Presentation on theme: "2015-9-51 State and local governments. 2015-9-52 State governments State governments in the United States is generally structured in accordance with the."— Presentation transcript:
2015-9-52 State governments State governments in the United States is generally structured in accordance with the laws of the various individual states. Typically each state has one unilateral tier with multiple branches, including the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all governmental powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states or to the people. All U.S. states have a state constitution and a three-branch government similar to that of the federal government. While the U.S. Constitution mandates that each state shall have a “republican form” of government, this particular structure is not mandatory.
2015-9-53 State governments Legislative branch The legislative branch of the US States is bicameral, except for Nebraska, which has a unicameral legislature. While the Nebraska legislature is officially known, like most, as the “Legislature”, it is more commonly called the “Senate”, as its members are officially called “Senators”. In the majority of states (26), the state’s legislature—that is, the upper and lower house referred to as one—is simply called “The Legislature”. Another 19 states name their legislature the “General Assembly”. The legislatures of Oregon and North Dakota share the appellation “Legislative Assembly”. The most unusual moniker for a state legislature is “General Court”, which is used by both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
2015-9-54 State governments Legislative branch The Upper House In all 49 states with bicameral legislatures, the upper house is referred to as the “Senate”. Until 1964, state senators were generally elected from districts that were not necessarily equal in population. In the 1964 decision Reynolds v. Sims, the U.S. Supreme Court decreed that, unlike the United States Senate, state senates must be elected from districts of approximately equal population.
2015-9-55 State governments Legislative branch The Lower House In 41 of the 49 states with lower houses, the lower house is called the “House of Representatives”. The name “House of Delegates” is used in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. California and Wisconsin call their lower house the “State Assembly”. Nevada and New York simply call the lower house the “Assembly”. And New Jersey calls its lower house the “General Assembly”.
2015-9-57 State governments Executive branch The executive branch of every state is headed by an elected governor. Most states also have a lieutenant governor. Most states have a plural executive, in which several key members of the executive branch are directly elected by the people and serve alongside the governor. As a sovereign entity, each state government is free to organize its executive departments and agencies in any way it likes. This has resulted in substantial diversity among the states with regard to every aspect of how their governments are organized; the organizational chart for each state’s executive branch can be characterized as sui generis (unique).
2015-9-59 State governments Judicial branch The judicial branch is typically headed by a state supreme court which hears appeals from lower state courts. The structure of courts and the methods by which judges are elected or appointed are determined by legislation or the state constitution. Oddly, New York’s highest court is called the Court of Appeals, while its trial court is known as the Supreme Court.
2015-9-510 State governments Offices of the state In order to complete their duties states form a variety of offices with particular assignments designated by the various branches. These offices may include: State education agency, State department of ecology, State department of health, State police and State department of transportation.
2015-9-512 Local governments An introduction Since the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes local government for the most part a matter of state rather than federal law, the states are free to adopt a wide variety of systems of local government. Nonetheless, the United States Census Bureau, which conducts the Census of Governments every five years, groups local governments in the United States into the following five categories: County (borough, parish) governments Municipal governments Township governments School district governments Special district governments
2015-9-513 Local governments county governments County governments are organized local governments authorized in state constitutions and statutes and established to provide general government in an area generally defined as a first-tier geographic division of a state. The category includes those governments designated as boroughs in Alaska, as parishes in Louisiana, and as counties in other states. All the states are divided into counties or county-equivalents, though only a portion of Alaska is so divided. Connecticut and Rhode Island have completely eliminated county government, and Massachusetts has partially eliminated it. The locality which houses the county’s main offices is known as the county seat. In areas lacking a municipal or township government, the county government is generally responsible for providing all services.
2015-9-514 Local governments municipal governments Municipal governments are organized local governments authorized in state constitutions and statutes and established to provide general government for a defined area, generally corresponding to a population center rather than one of a set of areas into which a county is divided. The category includes those governments designated as cities, boroughs (except in Alaska), towns (except in Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin), and villages. Municipalities range in size from the very small (e.g., the Village of Lazy Lake, Florida, with 38 residents), to the very large (e.g., New York City, with about 8 million people), and this is reflected in the range of types of municipal governments that exist in different areas. In most states, county and municipal governments exist side-by-side. There are exceptions to this, however. In some states, a city can, either by separating from its county or counties or by merging with one or more counties, become independent of any separately functioning county government and function both as a county and as a city. Depending on the state, such a city is known as either an independent city or a consolidated city-county.
2015-9-515 Local governments Township governments Township governments are organized local governments authorized in state constitutions and statutes and established to provide general government for a defined area, generally corresponding to one of a set of areas into which a county is divided. The category includes those governments designated as towns in Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin, and townships in other states that have them. Depending on state law and local circumstance, a township may or may not be incorporated.
2015-9-516 Local governments School district governments School district governments are organized local entities providing public elementary, secondary, and/or higher education which, under state law, have sufficient administrative and fiscal autonomy to qualify as separate governments.
2015-9-517 Local governments Special district governments Special district governments are all organized local entities other than the four categories listed above, authorized by state law to provide only one or a limited number of designated functions, and with sufficient administrative and fiscal autonomy to qualify as separate governments; known by a variety of titles, including districts, authorities, boards, commissions, etc., as specified in the enabling state legislation. A special district may serve areas of multiple states if established by an interstate compact.
2015-9-518 County governments Municipal governments Township governments School district governments special district governments