statelocalCH2 - State and Local Government January 26, 2011...

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January 26, 2011 Chapter 2 Constitutionalism: power of government over individual is limited Governmental power is limited by checks and balances State constitutions are the supreme law of the land, but the federal constitution can overrule State constitutions are much more specific and contain: o Bill of rights o Separation of powers State legislative executive Judicial articles o Provide provisions of power in local governments Restrictions are imposed on taxing power on state and local governments Most state constitutions create weak governors Executive powers are divided Constitutions limit the amount of debt states can incur 4 methods to changing the constitution: 1. legislative proposals: are the most common method for amending state constitutions. Amendments are passed by the state legislators and then submitted to voters for approval in a referendum. This method is available in all states. 2. popular initiative: was introduced at the beginning of the 20 th century. This method allows citizens to get an amendment on the ballot without approval by the state legislature. They simply go do petitions and get signatures. This method is available in 17 states 3. constitutional convention: conventions are generally composed by state legislatures. Voters get to decide whether or not they can have a convention in the state. This method is available in 42 states, but is rarely used. Simply making amendments is much less difficult. 4. constitutional commission: supposed to study and recommend constitutional changes and may be created by a legislation to rec Democracy in the states Democracy=popular participation in the government/people having their own say in the government 2 types of democracy: o Representational (republic, indirect democracy) Voting to have people vote on our behalf o Direct democracy (no in-between)
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This note was uploaded on 06/29/2011 for the course POS 2112 taught by Professor Densu during the Spring '09 term at Florida A&M.

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statelocalCH2 - State and Local Government January 26, 2011...

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