SOL 8 (A,B) NOTES

Civics and Economics

CE.8 Study Guide

STANDARD CE.8A -- LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The structure and powers of the local government.

The units of local governments in Virginia are political subdivisions created by the General Assembly.

What are the units of local government in Virginia?

The units of local government in Virginia are counties, towns, and cities. Local governments exercise legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

Each Virginia county has an elected board of supervisors, which exercises legislative powers, enacting ordinances (local laws) and adopting an annual budget.

Each Virginia county and city has an elected or appointed school board, which oversees the operation of the K12 public schools in the county or city.

Each Virginia incorporated town has an elected town council, which exercises legislative powers, enacting ordinances and adopting an annual budget. A mayor is elected either by the voters or the town council members.

Each Virginia city has an elected city council, which exercises legislative powers, enacting ordinances and adopting an annual budget. A mayor is elected either by the voters or the city council members.

In Virginia counties, towns, and cities, a manager may be hired by the elected legislative branch to oversee the operations of the local government.

In every Virginia locality, state courts resolve judicial disputes. Judges of the circuit courts, district courts, juvenile and domestic relations courts, and small claims courts hear cases in each locality.

Which officials are locally elected?

The Virginia Constitution requires that voters in every locality elect a sheriff, a clerk of the circuit court, a commissioner of revenue, and a treasurer.

Which powers do local government exercise?

Virginia local governments exercise defined and limited powers, including the power to

enforce state and local laws

promote public health

protect public safety

educate children

protect the environment

regulate land use

levy and collect taxes.

STANDARD CE.8B -- LOCAL VS. STATE GOVERNMENT

The relationship of local government to the state government

The authority of local governments in Virginia is derived from the state.

What is the relationship between the state government and local governments in Virginia?

All powers of local governments in Virginia are given to them by the Constitution of Virginia and acts of the General Assembly.

Not all counties and cities are given the same powers. Cities have charters listing their powers.