Glossary

State Power and Delegation

charter a document that provides a framework and detailed account of local government responsibilities and areas of authority

Dillon’s Rule a legal principle that holds state power and actions above those of local governments and declares state governments to be sovereign relative to local governments

expressed powers those powers specifically provided to the Congress and the president in the U.S. Constitution

home rule principle that provides local governments some degree of independence from the state government, typically detailed in a charter

implied powers those powers not specifically detailed in the U.S. Constitution but inferred as necessary to achieve the objectives of the national government

State Political Culture

individualistic political culture a culture that views the government as a mechanism for addressing issues that matter to individual citizens and for pursuing individual goals

moralistic political culture a culture that views the government as a means to better society and promote the general welfare

traditionalistic political culture a culture that views the government as necessary to maintaining the existing social order or the status quo

Governors and State Legislatures

amendatory veto a veto that allows a governor to send a bill back to the legislature with a message requesting a specific amendment

delegate legislator a legislator who represents the will of those who elected him or her to office and acts in their expressed interest, even when it goes against a personal belief about what is ultimately in the constituency’s best interest

formal powers those powers a governor may exercise that are specifically outlined in the state constitution or state law

line-item veto a state governor’s ability to strike out a line or individual portions of a bill while letting the remainder pass into law

pardon a governor’s action to absolve someone of blame for a crime and secure his or her release from prison

reduction veto a governor’s authority to reduce the amount budgeted in a piece of legislation

trustee an officeholder who believes he or she was elected to exercise judgment and to know best by virtue of having the time and expertise to study and understand an issue

State Legislative Term Limits

consecutive term limits caps allowing a member of the legislature to serve for only a specified period of time in either the state house or senate and forcing a wait before the member can run again

lifetime ban a rule that members can serve only one time in the state legislature for the number of years allotted and may not run again

term limits rules that restrict the length of time a member can serve in the state legislature

County and City Government

commission system an elected commission that serves as the governing body within a given county

council-administrator system an elected council that appoints an administrator to oversee the operation of the county government

council-elected executive system a county government in which voters elect both the members of the council and the executive

council-manager system a structure of government in which elected members of the city council appoint a city manager to carry out administrative functions

mayor-council system a structure of government in which both city council members and the mayor are elected by voters

Licenses and Attributions

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