Unit 5: Structure, Powers, and Lawmaking in Local Government
(Source: barroncounty.com)

Click on the links to see the study maps that match the content of the SOLs or read the outline below the SOL.
Virginia Standard of Learning CE. 7: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the American constitutional government at the state level by:
a) describing the structure and powers of the state government. (3 branches) Virginia's Branches
b) explaining the relationship of state government to national government.
  • The Constitution of the United States of America establishes the principle of federalism, which is the division of power between the states and the national government.
  • The expansion of the national government’s powers into areas traditionally reserved to the states has altered the relationship of states to the national government.

Primary responsibilities of each level of government
  • National: Conducts foreign policy, regulates commerce, and provides for the common defense
  • State: Promotes public health, safety, and welfare
Tensions exist when federal mandates require state actions without adequate funding.

(Source: mrberlin.com)

c) explaining and / or simulating the lawmaking process at the state level.

(Source: legis.state.va.us)

The following link shows a booklet about the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia G.A.

d) describing the roles and powers of the executive branch (state) and regulatory boards.

Virginia Standard of Learning CE. 8: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the American constitutional government at the local level by:
a) describing the structure and powers of the local government
b) explaining the relationship of local government to state government.
c) explaining and / or simulating the lawmaking process.

Virginia Standard of Learning CE. 9: The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local level by:
c) describing the impact of international issues and events on local decision making.

Unit 5 Vocabulary:
General Assembly: Lawmaking body of Virginia’s government

Governor: chief executive of Virginia’s government

Federalism: principle of government dividing power between the states and the national government

Line item veto: power of the governor to reject an item in a bill

Ordinance: rule or law

Referendum: process by which a law proposed or passed by state legislature is referred to the voters to approve or reject

What is State Government in Virginia?
General Assembly (Legislative Branch)
The Virginia General Assembly dates from the establishment of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown in 1619. It is heralded by Virginians as the "oldest continuous law-making body in the New World."

The 1776 Virginia Constitution confirmed our bicameral legislature, which consists of the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia. The present state Constitution, adopted in 1970, provides that the House of Delegates shall consist of 90 to 100 members and the Senate shall consist of 33 to 40 members. All members of the General Assembly are elected by qualified voters within their respective House and Senate districts. The terms of office are two years for members of the House and four years for members of the Senate. Members may not hold any other public office during their term of office.

The General Assembly's chief responsibilities are to represent citizens in the formulation of public policy, enact laws of the Commonwealth, approve the budget, levy taxes, elect judges and confirm appointments by the Governor.
(Source: va.gov)
Governor (Executive Branch)
  • The executive branch of government has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. It is not supposed to make laws (the role of the legislature), or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). While the legislative and executive branches often work together on shaping proposed legislation, the role of the executive branch is to enforce the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judicial system.
    As chief executive, the governor has extensive financial control, broad powers of appointment, and authority over the entire organization and administration of the executive branch. With ready access to the public, the governor has extensive opportunity to focus attention on operations or proposals and to influence public opinion. (va.gov)


What is Local Government in Virginia?


Local governments generally include two tiers: counties and municipalities, or cities and towns. Municipal governments are generally organized around a population center and in most cases correspond to the geographical designations used by the United States Census Bureau for reporting of housing and population statistics. Municipalities generally take responsibility for parks and recreation services, police and fire departments, housing services, emergency medical services, municipal courts, transportation services (including public transportation), and public works (streets, sewers, snow removal, signage, etc).
(Source: va.gov)



Review Activities and Games:
1. Flash cards for CE7: Cards
2. Study Guide for State & Local Government: State/Local
3. Federal System of Government: Federal
4. Civics Match Up; National and Virginia Government: VA and National
5. CE 7 Matching: Matching
6. Federal and State Governments Walk Plank Plank