The present constitution of Kentucky was adopted in 1891. It is the state’s fourth constitution, succeeding documents adopted in 1792, 1800, and 1850. To become law, proposed amendments to the constitution must be approved by at least three-fifths of the elected membership of each house of the state legislature and then must be approved by a popular majority in a statewide election. The constitution may also be revised by constitutional convention.
The governor, the chief executive officer of Kentucky, is elected to a four-year term. The governor may veto proposed legislation, but the state legislature can override a veto by a majority vote of the elected membership of each of its two houses. The governor appoints the adjutant general, the chief administrator, and leaders of the state’s 13 cabinets.
In addition to the governor, state officials elected to office include the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor of public accounts, commissioner of agriculture, and the three members of the Kentucky railroad commission. All are elected for four years and cannot succeed themselves.
The Kentucky state legislature, called the General Assembly, is made up of a 38-member Senate and a 100-member House of Representatives. State senators are elected to four-year terms and state representatives to two-year terms. The General Assembly convenes at Frankfort on the Tuesday after the first Monday in January in even-numbered years.
Regular sessions are limited to 60 legislative days. In addition, the governor is empowered to call special sessions. Kentucky’s supreme court is the highest court in the state. It consists of seven justices, each of whom is elected to an eight-year term from one of the state’s supreme court districts.
The chief justice is elected by the other justices for a term of four years. The clerk of the supreme court is elected by the voters of Kentucky and serves a four-year term. The next highest court is the court of appeals, with a chief justice and 13 associate justices, all elected to eight-year terms. Below the court of appeals are the circuit courts. The circuit court judges are also elected for terms of eight years. Below the circuit courts are the district courts. Judges of the district courts are elected for terms of four years.
As in a number of other Southern and border states, county government in Kentucky is largely the responsibility of the local judiciary. The chief governing body in each of the 120 counties is called the fiscal court. It is made up of either the county judge and justices of the peace elected in magisterial districts within the county or of the county judge and a board of three commissioners who are elected for four-year terms. The county judge serves as the chief executive officer in each county. Other county officials elected on a countywide basis are the county attorney, sheriff, coroner, clerk of the county court, county clerk, and tax commissioner.
Most of the municipalities in Kentucky have the mayor and city council form of government. However, some of the municipalities in the state are governed by a commission or by a council and city manager. Kentucky voters elect six members to the U. S. House of Representatives and two members to the U.S. Senate. The state has eight electoral votes in presidential elections. "Kentucky" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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