State and Local Governments Study Guide with answers

State and Local Governments Study Guide
State Government
1.) What document establishes a government for the state of Virginia? The
Virginia Constitution
2.) Name of the State Legislative Branch = General Assembly
a. Chambers of the General Assembly=House of Delegates and Virginia Senate
b. Members of the Virginia General Assembly are elected to make laws.
c. Elected officials write laws and take action in response to problems or issues.
d. Individuals and interest groups help shape legislation.
e. What is the lawmaking process in VA
i. Proposing a bill
ii. Working in committees
iii. Debating on the floor
iv. Voting on a bill by both houses
v. Signing a bill into law by the Governor
f. Name the primary issues the state legislative branch handles
i. Education
ii. Public Health
iii. Environment
iv. State Budget
v. Levying and collecting taxes
3.) Name of the State Executive Branch=The Governor
a. Primary roles of the state executive=enforcing the laws and policymaking process.
b. Where does the VA executive get his/her power= Virginia Constitution.
c. Name the roles of the Governor
i. Chief of State
ii. Chief Legislator
iii. Chief Administrator
iv. Party Chief
v. Commander-in-Chief
d. What do the Cabinet secretaries and departments, agencies, commissions, and
regulatory boards do:
i. Administer laws
ii. Enforce the laws
iii. Regulate aspects of business and the economy
iv. Provide services
Local Governments
4.) Local governments in Virginia are political subdivisions created by the General Assembly. The
units of local government in Virginia are counties, towns, and cities. Local governments exercise
legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
a. Where do local governments get their power? All powers of the local government are
given to them by the Constitution of Virginia and acts by the General Assembly.
b. Counties-All VA counties have (2) a Board of Supervisors and a School Board
c. Towns- All VA towns have an elected town council with a mayor that is elected by the
voters or town council.
d. Cities- All Virginia cities have an elected City Council that exercises legislative powers,
enacting ordinances and adopting an annual budget. A mayor is elected by the voters or
the City Council members. Cities also have an elected School board that oversees the
operation of the K-12 public schools in the county.
e. The Virginia Constitution requires that voters in every locality (area) elect what 4
i. Sheriff
ii. a clerk of the circuit court
iii. a commissioner of revenue
iv. a treasurer
f. Name the powers of the local government:
i. enforce state and local laws
ii. promote public health
iii. protect public safety
iv. educate children
v. protect the environment
vi. regulate land use
vii. levy and collect taxes
g. Who passes laws in a county? Board of Supervisors
h. Who passes laws in a town/city? Elected Council
i. Who has the greatest influence on the decisions made by the local government? The
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