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Government of Michigan

Michigan has a republican form of government with three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of Michigan and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch consisting of the House of Representatives and Senate; and the judicial branch consisting of the one court of justice. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.[1]


  • Executive branch 1
    • Departments 1.1
    • Other 1.2
  • Legislative branch 2
  • Judicial branch 3
  • Local government 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Executive branch

Michigan's elected executive officers are:[1]

For elected single person executives, term limits of 2 terms were put into place in 1993.[1] Since 1966, the Lieutenant Governor is elected with the Governor on the same ticket.[2] The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Michigan Senate[1] and acts as the governor when the Governor is unable to execute the office, including whenever the Governor leaves the state. The Governor has the powers and responsibilities to:

The Grand Tower in Lansing


The 1963 Constitution requires that all permanent agencies or commissions, except universities, be assigned to one of a maximum of twenty principal departments.[1] The principal departments are the:[3][4]

Type 1 agencies are under the under administration of the agency but operates independently of the principal department in caring out its function and in most cases created by a type 1 transfer.[5] Regulations are published in the Michigan Register (MR) and codified in the Michigan Administrative Code (MAC or AC).[6][7][8]


Michigan's state universities are immune from control by the legislature, many aspects of the executive branch, and cities in which they are located; but they are not immune from the authority of the courts. Some degree of political control is exercised as the legislature approves appropriations for the schools. Furthermore, the governor appoints the board of control of most state universities with the advice and consent of the state Senate. Only the board members of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University are chosen in general elections.

Legislative branch

The House Chamber of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing

The bicameral institution consisting of the Senate, the upper house, and the House of Representatives, the lower house. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. Legislative acts are published in the official Acts of the Legislature and codified in the Michigan Compiled Laws.[9] The Michigan Legislature meets in the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.

Judicial branch

The Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing

The court system consists of the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals as the intermediate appellate court, the circuit courts and district courts as the two primary trial courts, and several administrative courts and specialized courts. The Supreme Court administers all the courts. The Michigan Supreme Court consists of seven members who are elected on non-partisan ballots for staggered eight-year terms, while state appellate court judges are elected to terms of six years and vacancies are filled by an appointment by the governor, and circuit court and district court judges are elected to terms of six years.

Local government

Lansing City Hall

Michigan is largely divided in the same way as many other U.S. states, but is distinct in its usage of charter townships. Michigan ranks 13th among the fifty states in terms of the number of local governmental entities.

The state is divided into 83 counties, and further divided into 1,240 townships, 276 cities, and 257 villages. Additionally, the state consists of 553 school districts, 57 intermediate school districts, 14 planning and development regions, and over 300 special districts and authorities.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k
  2. ^
  3. ^ MCL 16.104
  4. ^ SOM - Executive Branch
  5. ^
  6. ^ Browne & VerBurg 1995, p. 349.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Michigan's System of Local Government, Michigan Manual 2005-2006, Chapter VIII, Introduction, pp. 715-718. Accessed 2007-05-15.

External links

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