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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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chapter 19 state and local government

Chapter 19State and Local Government

Instructor: Kevin Sexton

Course: U.S. Political Systems

Southeast Missouri State University

federalism review
Federalism Review

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.

(Dillion’s Rule)

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

their state.

structure of state governments

Structure of State Governments



Citizen Participation

state constitutions
State Constitutions

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.

state constitutions1
State Constitutions

Amending Constitutions


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

state constitutions2
State Constitutions

Amending Constitutions


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

Constitutional Iniative

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.

branches of government
Branches of Government

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

state executive branches
State Executive Branches

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:


Lt. Governor

Attorney General

Secretary of State

State Treasurer

State Auditor

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.

state legislatures
State Legislatures

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.

state courts
State Courts

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

state judges
State Judges

In About 1/4th of States Judges Are

Appointed By The Governor.

Most States Elect Their Judges Like

Other State Officials.

Several States Use


citizen participation
Citizen Participation

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.