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Killeen City Council Chamber Texas House of Representatives Texas Senate Chamber Joint Session of Congress
Local Governing Entities
Bell County - Commissioners Court
The Statutory duties and responsibilities of county officials in Texas are numerous. County government's principal focus is on the judicial system, health and social service delivery, law enforcement, and road construction. The Commissioners Court is the governing body of the county. The Texas Constitution specifies that the court consists of a county judge and four county commissioners elected by the qualified voters of individual commissioners' precincts. Many state administrative responsibilities rest with the court. The Commissioners Court serves as both the legislative and executive branches of county government and has budgetary authority over all county departments, including those headed by other elected officials.
Copperas Cove - City Council
The city council shall have the responsibility and authority to review and approve or disapprove plats for subdivision, amended plats, re-subdivision, and vacated plats. All land within the city or its ETJ hereafter subdivided into lots, blocks, or other parcels, shall be laid out subject to review and approval by the city council with the exception of minor plats. All other subdivisions or plats are illegal and shall not be recognized by the city.
Killeen, Texas - City Council
All powers of the City of Killeen and the determination of all matters of policy shall be vested in the City council. Except where in conflict with and otherwise expressly provided by this charter the city council shall have all powers authorized to be exercised by the city council by Chapter 4 of Title 28, Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes, and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, now or hereafter enacted.
The Texas Legislature is comprised of two parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives, together with the state senate, constitute the Texas Legislature. The duties of the legislature include consideration of proposed laws and resolutions, consideration of proposed constitutional amendments for submission to the voters, and appropriation of all funds for the operation of state government. All bills for raising revenue considered by the legislature must originate in the house of representatives. The house alone can bring impeachment charges against a statewide officer, which charges must be tried by the senate.
Federal Legislative Entities
United States Senate
Comprised of 100 elected officials, the United States Senate represents one half of the U.S. Congress. Senators have argued over the generations that the Senate is also the “better half” of the nation’s legislative body. Sometimes referred to as the “upper house,” the Senate has maintained a tradition of behaving more stately than the House of Representatives (the so-called “lower house”) and prided itself in maintaining its decorum while carrying out its duties. Like the House, the Senate spends much of its time considering legislation and passing new laws. It also is responsible for other important duties not shared by the House, such as approving treaties with foreign governments, passing judgment on officials impeached by the House, and confirming appointments by the President to the U.S. Supreme Court, other federal judgeships and a huge array of political positions in federal agencies. This latter responsibility has been the subject of considerable debate and even antagonism during the administration of George W. Bush, whose conservative nominees to the federal bench were held up by Senate Democrats. Threats of “nuclear options” by Senate Republicans wreaked havoc on the normally staid affairs of the upper house. The Senate’s pride for proper behavior also took a hit when one of its longest serving members was indicted, and then convicted, on federal charges of concealing gifts from a lobbyist, marking the first time in almost three decades that a senator was convicted of breaking the law.
United States House of Representatives
One half of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives is the “lower house” of the legislative branch of the federal government. Made up of 435 members, the House provides representation based on population, giving more clout to larger states. The primary duty of the House is to adopt legislation that changes federal law. But it also performs several other key functions. The authority to initiate tax increases or spending proposals rests with the House, along with the power to elect the President in case of a tie in the Electoral College. However, there is not a direct vote for President. Instead, each state is given one vote, no matter how many representatives it has. Impeachment proceedings also begin in the House, which decides whether the President or other federal officials should be indicted and tried by the Senate. In controlling the “purse strings” of Congress, the House often is criticized for wasteful spending, especially on “pork” projects that benefit constituents in representatives’ districts. Members of the House have also been known to get into serious scandals and controversies involving bribery and prostitution, among other troubles.