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Government of Alabama facts for kids

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Flag of Alabama
The flag of the state of Alabama

The government of Alabama is organized under the provisions of the 1901 Constitution of Alabama, which is the lengthiest constitution of any political entity in the world. Like other states within the United States, Alabama's government is divided into executive, judicial, and legislative branches.

Executive branch

The Alabama Executive branch consists of the Governor of Alabama, the Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, the Governor's Cabinet, several popularly elected executive officials, and the executive staff. The Cabinet consists of the heads of 25 different departments ranging from the Chief of Staff to the head of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Governor

The Governor is the chief executive of the state's government. He or she is responsible for upholding the Alabama Constitution and executing state law. The Governor is elected by popular election every four years. The constitution limits the governor to two consecutive terms, but there is no limit on the total number of terms one may serve, so long as no more than two are ever consecutive. George Wallace holds the record as the longest-serving governor in Alabama history with 16 years of service.

The governor also is commander-in-chief of the state's military forces, which consist of the Alabama Army National Guard and Alabama Air National Guard, which are part of the National Guard of the United States, together with the Alabama State Defense Force. As commander-in-chief, the governor may call out the state's military forces to preserve the public peace when it is not in active service of the United States. He may also call upon them to render aid during natural disasters or other times when he or she may deem their services to be required.

Like other U.S. governors, the governor of Alabama has the power to veto laws passed by the state legislature (see below). However, in contrast to the practice in most states (and the federal government) that requires the legislature to garner a two-thirds majority to override an executive veto, the Alabama constitution requires only a simple majority within both legislative houses to accomplish this. The governor also possesses the power to pardon convicted criminals, except in cases of impeachment.

At least once every legislative session, the governor is required to deliver an address to the Alabama Legislature, referred to as the "State of the State address." This address encompasses the condition and operation of the state government, and may also suggest new legislation for the legislature's consideration.

Seals of the Government of Alabama

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