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Texas state and local government

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  1. Texas state and local government

  2. Our legislature is similar to the U.S. Congress in that: each is bicameral members are elected directly members serve the same function members’ terms are the same for each House of Representatives most work is done in committees Texas is governed by a constitution written in 1876 as a reaction to Reconstruction.

  3. size pay – Texans are paid far less Texas’ senators terms are shorter than U.S. senators Texas legislature meets only every other year (approx. 140 days) The Tx. legislature is different from Congress in…

  4. Texas House of Representatives • 150 members (our district is #15: Ruben Hope) • term: 2 yrs. (no limits) • salary: $7,200/yr. + $124. per diem while leg. in session, $10,750/mo. for offices • qualifications: • age: 21 yrs. • resident of state for 2 yrs., district for 1 • U.S. citizen

  5. Texas Senate • 31 members - our district is #3: Todd Staples • term: 4 yrs. (no limits) • salary: $7,200/yr. + $124. per diem while leg. in session + $25,000/ mo. for offices • qualifications: • 26 yrs. • resident of state for 5 yrs./district for 1 • U.S. citizen

  6. Our representatives: State representative Brandon Creighton State senator Robert Nichols

  7. term: 4 yrs. (no limit) qualifications: 30 yrs. state resident for 5 yrs. U.S. citizen Texas governor – Rick Perry

  8. salary: $115,345/yr. home – Governor’s mansion limousine aircraft All but two have been men: Miriam A. (“Ma”) Ferguson (1925-27 and 1933-35) Ann Richards (1991-1995) Salary and “perks” of the office

  9. serves as president of the state Senate qualifications: same as for governor Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst

  10. qualifications same as members of the House native of Midland elected from within House serves a district just as the other 149 members Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives: Tom Craddick

  11. Texas has two highest appellate courts Supreme Court (9 Justices), hears only civil cases elected to staggered 6 yr. terms Texas court system

  12. Texas’ highest court for criminal cases consists of a Presiding Judge and 8 Judges (9 total) elected to 6-yr. terms Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

  13. 14 Courts of Appeals 80 justices total, all elected appeals usually heard by 3 justices hear both civil and criminal appeals Intermediate appellate courts

  14. hear all felony criminal cases divorce cases land title cases cases involving at least $200 in densely populated counties, may specialize in civil, criminal, and family law matters District courts located in Montgomery County: 9th – Fred Edwards 221st – Suzanne Stovall 284th – Olen Underwood 359th – Kathleen Hamilton 410th – Michael Mayes State trial courts – district courts

  15. County courts – 1 in each county (civil & criminal jurisdiction)- class A and B misdemeanor cases County courts at law – located in more populated counties municipal courts – limited criminal jurisdiction (fine only) Justice of the Peace courts – limited civil and criminal jurisdiction (class C misdemeanors) Small claims courts – limited civil and criminal jurisdiction County and local trial courts of limited jurisdiction – all trial courts

  16. Montgomery County

  17. County Court at Law 1 – Dennis Watson County Court at Law 2 – Jerry Winfree County Court at Law 3 – Mason Martin County Court at Law 4 – Mary Ann Turner Conroe’s Municipal Ct.- James Cates: handles mostly traffic-related offenses, but also school-related offenses + Conroe city ordinance offenses County courts in Montgomery County

  18. Pct. 1: Lanny Moriarty Pct. 2: Trey Spikes Pct. 3: Edie Connelly Pct. 4: James Metts Pct. 5: Carolyn Cox handle cases like… alcohol-related offenses truancy curfew violations bad checks civil cases involving $5,000 or less eviction cases Montgomery County’s Justices of the Peace (5)

  19. Counties are divided into 4 precincts, each of which elects a commissioner to the court The Commissioners Court is not a law-interpreting body, rather a law-making body Montgomery County’s county judge is Alan (Barb) Sadler (elected by the whole county); commissioners are: Pct. 1 – Mike Meador Pct. 2 – Craig Doyal Pct. 3 – Ed Chance Pct. 4 – Ed Rinehart County governing body: Commissioners Court

  20. sheriff: Tommy Gage county clerk – Mark Turnbull registers & records documents, birth/death certificates, marriage licenses 3. tax assessor/collector – J. R. Moore appraises property and collects taxes 4. treasurer – Martha Gustavsen keeps county funds and makes authorized payments 5. county attorney – David Walker carries out criminal investigations, prosecutes Most counties elect 5 other county officers:

  21. Mayor: Tommy Metcalf – elected at large, 4 yr. term, limited to 2 terms, only votes in case of a tie, … and 5 council members: Place 1: Pat George (term expires 5/2008) Place 2: Webb Melder, (5/2008) Place 3: Jim Gentry (5/2010) Place 4: Jerry Streater (5/2010) Place 5: Jay Ross Martin (5/2010) City of Conroe government

  22. city administrator: Jerry McGuire city attorney: Marc Winberry city secretary: Marla Porter plus… directors of 8 departments that make up the city workforce community development capital projects finance public works parks & recreation human resources police fire director of downtown City Council hires and oversees a management staff consisting of…