Government of Michigan

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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.[1]

Executive branch[edit]

Michigan's elected executive officers are:[1]

For elected single person executives, term limits of 2 terms were put into place in 1993.[1] Elected with the Governor is the Lieutenant Governor.[citation needed] The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Michigan Senate[1] and acts as the governor when the Governor is unable to execute the office, including whenever the Governor leaves the state. The Governor has the powers and responsibilities to:

The Grand Tower in Lansing.

The State Board of Education is elected[1] every two years in groups of 2 for eight year terms.[citation needed] The Board of Education is one of a few commissions that head up departments, with the other commissions' members appointed by the governor. Also constitutionally created within the executive branch is the state transportation commission, director of the state transportation department, and civil rights commission. Regulations are published in the Michigan Register (MR) and codified in the Michigan Administrative Code (MAC or AC).[2][3][4]

Executive branch departments[edit]

The 1963 Constitution requires that all permanent agencies or commissions, except universities, be assigned to one of a maximum of twenty departments.[1] The Executive Branch of the State of Michigan has several Departments or agencies:[5]

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.[6]

Michigan universities[edit]

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.

Legislative branch[edit]

The House Chamber of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.

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 Acts of the Legislature and codified in the Michigan Compiled Laws.[7] The Michigan Legislature meets in the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.

Judicial branch[edit]

The Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing.

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.

Local government[edit]

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.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l MICHIGAN IN BRIEF: 1998–99 Chapter 2: About State Government. Public Sector Consultants, Inc. 1999. 
  2. ^ Browne & VerBurg 1995, p. 349.
  3. ^ Administrative Rules in Michigan: A Manual of Style and Procedures. Michigan Legislative Service Bureau. 2003. pp. 6–8. 
  4. ^ Koscielniak, Kimberly (January 2002). "Finding Michigan Agency Materials". Michigan Bar Journal 81 (1). 
  5. ^ SOM - Executive Branch
  6. ^ "T". Glossary. Michigan State Budget Office. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  7. ^ 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 Check |lccn= value (help). 
  8. ^ Michigan's System of Local Government, Michigan Manual 2005-2006, Chapter VIII, Introduction, pp. 715-718. Accessed 2007-05-15.

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