The Montana State Constitution
The State Constitution of Montana sets forth the basic governmental roles, responsibilities, and expectations that apply to the governing officials and citizens of the state. The state’s Constitution also explains the rights of the people. The statements of the Constitution are upheld by state and federal mandates. It is a strong, binding artifact of Montana’s evolutionary history. The Montana State Constitution could be compared to a timeline, as the changes in governmental and community attitudes are evident in the amendments made to the state’s constitution. Montana’s state chain of command is very similar to that of the Federal Government. There are three branches of the state’s government; executive, legislative, and judicial. At the head of the executive branch are the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The legislative branch is bicameral. With few differences the roles of these officials is much the same as the roles of the United State’s president and vice-president, the duties are just on different governmental levels. The state answers to the Federal Government. Under the two heads of state the chain of command continues in following closely to that of the Federal Government. The legislative branch is bicameral and includes Senators, House representatives and their staffs. The Supreme Court heads the judicial system that includes state criminal court and the Court of Appeals. State officials must be chosen by the people through simple majority elections. Montana offers free, public education to every child of school age. The Constitution makes education a right of the people, and a responsibility of the state. State property and sales taxes are the major sources of funding for the public school system. Senator Llew Jones recently proposed cutting local school property tax, and suggested dipping into the funds from gas and oil revenues for public school funding (Dennison). Another service offered by the educational...
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