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Constitution of Idaho


Capitole of Idaho
Capitole of Idaho

Idaho’s constitution was approved by the voters in November 1889, eight months before statehood. Amendments may be proposed by a two-thirds majority in each house of the state legislature or by a constitutional convention. To become law, all amendments must be approved by a majority of the voters.

Executive power


The state’s chief executive, the governor, is elected for a four-year term. The governor appoints most of the important nonelected state officials. The governor may veto proposed legislation and also specific items in appropriations measures. However, the legislature can override a governor’s veto by a two-thirds majority vote in each house. The other elected officials of the executive branch are the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction. They are also elected for four years.

The Idaho legislature consists of a 35-member Senate and a 70-member House of Representatives. Members of both houses are elected for two-year terms. The legislature convenes annually on the first Monday on or closest to January 9. Regular sessions of the state legislature last about 90 days. In addition, the governor is authorized to call special sessions of the legislature. The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate when it is in session. The speaker of the house, who is selected at a caucus of the majority party, presides over the House of Representatives.

The Supreme Court


The state’s highest court, the Supreme Court, consists of a chief justice and four associate justices. Each is elected for a six-year term. The justice with the shortest remaining term serves as chief justice. Judges of the next lower courts, the district courts, are elected for four-year terms.

The supreme court and the district courts hold sessions in a number of Idaho cities during the year. Magistrates are elected for four-year terms. Each county has at least one magistrate judge. Magistrates are appointed by a magistrate commission and stand for ballot approval by the general electorate every four years. An appeals court was established in 1981.

Each of the state’s 44 counties is governed by a board of three elected commissioners. The board has general supervision over all county affairs. Other elected county officials are the sheriff, assessor, coroner, prosecuting attorney, treasurer, and recorder. Idaho’s cities may have either the city manager or the mayor and council form of local government. "Idaho" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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