Your State Government

Executive Branch

The governor is the chief executive of the state. Governor Roy Cooper is one of 10 members of the executive branch who are popularly elected. The governor appoints department heads, who make up the Cabinet.

The Office of Administrative Hearings, the Office of the State Controller, and the State Board of Elections are three of the state's independent executive agencies. There are also well as over 50 licensing boards that regulate specific occupations.

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Judicial Branch

The North Carolina Constitution establishes the General Court of Justice to "constitute a unified judicial system for purposes of jurisdiction, operation, and administration, and shall consist of an Appellate Division, a Superior Court Division, and a District Court Division."  The Appellate Division consists of the Supreme Court, the state's highest court, and the 15-judge Court of Appeals. The Superior Courts are the general jurisdiction trial courts for the state. All felony criminal cases, civil cases involving more than $25,000 and misdemeanor, and infraction appeals from District Court are tried in Superior Court.

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Legislative Branch

The legislative arm of the state is the North Carolina General Assembly. They enact state-wide and local laws and establish rules and regulations governing the conduct of the people.

Like the federal government and almost all the other states, North Carolina has a bicameral legislature, consisting of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly meets in regular session ("Long Session") beginning in January of each odd-numbered year, and adjourns to reconvene the following even-numbered year for a shorter session ("Short Session"). 

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