State and Local Political Processes
Minnesota's Constitution and systems
Minnesota’s Governmental components
The most common correlations made with the state of Minnesota are its lakes and the Mall of America. Minnesota is a bicameral system with three branches of government consisting of an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. These three departments create a strong partnership for an effective system that maintains checks and balances system for the impressive state of Minnesota.
Minnesota’s legislature at work
Minnesota similar to other states within the United States created a version of the Constitution that benefits Minnesota and its needs. Article III pertains to the distribution of powers within Minnesota’s government. Governmental power divides into judicial, legislative, and executive departments wielding their respective powers and no others. The legislature includes the senate and House of Representatives (U.S. Const. art. III, IV, § 1). There are 28 cabinet members appointed by the governor, two hold chair positions, and one is a general for the military department. The remaining cabinet members hold commissioner positions, according to section two of Article IV in Minnesota’s Constitution. To pass a law a majority vote is required from members of each house, and the governor has the Constitutional authority to approve, disapprove, or ignore bills. He or she has the power to remove parts of a bill before passing it into law (U.S. Const. art. III, IV, § 1). The executive department consists of the governor and his or her officers appointed or elected into his or her respective role. The governor appoints the lieutenant governor and is jointly elected into office, and serves a four year term without limitation. The senate’s approval Governor Dayton can appoint notaries and other officers. He appoints commissioners for various departments and can fill vacancies of state and district offices. The secretary of state, attorney general, and state auditor terms is four years. “The governor in conjunction with the board of pardons has the power to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction for an offense against the state except in cases of impeachment (U.S. Const. art. V, § 7.” Article VI describes judiciary powers and expectations within the court system. The Supreme Court empowers the judiciary and if assigned by the legislature district, appeals, and other courts dependent upon authority given. Minnesota’s legislature has the authority to form a court of appeals in accordance to the number of its judges. The appellate court will have jurisdiction over the courts with the exception of the Supreme Court within the confines of the law. Judgeships will be temporarily appointed between the different courts as needed through those in authority. Judges cannot hold any other United States (U.S.) office elective or other office unless drafted for military forces (Court information office, 2010).
The court of appeals in Minnesota consists of 19 judges whose job it is to decide if any errors were made by lower courts, and if presented appeals are deemed worthy of review. There are seven justices, and district judges are appointed by the governor who has the authority to fill any judgeship vacancies as the need arises. The Supreme court is a last resort if interpretation is needed, and handles first-degree murder appeals and judiciary disciplinary cases. The Supreme Court sets precedents for the majority of cases filed in MN and regulates law practices within the state (Court information office, 2010).
Funding and Taxation The legislature has the authority to pass laws needed for military organizations and services for the state of Minnesota. Monopolies on food items are prohibited to encourage healthy market competition. A large portion of state funding is drawn from property, merchant, and transportation taxes. Taxes