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Texas state and local government. Texas is governed by a constitution written in 1876 as a reaction to Reconstruction. Our legislature is similar to the.

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Presentation on theme: "Texas state and local government. Texas is governed by a constitution written in 1876 as a reaction to Reconstruction. Our legislature is similar to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Texas state and local government

2 Texas is governed by a constitution written in 1876 as a reaction to Reconstruction. Our legislature is similar to the U.S. Congress in that: each is bicameral members are elected directly members serve the same function members’ terms are the same for each House of Representatives most work is done in committees

3 The Tx. legislature is different from Congress in… size pay – Texans are paid far less Texas’ senators terms are shorter than U.S. senators Texas legislature meets only every other year (approx. 140 days)

4 Texas House of Representatives 150 members (our district is #15: Ruben Hope) term: 2 yrs. (no limits) salary: $7,200/yr. + $124. per diem while leg. in session, $10,750/mo. for offices qualifications: –age: 21 yrs. –resident of state for 2 yrs., district for 1 –U.S. citizen

5 Texas Senate 31 members - our district is #3: Todd Staples term: 4 yrs. (no limits) salary: $7,200/yr. + $124. per diem while leg. in session + $25,000/ mo. for offices qualifications: –26 yrs. –resident of state for 5 yrs./district for 1 –U.S. citizen

6 Our representatives: State representative Brandon Creighton State senator Robert Nichols

7 Texas governor – Rick Perry term: 4 yrs. (no limit) qualifications: –30 yrs. –state resident for 5 yrs. –U.S. citizen

8 Salary and “perks” of the office salary: $115,345/yr. home – Governor’s mansion limousine aircraft All but two have been men: –Miriam A. (“Ma”) Ferguson ( and ) –Ann Richards ( )

9 Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst serves as president of the state Senate qualifications: –same as for governor

10 Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives: Tom Craddick qualifications same as members of the House native of Midland elected from within House serves a district just as the other 149 members

11 Texas court system Texas has two highest appellate courts –Supreme Court (9 Justices), hears only civil cases –elected to staggered 6 yr. terms

12 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Texas’ highest court for criminal cases consists of a Presiding Judge and 8 Judges (9 total) elected to 6-yr. terms

13 Intermediate appellate courts 14 Courts of Appeals 80 justices total, all elected appeals usually heard by 3 justices hear both civil and criminal appeals

14 State trial courts – district courts hear all felony criminal cases divorce cases land title cases cases involving at least $200 in densely populated counties, may specialize in civil, criminal, and family law matters District courts located in Montgomery County: 9 th – Fred Edwards 221 st – Suzanne Stovall 284 th – Olen Underwood 359 th – Kathleen Hamilton 410 th – Michael Mayes

15 County and local trial courts of limited jurisdiction – all trial courts County courts – 1 in each county (civil & criminal jurisdiction)- class A and B misdemeanor cases County courts at law – located in more populated counties municipal courts – limited criminal jurisdiction (fine only) Justice of the Peace courts – limited civil and criminal jurisdiction (class C misdemeanors) Small claims courts – limited civil and criminal jurisdiction

16 Montgomery County

17 County courts in Montgomery County County Court at Law 1 – Dennis Watson County Court at Law 2 – Jerry Winfree County Court at Law 3 – Mason Martin County Court at Law 4 – Mary Ann Turner Conroe’s Municipal Ct.- James Cates: handles mostly traffic-related offenses, but also school-related offenses + Conroe city ordinance offenses

18 Montgomery County’s Justices of the Peace (5) Pct. 1: Lanny Moriarty Pct. 2: Trey Spikes Pct. 3: Edie Connelly Pct. 4: James Metts Pct. 5: Carolyn Cox handle cases like… –alcohol-related offenses –truancy –curfew violations –bad checks –civil cases involving $5,000 or less –eviction cases

19 County governing body: Commissioners Court Counties are divided into 4 precincts, each of which elects a commissioner to the court The Commissioners Court is not a law- interpreting body, rather a law-making body Montgomery County’s county judge is Alan (Barb) Sadler (elected by the whole county); commissioners are: –Pct. 1 – Mike Meador –Pct. 2 – Craig Doyal –Pct. 3 – Ed Chance –Pct. 4 – Ed Rinehart

20 Most counties elect 5 other county officers: 1.sheriff: Tommy Gage 2.county clerk – Mark Turnbull registers & records documents, birth/death certificates, marriage licenses 3. tax assessor/collector – J. R. Moore appraises property and collects taxes 4. treasurer – Martha Gustavsen keeps county funds and makes authorized payments 5. county attorney – David Walker carries out criminal investigations, prosecutes

21 City of Conroe government Mayor: Tommy Metcalf – elected at large, 4 yr. term, limited to 2 terms, only votes in case of a tie, … and 5 council members: Place 1: Pat George (term expires 5/2008) Place 2: Webb Melder, (5/2008) Place 3: Jim Gentry (5/2010) Place 4: Jerry Streater (5/2010) Place 5: Jay Ross Martin (5/2010)

22 City Council hires and oversees a management staff consisting of… 1.city administrator: Jerry McGuire 2.city attorney: Marc Winberry 3.city secretary: Marla Porter plus… directors of 8 departments that make up the city workforce community development capital projects finance public works parks & recreation human resources police fire director of downtown


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