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New York Legislature and Georgia Legislature

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Abstract

It is worth mentioning that the American legislative system is divided into the federal and the state governments. The state governments are mandated with running the affairs of the respective state, including enacting laws and implementing them. Furthermore, these governments have legislative bodies whose role is to set legislations and make amendments to existing laws of the state. The paper analyzes the structures of the two legislative systems and discusses some similarities and differences between New York and Georgia. Notably, the states of New York and Georgia are among the most populated in the nation. The two states have legislative units that are bicameral. Both states have various similarities and distinctions in the way that the legislative units are designed and managed, apart from the representation capacity in both jurisdictions. For instance, the senates in the two systems are both led by a president while the other house is led by a speaker. The distinctions are in the number of members in the two legislative jurisdictions. Notably, Georgia has more members than New York.

Introduction

The American system is divided into the federal and state governments. The federal government has its set of legislations that are implemented in all the states. On the same note, the state governments have their laws too that are enacted by the relevant legislative bodies in the respective state. Each state has a legislature that enacts and amends the laws that govern the people in that jurisdiction. The discussion in this paper will be pegged on two states, New York and Georgia. The paper analyzes the structures of the two legislative systems and discusses some similarities and differences between the same. An annotated bibliography of literature that discusses the two systems will also be provided in the paper. From a critical point of view, the New York and Georgia legislatures are bicameral, but they have various differences when it comes to the composition of the houses and the kind of laws enacted.

The New York State Legislature

The legislature in the State of New York is divided into two chambers, the senate, and the assembly. The constitution of the state, however, does not have a proper term to refer to the two chambers together (Schneier, Murtaugh, & Pole, 2009). According to the constitution of New York, the legislative action in the jurisdiction is the duty of the two houses. The location of the State legislature is at the New York State Capitol in Albany. A president heads the state Senate, and the current acting president is John J. Flanagan, who is a Republican. Besides, the Lieutenant Governor of the state acts as the ex-officio president. However, his role is mostly on casting a tie-breaking vote when the two opposing sides tie. A speaker heads the assembly. The current speaker of New York assembly is Carl Heastie, a Democrat. The two houses also have a majority leader and minority leader who represent the interests of the opposing political camps. The political affiliations of the president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly signify the composition of the two houses. For instance, the majority of the members of the Senate are Republicans while the majority of the representatives in the Assembly are Democrats.

The New York state legislature enacts two kinds of laws, including the session laws and the permanent laws of New York (Zimmerman, 2008). The session laws are published in the official Laws of New York. The permanent laws are compiled in the consolidated laws of New York. The legislature is mandated to make all the laws in the state. However, the governor has veto power and can reject a bill when it is presented to him or her. Primarily, to counter this, the Senate may override the veto if there are more than two-thirds of the members who support the override of the veto power. The majority can also vote to have the constitution of the state reviewed or to have a referendum. The referendum is then taken to the voters who decide on the way to go through a vote.

The members of the New York State legislature hold office for not more than two years for every term. Elections for the representatives are held every November of an even year. One needs to be a citizen of America and must have lived in New York for more than five years. Furthermore, an individual needs to be a resident of one district of the state for not more than one year before the elections to vie for an elective position in the houses. The assembly is made up of 150 members while the Senate has around 63 members, but the number could fluctuate depending on circumstances.

The Georgia General Assembly

Just like in New York, the legislature in Georgia consists of two houses, namely the Senate and House of Representatives. All the legislation concerning the state of Georgia is done at the two houses, and both houses have equal powers, though in different capacities (Assembly, 2010). Each house has specific legislative concerns that it addresses. For instance, the Senate deals with vetting and confirming the appointments made by the governor for various positions in the state government. On the other hand, the House of Representatives is mandated with the formation of appropriation bills which are then taken to the governor to approve and sign into law. The two houses are located in Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The Senate is headed by a president, whose name is Casey Cagle, a Republican. A speaker leads the House. The current speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives is David Ralston, who is also a Republican as well.

The state legislature in Georgia holds at most 40 sessions in a year. During these sessions, the members discuss issues that affect the state and propose solutions to current problems. It is also important to note that none of the two houses can adjourn for more than three days in a single regular session. Further, all meetings of the representatives of the two chambers are always done at the State Capitol and are not allowed to hold the sittings at any other location.

The Senate in the state of Georgia is made up of 56 members while the House has 180 members. In essence, all the representatives are directly elected by the citizens, and one serves for a term of two years (Fleischmann & Pierannunzi, 2010). However, there are no restrictions concerning the number of times that one can vie for an elective position in the legislature. All these members are elected in their respective districts. For one to qualify for election as a senator in the state of Georgia, one needs to be a citizen of the United States and should be twenty-five years or older. Further, one needs to have lived in the state for not less than two years, and must also be a resident of the district that he or she wants to vie. For members of the House, one needs to be twenty-one year old and above to qualify for the election. During a session in the two chambers, the constitution of the state demands that there should be a minimum number of members so that house business can be conducted. If the quorum is not reached, the House adjourns, and the absent members may be compelled to show up in the next sitting.

Discussion of the Two Systems

Similarities

The two legislative systems represent the local jurisdiction of the respective authorities. In essence, the legislative actions in the two states directly affect the members of the state. Looking at the two systems, one notes that they have similarities in various areas. The two legislative units are both bicameral, meaning that they are divided into two chambers. Each of the houses is made up of a distinct number of people who perform specific duties as laid out in the constitutions of the two states. Also, one can note some similarity in the way the houses in the two states are managed. For instance, the Senates in both states are led by a president, while a speaker leads the other chamber. Apart from that, the two states hold the elections of their representatives after every two years, and the qualifications for election are also similar in both states.

Differences

In as much as the two states have similar legislative systems, they have notable differences as well. The system in the state of New York is divided into the senate and the assembly. However, in Georgia, the legislature is divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives. The representation is also not the same in the two states. One can observe that the state of New York has 150 members in the Assembly and 63 members of the Senate, while Georgia has 56 members in the Senate and 180 members of the House of Representatives. Perhaps this could be due to the differences in population in the two states. Another notable distinction in the two legislative systems is that the representatives in Georgia can seek reelection for an unlimited number of times, while in New York there is a limit.

Conclusion

The states of Georgia and New York have internal legislative systems that govern the enactment of laws that govern the people in the respective jurisdictions. The two systems are bicameral and have representatives from among the citizens of the states. Notably, the two systems have distinct similarities and distinctions.

Annotated Bibliography

Georgia General Assembly. (2010). Georgia general assembly-SB 386. Retrieved from http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/legislation-from-the-2010-general-assembly/L3fQhInXkyuRadDziwZBtN/ .
The source describes the general assembly of the state of Georgia. The author writes that the Assembly is bicameral, with two houses that perform distinct tasks as it is stipulated in the constitution of the state. The article states that the two houses are equal in power but have distinguished roles.

Fleischmann, A., & Pierannunzi, C. (2010). Politics in Georgia. University of Georgia Press.
The book discusses the politics of election in the state of Georgia. According to the book, the representatives in the state are elected by citizens of their respective districts. The book also gives the minimum qualifications that one needs to be elected as a senator or member of the House.

Schneier, E. V., Murtaugh, J. B., & Pole, A. (2009). New York politics: A tale of two states. ME Sharpe.
The source discusses the legislative action in the state of New York. It states that the state has a bicameral legislative authority that enacts all the laws of the state. The authors argue that the state of New York is one of the most populated in the country. As a result of this, there is usually heavy competition for the legislative seats.

Zimmerman, J. F. (2008). The Government and Politics of New York State. SUNY Press.
The book discusses the state of New York with regards to how the state government is and how it is run. The book states that the system in New York is an advanced one because the state is extremely developed. The laws that are enacted by the senate and assembly are meant to affect all the members of the state.

 

References

Fleischmann, A., & Pierannunzi, C. (2010). Politics in Georgia. University of Georgia Press.
Georgia General Assembly. (2010). Georgia general assembly-SB 386. Retrieved from http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/legislation-from-the-2010-general-assembly/L3fQhInXkyuRadDziwZBtN/
Schneier, E. V., Murtaugh, J. B., & Pole, A. (2009). New York politics: A tale of two states. ME Sharpe.
Zimmerman, J. F. (2008). The government and politics of New York State. SUNY Press.

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