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Constitution of Alabama


State capitol Montgomery Alabama.
State capitol Montgomery Alabama.

Alabama’s present constitution was adopted in 1901 and is the sixth constitution since 1819, the year of Alabama’s admission to the Union. To become law, a proposed amendment must receive a three-fifths majority vote in each house of the state legislature and then a majority vote of the electorate.

The executive branch of the state government is headed by a governor elected for a term of four years. Governors cannot hold any other state office or serve in the United States Senate during their terms as governor or for one year after their terms end. The governor may serve two consecutive terms. The governor may veto legislation and items in appropriation bills, but the veto may be overridden by a majority vote of the elected membership of each house of the legislature.

Other state executive officers include the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, treasurer, and commissioner of agriculture and industries. Each is elected for a four-year term and may serve consecutive terms.

Legislative and judicial powers


The state legislature consists of a Senate of 35 members and a House of Representatives of 105 members. Senators and representatives are elected for four-year terms. The legislature meets for an annual session of 30 legislative days.

The supreme court of Alabama is composed of a chief justice and eight associate justices. It hears appeals in criminal cases involving a prison sentence of more than 20 years and in civil cases involving more than $1,000. All other appeals are heard by a court of criminal appeals or a court of civil appeals. The major trial courts are the circuit courts. All judges are elected to six-year terms.

Each of Alabama’s 67 counties has a governing body that administers county affairs as prescribed by state law.

The principal officers in each county are the probate judge, sheriff, coroner, tax assessor, tax collector, clerk of the county court, superintendent of education, pensions and security director, health officials, and engineer.

Most towns and cities in the state have the mayor and council form of municipal government. However, many of the larger cities have the commission form of government, and a few communities are governed under the city manager form of government.

Alabama elects two U.S. senators and seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The state casts nine electoral votes in U.S. presidential elections. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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