstablishes division of power (federalism)Article 4: U.S. ConstitutionDiscusses shared relationship between state & federal governmentsIndicates powers belonging to the stateBill of Rights (Tenth Amendment)
8The State Constitution Provides a framework for the state governmentActs in the interest of the peopleProtects the rights of citizensState bill of rights stronger than the US Bill of Rightsnon-discrimination laws stronger & more detailed and specificLouisiana history includes 11 constitutionsClick here to return to Main Menu.
9Section 2: Structure of State Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION:How does Louisiana’s government operate?
10Section 2: Structure of State Government Executive BranchGovernorLieutenant GovernorAttorney GeneralSecretary of StateTreasurerOther Elected OfficialsLegislative BranchState LegislatorsLegislative SessionsLaw MakingJudicial BranchCivil and Criminal LawLouisiana’s Court SystemJuriesFunding State GovernmentThe State BudgetTaxesOther Sources of Revenue
11Section 2: Structure of State Government What words do I need to know?1. checks & balances2. veto3. executive branch4. governor5. budget6. lieutenant governor7. attorney general8. secretary of state9. treasurer10. legislative branch11. bicameral12. census (Continued)
12Section 2: Structure of State Government 13. reapportionment14. speaker of the house15. president of the senate16. constituent17. bill18. judicial branch19. civil law20. criminal law21. jury22. taxes
13Section 2: Structure of State Government Louisiana’s constitution:Patterned after US ConstitutionThree branches of governmentPower dividedChecks and balancesveto: refuse to approve
14Executive Branch Implements the laws Operates state government Oversees state servicesGovernor – chief executive officerOther elected officials include – lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture and forestry, & commissioner of insurance
15Governor Must be at least 25 years old A citizen of the US & Louisiana at least five yearsElected for a four-year termCan serve two back-to-back termsDuties: prepares & submits a budget to the legislatureAppoints citizens to boards & commissionsCalls special sessions of the legislature
16Lieutenant Governor Serves as a public relations office for the state Heads the State Department of Culture, Recreation and TourismSomewhat like being vice president of the United StatesActs as or replaces governor if needed
17Attorney GeneralHeads the state’s legal office, the Department of JusticeProvides opinions on questions of law to all state agencies & other government groupsCan bring legal action on behalf of the state1990s – Louisiana joins other states’ actions to sue tobacco companiesDefends Louisiana laws if challenged
18Secretary of State Chief election officer for Louisiana Sole supervision duties of state held electionsKeeps official recordsPublishes the acts and journals of the legislatureKeeper of the Great Seal of the state
19Treasurer Elected head of the Department of the Treasury In charge of the state’s moneyKeeps records of the state’s income and expensesInvests state monies not neededProvides the governor and the legislature a yearly financial report
20Other Elected Officials Commissioner of AgriculturePromotes agriculture & forestryOversees soil & water conservationCommissioner of InsuranceEnforces insurance laws passed by the legislatureThe Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)Supervises educationAppoints the state superintendent of educationThree members of the board governor appointees
21Legislative Branch Consists of two bodies: (1) house of representatives (2) senateBased on model called bicameral (two chambers): camera - Latin word for “chamber”Contains 144 members (39 Senators / 105 Representatives) elected from geographic districtsNew districts redrawn every 10 years based on US census and new population numbers (reapportionment)
22State LegislatorsOld enough to vote (18 years old) old enough to be electedCandidate must be a registered voterA resident of the state at least 2 yearsOne year resident of the districtElected for two-year termMaximum of three terms (total of 12 years)
23Legislative Sessions Meets every year Even-numbered years: meets 30 days during a 45-day periodTax bills: can only be passed in even-numbered yearsOdd-numbered years: meets 60 days during an 85-day periodSpeaker of the House: resides over the House of RepresentativesPresident of the Senate: resides over the Senateconstituents: people legislators represent
24Law Making Writes and approves laws Proposed laws (bills) in either chamberA bill becomes law:Approved by both the house & senateSigned by the governor
25Judicial BranchInterprets & applies the constitution and laws of the stateProtects the rights of the citizenslife, liberty, or propertyexception: by due process of lawRules established by courts
26Civil and Criminal Law Laws divided into two categories Civil laws: relationships between & among individualsElected & appointed officialsLaws enforced by sheriffs, police, & city marshalsDistrict attorneys: prosecutes criminal cases in district courtsClerks of court: keeps official records for a parish
27Louisiana’s Court System Three levelsDistrict courts, courts of appeal, & the Louisiana supreme courtDistrict courts (main trial courts)Hears both civil & criminal casesCourt of appeals (2nd step in the judicial process)to appeal – take a case to a higher court for rehearingLouisiana state supreme court (hears appeals from lower-level courts)Always reviews case in which defendant has been sentenced to death
28Juries Three reason for going to court as a witness as a participant in a civil lawsuitas a person charged with a crimejury duty – when a citizen serves on a juryGrand jury12 citizens serve for six months1st step against accused criminalDecision to indict a personRegular trial hears evidence and rules on the defendant’s innocence or guilt
29Funding State Government State needs money to functionBudget requires detailed planning from state government to meet needs of its people
30The State Budget Budget requires plan of receiving & spending money Revenue estimate each yearHow much?How to spend?Budget from governorIncludes revenue & expenditureBalanced budget state constitutional requirement
31TaxesTaxes: federal, state, and local monies collected from citizens that help provide government servicesSales tax: charges on items purchased (largest single source of tax revenue)Excise tax: charges on gasoline, alcohol, soft drinks, and cigarettesSeverance tax: charge for removing natural resourcesIncome tax: based on salary/incomeProperty tax: on homes and landHomestead exemption tax: based on value of a home according to the exemption scaleTaxes on vehicles
32Other Sources of Revenue Additional tax revenueFees from drivers’ licensesFees from business licensesInterest from state investmentsMoney earned from oil & gas royaltiesRoyalties from state-owned landsHundreds of millions of $ paid to state in settlementsMonies received from the 8g fundThe Millennium Trust Fund of budget received from the federal governmentBorrowing money by selling bonds to investorsGaming (legal term for gambling)Click here to return to Main Menu.
33Section 3: Local Governments ESSENTIAL QUESTION:What are the types of local governments?
34Section 3: Local Governments - What words do I need to know?police juryhome rulemunicipality
35Parish Government Primary local government division System of 64 parishes since 1912Parish government & courthouse located in town or city known as the parish seat1st set up as church divisions during Spanish colonial Louisiana
36Police Jury Citizens chosen to supervise (or police the parish) Group referred to as a jury46 (out of 64) parishes still the same5 – 15 elected membersPasses local laws for the parishResponsible for building and maintaining parish roads & buildings
37Police Jury Authority to raise money for expenses Appoints parish registrar of voters & the treasurer, tax collector, sheriff, district attorney, clerk of the courtCreate special districtsReport only to the voters
38Other Parish Government Plans Local governments have more power through Louisiana’s current constitutionhome rule: power of political subdivisions to govern themselveshome rule charter: community can organize local government in a form other than police jurycombined government: city and parish government in one body
39School Boards Same political boundaries as the parishes Exceptions: City districts of Baker, Bogalusa, Monroe, and ZacharyBoard members elected based on populationFour-year terms for membersNot a part of parish governmentClosely regulated by the stateSchool operating monies come from the state and from local taxes and bondsBoard appointed superintendent in each local system
40Municipalities Political boundaries Cities and towns villages: smallest municipalities (population from 150 to 999)town: larger municipalities (when the population reaches 1,000)city: populationA mayor & a council (or a group of commissioners): elected by each local groupClick here to return to Main Menu.
41Section 4: Citizens and Government ESSENTIAL QUESTION:What are the rights and responsibilities of citizens?
42Section 4: Citizens and Government What words do I need to know?open primarylobbyingcivic
43Voting and Elections26th amendment (1971): US constitution changes right to vote from 21 to 18Must live in parish to register in that parishregister at registrar of voters’ office, by mail, or at the Office of Motor VehiclesVoter not limited to one partyrunoff election: when two candidates receive the most votes – either from the same party or different political parties
44Political PartiesOrganizations of people having similar ideas about how government should be operated1st parties: formed around Thomas Jefferson & Alexander HamiltonMajor political parties: Republican Party & Democratic PartyIn Louisiana, more registered DemocratsVote more by factionsfactions: groups of voters with a common interest – includes Catholics, Protestants, Acadians, & African Americans, etc.
45Campaigns Candidates: campaign to win votes Methods of campaigning Traditionally: Spoke directly to the peopleMore recently: television, radio & newspaper adsHiring of political consultantsFund-raising now essentialCampaign financing limited by lawDisclosure required of amount of money contributed and contributor
46Lobbying Efforts made to influence a legislator Lobbyist not limited to a special group, person, or personsLobbying: done through letters and visits to the CapitalSome lobbyists volunteer, others paidMADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving): example of a lobbying groupMethods of lobbyist limited – example: using money to buy influence prohibitedLobbying at State & National levels often affects the law makers final decisionsClick here to return to Main Menu.