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State and Local Government State Government ~~~~~ State Legislatures

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Presentation on theme: "State and Local Government State Government ~~~~~ State Legislatures"— Presentation transcript:

1 State and Local Government State Government ~~~~~ State Legislatures
Chapter Eight State and Local Government State Government ~~~~~ State Legislatures


3 State Legislatures each state has an elected lawmaking body
different states have different names for this group 27 states use state legislature 19 states use general assembly Ohio 2 states use legislative assembly 2 states use general court

4 Organization all but one of the states have a bicameral legislature
larger house is usually called the House of Representatives smaller house is known as the Senate Nebraska has a unicameral legislature called the Senate state legislatures vary greatly in size Alaska has the smallest legislature 40 representatives and 20 senators New Hampshire's legislature is the largest 400 representatives and 24 senators Ohio 99 representatives and 33 senators legislature members are elected by the people of the state each member represents the people who live in a particular district of that state the state legislature divides the state into districts Reynolds v. Sims U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all state election districts must be equal in population upholds the principle of "one person, one vote."

5 Qualifications, Terms, Compensation
qualifications for membership must be U.S. citizens must live in the district that they represent must be a certain age most state senators must be at least 25 years of age most state representatives must be at least 21 years old some state have lowered the required age to 18 term of office most state senators are elected for four years most state representatives are elected for two years in some states both serve either two-year or four-year terms term limits many states have set term limits for state legislators the Court's ruling does not apply to state legislators salaries and benefits vary widely from state to state range from $10,000 to $79,500 a year

6 State Legislatures at Work
most state legislatures meet in regular sessions every year some state legislatures meet once every two years each state varies depending on their constitution organization and offices of most state legislatures are similar to those of the U.S. Congress officers are chosen at the beginning of a session presiding officers and other leaders lieutenant governor presides over the Senate in most states other state Senates choose their own presiding officer members of the house choose their own presiding officer, usually called the Speaker committees are appointed handle most of the work of the state legislatures each committee specializes in certain areas upper house committee members are chosen by the presiding officer or by all the members lower house committee members are appointed by the Speaker seniority plays a key role in determining committee membership and leadership

7 Passing State Laws lawmaking process in state legislatures is similar to the procedure followed in Congress steps for a bill to become a law A Bill Is Introduced a member of either house may introduce a bill handed to the clerk and given a number presiding officer reads the title of the bill sends it to the appropriate committee The Bill Is Sent to Committee committee listens to various witnesses for and against the bill questions witnesses to obtain necessary information members may discuss the bill for many hours committee may vote to pass the bill, to change it, or to kill it The Bill Reaches the Floor if approved the bill is returned to a full meeting of the house read aloud, line by line members of the house discuss each part of the bill amendments may be offered and if passed, they become part of the bill members then vote on the bill bills that are passed are signed by the presiding officer sent to the second house

8 Passing State Laws steps for a bill to become a law
The Bill Is Sent to the Second House introduced in the second house sent to a committee sent to the floor of the second house debated, amended, put to a vote if both houses pass a bill in the same form, it is then sent to the governor if both houses pass the bill in different forms, it is sent to a joint-conference committee to resolve the differences The Bill Is Sent to a Joint-Conference Committee made up of members selected from both houses try to reach a compromise that will be acceptable to both houses compromise bill is then voted on by the two houses .each house usually accepts this final version of the bill The Bill Is Sent to the Governor if the governor signs the bill, it becomes a law the governor may veto a bill he or she does not support it in most states the governor also has the power to veto only one part, or item, of an appropriation bill item veto the legislature can pass a bill over the governor's veto by a two-thirds vote in each house

9 Citizen Action some state constitutions allow the people to take a direct part in making laws initiative citizens are able to start new legislation citizens must first draw up a petition describing the proposal a required number of voters must then sign the petition then the proposition appears on the ballot at the next general election if enough people vote for the bill, it becomes law indirect initiatives sent to the state legislatures for approval in many states certain bills passed by the legislature must be approved by the voters before becoming laws referendum method of referring potential laws directly to the people for approval some states provide voters with the means to remove elected officials from office recall begins when a required number of voters signs a petition a special election on the petition is then held if a majority of voters favors the recall, the official is removed

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