Government in Georgia (Summary Review)
State government in Georgia operates in accordance with the 10th and current state Constitution of Georgia (see separate handout “A Brief Constitutional History of Georgia”). Georgia government is carried out through three branches - executive, legislative and judicial. The executive branch is headed by the governor who is elected by the people every four years. Governors in Georgia are limited by the state Constitution to no more than two consecutive terms. The Governor of Georgia is considered moderately powerful when compared to governors of other states. Candidates for governor must be at least 30 years old upon assuming office, must have been a U.S. citizen for 15 years and a resident of Georgia for 6 years prior to the election. The governor is the chief executive of the state and oversees the executive branch, is the chief law enforcement officer, is the commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces, has the power to veto legislation, and may appoint officials if a vacancy occurs until the next election. His power is somewhat limited due to the large number of other executive officials in Georgia who are also popularly elected, including the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, commissioner of insurance, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of labor and members of the public service commission. Each of these officials in turn controls his/her own department. The governor does have direct control over his own office, the office of planning and budget and a large number of state boards and commissions which have authority over a wide range of issues throughout government in Georgia (see chart on Georgia government operation). The Georgia General Assembly is elected by popular vote every two years. It is a bicameral (two house) system. The House is composed of 180 members and the Senate of 56 members, with the members elected by district. The Lt. Governor presides over the...
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