Cahn Chapter 6
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It is more common to change the constitution either by _______ ________ or through a constitutional revision commission. Though it is possible to overhaul the state constitution through a constitutional convention, the delicate balance of power in the state makes such an event extremely unlikely. Most _______ ________ are initiated through the legislative process. A constitutional measure must be approved by a two-thirds vote in both houses of the state legislature.
A third way to change the state constitution is for the legislature to set up a _________ _________ _________ composed of citizen appointees. These blue-ribbon commissions mainly "tinker-at-the-edges" rather than systematically overhaul the document. The ___________ __________ ___________ issued several recommendations in 1995 to overhaul state government, including a unicameral legislature, having the governor and lieutenant officer run for office together as a single ticket, reducing the number of elected constitutional offices to simplify the state ballot, and switching from an annual budget to a two-year budget.
Constitutional Revision Commission
California's governor must share, and in some cases bow to, the constitutional authority of seven other statewide independent elected officials who exercise executive power. In this way California has a "_______ _______" rather than a strong governorship, as Governor Deukmejian found in 1987 when the state Attorney General John Van de Kamp refused to support his challenge to the state's toxic initiative, Proposition 65.
The governor is expected to be the electorate's leader and a check on the power wielded by the other branches of government. Explicit powers - constitutional powers explicitly delegated to the governor - provide the basic tools governors use to fulfill these responsibilities. One such tool is the _______-_________ _________. This permits the governor to remove, or "blue-pencil," single line-item appropriations and initiatives from legislation without vetoing the entire bill.
___________ __________, however, is checked by the will of the majority on the supreme court when it comes to those convicts with past felon records whom the governor wishes to pardon or commutate.
There is wide ________ __________ that cabinet officials may choose to follow as implementation orders from the governor filter down through the respective bureaucracy. The ultimate "will" of the sitting governor through these independent entities is felt throughout the governance of the state.
Perhaps the most intangible assets, given the legacy of anti-governor feelings that date back as far as the colonial period, are the ________ __________ the governor wields. California governors have found that the ________ __________ associated with the office afford them a wide range of influence and control beyond their formal powers.
The most significant of the governor's informal powers is the ability to use the "________ _________" of the office to move policy in a particular direction. Governors have immediate access to the state and national media and have used this leverage to manipulate public opinion. This power, however, is a double-edged sword; Governors also serve as lightening rods for frustration in the state. Lackluster economic conditions, riots, even natural disasters are often laid at the feet of governors, reflected in poor job ratings and popularity polls. For example, Jerry Brown and the nickname "Lord of the Flies."
Like the vice president on the national level, the _________ ________ is next in line for succession should the governor become incapacitated, but the actual powers of the office are few. Eight states have no such constitutional office. The ___________ ___________ casts tie-breaking votes in the state senate, as the vice president must do in the U.S. Senate. Unlike the vice president, however, the ___________ __________ is able to exercise executive power by sitting in as the acting governor when the governor travels outside state boundaries.
The ________ __________ is the head of the Department of Justice and the state's chief law enforcement official. Under Article V, Section 13 of the Constitution of the State of California, the ________ __________ must ensure that all state laws are "uniformly and adequately enforced." As chief legal advisor, the ________ __________ represents the state in lawsuits, offers legal opinions to the legislature on pending bills, and prepares titles and summaries for circulated propositions. A.G. = aspiring governor.
The __________ is the state's chief fiscal officer and the overseer of government finance. In that role, the controller chairs the Franchise Tax Board (which collects state income tax), is a member of the Board of Equalization (which collects state sales tax), and is a member of the state Lands Commission. The __________ oversees the state payroll and has wide latitude in making sure state expenditures meet state law requirements. This once-sleepy outpost of the executive branch has recently been turned around as an electoral staging area for other offices.
The chief election officer and the state's guardian of documents and records. The office grants charters to corporations, incorporates nonprofit organizations, maintains the state archives, and is the keeper of the Great Seal of the State of California, which is affixed to all documents requiring the governor's signature.
Secretary of State
The ________ is the state's investment banker and the official in charge of maintaining the state's high credit rating. With an annual portfolio or more than $3 billion in state bonds, the __________ is a major force on Wall Street, although he or she remains relatively obscure to the citizens of California. The ___________ prepares the selling and redemption of state bonds (mainly to finance large infrastructure of securities and stock investments of public employee pension funds. Essentially, what the controller collects the ___________ invests.
The ________ __________ ________ __________ heads up the State Department of Education. In this role the _____________ is both and independently elected official and an administrator who implements the policies of the 10-member appointed board of education. Although most decisions about education rest at the local level, the State Department of Education is often involved in such areas as teacher credentialing, text approval, curriculum adoption, and state fiscal assistance to local school districts.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Unlike other statewide offices, which are provided by the constitution, the ________ __________'s position was created with the 1988 passage of Proposition 103. Voters added this office to oversee the operations, rate setting, and regulatory functioning of the State Department of Insurance. Prior to the passage of Proposition 103, the ___________ was appointed by the governor.
In addition to its eight constitutional officers, California voters elect the five members of the state ________ __________ _____________. The state controller has a seat on the board, and the others are elected from four districts, each consisting roughly one-fourth of the state's population. Two of the districts - one in coastal Northern California and the other in Los Angeles County - have a majority of Democratic voters. The other two are majority-Republican; one consisting of the Central Coast, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada region, and the other consisting of Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties. Despite the low political profile of this board, members wield a great amount of power in collecting state and local sales taxes as well as use taxes and excise taxes from the sale of gasoline, beverages, alcohol, and cigarettes. Another important function is to review and harmonize the tax assessments of California's 58 counties.
Board of Equalization
Working under the direction of the executive officers are the civil servants who do the work of government, from the clerks processing driver's licenses to Caltrains crews repairing freeways to the officers of the California Highway Patrol. This is the "face" of California government, embodied in the dedicated public employees comprising the state's ________ __________.
Administrative agencies are responsible for ____________, or developing the day-to-day rules for implementing state law. Only the legislature or initiative process can create laws, but statutes are written in a necessarily broad way, requiring agency interpretation during implementation.
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