North carolina branches_of_government


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North carolina branches_of_government

  1. 1. North Carolina State Government The Legislative Branch
  2. 2. The Legislative Branch  The State Legislature of North Carolina is the “General Assembly”.  The “General Assembly” is responsible for making “State Laws”.  The “General Assembly” is similar to the “U.S. Congress”…because it…  Makes Laws or Statutes  Is Bicameral (Has Two Houses)  Has a Senate  Has a House of Representatives
  3. 3. The Legislative Branch  Powers of the “General Assembly”:  Has the Authority to pass general laws known as “Statutes”.  Examines Government operations through reviews known as “Legislative Oversight”.  Elects members of the University of North Carolina “Board of Governors”.  Elects members of the state “Community College System”.  Has the authority to “Impeach” & put on “Trial” Judges & members of the “Council of State”.
  4. 4. The Legislative Branch  How a Bill Becomes a Law:  Step 1: “Draft or Create a Bill”  Step 2: “Introduce the Bill”…Only a member of the “General Assembly” can “Introduce or Sponsor a Bill”.  Step 3: Bill Goes to “Committee”  Step 4: Bill Goes to the House of Origin (House where it was first Introduced) for “Debate”.  Step 5: If Approved the “Bill” goes to the other “House” where the above process is repeated.  Step 6: If the second House makes any changes then the “Bill” must go to a “Conference Committee” where all changes must be argued and agreed upon.  Step 7: If “Bill” is identical in Both Houses then it is “Signed” by both “Houses”.  Step 8: Goes to the “Governor” for a signature.  Step 9: If the “Governor” vetoes the “Bill” then the “General Assembly” still has a chance to pass it if “60%” of the members of both houses agree to “override” the Governor’s Veto.
  5. 5. The Legislative Branch  Organization of the “General Assembly”:  It is “Bicameral” Legislative or Lawmaking Body  It has a “Senate” that is made up of “50 Members”.  It has a “House of Representatives” that is made up of “120 Members”.  Because North Carolina has “50 Senators”, State Senate areas of representation are drawn by dividing the state into “50 Senate Districts”.  Because North Carolina has “120 members” in the “House of Representatives” the State is divided into “120 House Districts”.
  6. 6. The Legislative Branch  “Qualifications”  Members of both the “Senate” & “House of Representatives” are elected for “Two-Year Terms”.  There is “No Limit” on the number of terms a member of the “General Assembly” can serve.  To Be eligible for election to the “North Carolina House of Representatives” you must be…  A North Carolina Resident for “One Year”  “21” Years Old  A Resident of the “District” for which you intend to represent for at least a “Year”  To be eligible for election to the “North Carolina Senate” you must be…  A North Carolina Resident for “Two Years”  “25” Years Old  A Resident of the “District” for which you intend to represent for at least a “Year”
  7. 7. The Legislative Branch  General Assembly Leadership:  The “Speaker of the House” is the leader of the “House of Representatives”  The “Lieutenant Governor” is the official leader of the “Senate”; however, they may only “Vote” if there is a “Tie”.  The “Senate” elects a “President Pro Tempore” to serve as the leader of the “Senate” when there is no “Tie Vote”.  The “President Pro Tempore” makes all key appointments for the “Senate”.
  8. 8. The Legislative Branch  Legislative Sessions:  The “General Assembly” meets in the Legislative Building in “Raleigh”…our State Capital.  In “Odd Numbered Years”…the “General Assembly” meets for a “Long Session”, which lasts from January through June.  In “Even Numbered Years”…the “General Assembly” meets for a “Short Session” to finish up work left over from the previous year…this session usually begins in late May and lasts about 6 weeks.  The “General Assembly” may also meet for “Special Sessions” called by the “Governor” or by the “Speaker of the House” & “President Pro Tempore”.
  9. 9. The Legislative Branch  Key Legislation:  In 2005, the “General Assembly” voted to put into operation a “State Lottery”.  Proceeds from the “Lottery” are to fund “Educational Programs”.  During the 2006 session, the “General Assembly” approved a new “Minimum Wage”, raising the hourly rate of pay to $6.15.  The “General Assembly” also passed “Ethics & Campaign Reform” legislation…which places restrictions on “Gifts” & direct contributions from “Lobbyists”.
  10. 10. The Executive Branch  Every State has an “Executive Branch” of government that is led by a “Governor”.  The “Constitution” of North Carolina spells out the duties & qualifications of the governor.  The current “Governor” of North Carolina is “Pat McCory”.
  11. 11. The Executive Branch  The Governor:  The “Governor” is North Carolina’s “Chief of State”…the symbolic leader who speaks for North Carolina.  The “Governor” is also North Carolina’s “Chief Executive”… responsible for seeing that “State Policies” are enforced.  The Governor “Appoints” many key state officials.  The Governor coordinates the work of most “State Agencies”.  The Governor administers the “State Budget” & proposes a “State Budget”.  The Governor may grant “Pardons” to convicted criminals or “Commute” (Reduce) a criminal’s sentence.  The Governor represents North Carolina when dealing with other states or the “Federal Government”.
  12. 12. The Executive Branch  Governor Qualifications:  The North Carolina Governor serves a “4 Year Term”.  The State Constitution limits the “Governor” to “Two Consecutive Terms”.  However, a “Governor” who has served “Two Terms” can leave office and then serve again after a “1 Term Break”.  You must be at least “30 Years Old”  You must be a “U.S. Citizen” for at least “5 Years”.  You must have lived in “North Carolina” for at least “Two Years” prior to the election.
  13. 13. The Executive Branch  The “Lieutenant Governor”:  The “Lieutenant Governor” is very similar to a “Vice President”.  The “Lieutenant Governor” is elected to a “Four Year Term”.  The “Lieutenant Governor” automatically succeeds the “Governor” if the Governor’s office becomes vacant for any reason.  The “Lieutenant Governor” serves as “President of the Senate”, but only “Votes” if there is a “Tie”.  The “Lieutenant Governor” serves on various commissions and boards.  Unlike the “President” & “Vice President”, who run for office on the same “Ticket or Ballot”, the “Governor” & “Lieutenant Governor” run for office and are elected on “Separate Ballots”.  Sometimes the voters choose a “Governor” & “Lieutenant Governor” from different political parties.
  14. 14. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest
  15. 15. The Executive Branch  Other Executive Offices:  The “Governor” appoints “10” head administrators to oversee separate “Executive Departments”…this group is known as the “Governor’s Cabinet”.  The North Carolina Cabinet includes the “Department of Administration”…which shapes the State Budget.  The North Carolina Cabinet includes the “Department of Corrections”…which runs the “Prisons” & “Parole Systems”.  The North Carolina Cabinet included the “Department of Crime Control & Public Safety”…which administers emergency management as well as the North Carolina “Highway Patrol”.  Because the “Governor” appoints the heads of the “Cabinet Departments”…the “Governor” is directly in charge of what they do.
  16. 16. The Executive Branch  The Council of State:  In addition to the “Governor” & “Lieutenant Governor”, the “Voters” of North Carolina also elect “8” heads of state agencies known as the “Council of State”.  Each member of the “Council of State” has specific areas of responsibility.  The “Attorney General” oversees the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation).  The “Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services” directs agricultural research & product safety monitoring.  The “Commissioner of Insurance” regulates insurance companies in the state.  The “Commissioner of Labor” oversees worker safety and fair employment practices.  The “Secretary of State” registers corporations within the state.  The “Superintendent of Public Instruction” oversees & regulates the state’s public school system  The “State Auditor” reviews the actions of other state departments.  The “State Treasurer” manages the money of our state.
  17. 17. The Executive Branch  Council of State:  Each “Council of State” officer is elected to a “4 year term”.  Unlike the “Governor” & “Lieutenant Governor”, each “Council of State” officer can be reelected to an “Unlimited” number of terms.  Each elected “Council of State” agency head “appoints” key staff members in his or her agency.  The “8 Council of State” departments operate independently of the “Governor”.  Sometimes the “Council of State” & the “Governor” will have disagreements on how to handle a situation…and this can slow down the effectiveness of the government.
  18. 18. The Judicial Branch  North Carolina’s Court System:  North Carolina courts resolve disputes that arise under “North Carolina Law”.  This includes lawsuits in which people bring their private disagreements for the court to settle as well as criminal prosecutions in which the “State” charges someone with violating a “State Law”.
  19. 19. The Judicial Branch  Types of Trial Courts:  “Trial Courts” hear the evidence and arguments of the parties in a case and issue or deliver a decision.  North Carolina has two kinds of “Trial Courts”…  District Courts  Superior Courts
  20. 20. The Judicial Branch  District Courts:  North Carolina’s “100 counties” are grouped into “Court Districts”.  “Counties” with larger populations are “single- county districts”.  “Counties” with smaller populations are joined with adjacent counties and this creates a “Multi- County District”.  “District Courts” hold sessions in every North Carolina County.
  21. 21. The Judicial Branch  District Courts:  In “District Courts”, the “Judge” who hears the case decides the “Verdict”.  There is no “Jury Trial” in a “State District Court”.  Cases in “District Courts” can involve…  Juvenile Law  Divorce & other Family Law  Mental Health Commitments  Traffic Violations  Civil Cases involving less than $10,000  Misdemeanors (minor crimes)  Each “District” has one or more “District Court Judge”, depending on the number of people in the “District”.  The “Voters” in each “District” elect “District Court Judges” for “4 Year Terms”.  “District Court Judges” must live in the “District” in which they are elected and serve.
  22. 22. The Judicial Branch  Superior Courts:  “Superior Courts” handle “Civil Cases” involving more than “$10,000” and “Felonies (Serious crimes)”.  Most Superior Court Trials involve the use of a “Jury”.  Because the “Constitution” of North Carolina guarantees all “Defendants” in “Criminal Cases”, the right to a “Trial by Jury”, those who are found guilty of “Misdemeanors” in “District Court” can request an entirely new “Trial by Jury” in a “Superior Court”.  “Superior Courts” across North Carolina deal with more than 300,000 cases each year.
  23. 23. The Judicial Branch  Judicial Districts for Superior Court:  The State is divided into “8 Judicial Divisions”, each containing several “Superior Court Districts”.  The Voters in each “District” elect “Superior Court Judges” for “8 year terms”.  “Superior Court Judges” then travel throughout their entire judicial division, each holding court in several different counties throughout the year.  In addition to “Elected” Superior Court Judges, the “Governor” also “Appoints” about “15” special “Superior Court Judges” who serve as needed.
  24. 24. The Judicial Branch  Other Judicial Officers:  Voters in each county elect a “Clerk of Superior Court” for that county.  The duties of the “Clerk of Superior Court” include establishing the validity of “Wills” and conducting the sale of “property” to pay an owner’s “debts”,…this is known as “Foreclosure”.  Each county has at least one “Magistrate”.  “Magistrates” issue “search warrants & arrest warrants”.  “Magistrates” are “Appointed” by the resident “Superior Court Judge” with the greatest seniority & are supervised by the “Chief District Court Judge”.
  25. 25. The Judicial Branch  Other Judicial Officers:  The voters in each of the state’s court districts also elect a “District Attorney”.  The “District Attorney” represents the “State” in all “Criminal Cases” in District & Superior Courts.  The “District Attorney” also represents the “State” in “Juvenile Delinquency” proceedings in “District Courts”.  The state of North Carolina also provides “Lawyers” for those persons accused of crimes who are unable to pay for their own defense attorneys.  Some judicial districts have “Public Defenders”.  The district “Public Defender” is a full time state employee whose responsibility is to represent extremely low-income people accused of crimes.
  26. 26. The Judicial Branch  Appellate Courts:  “Appellate Courts” hear disputes about whether the decision of a “Trial Court” should be overturned.  The decisions of each state’s highest court are final unless overruled by the “Supreme Court of the United States”.  North Carolina has two “Appellate Courts”…  The Court of Appeals  The State Supreme Court
  27. 27. The Judicial Branch  The North Carolina Court of Appeals:  The “Court of Appeals” hears most of the cases appealed from the state’s “Trial Courts”.  Voters elect the “15 Appeals Court Judges”.  “Appeals Court” Judges hear cases in groups or in panels of “Three Judges”.  At least “Two” out of the “Three” judges must agree in order to reach a decision.  The “Court of Appeals” hears more than 2,000 cases a year.  “Appeals Court” judges are elected statewide for terms of “8 years”.
  28. 28. The Judicial Branch The North Carolina Supreme Court:  The highest level of state appeals is the “North Carolina Supreme Court”.  The “Supreme Court” reviews cases that a lower court has already decided.  The state “Supreme Court” also interprets the “State’s Constitution & Laws”…which is known as the power of “Judicial Review”.  The “Supreme Court” is made up of “7 Judges” known as “Justices”.  The head of the Supreme Court is known as the “Chief Justice”.  Voters elect the “Chief Justice” and other “Justices” to “8 Year Terms”.
  29. 29. The Judicial Branch  The North Carolina Supreme Court:  The “7 Supreme Court Justices” decide which of the cases being appealed should be considered.  Those cases that they do not take are heard by the “Court of Appeals”.  The State Supreme Court hears “All Cases” in which the “Death Sentence” is being “Appealed”.  A “Majority” of the seven justices must agree to a decision.  The North Carolina Supreme Court hears about “600 cases” each year.  Unless there is an issue that involves the “U.S. Constitution”, the decision of the “State Supreme Court” is final.  The “State Supreme Court” supervises all the other courts in North Carolina.  The “Chief Justice” can name special “Superior Court Judges” & can temporarily reassign “Superior” & “District” court judges.
  30. 30. The Judicial Branch  Landmark State Supreme Court Decisions:  Bayard v. Singleton (1787)  During the American Revolution, state governments sometimes seized the property of “Loyalists” because of their support for the “British”.  After the war, “Elizabeth Bayard” filed a lawsuit to reclaim her property that the State had given to a merchant named “Spyers Singleton”.  A North Carolina “Appeals Court” ruled in favor of Mrs. Bayard.  The “Bayard Decision”, was the first by a “State Court” to declare a State Law “Unconstitutional”, & this decision introduced the idea of “Judicial Review”.
  31. 31. The Judicial Branch  State v. Mann (1830):  Slaveholder “John Mann” was arrested for beating and wounding an enslaved African American woman named “Lydia”.  A “Chowan County Jury” convicted “John Mann” of “Battery”.  On “Appeal”, the North Carolina “Supreme Court” overturned the lower court’s ruling.  Justice “Thomas Ruffin” ruled that according to the laws of “North Carolina”, slaveholders could not be prosecuted for attacking the enslaved because the enslaved were classified as “Property”…not “Citizens”.  This case established the “Supremacy” of “State Law” & the “State Constitution” of “North Carolina”.
  32. 32. The Judicial Branch  The Leandro Case:  Article I, Section 15, of the “North Carolina Constitution” states… “The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.”  In 1994, people from five North Carolina counties filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that the state was not giving their children “Adequate or Equal Educational Opportunities”.  These counties spent much less per student than many other North Carolina counties.  They spent less because they had less to spend…they were “Low Wealth Counties”.
  33. 33. The Judicial Branch The Leandro Case:  By 1997, this case had reached the “North Carolina Supreme Court”.  The “Supreme Court” ruled that the “State Constitution” does not require “Equal Funding of Education”…this decision upheld the “Supremacy” of the “North Carolina Constitution”.  Then in “Hoke v. State”, a “Superior Court” concluded that “at-risk children” require more resources, time, and focused intervention in order to learn…which is the “State’s” responsibility to provide.  In 2004, the “North Carolina Supreme Court” agreed with some parts of the “Hoke Decision”, agreeing that “At- Risk” students had been denied a sound basic education.  In response, North Carolina education officials proposed new programs and new streams of funding.