Civics Today Unit 4

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Review the vocabulary for Unit 4 in "Civics Today"!

federal system

the sharing of power between the central and state governments

reserved powers

powers specifically reserved for the states

concurrent powers

powers shared by the state and national governments

grants-in-aid

money awarded for the states to help them pay for their programs

unicameral

one-part legislature

bicameral

two-part legislature

census

population count

apportioned

divided into districts

malapportionment

unequal representation

line-item veto

to veto only a specific part of a bill

commute

reduce a sentence

parole

an early release from prison

justice of the peace

judge in a local court

misdemeanors

less serious crimes

magistrate courts

courts that handle minor cases

civil cases

when a person or group takes legal action against another person or group

plaintiff

the person filing a lawsuit

defendants

people being sued

felonies

more serious crimes

incorporate

to receive a state charter, officially recognizing the government of a locality

city charter

a document granting power to a local government

home rule

allows cities to write their own charters, choose their own government type and manage their own affairs

ordinance

city law

strong-mayor system

where the mayor has strong executive powers

weak-mayor system

when the mayor's executive powers are limited

at-large elections

the way most city council members are elected

special district

a unit of government dealing with a specific function

metropolitan area

central city with the surrounding suburbs

suburbs

communities near or around larger cities

county

normally the largest territorial and political subdivision of a state

county seat

the town where the county courthouse is located

town

political unit larger than a village but smaller than a city

town meetings

meetings in which citizens make important decisions

townships

smaller than towns, but have similar governments

village

the smallest unit of local government

policies

set rules or guidelines they must follow when making decisions

public policy

the course of action the government takes in response to an issue or problem

planning commission

an advisory group with many different members

short-term plan

a policy meant to be carried out in the next few years

long-term plan

a policy meant to serve as a guide for many years to come

infrastructure

systems of roads, bridges, water and sewers

priorities

the most urgent goals

resources

money, people and materials available

master plan

a plan that sets goals and explains how they will be carried out

charter schools

schools receiving state funding, but are excused from meeting many public school regulations

tuition vouchers

program providing subsidies for education payments, allowing families the option of sending children to private schools

community policing

local police force visibly keeping the peace and patrolling neighborhoods

welfare

the health, prosperity and happiness of community members

environmentalism

protecting the environment

solid waste

garbage

landfills

where garbage is dumped

NIMBY

a saying meaning "not in my backyard"

toxic

poisonous

recycling

making new materials from old ones

conservation

preserving and protecting our natural resources

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