There are three levels of government and within those three levels there are three branches of government. 

 

The three levels of government are: Local, State and Federal
 

 The three branches of government are: Executive, Legislative and Judicial
 

Local:

Executive: Mayor
Legislative: City Council

Judicial: Circuit & County Judges
 

State:

Executive: Governor and Cabinet

Legislative: State Senators & Representatives (State Legislators)

Judicial: District Court of Appeals, Appellate Court and FL Supreme Court
 

Federal:

Executive: President

Legislative: US Senators and US Representatives (Congress)
Judicial: Supreme Court

 

LOCAL– EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Mayor

The Mayor is Jacksonville's chief executive. The Mayor is elected to a four-year term and may serve two consecutive full terms. The Mayor administers, supervises and controls all departments and division of the executive branch except those headed by other elected officials. He prepares and submits an annual budget the City Council.

 

LOCAL– LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

City Council

The City Council is an elected body consisting of 19 members, one elected from each of the 14 City Council districts and five members that serve on an at-large basis. The Council passes ordinances (city laws), resolutions and has authority over budgets of the general government and independent agencies. Duval County does not have a County Commission because we are a consolidated government (city/county). Learn more about consolidation here.


 

LOCAL– JUDICIAL BRANCH

Duval Courts

Circuit Courts are courts of general jurisdiction in all actions that cannot be brought before County Courts. Circuit Courts have exclusive jurisdiction in all actions of law not vested in county courts, including all civil actions involving $2,500 or more. There are currently 30 judges on the Circuit Court, who are elected for staggered six-year terms.

County Court is the trial court of limited jurisdiction. They have original jurisdiction of all criminal misdemeanors cases not within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, of all violations of ordinances and cases in which the matter does not exceed $15,000. There are thirteen judges sitting on the County Court who are elected for staggered four-year terms.
 

STATE – EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Florida Cabinet

The Executive branch is the law-administering and law-enforcing branch of the government that consists of the Governor and six independently elected cabinet members. The Governor is elected for a four-year term and may serve two terms in succession. The Lieutenant Governor is elected as running mate of the Governor. Members of the Cabinet are elected to four-year terms and may succeed themselves for any number of terms. All of the many agencies and departments that are responsible for program in the Florida State Government are also part of the Executive Branch.

 

STATE – LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
Legislature

The Legislative branch is the law-making branch, (Florida Statutes), and is composed of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Legislature meets for a regular 60 day session each year. There may also be special or extended sessions if necessary. The Senate and House affect every Floridian's life through legislation relating to how cities and counties operate, appointment of state offices, to budgetary and tax matters.

 


The Senate has 40 members. All Senators are elected to a four-year term. Half of the Senate Members are elected for staggered two years terms. Senate districts are based on population with each Senator representing approximately the same number of residents.


The House of Representatives has 120 Members. All are elected every two years to a two-year term during general elections held in even numbered years. House districts are based on population with each Representative representing approximately the same number of residents.

 

STATE – JUDICIAL BRANCH

Florida Courts

The Judicial branch is the law-interpreting branch. Its powers are exercised primarily through courts established by the State Constitution. Florida's judicial branch consists of a series of courts with differing levels of authority and jurisdictions.

Supreme Court 

This highest of state courts consists of seven members, each appointed by the governor, and confirmed by a vote of the people at the next general election. Each is appointed for a six-year term. Justices select one of their own to be chief justice for a two-year term.

District Court of Appeals 

The state has five appellate districts. More than 50 judges sit on the five appeals courts, each elected to six-year staggered terms. They have jurisdiction of all appeals not directly appealable to the Supreme Court or to a circuit court.
 

Circuit Court 

The Circuit Court is the state's highest trial court, an one with the most general jurisdiction. The state is divided into 20 judicial circuits and circuit judges are elected to six-ear terms. In each circuit the judges choose from among themselves a chief judge of that circuit. Circuit courts have exclusive original jurisdiction in all actions of law not vested in county courts, including all civil actions involving $2,500 or more.

County Court 

At least one county court judge is specified for each county and is elected to a four-year term. County courts handled misdemeanor cases over which the circuit court has no authority, violations of municipal ordinances, and civil actions involving less than $2,5000.
 

FEDERAL – EXECUTIVE BRANCH

The executive branch of the federal government is responsible for executing and enforcing the laws of the land. The power of the executive branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also serves as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President is assisted by the Vice President, the White House offices that make up the Executive Office of the President, and the President's Cabinet. The Cabinet members oversee the major Executive Departments and Agencies of the federal government. In addition, the President is assisted by the heads of Independent Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration and many others; by Boards and Commissions.
 

FEDERAL– LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Senate and House

The legislative branch of the federal government consists of the Congress, which is divided into two chambers: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Each member of Congress is elected by the people of his or her state. The House of Representatives, with membership based on state populations, has 435 seats, while the Senate, with two members from each state, has 100 seats. Members of the House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms, and Senators are elected for six-year terms. Agencies that provide support services for the Congress are also part of the legislative branch.

 

FEDERAL– JUDICIAL BRANCH
US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and such number of Associate Justices as may be fixed by Congress. The number of Associate Justices is currently fixed at eight (28 U. S. C. §1), for a total of 9. Power to nominate the Justices is vested in the President of the United States, and appointments are made with the advice and consent ofthe Senate. Article III, §1, of the Constitution further provides that '[t]he Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.'