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State Constitution. Roots of State Constitutions people of each state can create the type of government they wish (limitations of U.S. Constitution) people.

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Presentation on theme: "State Constitution. Roots of State Constitutions people of each state can create the type of government they wish (limitations of U.S. Constitution) people."— Presentation transcript:

1 State Constitution

2 Roots of State Constitutions people of each state can create the type of government they wish (limitations of U.S. Constitution) people of each state can create the type of government they wish (limitations of U.S. Constitution) adopted in convention adopted in convention ratified by people ratified by people

3 Parts of state constitutions: Parts of state constitutions: preamble preamble bill of rights bill of rights

4 articles providing for separation of powers articles providing for separation of powers type of legislature (bicameral or unicameral) type of legislature (bicameral or unicameral) executive department executive department independent judiciary with power of judicial review independent judiciary with power of judicial review

5 form and powers of local units of government form and powers of local units of government article on how to amend Constitution article on how to amend Constitution miscellaneous procedures miscellaneous procedures

6 Rigidity of State Constitutions More detailed than U.S. Constitution More detailed than U.S. Constitution Longer, less flexible Longer, less flexible Prescriptive Prescriptive

7 Limits discretion of public officials Limits discretion of public officials Out of date Out of date Limits lawmakers to act on problems Limits lawmakers to act on problems Constitutional amendments for changes Constitutional amendments for changes

8 Texas Constitution

9 Texas One of longest and most restrictive state constitutions One of longest and most restrictive state constitutions Amendments Amendments 93,000 words 93,000 words reflects interests and concerns of original writers reflects interests and concerns of original writers

10 History constitutional convention held in 1868 constitutional convention held in 1868 centralized state power for governor centralized state power for governor lengthened gubernatorial term to 4 years lengthened gubernatorial term to 4 years governor to appoint major state offices and judges governor to appoint major state offices and judges

11 annual legislative sessions annual legislative sessions weak local government weak local government centralized public school system centralized public school system

12 Reflected little fear of centralized government power Reflected little fear of centralized government power fear was to later become the hallmark of Texas government fear was to later become the hallmark of Texas government constitution ratified in 1869 constitution ratified in 1869

13 Era regarded as most corrupt and abusive in state’s history (E.J.Davis) Era regarded as most corrupt and abusive in state’s history (E.J.Davis) misappropriation of public funds misappropriation of public funds wasteful public programs wasteful public programs

14 landowner’s refusal to pay high property taxes landowner’s refusal to pay high property taxes result of these actions was increased public debt result of these actions was increased public debt

15 Law and order collapsed Law and order collapsed desperados desperados Native Americans Native Americans

16 Tyranny Tyranny militia and state police maintain powerful political machine militia and state police maintain powerful political machine

17 Davis ousted by Coke and supporters singing “Yellow Rose of Texas” Davis ousted by Coke and supporters singing “Yellow Rose of Texas”

18 Reconstruction: Reconstruction: progressive programs progressive programs protected political and civil rights of former slaves protected political and civil rights of former slaves bitter memories for state -- humiliating, corrupt, extravagant, tyrannical bitter memories for state -- humiliating, corrupt, extravagant, tyrannical

19 Retrenchment and Reform Democrats determined to strike “at the heart of big government” Democrats determined to strike “at the heart of big government” Constitutional convention in 1873 Constitutional convention in 1873

20 frugal tone reflected in final constitution frugal tone reflected in final constitution cut salaries for governing officials cut salaries for governing officials placed strict limits on property taxes placed strict limits on property taxes Restricted state borrowing Restricted state borrowing

21 restricted power granted to government officials restricted power granted to government officials most of governor’s powers stripped most of governor’s powers stripped term reduced to 2 years; salary cut term reduced to 2 years; salary cut

22 attorney general and state judges elected rather than appointed by governor attorney general and state judges elected rather than appointed by governor legislative sessions to be held every 2 years with limited length of sessions legislative sessions to be held every 2 years with limited length of sessions

23 legislative procedure detailed in constitution legislative procedure detailed in constitution restrictions placed on types of policies legislature might enact restrictions placed on types of policies legislature might enact

24 numerous public policies written into constitution numerous public policies written into constitution statute-like statute-like

25 Local government strengthened Local government strengthened counties given many administrative and judicial functions of the state counties given many administrative and judicial functions of the state

26 tone of convention was a reaction to abuse of state power by denying it tone of convention was a reaction to abuse of state power by denying it voters ratified state Constitution of 1876 voters ratified state Constitution of 1876 remains in use today remains in use today

27 Constitution Today Not a living constitution Not a living constitution no flexibility built in no flexibility built in not serving current problems and concerns not serving current problems and concerns

28 Bill of Rights and Fundamental Liberty Bill of Rights and Fundamental Liberty Texas Bill of Rights provides additional rights (Article I) Texas Bill of Rights provides additional rights (Article I)

29 prohibits sexual discrimination prohibits sexual discrimination guarantees victim’s rights guarantees victim’s rights forbids imprisonment for debt forbids imprisonment for debt

30 forbids committing mentally ill for extended periods of time without jury trial forbids committing mentally ill for extended periods of time without jury trial prohibits suspension of writ of habeas corpus prohibits suspension of writ of habeas corpus

31 protects homesteads protects homesteads prohibits garnishment of wages (except child support) prohibits garnishment of wages (except child support)

32 Statutory Law: Statutory Law: no polygraph tests for public employees no polygraph tests for public employees worker’s compensation for farm workers worker’s compensation for farm workers expanded free speech for private employees expanded free speech for private employees

33 Provides more protection than most other state constitutions Provides more protection than most other state constitutions

34 Separation of Powers Legislative branch Legislative branch Executive branch Executive branch Judicial branch Judicial branch system of checks and balances system of checks and balances

35 each branch can influence the other branches each branch can influence the other branches each has separate functions each has separate functions some sharing of power some sharing of power

36 Legislative Branch Bicameral legislative body Bicameral legislative body Senate members Senate members 4 year terms 4 year terms House of Representatives members House of Representatives members 2 year terms 2 year terms

37 Have biennial regular sessions Have biennial regular sessions 140 days in odd years 140 days in odd years important legislation receives inadequate attention important legislation receives inadequate attention many bills ignored many bills ignored Special sessions called by governor Special sessions called by governor

38 Policy-making Policy-making Constitution through legislative statute Constitution through legislative statute Statute-like details changed by constitutional amendment Statute-like details changed by constitutional amendment

39 Distrust of legislature makes it difficult for state to adapt and change Distrust of legislature makes it difficult for state to adapt and change

40 Executive Branch Article IV -- governor heads executive branch Article IV -- governor heads executive branch 4 year term 4 year term More severe constitutional restrictions on power of office More severe constitutional restrictions on power of office

41 Plural executive Plural executive divides executive powers among several offices: divides executive powers among several offices: governor governor lieutenant governor lieutenant governor attorney general attorney general

42 comptroller of public accounts comptroller of public accounts commissioner of general land office commissioner of general land office railroad commissioners railroad commissioners

43 Powers granted specifically to governor Powers granted specifically to governor appointive powers appointive powers veto veto item veto on appropriations item veto on appropriations legislative special sessions legislative special sessions

44 Governor relatively weak office in Texas Governor relatively weak office in Texas

45 Courts Article V fragments court system Article V fragments court system 2 courts of final appeal 2 courts of final appeal Texas Supreme court -- civil appeals cases Texas Supreme court -- civil appeals cases Court of Criminal Appeals --criminal appeals cases Court of Criminal Appeals --criminal appeals cases

46 Other courts provided for by Constitution: Other courts provided for by Constitution: court of appeals court of appeals district, county, and justice of the peace courts district, county, and justice of the peace courts

47 Judges chosen in partisan elections Judges chosen in partisan elections generally not desirable generally not desirable becomes a politician becomes a politician may not apply laws uniformly may not apply laws uniformly

48 Local Government Constitution provides for counties’ rigid organizational structure Constitution provides for counties’ rigid organizational structure provide many functions for state provide many functions for state Cities with population over 5,000 may adopt home-rule charters Cities with population over 5,000 may adopt home-rule charters

49 Suffrage Function of state and local governments Function of state and local governments Set suffrage requirements and administer elections (Article VI) Set suffrage requirements and administer elections (Article VI) denies idiots, lunatics, paupers and those convicted of a felony the right to vote in state and municipal elections denies idiots, lunatics, paupers and those convicted of a felony the right to vote in state and municipal elections

50 Lack of voter participation at state level Lack of voter participation at state level Local level election can include Local level election can include initiatives initiatives registered voters can propose statutory or constitutional changes by petition registered voters can propose statutory or constitutional changes by petition

51 Referendum Referendum voters approve changes in law by election voters approve changes in law by election

52 Popular recall Popular recall citizens petition for a special election to remove elected official citizens petition for a special election to remove elected official

53 Amending Texas Constitution Article XVII -- constitutional amendments must be proposed by Article XVII -- constitutional amendments must be proposed by two-thirds of total membership of each house of legislature two-thirds of total membership of each house of legislature

54 Ratification requires approval by a majority vote on the amendment in either a general or special election Ratification requires approval by a majority vote on the amendment in either a general or special election


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