Georgia Constitution Exam

1.) Does the current Georgia Constitution impose term limits on governors? If so, what are they?
Georgia does limit the term on governors. It is the only position that has a limit on term. Governor is the highest and most powerful position.
Past-1942 2 consecutive two year terms
1942-1976 1 four year term
1976-now 2 consecutive four year terms

2.) Does the governor have the authority to exercise line-item veto?
Governors can exercise line-item vetoes. Line-item veto is removing specific lines from a budget

3.) Who has the power of executive clemency in the Georgia Constitution?
Executive clemency (governor’s pardon), The State Board of Pardons and Paroles

4.) What are the citizenship and residency requirements for Senate and House of GA and US?
Georgia House of Representatives – must be 21 years old and must have residency in Georgia for at least 2 years and for at least 1 year in the district that he or she represents and resides

US House – must be 25 years old, a citizen of the US for at least 7 years prior to the election, a resident of the state that he or she has chosen to represent

Georgia Senate – must be 25 years old and must have residency in Georgia for at least 2 years and for at least 1 year in the district that he or she represents

US Senate – must be 30 years old, a citizen of the US for at least 9 years prior to election , a resident of the state represented

5.) What are the responsibilities of the lieutenant governor in Georgia?
Lieutenant governor aka president of the senate oversees committee on senate membership. They do not run with governor, elected separately.

6.) Besides the governor and lieutenant governor, who else are elected executive officers? *
Attorney general: represents the state in legal matters

Secretary of state: runs elections, handles incorporation of businesses, and maintains GA archives.

Insurance commissioner: set rates and determine which carriers will be licensed to operate in GA. Also serves as state fire marshal.

State school superintendent:

Commissioner of agriculture: provides information to farmers and certifies the accuracy and quality of fertilizer

Commissioner of labor: occupational safety and the administration of labor laws, addresses unemployment.

Public service commission: regulates industries and their rates such as telephones, electricity, and natural gas, trucks, buses

7.) What are the qualifications and responsibilities of an attorney general?
Attorney general represents the state in legal matters. They must be at least 25 years, citizen for 10 years, live in GA for 4 years.

8.) List the Georgia constitutional boards and commissions?
Public Service Commission – five members to be elected by the people, oversees utilities like gas, electricity, communication networks and transportation

State Board of Pardons and Paroles – five members appointed by the Governor, power of executive clemency, including the powers to grant reprieves, pardons and paroles

State Transportation Board – as many members as congressional districts in the state to be elected by a majority vote of the members of the House of Representatives and Senate, in charge of transportation, highway construction, railroads

Veterans Service Board – seven members appointed by the Governor

Board of Natural Resources – one member from each congressional district in the state and five members from the state at large all appointed by the Governor

Educational Board – governor, one member per district

Regents – one per district, appointed by governor, in charge of colleges

9.) How many days does the Georgia General Assembly meet each year “in session”? What is a “special session”?
The Georgia General Assembly’s most important function is to pass the state’s operating budget. They meet “in session” 40 days a year but not necessarily consecutive. Special session happens with three-fifths agreement of the membership of each chamber.

10.) What is the term length for Georgia state legislators?
State legislators are elected by their district for a 2 year term.

11.) How many members make up the Georgia General Assembly?
The Georgia General assembly is comprised of 236 members

12.) The passage of legislation by the General Assembly requires what proportion of support from each chamber?
The passage of legislation requires a two-thirds vote from both houses

13.) What are the powers of the Board of Regents of the University system of Georgia?
The Board of Regents exercises the exclusive right to govern, control, and manage the University System of Georgia, an educational system comprised of thirty-five institutions. Creates new public colleges, junior colleges, and universities

14.) What does the constitution indicate about the state’s legal commitment to public education?
Free public education prior to college

15.) What proportion of the vote is required to be elected to public office in Georgia?
Candidate must capture 50% of the vote. If not, a runoff is held

16.) What requirements does Georgia have for those who wish to vote in an election?
Must be a US citizen, a citizen of GA, 18 by election day, cannot be a felon

17.) What is eminent domain?
Taking private property for public use

18.) How many counties are there in Georgia?
159

19.) What is home rule?
Counties/cities have the ability to have some government and legal powers of their own as long as they are not allowing things outside of the constitution (aka local self-government)

20.) What are the categories of expenditures for which lottery proceeds can be used?
Educational programs and purposes and the governor’s annual budget

21.) What does it mean to have an open direct primary?*
All voters can take part. In primary elections the political party nominates candidates for the next general election.

22.) What is the jurisdiction of the “State Court” in Georgia’s court system?

23.) What civil liberties are protected by the Georgia Constitution?

24.) What civil liberties are not protected by the Georgia Constitution?
Right to privacy is not in the constitution but it is recognized

25.) How are judges (in the state judiciary) selected in Georgia? (distinguish vacancies from open seats)
Judges are selected by non-partisan elections.

26.) What are courts of limited jurisdiction (in Georgia)?
Specialized cases: less serious than those in courts of general jurisdictions

27.) With the exception of some juveniles, what is the primary trial court for hearing felony cases?
Superior court

28.) How is the chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court selected?
Justices choose the chief justice

29.) According to the state of Georgia constitution, can taxes be levied by local schools to assist with financing those schools? If so, what kind?
Yes, property tax

30.) Can the constitution be amended to affect specific individual counties and cities?
yes, home rule-local govt

31.) Are there limits on cities’ and counties’ ability to tax and incur debt?
Law allows counties to levy one percent general sales tax and four percent state tax

32.) What is consolidation? What procedures does a local government have to go through in order to consolidate?
Consolidation is combing with another county. Majority vote

33.) How may the Georgia Constitution be amended?
Requires 2/3 vote by legislature.

34.) Article I of the Georgia Constitution provides for a bill of rights. What sorts of individual rights are included here? How does this compare with the “federal” bill of rights?

35.) What does Georgia’s Bill of Rights say about limits on what the State of Georgia may do with respect to citizens who fail to pay their debts?
life, liberty, property: equal protection: freedom of conscience: religion: speech and press: libel-truth as evidence: protection of citizens: right to bear arms: assemble and petition: no bill of attainder: trial by jury: right to courts: searches, seizures, warrants: benefit of counsel: habeas corpus: self-incrimination: arrest/abuse of prisoners: jeopardy of life/liberty probidden: treason: effect of conviction” no banishment and whipping: no involuntary servitude: no imprisionment for debt: costs of case not paid beore trial: social status never subject to legislation: exemptions from levy and sale” spouse’s separate property: enumeration of rights not denial of others: marriages of same sex prohibited

36.) What does Georgia’s Bill of Right say about limits on what the State of Georgia may do with respect to citizens who fail to pay their debts?
Prohibits imprisonment for debt

37.) How many constitutions have been adopted by Georgia? When did Georgia last ratify a constitution?
10: last ratification was 1983

38.) What does the Georgia constitution say about “sovereign immunity”?
ability of citizens to sue the state/local govt

39.) What are the responsibilities of the Georgia Public Service Commission? How are members selected for the Commission?
5 members who are elected statewide for staggered, 6 year terms: regulates telephone services, utilities such as gas and electricity, communication networks and transportation such as trucking and rail systems

40.) What are the responsibilities of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles?
power to stay death sentences: executive clemency

41.) What does the Georgia Constitution say about bills of attainder? What is a bill of attainder?
declaring a person/group of persons as guilty and punishing them without the benefit of a judicial trial: no bill of attainder will pass

42.) What does the Georgia Constitution say about slavery, if at all?
doesn’t say anything, talks about involuntary servitude

43.) What are the requirements for registering to vote in Georgia?
US citizen, legal res. of georgia and the county in which you want to vote: at least 18 on election day: cant vote if considered mentally incompetent or serving felony sentence

44.) Under the Georgia Constitution, will the state recognize marriage between two individuals of the same sex?
No

45.) How many legislators must be present in order for the general assembly to transact legislative business?
3/5 of the assembly

46.) What are the legislative procedures, according to the Georgia constitution, for approval, veto and override of vetos?
senate and house of reps called in: line item vetos are allowed (governor can kill a specific item in a spending bill): bills passed by a simple majority of entire membership of each chamber: motions to change bill require 2/3 majority: bills that have been rejected also need 2/3 to be reconsidered: must be passed by majority vote in one chamber and passed by majority vote in the other chamber to become a law

47.) How has Georgia’s constitution historically approached judicial review?
the power to declare acts unconstitutional: allowed now: institutionalized in 1861

48.) How did state political leaders, pushing for white supremacy during the 19th and 20th century use the constitution to achieve their goals?
constitution of 1877-disenfranchised of blacks and poor whites by making only those who paid all of their taxes eligible to vote: misproportion of votes so urban areas votes didn’t count in elections: 1877 constitution

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