Chapter 19 State and Local Government. Instructor: Kevin Sexton Course: U.S. Political Systems Southeast Missouri State University. Federalism Review. Based on the concept of Shared Sovereignty . Ultimate Authority shared between the Federal Government
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Instructor: Kevin Sexton
Course: U.S. Political Systems
Southeast Missouri State University
Based on the concept of Shared Sovereignty.
Ultimate Authority shared between the Federal Government
and each of the 50 State Governments.
This means that the Federal Government did not create the States Governments
And the States did not create the Federal Government.
They were created simultaneously.
Therefore each state has there own constitution, and they decide for themselves
what the state government will look like, and how decisions will be made within
Comparing The U.S. & State Constitutions
U.S. Constitution – 4,543 total words (including signatures).
8,700 if you include the amendments
State Constitutions – 26,000 average words.
U.S. Constitution – brief, almost vague in some respects.
State Constitutions – more detailed, less flexible, more easily amended, more frequently re-written.
U.S. Constitution Amended 27 times
But Keep In Mind That:
First 10 Took Place Immediately After It Took Effect
27th Amendment Was Actually Introduced With Bill of Rights
Two Amendments (18th & 21st) Nullify Each Other
Average State Constitution Has Been Amended 115 Times.
Alabama Constitution Amended 770 Times
(Also Longest Constitution With Over 172,000 Words)
State Constitutions Easier To Amend
U.S. Constitution Requires 2/3rd of Each of the Houses of Congress
Ratification by 3/4th of the States
Typical State Requires 2/3rd of Each House of Legislature
Simple Majority of Voters in the Next Election
Registered Voters Obtain Signatures on a Petition
A Proposed Constitutional Amendment Goes Before the People of the State. If A
Majority of the People Agree the Constitution is Amended.
The Legislature Plays Virtually NO ROLL.
All 50 States Have A State Government With Three Branches
In All States Those Three Branches are Executive, Legislative & Judicial.
All States Have Governors As Their Chief Executive
All States Have State Legislatures
All States Have Their Own State Court System
Unlike The Federal Executive Branch All Executive Power
Is Not Vested In The Chief Executive
State of Missouri For Example Elects The Following
Executive Officers Independently Of Each Other:
Secretary of State
Each Office Exercises Limited Executive Power Over Their
Issues, With Little Or No Direct Responsibility To The Governor.
Governor’s Power Has Increased As The Size and Complexity
Of State Government Has Grown.
All State Legislatures Operate Similarly To Congress.
All Have The Power To Make Laws, Appropriate Money and Represent The People
Size Of The Legislatures Is Set By The State Constitutions.
49 Of The 50 States Have Bi-Cameral Legislatures
(Nebraska Has a Uni-Cameral Legislature. They Have A State Senate Only)
Most State Legislatures Are Becoming More And More Professional.
More Legislatures Have Full Time Legislatures. Legislators Spend More Time In The Capital Working On State Issues.
Salaries For Legislators Range From Over $100,000 in California To Less Than $10,000 In States Like Wyoming, Texas, New Hampshire.
About ½ Of All States Place term Limits On Some Of Their
States’ Elected Officials.
Each of the 50 States Have Their Own Independent Court System.
About 2/3rds of the State Court Systems are Three Tiered:
Trial Court + Appeals Court + State Supreme Court
About 1/3rd of The State Court System are Two Tiered:
Trial Court + State Supreme Court
The State Courts Systems Deal With Approximately 100,000,000 Cases a Year
As Compared With Approximately 314,000 Cases a Year For U.S. Courts
In About 1/4th of States Judges Are
Appointed By The Governor.
Most States Elect Their Judges Like
Other State Officials.
Several States Use
The MISSOURI PLAN
Individual States decide what level of participation they are
going to afford their citizens.
This is more than VOTING, which is guarenteed to all U.S. citizens by
the U.S. Constitution.
Additional methods of participation that some states afford to their citizens include:
- Citizens get to suggest and approve new laws.
- Citizens get to approve or reject laws or actions of the legislature.
- Citizens get to “un-elect” government officials.