California’s first state constitution was ratified by popular vote in November 1849, almost a year before statehood. The second and present constitution was adopted in 1879. An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by the legislature, voter initiative, or a constitutional convention. To be ratified, it must be approved by a majority of the people voting on the issue in an election.
The state’s chief executive, the governor, is elected for a four-year term. The governor appoints some of the state officials and is responsible for the preparation of the state budget. The governor may veto legislation, but the state legislature can override the veto by a vote of two-thirds of the elected membership of each legislative house. The governor may also veto or reduce individual items in appropriations bills. The other elected officials of the executive branch are the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, controller, superintendent of public instruction, insurance commissioner, and the four members of the board of equalization. All are elected to serve four-year terms.
The California legislature is made up of a Senate and an Assembly. State senators are elected to four-year terms and members of the assembly to two-year terms. California’s legislature convenes for one of the longest terms of any state legislature. Sessions begin on the first Monday in December of each even-numbered year and last until the end of November in the next even-numbered year. The governor may also call for a special session of the legislature. California’s citizens can pass laws directly or through their power of initiative, or they can prevent a law from being enacted by calling for a referendum.
The Supreme Court, the highest state court, is made up of a chief justice and associate justices. Supreme court justices, as well as the justices of the state’s district courts of appeal, serve 12-year terms.
Other signs of volcanic activity, including cinder cones, lava flows, lava tube caves, pit craters, and steam vents, can be found in Lava Beds National Monument, near the Oregon border, and in the Mammoth Mountain area of the eastern Sierra Nevada. Devils Postpile National Monument, also near Mammoth Mountain, contains lava columns up to 18 m (60 ft) high, and Pinnacles National Monument, in the Diablo Range, has rock spires, caves, and a variety of volcanic features.
They are initially appointed by the governor with the approval of the commission on judicial appointments, and at the expiration of their terms they can run unopposed for election to another term. In addition to these appellate courts, California has superior courts, municipal courts, and various lower courts, with judges elected to six-year terms.
Most of the 58 counties in California are governed by a board of supervisors whose members are elected to four-year terms. Most of the municipalities have the council and city manager form of government. California elects two U.S. senators and 53 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The state casts 55 electoral votes in presidential elections. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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