Louisiana Government Chapter 4 Democratic Government Government is

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Louisiana Government Chapter 4

Louisiana Government Chapter 4

Democratic Government � Government – is an organization in a society with the authority

Democratic Government � Government – is an organization in a society with the authority to make, carry out, and enforce laws. � In the United States, the government is established by the people for the protection of the individual rights of the people and to promote the common good. � The U. S. government is a democracy.

History of Louisiana Government � Louisiana’s government was influenced by its founders – France

History of Louisiana Government � Louisiana’s government was influenced by its founders – France and Spain. � When Louisiana was a Spanish colony, the government established parishes as geographical divisions of the Catholic Church. Later, these parishes formed Louisiana’s governmental divisions. � Louisiana is the only state that has parishes instead of counties.

History of Louisiana Government � The French and Spanish also influenced Louisiana’s legal system.

History of Louisiana Government � The French and Spanish also influenced Louisiana’s legal system. Louisiana civil laws are based on the French and Spanish civil codes, how individuals deal with each other. � British common law system uses decisions made in earlier, similar cases as guidelines known as precedents. � Louisiana’s criminal laws – common law system � Louisiana’s judicial laws – civil laws

History of Louisiana Government � Louisiana became the 18 th state to enter the

History of Louisiana Government � Louisiana became the 18 th state to enter the Union on April 30 th, 1812. � The people were given the opportunity to write a state constitution. The constitution of a government explains its purpose, describes its organization, and states its powers.

Constitutions � The United States Constitution reflects a government formed by its citizens. The

Constitutions � The United States Constitution reflects a government formed by its citizens. The people agree on the power and purpose of the government. � It identifies powers given to the federal government, state government, and the powers they share. � The federal government has the power to print money and make treaties with other countries. � The state government can establish schools and conduct elections. � Both can collect taxes.

Constitutions � The Louisiana State Constitution provides the framework for its government. It establishes

Constitutions � The Louisiana State Constitution provides the framework for its government. It establishes the power of the government to act in the interest of the people and protect the rights of citizens. � Louisiana has had 11 constitutions. More than any other state. Every time political power shifted, the new controlling group used the constitution to protect its ideas of government.

Structure of State Government � Louisiana’s constitution follows the pattern of the U. S.

Structure of State Government � Louisiana’s constitution follows the pattern of the U. S. Constitution be having three branches of government and separation of power. � Checks and balances – a system whereby each branch of government can use its powers to keep the other branches from misusing their powers

Structure of Government Executive Branch Implements and enforces the laws passed by the legislature

Structure of Government Executive Branch Implements and enforces the laws passed by the legislature Louisiana Government Legislative Branch Makes Laws Judicial Branch Interprets and applies the constitution and laws of the state

Executive Branch Governor Prepare and submit a budget to the legislature to determine how

Executive Branch Governor Prepare and submit a budget to the legislature to determine how money should be obtained and spent by the state Lieutenant Governor Serves as a public relations officer for the state. The state department of culture, recreation and tourism are part of their duties. Attorney General Heads the state’s legal office the Department of Justice. Can also bring legal action on behalf of the state. Secretary of State Is the chief election officer for Louisiana. Handles everything having to do with elections Treasurer Is in charge of the state’s money. Keeps track of the state’s income and expenses

Legislative Branch � The legislative branch makes the laws for the state of Louisiana.

Legislative Branch � The legislative branch makes the laws for the state of Louisiana. Like the United States, the legislative branch has two bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate. This model is called bicarmel. � The purpose of bicarmel is to limit the power of each group. Both bodies must approve a bill before it can become a law. � The Louisiana legislature has 144 members. There are 39 Senators and 105 representatives. They are elected from the district they live in.

Judicial Branch � The judicial branch of government interprets and applies the constitution and

Judicial Branch � The judicial branch of government interprets and applies the constitution and laws of the state. It also protects the rights of the citizens. � The laws of the state are divided into two categories: Civil Law & Criminal Law

Judicial Branch � Civil laws – deal with the relationship between and among individuals.

Judicial Branch � Civil laws – deal with the relationship between and among individuals. The legal matter is personal and does not affect all of society. � For example: A civil lawsuit asks the court to settle a dispute between two people or between an individual and a business. � Civil law covers issues such as citizenship, property rights, contracts, marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance.

Judicial Branch � Criminal Laws – protect society from the wrongdoing of an individual.

Judicial Branch � Criminal Laws – protect society from the wrongdoing of an individual. The state brings criminal charges against an individual and a trail determines guilt or innocence. � Misdemeanors – less serious crimes such as speeding. � Felonies – more serious crimes such as murder and armed robbery. � Crimes are punished by fines, imprisonment, or even death. Penalty is based on the level of the crime.

Judicial Branch � Louisiana’s � District court system has 3 levels: Courts – main

Judicial Branch � Louisiana’s � District court system has 3 levels: Courts – main trial courts for the state hearing both civil and criminal cases � Court of Appeals – takes the case to a higher court for rehearing. If there is a legal question about the process or results of a case it is reviewed by the court of appeals. � Supreme Court – highest court in the state. This court hears appeals from lower-level courts. If a lower court has declared something unconstitutional, the supreme court must evaluate that decision. If a defendant in a criminal case has been sentenced to death, the case is always reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

Funding the State � Governments need money to function. � The State Budget is

Funding the State � Governments need money to function. � The State Budget is a detailed plan for receiving and spending money. � Each year, the state government estimates how much revenue (money) it will collect for the year. Then they determine how to spend the money to meet the needs of the state. � When the governor prepares the budget the revenue and amount spent must match because the Louisiana state constitution requires a balanced budget, meaning the state cannot spend more than it takes in.

Funding the State � The state receives revenue through fees such as drivers’ licenses

Funding the State � The state receives revenue through fees such as drivers’ licenses and business licenses. Oil and gas royalties also bring money to the state. � Much of the state revenue comes from taxes – amounts citizens are charged by their government (federal, state, and local) to help provide government services.

Types of Taxes Type of Tax Excise Tax Sales Tax Severance Tax Income Tax

Types of Taxes Type of Tax Excise Tax Sales Tax Severance Tax Income Tax Property Tax Description

Local Government � The primary local government division is the parish. Louisiana has its

Local Government � The primary local government division is the parish. Louisiana has its 64 parishes since 1912. The parish government and courthouse are located in the town or city known as the parish seat. � Louisiana has parishes instead of counties because during Spanish colonial Louisiana the church divisions were called parishes. The local government followed these divisions.

Local Government � Also during the Louisiana Spanish colonial days, the local government resembled

Local Government � Also during the Louisiana Spanish colonial days, the local government resembled a police jury – a group of citizens chosen to supervise or police the parish. � Louisiana has 46 parishes that still refer to the parish -elected government as the police jury. Today a police jury must have 5 -15 elected members. � The police jury passes local laws for the parish government. They are also responsible for building and maintaining parish roads and building such as the jail and the courthouse.

Local Government � Other elected parish officials: (they report to the voters) � Sheriff

Local Government � Other elected parish officials: (they report to the voters) � Sheriff – the chief law enforcement officer and tax collector. � Assessor – determines the value of property for tax purposes. � District Attorney- the chief prosecutor who represents the parish in a criminal cases. � Clerk of Court – maintains the court records and other official documents such as marriage licenses.

Local Government � Read page 133 “School Boards” and answer the following questions: �What

Local Government � Read page 133 “School Boards” and answer the following questions: �What is the purpose of the school board?

Citizens and Government � Being a citizen requires people to be responsible for their

Citizens and Government � Being a citizen requires people to be responsible for their personal actions and to respect for the rights of others. � Citizens have personal rights that are named in the U. S. Constitution and the state constitution. � Voting is a right as well as a responsibility. � Qualifications for voters: � U. S. Citizen � 18 years old � Not in prison or convicted felon � Not mentally incompetent

Citizens and Government � Statewide elections are held as open primaries – where all

Citizens and Government � Statewide elections are held as open primaries – where all parties compete in the first, or primary election. � Voters can vote from any candidate and are not limited to voting for a candidate from their political party. � The two candidates receiving the most votes have a runoff election.

Citizens and Government � Political Parties are organization of people who have similar ideas

Citizens and Government � Political Parties are organization of people who have similar ideas about how government should be run. � The first two political parties formed around Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. They had very different views on the role of the government. � Today the two main political parties are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Citizens and Government � https: //www. brainpop. com/socialstudies/usgovernme ntandlaw/politicalparties/

Citizens and Government � https: //www. brainpop. com/socialstudies/usgovernme ntandlaw/politicalparties/

Citizens and Government � Every citizen can be a lobbyist. Lobbying means trying to

Citizens and Government � Every citizen can be a lobbyist. Lobbying means trying to influence a legislator about a proposed law. � Lobbyist write letters to legislators or visit them at the Capitol. � They can testify at a committee hearing about the possible effects of proposed laws. � MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving, lobbied for laws to reduce the high number of accidents and deaths caused by drunk drivers. They convinced the legislature to increase the penalties for DWI.