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The Breakdown

Understanding all of the various roles candidates in our political hierarchy have and how that affects you can be tough. We've taken out the guesswork and made a simple list of the positions and what each is responsible for doing.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

NATIONAL LEVEL (UNITED STATES)

(435 national total; 14 MI total)

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Lawmakers who are elected from all 50 states who come together to make laws and pass the budget for the whole country.

(100 national total; 2 MI total)

U.S. SENATE

2 Senators from each of the 50 states are elected to pass laws and adopt the budget for the whole country.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

STATE LEVEL (MICHIGAN)

GOVERNOR/LT. GOVERNOR

Top executives for the State of Michigan. Signs off on laws passed by the State legislature and implements those laws.

SECRETARY OF STATE

Chief election officer. Oversees vehicle registration and licensing of drivers.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Chief law enforcement officer. Legal advisor to state gov.

(110 state total)

MI HOUSE OF REPS

Lawmakers who are elected from all over Michigan to make laws and pass the budget for the whole state.

(38 state total)

MI SENATE

Lawmakers who are elected from all over Michigan to make laws and pass the budget for the whole state.

OTHER STATE-WIDE POSITIONS

MI SUPREME COURT (7 total)
MI FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS (6 total)
WAYNE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES (9 total)
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES (8 total)
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN BOARD OF REGENTS (8 total)
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF GOVERNORS (8 total)

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

COUNTY LEVEL (WAYNE, OAKLAND, MACOMB, ETC.)

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Top executive for each County. Responsible for delivering county services, implementing county laws.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Legislators for the various Counties: adopts the budget and enacts ordinances.

CIRCUIT COURT

Circuit Court judges deal with larger civil cases, criminal cases (eg. drugs, violence), and family cases (eg. child custody, domestic violence, divorce).

PROBATE COURT

Probate judges deal with wills and estates - such as what happens when a homeowner dies without a will and there is a question about who now owns the house.

LOCAL LEVEL (CITY)

DISTRICT COURT

District court judges deal with traffic violations, landlord/tenant issues, lawsuits up to $25,000 and money disputes up to $6,000.

SCHOOL BOARD

Hires the Superintendent, establishes policies for the district, approves the budget, and determines facility needs.

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