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Arizona Government

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  1. Arizona Government

  2. Arizona’s Three Branches • Legislative – The State Legislature • Arizona House of Representatives • Arizona Senate • Executive – The “Plural Executive” • 6 major executive offices all directly elected • Judicial – The Arizona Supreme Court and other inferior courts

  3. Arizona Legislature • House of Representatives • 60 members • 2 elected from each of 30 legislative districts • Currently 40 Republicans, 20 Democrats • Senate • 30 members • 1 elected from each of 30 legislative districts • Currently 21 Republicans, 9 Democrats • Legislators all serve 2 year terms, limited to 4 terms in any one house

  4. Here in Mesa, if you live west of Gilbert Rd., you are likely in District 18 If you live east of Gilbert Rd., you are likely in District 19

  5. Your State Legislators Rep. Cecil Ash (R - Dist. 18) Sen. Russell Pearce (R – Dist. 18) Rep. Steve Court (R – Dist. 18)


  6. Your State Legislators Speaker Kirk Adams (R - Dist. 19) Sen. Rich Crandall (R – Dist. 19) Rep. Justin Olson (R – Dist. 19)

  7. The Historical State Capitol Building

  8. Another View

  9. Arizona’s Executive Branch • “Plural Executive” – We elect all major members of the executive branch, not just one • Unlike the federal system, where President is elected, then appoints all other major officials

  10. Arizona Executive Branch • 6 Major Executives • Governor • Signs or vetoes bills • Recommends laws to the legislature • Appoints heads of state agencies and judges • Commander-in-chief of the Arizona National Guard Governor Jan Brewer (R)

  11. Arizona Executive Branch • 6 Major Executives • Secretary of State • Responsible for smooth running of elections • Takes over for Governor in case of vacancy Sec. of State Ken Bennett (R)

  12. Arizona Executive Branch • 6 Major Executives • Attorney General • Chief law enforcement officer of Arizona • Argues for Arizona in federal court cases Attorney General Tom Horne (R)

  13. Arizona Executive Branch • 6 Major Executives • State Treasurer • Oversees tax collection and disbursement of state funds • Advises the governor on the state budget Treasurer Doug Ducey (R)

  14. Arizona Executive Branch • 6 Major Executives • Superintendent of Public Instruction • Sets standards for hiring of teachers and graduation from K-12 schools • Advises the school districts on standards for what should be taught Superintendent John Huppenthal (R)

  15. Arizona Executive Branch • 6 Major Executives • State Mine Inspector • Inspects all state mines to ensure safety regulations are followed Mine Inspector Joe Hart (R)

  16. Arizona’s Judicial Branch • Selecting Judges (Merit System) • State Constitution requires judges to: • be at least 30 years old • demonstrate good moral character • have passed the Arizona Bar and practice law in Arizona • be a resident of Arizona for at least 5 years • Bipartisan Nominating Commission chooses at least 3 qualified applicants to recommend to the governor • Governor chooses one of the names to appoint

  17. Arizona’s Judicial Branch • Judges serve either a 4 year or 6 year term • Judicial Recall – at the end of their term, judges names appear on a ballot for voters to vote “yes or no on the question of retention” • Judges are required to retire at 70

  18. Arizona’s Judicial Branch Courts Judges 1 Arizona Supreme Court 5 2 3 Arizona Court of Appeals 159 1 Superior Court

  19. Rebecca White Berch, Chief Justice of Arizona

  20. Arizona’s Judicial Branch • Other courts include municipal courts and justice of the peace courts, which decide “limited jurisdiction” issues • Ex. – traffic tickets, renter/landlord disputes, small claims lawsuits, etc.

  21. Other Important Features of Arizona’s Constitution • Initiative – citizens may propose a law or constitutional amendment by collecting signatures on a petition • In the next election, voters determine whether it becomes law or not • Ex. – Prop. 102 (2008) defined marriage as one man and one woman in Arizona’s constitution

  22. Other Important Features of Arizona’s Constitution • Referendum – The Arizona legislature passes a bill, but submits it to voters for final approval (rather than the governor) • 5% of voters can petition to pass a bill by referendum, or legislature can choose to use this method • Ex. Prop 302 (2000) – used car rental and hotel tax revenue to build a new Cardinals stadium

  23. Other Important Features of Arizona’s Constitution • Recall – voters can petition to put an elected official on the ballot before their term is over • Requires 25% of voters to sign the petition • Ex. – Mayor Neil Giuliano of Tempe faced a recall election on the grounds he shouldn’t have advocated the light rail project (but he won the recall election and stayed in office)

  24. Other Important Features of Arizona’s Constitution • Tribal Sovereignty – Indian tribal reservations are not subject to the laws of Arizona • Ex. – Gambling is not legal in Arizona, yet casinos can be built and operated on tribal lands • Clean Elections – anyone running for state office who gets a small donation from a certain number of people can have their campaign funded by the state

  25. Things that are on the Final that don’t fit in another category • Central Arizona Project – water conservation project that brings water to the valley from the Colorado River • Civic Responsibilities • Voting • Paying taxes • Serving on juries • Obeying the law