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North Carolina State Government

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1 North Carolina State Government
Chapter 13 North Carolina State Government

2 North Carolina General Assembly
NC’s law making body = NC’s Legislative Branch Bicameral: House of Representatives Senate

3 Powers of the General Assembly
Pass statutes (laws that apply to the whole state) May pass laws specific to a certain part of the state Pass budget for the state Reviews all state operations and agencies (government oversight) Elects members to the University of North Carolina Board of Directors May impeach state government officials

4 How a Bill Becomes a Law (see p. 379)

5 Organization of the General Assembly
Senate has 50 members House has 120 Each house has its own districts that are divided up among the state Each district is based on district that are roughly equal in population based on census results There are several areas where two districts are combined into multimember districts with 2 representatives Members from both houses are elected to 2 year terms with no term limits

6 Organization of NC General Assembly
Senate House of Representatives Phil Berger Thom Tillis

7 Qualifications of the General Assembly
House: U.S citizen 21 years old Lived in the district for a year before the election Senate: U.S. citizen for at least 2 years 25 years old

8 Leadership of the General Assembly
House Leader: the Speaker of the House Official Senate Leader: Lieutenant Governor-only votes to break a tie vote Unofficial Senate Leader: President Pro Tempore

9 Legislative Sessions In odd numbered years: meets in its “long session” which runs from January to June In even numbered years: meets in “short session” starting in May and lasting about 6 weeks

10 The Governor Head of the Executive Branch of the state
Serves a 4 year term Limited to 2 consecutive terms, may run again after a 4 year lay-off Qualifications: Must be 30 years old a U.S. citizen for at least 5 years lived in North Carolina for the 2 years immediately before the election to run for the office


12 Powers of the Governor Executive Leader: carries out state laws, appoints officials, prepares a budget Legislative Leader: proposes legislation, approves or vetoes legislation Commander-in-Chief: in charge of the state militia Judicial Leader: Offers pardons, grants parole Ceremonial Leader: Greets important visitors, represents the state Party Leader: Leads the party in the state

13 Takes office if governor’s office becomes vacant for any reason
Serves a 4 year term with the same qualifications needed as the governor Head of the Senate and serves on other various commissions and boards Voted on a separate ticket than the governor (don’t have be from the same party)

14 North Carolina Cabinet
Made up of 10 departments: ex. Dept. of Administration, Dept. of Corrections, and Dept. of Crime Control and Public Safety (see next slide & page 395) All Department heads are appointed by the governor answer directly to the governor

15 The Council of State Made up of 8 state agencies in which the heads of each department are directly elected by the voters of the state to 4 year terms with no term limits Made up mostly of “career employees” who earned jobs based on their skills, not their politics

16 Divided Authority The heads of the Council of State answer to the State Assembly, not the governor creates a divided executive branch Pros: gives voters greater say in the running of the state, less corruption as investigative agencies in the state are dependent on the governor for their jobs Cons: Few voters are informed enough to make good choices, more confusion in the running of the government

17 North Carolina’s Court System
Designed to handle only state laws Handle both civil and criminal cases The bulk of trials are handled at the state level Cases start at the trial court level There are 2 types of trial courts in North Carolina: District courts Superior courts

18 District Courts Large counties have their own districts, smaller counties may be combined with others to create a district Handle civil cases under $10,000 and misdemeanor criminal cases No juries Judge decides verdict Each district has 1 or more judges that are elected by the people for 4 year terms Judges must live in the district they work in

19 Superior Courts Handle civil cases over $10,000 and felonies
Use juries to determine the verdict Handle 300,000 cases a year Judges are elected by the people for 8 year terms Governor may also appoint 15 special Superior Court judges as needed

20 Other Court Officials Clerks: one each district-establish validity of wills and handle paperwork for the sale of all property Magistrates: issue warrants (both search and arrest) District Attorney: elected by the people to be the state’s representative in court Public Defenders: court appointed attorneys for people who can’t afford an attorney

21 The North Carolina Court of Appeals
Handle appeals from the trial courts Don’t decide guilt or innocence, but determine if the defendant had a fair trial There are 15 judges that serve the whole state and are elected to 8 year terms Look at cases in groups of 3, with 2 judges needing to agree for a verdict

22 North Carolina Supreme Court
Highest court in the state Has 7 judges (1 chief justice and 6 associate judges) who are elected to 8 year terms Decide which cases they hear Need a majority of judges to reach a verdict

23 Bayard v. Singleton (1787) Dealt with land confiscated by the government in the Revolutionary War State Supreme Court struck down the law which allowed this action This was the first time judicial review was used, and it served as the example for Marbury v. Madison 16 years later

24 State v. Mann (1830) John Mann was a slaveholder accused of beating his slave His conviction was overturned on the grounds that slaves were property that the slave owners could whatever they wanted to This case legalized slavery in North Carolina

25 The Leandro Case (1994) People sued the state of North Carolina claiming that the state did not provide an adequate level of education Wanted the state to supplement the tax base of poorer counties Court ruled that the state constitution did not require the state to do this However, later in the same year, the court ruled in Hoke v. State that the state did have an obligation to help “at risk students” in poorer counties


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