Your State Government
In October of 1819, William King
led a group of people who met to create a State Constitution. In 1820, Maine
became the 23rd state in the nation as part of the Missouri Compromise.
Part of the constitution created Maine's government. The Maine
State Constitution states that the governing body of Maine shall
consist of three co-equal branches known as the Executive,
Legislative and Judicial
of Maine Government Executive
Enforce the Laws
Branch has the power to make laws. Maine's Legislature is
a bi-cameral Legislature made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
has 35 members who are elected every 2 years, and the House
has 151 members who are also elected every two years. In Maine, no Senator
or Representative may serve more than four consecutive terms. For a Bill
to become a law, it must pass through four steps in both the House of Representatives
and the Senate; 1st reading, 2nd reading, engrossment and then enactment.
If the House members vote to enact a bill, it is sent to the Senate for enactment
and then to the Governor to sign into law. The Governor may either approve
or veto any law. The Legislature however, can override a veto by a two-thirds
majority vote by members of both the Senate and the House.
Make the Laws
Interpret the Laws
Branch is responsible for execution of the laws created by the
legislature. This branch is headed by the Governor, whose powers include the ability
to call the Senate and House of Representatives into session and to either approve
or veto any bills that may be passed by these two branches of the legislature.
The Governor is elected every four years, and no individual may serve more than
two consecutive terms in this office.
has the power to interpret Maine laws. The Courts of Maine are
headed by the Supreme Judicial Court. This branch must also answer any requests
by either the Governor or the Legislature to issue an opinion on current laws
or pending bills. All judicial officers are appointed by the Governor and
serve a term of 7 years.
State of Maine has three Constitutional Officers
and one Statutory Officer. The three
Constitutional Officers are the Secretary of State, the
State Treasurer, and State Attorney General. The
Officer created by Maine Statute is the State
of State is responsible for keeping and preserving the records
of all official acts and proceedings of the Governor, the Senate, and the House
of Representatives. Among other duties, Maine's Secretary of State is also
charged with safegarding the Electoral process and protecting the motoring public
by promoting the safe use of Maine roadways. The Secretary of State is elected
by joint ballot of the Senators and Representatives in a convention and serves
for two years. The Secretary of State may not serve for more than 4 consecutive
is responsible for recording, collecting and investing all of the state's
money. The treasurer is elected by joint ballot of the Senators and Representatives
in a convention and serves for two years. The State Treasurer may not serve
for more than 4 consecutive terms.
Attorney General is the chief lawyer for the state. The Attorney
General represents the State of Maine and its many agencies in court cases.
Some of the areas investigated by the Attorney General are consumer fraud, suspicious
deaths, and other major crimes. The Attorney General is elected by joint
ballot of the Senators and Representatives in a convention and serves for two
years. The Attorney General may not serve for more than 4 consecutive terms.
Auditor is the chief officer charged with
examining all of the State's financial records and reporting the findings to the
Legislature each year. The State Auditor is elected by joint ballot
of the Senators and Representatives in a convention and serves
for four years. The State Auditor may not serve for more than 2 consecutive
For more information
on the powers of the different branches of the Maine Government, check out the