Utah’s constitution became effective in 1896, at the time of statehood. Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by two-thirds of the membership of each house or by a constitutional convention. To be adopted, proposed amendments must be approved by a majority of the voters in a general election.
The governor, the state’s chief executive officer, is elected for a four-year term. The governor is responsible for the preparation of the state budget and for appointing some of the state’s major administrative officials, although such appointments are generally subject to confirmation by the state senate. The governor also must approve various major appointments made by departmental directors, boards, or commissions. The governor may veto legislation or individual items of appropriations measures passed by the state legislature. The legislature can override a veto by a two-thirds vote of both houses. Other elected officials in the executive branch of the state government are the lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, and auditor. All are elected for four-year terms.
The state legislature of Utah consists of a 29-member Senate and a 75-member House of Representatives. Senators are elected for four-year terms and representatives for two-year terms. Regular sessions of the legislature are convened on the second Monday in January and are limited to 45 calendar days. The governor may call special sessions.
The judicial power of the state is vested in a state supreme court. The justices are elected on nonpartisan ballots for ten-year terms. The chief justice of the supreme court is the justice with the shortest remaining time to serve. The major trial courts in Utah are the district courts, the judges of which are elected on nonpartisan ballots for six-year terms. Courts of lesser jurisdiction include municipal courts, justice-of-the-peace courts, circuit courts, and juvenile courts.
Utah has 29 counties, each of which is governed by a three-member board of elected county commissioners. Other elected county officials include the sheriff, assessor, recorder, treasurer, clerk, attorney, and auditor. There are about 230 incorporated cities and towns in Utah. Most of the cities are governed under the mayor and council or council and manager form of municipal government. Most towns are administered by a town board. Utah elects two U.S. senators and three members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The state casts five electoral votes. "Utah" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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