A closer look (3)


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A closer look (3)

  1. 1. The Legislative Branch <br />A closer look <br />By: Tabitha Knadler, Bernadette Caron-Taylor, Kayla White, Alyssa Cusick<br />
  2. 2. The Members of Congress<br /> The Legislative Branch was established by Article 1 of the Constitution. <br />It was designed to check and balance the executive branch.<br />House of Representatives and the Senate make up Congress.<br />The House designed as the legislative body closer to the people; whereas the Senate is more of a deliberative house. <br />
  3. 3. The House of Representatives<br />The Speaker of the House is elected by the Representatives.<br />John Boehner is current Speaker<br />The House is made up of 435 elected members.<br />These members are divided in proportion to their state population.<br />The House has exclusive power which include power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and elect the President in the case of an electoral college tie.<br />Members are elected every two years and much be at least 25 years of age, U.S. citizen for at least seven years and a resident of the state they represent. <br />
  4. 4. The Senate<br />The Senate consist of 100 Senators, two for each state.<br />The Senators are elected by the population of the entire state.<br />Senators have to be at least 30 years of age, and a U.S. citizen for nine years. They must be residents of the states in which they represent. <br />
  5. 5. State Legislation <br />State government is modeled after the federal government.<br />In the beginning of the legislative session a caucus is held to elect the officers.<br />The political party with the most elected members is the majority party and the second largest party becomes the minority.<br />
  6. 6. The Law Making Process<br />A member of the House of Representatives or the Senate formally proposes a bill.<br />Then it goes for committee review.<br />If the bill makes it out of committee, a majority in both the House and Senate must approve it.<br />The conference committee reconciles the bill when different versions have passed in the House and the Senate.<br />Then the president signs the bill and it becomes law. However, the president can veto the bill unless the veto is overridden. <br />
  7. 7. Committees Purpose<br />Designed to look closely at bills<br />Determine what citizens support or oppose the bill<br />Propose and educate entire body on findings<br />Citizens<br />Subpoena witnesses<br />Records<br />
  8. 8. Committee types<br />Standing committees<br />Responsible for making recommendations based on proposed legislation<br />Select committees<br />Temporary committees appointed to perform a certain task<br />Powers to subpoena witnesses, or open records vary by committee<br />
  9. 9. Committee Types cont.<br />Conference committees<br />Intended to reconcile differences between senate passed bill and house passed bill<br />Present the house and senate each with the same take it or leave it bill<br />Joint committee<br />Members from both houses<br />Authority is limited <br />
  10. 10. Appropriations<br />Bills originate in House<br />Allocating fiscal funds<br />Earmark a specific amount of money for a particular purpose<br />
  11. 11. Appropriation Process<br />The appropriation process is defined by how the units of state government get the permission to spend money. As a result, no money can be spent from the state treasury without an appropriation.<br />Only the Legislature can make appropriations and these are the three ways:<br />Temporary appropriations. The majority of appropriations are temporary; they are effective for only 2 years, until the Legislature meets again. Most temporary appropriations are made during session and are often called "cat and dog" bills. <br />Statutory appropriations.The passage and codification of a specific law is when these appropriations are made. They do not expire because the Legislature does not review these appropriations every 2 years, and thus it limits their use<br />Budget amendments. These appropriation are needed for a specific reason during the interim, when the Legislature is not in session. Only the governor and a handful of other authorities can approve the additional spending of federal funds (and, in an emergency, state special revenue funds) using the budget amendment. These funds are not considered part of ongoing operations.<br />
  12. 12. Stages of Temporary Appropriation Process<br />All appropriations bills are first assigned to the House Appropriations Committee. <br />HB 2 is divided into sections, and these are assigned to various joint subcommittees of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Claims Committees. <br />Subcommittees review HB 2, hold public hearings, and report to the House Appropriations Committee with their recommendations for changes to the Governor's proposed budget. The House Appropriations Committee then consolidates the recommendations into a comprehensive appropriations bill. <br />The House Appropriations Committee hears appeals from state agencies concerning subcommittee actions, compares subcommittee recommendations to projected revenues, and considers amendments to HB 2. <br />HB 2 is debated on the floor of the House. <br />Once HB 2 passes the House, it is transmitted to the Senate, where it's assigned to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee. This committee reviews the bill and generates amendments that provide much of the basis for debate on the Senate floor. <br />HB 2 is debated on the floor of the Senate. <br />If the Senate passes a different version of HB 2, it goes back to the House for concurrence. If the House rejects the Senate amendments, the bill goes to a conference committee, which works to find agreement between the two chambers. <br />Each chamber then approves or rejects the bill. <br />Once HB 2 has passed the Legislature, it goes to the Governor, who can sign it, reject it, remove specific line items, or propose amendments. The Legislature must vote on any proposed amendments. <br />If the Legislature rejects the Governor's amendments, the Governor must sign or veto the bill.<br />
  13. 13. Basics of Budget<br />The Legislature determines the size and scope of a state government through its funding<br />Legislature specifies not only how a state will raise the money, or revenue , but it also determines how the state spends the revenue and why<br />The Legislature is required to balance the budget for states as a result of the state constitutions. Balancing the budget is the only constitutional required duty of the Legislature<br />The biggest challenge the Legislature has every session is the balancing revenue and spending<br />However, states are the ones in charge of acquiring capital assets and assume the debt resulting<br />Two-thirds of legislators in each chamber have to approve any amount of debt assumed by the states<br />The state is allowed to borrow money occasionally to provide short term cash flow if there is an anticipation of tax revenues<br />
  14. 14. Sources of Revenue<br />
  15. 15. Sources of Revenue<br />State government gets its revenues from a variety of sources. These include:<br />State taxes 42.2% <br />Federal funding 37.5% <br />Licenses and fees 5.7% <br />Investment earnings 0.6% <br />Rentals, leases, and royalties<br />Fines<br />Sales of documents, merchandise and property<br />
  16. 16. State Spending<br />The Legislature is unable to spend more than what it anticipates getting in revenues<br />The amount of money available to the Legislature fluctuates from biennium to biennium<br />About 90 percent of the general fund is spent on K-12 education, human services (primarily Medicaid), and the correctional system. <br />The federal government pays for a large portion of the overall costs of human services and environmental programs. <br />The federal government and state special revenue funds are the exclusive sources of funding for highway construction and maintenance. <br />
  17. 17. References<br />Harrison, B. C., & Harris, J. (2011). A More Perfect Union. New York, New York, United States of America: McGraw-Hill.<br />House of Representatives. (2011, February 11). Retrieved September 17, 2011, from Welcome to the Montana Legislature: http://leg.mt.gov/css/house/default.asp<br />The Legislative Branch. (2009, 10 August). Retrieved September 17, 2011, from the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/search/site/the%20legislative%20branch<br />
  18. 18. References<br />The Associations of Early Learning Coalitions. “Understanding legislative committees.”http://www.earlylearningassociation.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=64692<br />United States Senate. “Appropriation.”http://www.senate.gov/reference/glossary_term/appropriation.htm<br />West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. “Appropriation.” 2008. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/appropriation<br />Budget Basics. (2011, July 7). Retrieved September 18, 2011, from the Welcome to Montana Legislature: http://leg.mt.gov/css/fiscal/budget-basics.asp<br />