Chapter 23.1 – Structure and Functions of Government Section 1 – State Constitution

Initiative
a method by which citizens propose an amendment or a law.

Constitutional Convention
meets to consider changing or replacing a constitution.

Constitutional Commission
is a group of experts appointed to study the state constitution and recommend changes.

Why are state constitutions lengthy documents compared to the nation’s Constitution?
Some amendments to state constitutions provide for very specific policies. Thus, some state constitutions have an enormous number of amendments

How are state and Federal constitutions similar?
Like the federal Constitution, every state constitution provides for separation of powers among three branches of government-legislative, executive, and judicial.

What are the two steps in the amendment process?
Proposal (new law) and ratification (change current law)

What are three ways an amendment can be proposed into law?
citizens propose an amendment or a law, convening a state constitutional convention, State legislature has the power to propose an amendment to the state constitution, and constitutional commission a group of experts appointed to study the state constitution and recommend changes.

What amendment process is most commonly used?
State legislature has the power to propose an amendment to the state constitution.

How do citizens propose an amendment or law?
The people to propose constitutional amendments by popular initiative-a method by which citizens propose an amendment or a law by circulating a petition.

How judicial review has has become an important means of constitutional change in the states?
More and more state judges began to interpret state constitutions independently of the United States Constitution.

What are the basic common characteristics of state constitutions?
Create structure of state government, establish types of local government, regulate ways state and local governments can raise and spend money, and establish independent state agencies, boards, and commissions

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