Government of Michigan
Michigan has a republican form of government with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of Michigan and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the House of Representatives and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the one court of justice. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.
Michigan's executive branch is headed by the Governor. Elected with the Governor is the Lieutenant Governor. Other constitutional elected executives are Attorney General and Secretary of State. The State Board of Education is elected every two years in groups of 2 for eight year terms. The Board of Education is one of a few commissions that head up departments, with the other commissions' members appointed by the governor. For elected single person executives, term limits of 2 terms were put into place in 1993.
The Governor has the powers and responsibilities to:
- sign or veto laws passed by the Legislature, including a line item veto
- reorganize state executive government agencies and departments
- appoints, with advice and consent of the Senate, and oversees most department heads
- appoints judges, subject to ratification by the electorate
- appoints members of boards and commissions
- propose a state budget
- give the annual State of the State address
- sue other executives to comply with the law
- command the state militia
- and grant pardons for any crime, except cases involving impeachment by the Legislature.
The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Michigan Senate and acts as the governor when the Governor is unable to execute the office, including whenever the Governor leaves the state.
Also constitutionally created within the executive branch is the state transportation commission, director of the state transportation department, civil rights commission, a state treasurer and principal departments headed by the state treasurer, Attorney General and Secretary of State.
Executive branch departments
The 1963 Constitution requires that all permanent agencies or commissions, except universities, be assigned to one of a maximum of twenty departments. The Executive Branch of the State of Michigan has several Departments or agencies:
- Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
- Department of the Attorney General
- Michigan Department of Civil Rights
- Michigan Department of Community Health
- Michigan Department of Corrections
- Michigan Department of Education
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
- Michigan Department of Human Services
- Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
- Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
- Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- Department of State (Secretary of State)
- Michigan Department of State Police
- Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget
- Michigan Department of Transportation
- Michigan Department of Treasury
Type 1 agency are under the under administration of the agency but operates independently of the principal department in caring out its function and in most cases created by a type 1 transfer.
Michigan's state universities are immune from control by the legislature, many aspects of the executive branch, and cities in which they are located; but they are not immune from the authority of the courts. Some degree of political control is exercised as the legislature approves appropriations for the schools. Furthermore, the governor appoints the board of control of most state universities with the advice and consent of the state Senate. Only the board members of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University are chosen in general elections.
The Michigan Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is organized as a bicameral institution consisting of the Senate, the upper house, and the House of Representatives, the lower house. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. Legislative acts are published in the official Public and Local Acts of the Legislature of the State of Michigan and codified in the Michigan Compiled Laws. The Michigan Legislature meets in the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.
The Michigan Court System consists of two courts with primary jurisdiction, one intermediate level appellate court, and a supreme court. There are several administrative courts and specialized courts.
The two primary courts are the District Court and the Circuit Court. The District Court hears cases involving less serious criminal offenses, while the Circuit Court hears the more serious criminal cases. In addition the Circuit Court is the appellate court for cases heard in the District Courts.
The Court of Appeals hears all appeals from the District Courts and the other lower level courts.
The Supreme Court hears appeals from the Court of Appeals and administers all of the courts.
Michigan is largely divided in the same way as many other U.S. states, but is distinct in its usage of charter townships. Michigan ranks 13th among the fifty states in terms of the number of local governmental entities.
The state is divided into 83 counties, and further divided into 1,240 townships, 276 cities, and 257 villages. Additionally, the state consists of 553 school districts, 57 intermediate school districts, 14 planning and development regions, and over 300 special districts and authorities.
- MICHIGAN IN BRIEF: 1998–99 Chapter 2: About State Government. Public Sector Consultants, Inc. 1999.
- Browne & VerBurg 1995, p. 349.
- Administrative Rules in Michigan: A Manual of Style and Procedures. Michigan Legislative Service Bureau. 2003. pp. 6–8.
- Koscielniak, Kimberly (January 2002). "Finding Michigan Agency Materials". Michigan Bar Journal 81 (1).
- SOM - Executive Branch
- "T". Glossary. Michigan State Budget Office. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- Browne, William P.; VerBurg, Kenneth (1995). Michigan Politics and Government: Facing Change in a Complex State. Politics and Governments of the American States. University of Nebraska Press. p. 349. ISBN 0-8032-6088-1. LCCN 94-18928.
- Michigan's System of Local Government, Michigan Manual 2005-2006, Chapter VIII, Introduction, pp. 715-718. Accessed 2007-05-15.