The Governing and Political Control of California

In a state that has the World’s 5th largest economy it is necessary that the institutions that control the budget and run the everyday services that control this mega-state are of the highest order. The current governor is Jerry Brown whose 14 years in office is the longest time ever served by a governor, and the State is controlled by the Democrat Party. The maximum time allowed to be served is actually two periods of four years, but his time in office has been split between his first 8 years being served from 1975 to 1983, and the current period which started from 2011.

Jerry Brown in control in California

The term limit was only implemented in 1990 so that meant being as Brown’s time was prior to this date he was able to serve again. The only other governor who served more than two terms in office was Earl Warren. He served for three consecutive terms from 1943 until 1953. The governors of California from the past have included famous household names including Ronald Regan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Regan as well as being an ex-Hollywood actor, is also the only Californian Governor who has gone on to become the president of the United States.

Schwarzenegger was only the second Governor who was born outside of the United States. In his early years he had an illustrious body building career winning the Mr Universe title at the age of 20. He then proceeded to become a star of Hollywood playing many leading rolls in top selling Hollywood movies. He became a household global name through playing the main character in the Terminator series of films. He served two terms in office as a Republican between 1903 and 1911 before returning to acting.

The Supreme Court in San Francisco

There are three branches to the government of California, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.  The Executive Branch as well as containing the Governor, also holds the other executive officers, The Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the State Controller, the State Treasurer, the Insurance Commissioner, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. These officers run the major government departments of the state and they are elected on a four-year cycle. These include health. Education, Finance, Insurance, Justice and Food and Agriculture.

The Legislative Branch consists of the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. The Assembly has 80 lower house members and the Senate has 40 upper house members. Members of the Assembly serve two-year terms while members of the Senate serve four-year terms. The Judiciary applies and interprets the laws of California with the Supreme Court being at the top of the pyramid. The Californian Supreme Court consists of the Chief justice of California and six Associate Justices.

Superior courts are where the main trials are held with Appeal Courts being used for contested decisions. The Supreme Court will then be used to listen to matters of habeas corpus, review decisions of the Appeal Courts and also implement the death penalty.

The governance of California is a massive institution. Considering the size of the State it needs to be in order for the State to run. Although currently controlled by the Democrat Party, the Republican Party have previously held power in California, and the State is never guaranteed to be solely in the hands of one party.