Chapter 8 State Government - Waverly

Chapter 8
State Government
Section 1:The States
Section 2:State Legislatures
Section 3:The State Executive
Section 4:State Courts
Section 1: The States
The Main Idea
In the United States, all 50 independent states fit
together to form one country. The federal
system allows state governments to serve the
needs of the their citizens while cooperating as
a united country.
Reading Focus
• What powers do state governments have?
• How do states work together with other states
and with the national government in our federal
State Government [04:01]
Section 1: The States
State Powers
• Election oversight
• Education
• Police protection
• Public building
• Health and safety
• Highways
Concurrent powers, like taxation, are exercised by
both state and federal governments.
Section 1: The States
Components of a state constitution:
• Preamble—states the ideals of the government
• Bill of rights—list of rights guaranteed to citizens
• Outline of government organization—duties of the
government’s branches are spelled out
• Provisions for elections
• Provisions for managing state affairs, such as
education, law and order, highways, and taxation
• Methods of amending the state’s constitution and
list of approved amendments
Section 1: The States
Cooperation of states with each other and
the federal government:
• The full faith and credit clause of the U.S.
Constitution ensures states will respect court
decisions of other states.
• Fugitives from one state are subject to
extradition if found in another state.
• States work together to reduce pollution and
maintain mutual public interests.
Section 1: The States
Cooperation of states with each other and the
federal government: (continued)
• The U.S. Constitution guarantees a
“republican government” to each state.
• The federal government must help put down
“domestic violence” in the states.
• Governments work together to conserve
resources, assist the unemployed, build
highways, and offer job training.
The Powers of Government in a Federal System [03:58]
Question: What types of powers are reserved for
the states?
Powers Reserved for the States
Section 2: State Legislatures
The Main Idea
The process of passing state laws is similar to the
process used in the U.S. Congress. In some
states, citizens can take a direct role in making
the state's laws.
Reading Focus
• How are state legislatures organized to equally
represent the citizens of the their state?
• How are state laws passed?
• How do citizens participate in making state laws?
Section 2: State Legislatures
Populations in state election
• 1964—Reynolds v. Sims: all state election
districts must be as equal as possible
• Equally populated districts ensure the
principle of “one person, one vote.”
Section 2: State Legislatures
Many states require similar qualifications and
terms of office for state legislators:
• Must be U.S. citizens and residents of the
district they represent
• Senators must be at least 25 years of
age, and representatives must be at least
• Two- to four-year terms
• Salaries and benefits tend to be low.
Section 2: State Legislatures
Choosing presiding officers and
carrying out legislation:
• Either the lieutenant governor or a
selected official presides over the Senate.
• Speakers are chosen in the lower houses.
• Committees are appointed.
• Seniority determines many of the
Section 2: State Legislatures
Choosing presiding officers and
carrying out legislation: (continued)
• State bills follow a path similar to that of
federal bills before they can become laws.
• Some states require referendums before
certain bills become laws.
Question: What are the qualifications and terms of office
for a state legislator?
Job qualifications include:
Terms of Office:
State Government [03:49]
Section 3: The State Executive Branch
The Main Idea
• A state’s executive branch carries out laws made
by the state’s legislative branch. Governors are
the chief executives of state government.
Reading Focus
• Who is the state’s chief executive, and what are
his or her powers and duties?
• Who are the other officials of state executive
Section 3: The State Executive Branch
Most governors
• Must be U.S. citizens who have lived in
the state for a certain number of years.
• Must be at least 30 years old.
• Serve four-year terms with limits of one to
two terms.
Section 3: The State Executive Branch
Duties and powers of governors include
• Proposing laws and programs to the
legislature; approving or vetoing bills.
• Developing state budgets.
• Controlling state police and militia.
• Appointing officials and supervising
executive branch.
Section 3: The State Executive Branch
Other officials of the state executive branch,
in most states:
• Lieutenant governor—succeeds governor;
presides over the Senate
• Secretary of state—keeps state records
and supervises elections
• Attorney general—in charge of legal
• State treasurer—supervises all state funds
Section 3: The State Executive Branch
Other officials of the state executive branch,
in most states: (continued)
• State auditor (comptroller)—supervises the
state’s financial records
• Superintendent of public instruction—
governs local school districts and
distributes state funds
Section 3: The State Executive Branch
State Executive Agencies and Officials
• Help the governor carry out the laws
• Have specific areas of responsibility such
as agriculture, justice, labor, public safety,
public works, or transportation
• Officials of agencies are usually appointed
by the governor.
• Some jobs are filled through patronage.
Question: What are the powers and duties of the
1. Chief Legislator
Powers and
Duties of the
2. Chief Executive
3. Political Party
4. Other Powers
Section 4: State Courts
The Main Idea
State court systems include lower courts,
general trial courts, appeals courts, and
state supreme courts.
Reading Focus
• What kinds of cases do state courts
• How is the state court system organized?
• How are state judges selected?
Section 4: State Courts
State courts handle
• Criminal cases, which deal with violations
of the law that harm individuals or society.
• Civil cases, which deal with disputes
between individuals or business and
generally involve money or property.
Section 4: State Courts
Four types of state courts and their
• Lower courts—handle minor civil cases
and misdemeanors; traffic cases,
family-relations cases, and small claims
• General trial courts—handle major
criminal and civil cases
Section 4: State Courts
Four types of state courts and their
responsibilities: (continued)
• Appeals courts—handle appealed
cases from the lower courts
• State supreme court—handles
appealed cases from the appeals
Section 4: State Courts
Overcrowding in the courts causes
• Calendars are often a year or more
• People wait years for settlements.
• Jails are overcrowded with accused
persons awaiting trial.
• Crowding thwarts constitutional guarantee
of a speedy trial.
Question: What are the responsibilities
of each of the four types of state
State Courts
General Trial Courts:
These courts hear
major civil and
criminal cases.
Most involve a jury
with a judge
Lower Courts:
These courts hear
minor cases,
misdemeanors and
civil cases involving
small amounts of
money. They may
also handle traffic
violations, family
disputes, and
juvenile cases.
Appeals Courts:
State Supreme Courts:
These courts are the
highest court in most
states hearing cases
on appeal.
These courts hear
cases on appeal,
deciding if the lower
court handled the
trial properly and
gave the accused
the rights
guaranteed under
the Constitution.
Chapter 8 Wrap-Up
1. What is the term for the powers granted to state governments,
and what are some examples?
2. How are the rules of state governments organized, and under
what rule did they agree to cooperate with each other?
3. What conditions must be met in order for someone to serve as a
state lawmaker?
4. How can citizens take direct action in legislation and state
5. Who heads the state executive branch, and what does the
job require?
6. Who helps the governor run the state government?
7. What types of courts exist in most states, and what does
each do?
8. How does the appeals process work?

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