CGFM Study Guide 1 Section 1

Power is distributed among different levels of government and that no one level of government has authority over all areas of public policy.

A national government cannot be sued by states or citizens without its permission.

Popular sovereignty
Citizens hold ultimate authority through the ballot and a sovereign government is accountable to its citizens.

Reserved clause
Federal government cannot dictate the manner in which state and local programs operate.

Allow local officials to exercise discretion within guidelines set by the national and state governments. This flexibility results in more effective programs. One way the different levels of government influence one another.

Laboratories of democracy
State and local government used to experiment with policies and procedures that are later adopted at the national level.

General assembly
Another name for the legislative branch at the state level.

Municipal governments
Special corporations organized according to state statues and operating under a charter.

Form of municipal government, two branches – the executive (mayor) and the legislative (council). Can be divided into two forms – strong mayor and weak mayor.

Strong mayor
Form of mayor-council government where mayor appoints key positions.

Weak mayor
Form of mayor-council government where key positions are appointed by others or elected.

Form of municipal government where council members make up the legislative branch but the manager serves at the discretion of of the council, not voters.

Form of municipal government where the executive and legislative branches are combined in the authority of the commissioners.

Article I of the Constitution
Defines the powers of the legislative branch.

Article II of the Constitution
Defines the power of the presidency and executive branch.

Article III of the Constitution
Defines the power of the judicial branch.

Separation of Powers
No one branch of government can exercise complete control over another therefore checks and balances exist making no one branch completely independent of the others.

Judicial review
Stems from separation of powers – the courts can overturn laws that have been passed by the legislature and signed by the executive branch of the court deems them unconstitutional.

Divisions of the three branches of government. Executive branch has the most.

Form of government component that can either be permanent to fulfill a regulatory role or temporary to study a particular issue.

Permanent Commissions

Temporary Commission
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

Hierarchy of US Government Authorities
US Constitution is supreme, followed by laws, then executive orders, then rules and regulations.

Gives the national government authority over national defense, foreign relations, and interstate commerce. Establishes the federal courts.

State governments
Responsible for public safety, property laws and protection of property, education, marriage laws, and commercial rules and licensing.

Local governments
Have authority over building codes and permits, property taxes, and police and fire protection.

Executive orders
Issued by chief executives within parameters set by constitution and laws.

Rules and Regulations
Drafted by executive branch agencies to guide daily administration of policy.

Direct Action of Citizens
Citizens possess the ultimate authority through the ballot box.

Direct Forms of State/Local Authority
Initiatives, referendums, recalls.

Enables citizens to present their view of a problem and a proposed solution. (Ex – Prop 13 in CA on property taxes)

Requires certain legislative actions to be presented to voters for approval.

Enables voters to remove elected officials from office.

General Purpose Government Entity
The three levels of government: national, state, and local. They perform multiple functions such as public works, public safety, recreation, health and law enforcement.

General Purpose Government Entity Revenue Source
Property taxes, income taxes, user fees, sales taxes, state/federal aid.

Special Purpose Entity
Entities that perform just one or two functions. Parent government usually issues a charter/ordinance/legislation prescribing mission and authority.

Special Purpose Entity Revenue Source
Usually comes from general purpose government, taxes or fees.

Jointly Governed Organizations
Services coordinated among two or more government entities. Often led by a board compromised of officials from the cooperating governments. (Ex – transportation, solid waste management)

General Purpose Local Government
County, municipality, township

Special Purpose Local Government
School district, special-purpose district

General purpose governments found in most states. Formed under provisions in state constitutions or statutes.

Common County Governance
Elected board of supervisors with either an appointed administrator or an elected executive.

Includes entities usually referred to as cities, towns, boroughs, and villages. A general purpose government that is not a county or township. Formed to serve a concentration of people in a given geographic area and as population density changes new ones may be formed.

Have both geographical and historical roots, comes from the township and range land survey system. A six mile square in the public land survey system.

Common Township Governance
Elected board of supervisors or trustees.

Special Purpose Local School District
Primary purpose is to provide elementary, secondary, and/or higher education. Most are independent districts operating within parameters set by state laws. They have fiscal and administrative autonomy.

Special Purpose Local School District Governance
Elected school board that appoints a superintendent. Has the power to raise taxes and issue debt.

Special Purpose Local District (Non-School)
Entities with substantial administrative and fiscal autonomy. Perform a single function or very limited functions. May also be referred to as authorities.

Special Purpose Local District Governance (Non-school)
Administered by elected officials, appointed officials, or a combination. Parent government may grant authority to levy taxes and issue debt.

Explanations for Proliferation of Special Districts
1. Demand for new, specialized services
2. Ability to circumvent debt and tax limitations, more financing options
3. Managerial flexibility – new district may not be subject to same personnel/procurement rules as general purpose

Quasi-Governmental Entities
Blend characteristics of government and for-profit organizations. AKA government corporations.

Quasi-Governmental Entities
Formed to support business-like functions where some or all of expenses are to be covered through revenues/fees. They have fewer management restrictions such as personnel and procurement rules. May be given authority to issue bonds or incur debt.

Fragmentation and Overlap in Government Services
Increased potential for this due to proliferation of quasi-governmental entities and other special purpose districts. Services agreements may help to mitigate.

Tribal Governments
Councils recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Have a direct nation-to-nation relationship to the US government and are not subordinate to states.

Tribal Governments Sovereignty
Exists within tribal lands. Allows for establishment of businesses and public safety mechanisms, adoption/enforcement of civil codes, and power to eject non-members from land. Can license activities and collect taxes.

Limitations on Tribal Sovereignty
Cannot coin money, wage war or conduct foreign relations.
Tribal council is not subject to federal income tax but individual members and their businesses are subject to it, with a few exceptions. State income taxes are not paid.

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