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Constitutional branches of the State of California Essay

The Structure and Functions of Arms of Government State of California

The state of California has one of the greatest forms of governments around the world. The structure of its government enables the civil servants to provide service to the citizens diligently. The intention of this paper is to provide an in-depth discussion of the structure, functions and economic expenses of each department not forgetting the objectives of the same arms of the government (DeBow & Syer 34).

Composition of the Government

The California state has a constitution that governs all its operations in the government operation. The constitution divides governmental powers into three branches. The executive arm of the government is responsible for enforcing the laws of the state while the legislature is responsible for making the laws (Janiskee & Masugi 56).

On the other hand, the judiciary is responsible for implementing the law. The executive arm of the government is made up of twelve elected members plus other departments and many agencies. The legislative arm of the government composes of the senate, agencies which support the congress and the House of Representatives. The judicial branch comprises of the Supreme Court, Special Courts, Lower Courts and organizations that support the courts. These courts determine all cases that arise in the state under the law.

Legislative Branch of Government

As discussed above the legislative branch of the California state comprises of the senate, the House of Representatives, and the agencies that offer support to the congress. The senate president heads the senate while the speaker heads the House of Representatives.

Legislators are elected to their positions by district (League of Women Voters of California 78). One member comes from every district. The law allows eighty assembly districts and forty senate districts. The speaker who controls all the activities during the session heads this arm of the government.

The mission of this department is to make laws that govern the state. It proposes laws in every field of the state to enable it run efficiently. It works to provide the structures that enable smooth running of the nation. It offers chance to people with skills to come up with structural forms of laws in the government. They work closely with the executive to get reliable information to create concrete laws in the nation.

The legislature has an obligation of making laws that govern the land every year. In this regard, it is possible for the country to get enough regulations its daily dealings (Ross 97). The main goal of the legislature is to ensure that there are sufficient laws to protect its citizens.

Executive branch

Executive branch of California State comprises of twelve elected officials who lead the executive branch. They include the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, state controller, public superintend instructor, insurance commissioner and a four member Board of Equalization.

The governor and the lieutenant general can be elected from different parties in California. The governor is the most superior person among the members of the executive. People of California elect the governor being the top of leader to this position. Any person who wishes to become a senator must be a Californian citizen and should be of 18years and above. After the election, the governor serves a four-year term and not more than two terms in the office (League of Women Voters of California 96).

The executive department is greatly dedicated to enforce the laws that the legislature makes. The full mission of this department is to ensure that the laws are clearly outlined and implemented as stipulated in the constitution. This arm of the government works closely with the legislature to give it important information to guide it during legislation process.

The executive arm in California has the obligation to implement the all the laws. The laws are set to protect the citizens.

Judicial arm of the government

The judiciary comprises of a system of courts ranging from the Supreme Court to the inferior courts. The judiciary in California safeguards the liberty of people and their property under the constitution. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Californian judicial services. A decision made by the Supreme Court cannot be reversed by any other court; it is the final decision maker.

The congress has power to fix the required number of judges to sit in the Supreme Court. It is the mandate of the congress to decide the nature of cases that should be determined by this court and set its limits. To this effect, the congress cannot change powers given to the court through the constitution (Morgenthau 78).

The mission of the judicial arm of the government is to ensure prompt and just adjudication of every case and to improve civic confidence in the courts (Janiskee & Masugi 97). It is also to its obligation to make the court system accessible to enable better communication and education of the public on their rights and freedom.

This is to enforce law defending the interests of California in accordance with the law; to ensure civic safety against domestic and foreign threats; to grant leadership controlling and preventing crime; to seek fair punishment for those responsible for unlawful acts and to ensure impartial and fair justice administration for all Californians.

The judicial system in California has set up its goals. First, it has to ensure all cases are determined justly and without favors. It is also the purpose of the judiciary to interpret the law and apply according to the eligibility of the constitution. The court system has the role in educating the citizens on their rights and freedoms while justly applying the laws according to the constitution.

Budget Analysis of the Government


California legislature is approximately a full-time organ. The legislatures receive their salary annually and reimbursements on daily basis. Reimbursements cover their living and travelling expenses to sustain them during their duties. The California citizens Compensation Commission determine legislators’ salary.

For example in 1992, the state legislature received $52,500. Minority and majority floor leaders received $57,750 while the senate president and the speaker of the assembly received $6300. Allowances for the legislatures stood at $100 in one day on state business in Sacramento although a special request could be made for official time spent outside the same city (Morgenthau 100).

Every legislature received $5,400 as postage allowance. They were also entitled to retirement benefits after twenty-one years of service or at the age of 60 years. The pension in this context could not exceed two thirds of the legislator’s salary at the time of service.


The judicial branch process one hundred and eighty payrolls every year this totals to $146 million. The appellate courts process 102,000 vendor invoices. This makes up to $280 million every year. The budget oversight management that offer support to the judicial branch provides it with $3.7 billion as its s budget.

This sum of money is given to the judiciary to enable it run smoothly. The judiciary also gets its funds from collection of fines from offenders (Morgenthau 1002). The funds provide to the judiciary is used to pay the judges and clerks who work in different courts. Attorney general also a member of the judiciary earned $102,000.


In the year 1992, the following state officers received their salaries as follows: governor $120,000, secretary of state $90,000, state controller $90,000, treasurer $90, 00 and the Board Member of Equalizer $95,052 (DeBow & Syer 80). This amount of money is just too much for the state. It is possible for the legislature to regulate this type of pay to the state officers.


Due to the huge amounts of money, the state officers offer themselves to serve the nation it has brought a great deficit in the government’s budget currently. The executive report on the budget indicates that the state is generally having problems in its current budget 2010-2011. It is clear that it has a shortage of $20.7 billion between this time and when the budget will be in action.

The budget also indicates a deficit of balance of $6.3 billion bought forward from 2009-2010 not to forget $14.4billion breach between projected income and expenses in 2010-2011 (Ross 105). This large short fall requires painful options in addition to the difficult options the legislature made earlier this year.

The legislature basing on the above report has more challenges to address in order to reduce the deficit to a required level. It should look at new remunerations to offer the employees to the state. The judiciary has the largest opportunity to improve its income due to collection of fines from defaulters.

Works Cited

DeBow, Ken., & Syer, John. Power and politics in California. California: San Francisco, CA, 2009. Print.

Janiskee, Brian. & Masugi, Ken. Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State. California: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. Print.

League of Women Voters of California. Guide to California Government, Chapter 6. 14th Edition, California: League of Women Voters of California, 1992. Print.

Morgenthau, Hans. Politics Among Nations. New York: MacMillan publishers, 2008. Print.

Ross, Michael. California, its government and politics. Chicago: Harvard publishers, 2000. Print.

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