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Virginia State Government. Executive. The government of Virginia was founded in 1619 , Virginia is the oldest state in the Union.

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  • The government of Virginia was founded in 1619, Virginia is the oldest state in the Union.
  • It is one of four Commonwealth states in the U.S. This simply means it has a government founded on a compact or agreement of its people to rule for the common good.
  • Virginia has 3 branches of government, similar to the U.S. federal government.
  • Executive, Legislative, and Judicial
  • The leader of the executive branch is the Governor, currently it is Bob McDonnell. He is a Republican
  • The term of office in Virginia for Governor is one 4 year term, but you can repeat as long as it is not consecutive.
  • You have to be 30 years old and a citizen of Virginia for at least 5 years.
  • You can not be a convicted felon.
formal duties
Formal Duties
  • The governor runs the state’s bureaucracy and appoints its official.
  • He signs bills into law (can introduce bills)
  • He is responsible for carrying out state laws.
  • Exercises veto power over laws he does not agree with
  • Can call the legislature into session at any time to deal with legislation vital to the state
formal duties continued
Formal duties continued
  • He appoints judges to the state courts.
  • He can issue pardons, reprieves, and commutations (commute sentences) to prisoners and can restore voting rights to convicted felons.
  • He is the commander-in-chief of the state national guard and appoints its leaders.
informal duties
Informal duties
  • Governor acts as the leader of his political party.
  • Arranges meetings with other states on mutual interests of concern.
  • Campaigns and raises donations for local party candidates.
  • He works with the U.S. government to obtain grants and funds for the state
other key officials in the executive branch
Other Key Officials in the Executive Branch
  • In the event the Governor cannot fulfill his duties, the Lieutenant Governor will take over.
  • Current Lt. Gov. is Bill Bolling.
  • The Lt. Gov. is elected separately and not as a partner with the governor.
  • The Attorney General supervises the legal activities of all state agencies, provides legal advice to the governor, issues written interpretations of the state constitution, and acts as the state’s chief lawyer and law enforcement officer.
other key officials
Other Key officials
  • Secretary of State is in charge of all state records and official state documents.
  • Runs the state level elections and certifies their results.
  • State Treasurer manages the money that the state collects and pays out. Serves as the chief tax collector. Invests the state’s funds as needed.
legislative branch
Legislative Branch
  • Known today as the General Assembly, it was originally called the House of Burgesses when it was founded in 1619.
  • It is currently the oldest, continuous state government in America.
  • Virginia’s legislature has two houses, ( a bicameral legislature).
  • The upper house is called the Senate and the lower house is the House of Delegates.
legislative branch cont
Legislative Branch Cont.
  • Members of the legislature are elected from districts of equal population. There are 40 senators and 100 delegates in the Virginia legislature.
  • Each senator represents approximately 200,000 citizens and each delegate about 80,000 people.
  • Senators serve 4 year terms and Delegates serve terms of 2 years. Age and residency requirements for each house must also be met.
legislature continued
Legislature Continued
  • Virginia’s legislators work only part time and are not paid that much.
  • The legislature meets during odd-numbered years for only 30 days, and on even years for 60 days. This can be extended another 30 days to finish business.
  • The Lt. Governor is the presiding officer of the Senate while the presiding officer of the House of Delegates is the Speaker of the House.
legislature continued1
Legislature Continued
  • Emmett Hanger represents Waynesboro in the Senate.
  • Waynesboro is in the 24th senate district.
  • Dickie Bell represents Waynesboro in the 20thhouse district.
judicial branch
Judicial Branch
  • The courts of Virginia interpret and apply the laws. The courts deal with two types of cases: civil and criminal.
  • Courts also provide services such as marriage and divorce, adoptions, legalizing documents, property dispute settlement, and probate
  • In Virginia, judges are either elected or appointed depending on the level of court and jurisdiction.
judicial branch continued
Judicial Branch Continued
  • Appointed judges can be removed from the bench through impeachment.
  • State judges can also be removed from office if judged to be unqualified.
  • In Virginia, the state has a commission that regularly evaluates the performance of judges and also investigates complaints against them.
  • If a judge is found unqualified or unethical, the Virginia Supreme Court can remove them from office.
the courts
The Courts
  • The Courts in Virginia are arranged by tiers:
  • At the top is the State Supreme Court
  • Next is the State Court of Appeals
  • Then it is the State Circuit Courts
  • On the bottom tier is the State General District Courts and the Family and Juvenile Courts.
local governments
Local Governments
  • Affect your life more than any other government level
  • Assure protection between local and federal laws
  • Provide more services than any other level of government. List those you can think of:
  • Parks, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, social services, mental health, college assistance, welfare, education, roads, agricultural assistance (extension agencies)
city council
City Council
  • Waynesboro City Council is made up of 4 wards and one open council seat
  • The citizens of Waynesboro vote for their council member and then the council votes to determine which one will be the mayor.
  • The mayor at this time is Frank Lucente.
  • The mayor has no veto power over the council votes.
city government
City Government
  • Other members of the city government:
  • City manager, City planner, School board, and city attorney
  • The School Board is the only other group that is voted in by the citizens of Waynesboro.
  • Voting registrar; Revenue Commissioner; Director of Public Works; City Engineer; City Treasurer; Planning Commissionare other members of the city government.
origins of state governments
Origins of State Governments
  • Before the Revolutionary War:
  • Colonies had charters from the King authorizing their creation and type of government.
  • The royal governor was the supreme authority in the colonies and
  • most colonies had a colonial legislature to make their laws.
  • Laws and legislatures could be suspended as he saw fit.
after the constitutional convention
After the Constitutional Convention
  • Many states kept their charters as the basis for their new state constitutions other states, like Virginia, drew up new constitutions. Only 20 states have kept their original founding document as part of their constitution.
  • The creation of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 made all states adopt a republicanform of government and adhere to the Constitution when forming their own state constitutions. States must comply with the Doctrine of Incorporation which said that states could not deny rights to its people that were given in the Bill Of Rights.
after convention continued
After Convention Continued
  • The 10th Amendment gave the states all other powers not listed in the Constitution as belonging to the federal government, or denied to the states.
pre civil war
Pre-Civil War
  • Many states believed strongly in states rights claiming that the states were joined in a voluntary union which one could leave at any time. The states had created the national government and had given it only limited powers over them therefore the states were superior to the federal government in all matters other than those listed in the Constitution.
  • The Civil War largely put those notions to rest.
modern times
Modern Times
  • Growth of American government in the 20th century expanded federal powers.
  • Federal courts were used to correct socialinjustices and voting discrimination.
  • Federal programs were used to aid state agencies (like the New Deal)
modern times continued
Modern Times Continued
  • U.S. government can tax people in the state directly.
  • Government has intruded in many places where it never used to be before (education, segregation, welfare, etc…)
reasons for state constitutions
Reasons for State Constitutions
  • To create the structure of stategovernment and organize its branches.
  • To establish the different types of local governments which include:
  • citiestownscountiesboroughsparishes
  • States also determine what powers these lower governments will have.
reasons continued
Reasons Continued
  • To regulate the ways state and local governments can raise and spend
  • money and how and for what reasons they can tax its people, and determine
  • how state resources can be used.
  • To establish stateagencies that performs administrative, assistive, regulatory, law-keeping, and emergency services for citizens.
amending state constitutions
Amending State Constitutions
  • State constitutions can be amended for the same reasons as the U.S. Constitution. Many amendments to state constitutions are for specific purposes, so some constitutions become very large due to the enormous amount of amendments made. Alabama has over 700 amendments to its constitution, Virginia has ____________.
amending continued
Amending Continued
  • Ratification of amendments is through a popularvote in 49 of the 50 states. In 44 of the 50 states, only a simple majority of voters is needed to pass amendments (Virginia is one of them!). (Delaware is the exception to the popular vote ratification)
local government
Local Government
  • Affect ourlives more than any other government level and provide numerous services to its citizens. List those you can think of:
  • Fire, Police, EMT, voting, taxes, schools, zoning, business, water & sewer, roads, parks & recreation.
  • There are 95 counties and 42 independent cities in Virginia plus another 188 incorporated towns; each has its own local government.