Discussion: Part I:
How does government function in Ohio?
Ohio’s State Government
models the government of the United
States. In Ohio, there are three Branches:
or makes the laws.In Ohio, this includes the
state Senate and House of Representatives, collectively called the Ohio General
Assembly. It also includes legislative agencies, or numerous committees and
commissions to oversee compliance and ethics.
Executive: Enforces the laws. In Ohio, this includes the Governor, Lieutenant
Governor, and the Governor’s cabinet. Other positions include: Secretary of
State, Auditor of State, Attorney General, Treasury of State and the State
Board of Education.
Judicial: Interprets the laws. The judicial branch
includes: the Ohio Supreme Court, Court of Claims and Court of Judiciary
bodies. These judiciary bodies include: county common pleas courts, municipal
courts and courts of appeal.
All positions in Ohio are
elected by the citizens of Ohio,
with the exception of the Governor’s Cabinet. People who serve in the
Governor’s Cabinet are appointed by the governor and usually run a variety of
state agencies. These people serve at the pleasure of the governor and can be
asked to leave at any time.
How is the system
listed above similar to the system used at the federal level?Our Governor represents which figure in Federal Government?
•Our Lieutenant Governor represents which figure in the
Federal Government? (The Vice President)
•There is the US Supreme Court and the Ohio Supreme Court.
How are they different? (The Ohio Supreme Court Justices are elected and the US
Supreme Court Justices are appointed.)
•The Ohio General Assembly is similar to what federal body?
**City or local governments can vary significantly. Find the
structure for your city, village or township. Present it to the class. Compare
how it is similar to State Government. In cities, the executive branch is
usually represented by a mayor. The legislative branch is usually represented
by city council. The judicial branch is usually made up of judges in municipal,
common pleas and/or county courts. We also have local police who help enforce
Discussion: Part II:
How can citizens participate in government and the legislative process?
It’s the voters and citizens that drive the legislative
process in Ohio.
If you look at the chart on how a bill becomes a law in Ohio, the very first step claims that the
legislator must become aware of the need for legislation. Students should
understand that they can be the ones to inform their leaders of a problem or
situation that may call for legislation. In order to make leaders aware of an
issue, they can do the following:
•Write a letter to their City Council, School Board, State
Representative, Senator or House Representative.
•Attend a City Council meeting and present your case
•Attend a School Board meeting and present your case
•Call an elected leader
Our elected officials are supposed to be the voice of the
people. We vote for them because we think they will represent our interests.
So, it is our responsibility to ask them to act on situations that we care
Another way to participate is to get an issue on the ballot.
If you have an interest in something in particular, such as a health issue,
chances are there are many other people who feel the same way. Often, people
come together in what is called an interest group. They want to advocate an
important issue, but they can not do it alone. This group of people will gather
signatures on a form called a petition. The people who sign the petition must
be registered voters. If enough signatures are collected and the signatures are
determined to be those of registered voters, then the issue brought forth will
appear on the ballot. If voters then vote to the pass the issue, it becomes a
What is a ballot?
A ballot is the form in which a vote is recorded.
What is a petition?
A petition is a formal request that is signed by people who agree with it and
is given to a person of authority.
The third way to participate in government and the
legislative process is to run for an elected office. This will mean that you
will always be able to contribute to the law- making process. You will vote to
pass laws that you may have helped create.
Most importantly, adult citizens can vote! Voting is a right
that people, including women and minorities, fought very hard to have. Citizens
are afforded this right when they reach eighteen years of age. At this point,
the government feels that you are old enough to make an informed decision.As an adult, it’s your responsibility to be
an active part of elections.
Discussion: Part III:
See what students know…
What is secondhand
smoke? Secondhand smoke is a
combination of the smoke that comes from the end of the cigarette that is
burning and the smoke that is breathed out by the smoker(s).
Who is affected by secondhand smoke? Everyone! It does not matter if you are young or old, healthy or
unhealthy, secondhand smoke can cause severe health problems.
Why is secondhand smoke dangerous? Secondhand smoke contains poisons. (In other words, it’s toxic) The
same harmful chemicals that are found in cigarettes can be found in secondhand
smoke. Breathing in this smoke can damage your health and also lead to certain
Other health effects besides cancer that secondhand smoke
Asthma attacks (for those with Asthma)
skin, nose and throat
What should people do to avoid secondhand smoke?
being around smokers. Do not allow smoking in your home, car or any other
not hang around people who smoke.
not go to restaurants or other public places where smoking is allowed.
What is being done?
banned in most public places.
•Ohio is one of 15 states to enact a full,
state-wide smoking ban. This issue was voted on in the November 2006 election.
The law went into effect December 7, 2006. This took the place of many
city-wide smoking bans. (State law supersedes city law.) This means that any
place with an employee is not allowed to have smokers indoors, with very few
exceptions to the rule.