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"State of Confusion..."

"State of Confusion"... the title of a song by the Kinks and the title of this Informed Idiot episode (#5)

On to the STATE level of elected officials...

Just like the Federal government, the STATE government is divided into 3 branches: Judicial, Legislative and Executive. The functions of each are largely the same as those of the Federal Government. Each state has its own written constitution, and these documents are often far more elaborate than their Federal counterpart. The U.S. Constitution mandates that all States uphold a “republican form” of government, although the three-branch structure is not required. Police departments, libraries, and schools usually fall under the oversight of State and local governments.

JUDICIAL: State judicial branches are usually led by the State supreme court, which hears appeals from lower-level state courts. Court structures and judicial appointments/elections are determined either by legislation or the State constitution. The supreme court focuses on correcting errors made in lower courts and therefore holds no trials

LEGISLATIVE: All 50 States have legislatures made up of elected representatives, who consider matters brought forth by the governor or introduced by its members to create legislation that becomes law. The legislature also approves a State’s budget and initiates tax legislation and articles of impeachment.

All States (with the exception of Nebraska) are made up of two chambers: a smaller upper house (referred to as the Senate) and a larger lower house (referred to as House of Representatives, the Assembly or the House of Delegates) Together the two chambers make State laws and fulfill other governing responsibilities.

EXECUTIVE: This branch is headed by a governor who is directly elected by the people. In most states, other leaders in the executive branch are also directly elected (lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditors, and commissioners.) States reserve the right to organize in any way, so they often vary greatly with regard to executive structure.