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County Government

County Government

ALA NM Girls State is a weeklong experience, which lasts a lifetime. Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, this program teaches you the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship through a program of participation. At ALA NM Girls State you will become an active member of a mythical city, county, and political party. As such, you will vote in three elections – City, County and State, in which you may run for office, and you will actively participate in the government of your City, County, State, and party. In a week’s time, you will see most of the responsibilities of these offices executed.

Every ALA NM Girls State Citizen will have the opportunity to run for any office she wishes by simply filing a petition for candidacy. This provides each citizen the opportunity to run for the office she feels most qualified to fill and most interested in executing. For this reason these pages explaining the duties of each office are extremely important to you because you may determine the office you wish to run for before ALA NM Girls State begins. Note: you may run for a City and a County office or for City and State office, but not for a County and State office. It may be best to select two or three offices you’re interested in so that you can react objectively to the competition for these particular offices.

ALA NM Girls State begins with city government in action. By Monday afternoon all City Officials will be elected and by Monday night all City appointments will be made. Tuesday the County and State Primary Elections will be under way, and the County and Party Conventions will give each candidate an opportunity to speak. By bedtime Tuesday night the County and State Primary Election results will be in. Wednesday the Nationalist and Federalist Parties will be vying for top honors in the General Election, and by Wednesday all State and County Officials will be elected.

With the State of Officials completed, ALA NM Girls State will then begin the important work of government in action on all levels. Everyone may participate either as an elected or as an appointed Official. The enthusiasm you put in will determine how much you will get out of ALA NM Girls State. No ALA NM Girls State Citizen ever loses more than one election if she keeps up her enthusiasm and participates fully in all activities.

Acquaint yourself with the jobs of each of the Officials listed, and come to ALA NM Girls State prepared to participate completely. A copy of this document will be provided at session but you can also click here to download

Elected Officials

DISTRICT JUDGE – There are thirteen Judicial Districts in the thirty-three New Mexico counties with eighty-seven full time District Judges. At ALA NM Girls State there are only two districts and these are the same as the two counties in the jurisdiction. The District Court is a trial court of general, civil, and criminal jurisdiction and has broad powers in relation to the persons, subject matter, and disposition of cases referred to it. All first to fourth degree crimes are tried in this court. Appeals from this court go to the State Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court. At ALA NM Girls State a criminal or civil case is tried with a jury before the District Judge.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY – The District Attorney or assistant represents the State in legal matters involving the county. She acts as legal advisor to all county and precinct officers and acts as their council in case a suit is brought by or against such office. She represents all school boards in the County, and she has the authority to act if she believes that public money is about to be misapplied, withdrawn or withheld from the County Treasurer. In general, the office of the District Attorney acts as the lawyer for the County and its officers in all of their business. At ALA NM Girls State she represents the State in District Court action. For the purpose of ALA NM Girls State the runner up for this office in the general elections will become the Defense Attorney in the District Court proceedings.

MEMBER STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION – This Official visits all the schools in the District once a year and makes suggestions to the teachers and trustees of the school district. The board determines public school policy and vocational educational policy and has control, management, and direction of all public schools, pursuant to authority and powers provided by law. One member is elected from each ALA NM Girls State County and will participate in an educational review of the ALA NM Girls State program. 

COUNTY COMMISSIONER – The power of the County Commissioner is legislative, administrative, and supervisory in character. They include the levying of county taxes, the making and executing of the County budget, supervising the deposits and safekeeping of County funds. The managing of all properties of the County where no other provision is made by law, supervising the construction and maintenance of County roads, and supervising the carrying out of State laws within the County. At ALA NM Girls State the County Commissioner will participate in a county meeting.

COUNTY CLERK – This official maintains a record of all deeds, mortgages and other legal papers, and keeps these records open for public inspection. The Clerk issues marriage licenses, records certificates of marriage ceremonies and records certificates of births. She also serves as clerk to the Probate Judge and to the Board of County Commissioners plus oversees the primary and general elections. At ALA NM Girls State the County Clerk with participate in a county meeting.

COUNTY TREASURER – This official is the Chief Financial Officer of the County. She is required to keep an accurate account of all monies received and disbursed and to post bond to insure the faithful performance of her duties. She collects not only the taxes due to the County, but also those levied by the State and incorporated municipalities. The latter are disbursed according to law for County purposes. During ALA NM Girls State the County Treasurer will participate in a county meeting.

COUNTY SHERIFF – The Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Official of the County. In addition to enforcing State laws within her jurisdiction and protecting life and property of residents of the County, the Sheriff performs the following duties: summons persons wanted as witnesses or jury members and compels their attendance, carries out the orders of the District Court and executes its judgments, supervises the maintenance of the County jail and cares for prisoners. At ALA NM Girls State the County Sheriff will perform jury summons, witness subpoenas and act as the court bailiff during the District Court proceedings.

STATE SENATORS (14) – The Senators form the smaller of the two legislative bodies of the State. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. At ALA NM Girls State they will debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the House of Representatives. Each County elects 7 Senators. All participants of ALA NM Girls State will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their other duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session.

STATE REPRESENTATIVES (24) – The members of the House of Representatives form the larger of the two legislative bodies of the State. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. At ALA NM Girls State they will debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the Senate. Each County elects 12 Representatives. All participants of ALA NM Girls State will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their other duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session.

County Party Conventions - County Officials Elected & Appointed from the Floor

During county party convention meetings (Nationalist and Federalist party in the Lincoln and Washington County) the following positions will be elected from the floor. Anyone can run for these positions even if running for a county or state elected office or if holding a city position.

COUNTY PARTY CONVENTION CHAIRWOMAN – This official presides at the County Party Convention to keep candidates moving quickly through speeches.

COUNTY PARTY CONVENTION CLERK – This official keeps track of the County Party Convention taking notes and gives the record book to the County Counselor at the end of the Convention.

COUNTY PARTY CONVENTION TREASURER – This Official will use a deck of cards or another means to determine the order of speakers from the County-Party caucuses.

APPOINTED PLATFORM COMMITTEE – The County Party Convention Chairwoman will appoint five individuals to this committee. Members of this committee should not be candidates for the top six State positions. During the County Party Conventions this committee of five will begin the process of brainstorming planks for their party platform. These five committee members will be joined with five individuals from the other county during the Party Conventions to form a ten-person committee and finalize a platform for the party. This platform must be presented to the party as a whole during the Party Convention and voted to be accepted as the party's platform. 

Elected (from the floor) & Appointed Positions in the Senate and House

During ALA NM Girls State all delegates (attendees to ALANMGS) will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session. Those individuals that were not elected to a county or state office have the opportunity to apply for an appointed position in the Senate or House. If selected that individual would be required to stay in the Senate or House, where appointed, to fulfill their duties through all the meetings that day. Everyone at ALA NM Girls State will be required to take on an elected or appointed position during Government activities. More details will be provided during session on the appointed position process. 

PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE (Senate)  Elected by vote of the Senate members, from the majority party, the President Pro Tempore will preside as acting president of the Senate should the Senate President (Lt. Governor) be unavailable to preside over Senate proceedings. 

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE  Elected by the majority party of the House, from the members of the majority party of the House, the Speaker shall preside over the House of Representatives. 

CHAPLAIN – Each Legislative session is opened and closed with prayer by the Chaplain. The Chaplains will also be asked to give a prayer at the inaugural banquet.

CHIEF CLERK – The Chief Clerk shall be the official custodian of all bills, documents, papers, writings, and all other records of the Senate or House. She shall supervise the work of the Assistant Clerks. At every session, the Chief Clerk calls the roll and makes a record of the Senators and Representatives present, absent, or excused as provided by the rules. The Chief Clerk oversees the reading of all bills, amendments and resolutions and all papers ordered to be read by the Senate or House, or by the presiding officers thereof. With her assistants, the Chief Clerk keeps a correct journal of the proceedings of the Senate or House. Titles and numbers of bills and their disposition are carefully recorded and kept up to date. The Chief Clerk superintends all matters originating in their session (Senate/House), and the Chief Clerk notifies the corresponding body (Senate/House) of the action of their session on all matters originating from the corresponding body.

ASSISTANT CLERKS (2) – The Assistant Clerks assist the Chief Clerk in keeping accurate records of the bills by title and number and keep track of each bill’s particular disposition. They will also assist with reading any bill, amendment, or resolution of the House or Senate. Assistant Clerks will be in charge of making any edits to proposed legislation files for the Senate/House and ensuring approved legislation files are ready for review by the Governor.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – This Official aids in enforcing order on the floor of the Senate or House, in lobbies and galleries, and in the room adjoining the Legislature, and she also sees that no person remains on the floor unless entitled to the privileges of the Senate or House.  Whenever a message from the Governor or the other Legislative body arrives, it shall be the duty of the Sergeant-At-Arms to receive it, and announce its presence to the presiding officer.

PAGES (2) – Each Legislative body has two pages to assist the Senators or Representatives in the exchange of notes or other materials. Pages are summoned by a slightly raised hand. The Pages are also responsible for taking messages to the other Legislative body.

Appointed positions in District Court

ALA NM Girls State will hold a District Court during the afternoon session of the government activities. Due to timing only one trial will be held with both counties working together in the court proceedings. These positions will be appointed from the individuals not elected into a county or state position. As the trial runs at the same time as Senate/House sessions anyone appointed into positions in Senate/House will be unable to hold an appointment in the courts. Everyone at ALA NM Girls State will be required to take on an elected or appointed position during Government activities. More details will be provided during session on the appointed position process.

COURT REPORTER – The court reporter will record the proceedings of the District Court. Providing a final report with verdict to the Government Counselor following the trial. 

DEFENDANT – The defendant will bear testimony as needed and portray the accused during the mock trial proceedings.

WITNESSES (3-5) – The witnesses will bear testimony as needed in court to explain the story of the defendant's accusations. 

JURY (6) – The jury will listen to testimony and determine the verdict in the court proceedings.

    

 

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