The state government of Maryland, in consistency with most U.S. state governments, is divided into three principal branches: the executive, legislative and judicial. All three are charged with preserving, protecting and extending the rights guaranteed Maryland's citizens by the state constitution, and for working closely with all state county and municipal administrators.
Maryland's executive branch is headed by the governor, the state's chief officer. The governor is responsible for ensuring that laws are fairly executed, required appointments are made, military entities are overseen and that the state budget is presented to the legislature punctually each year. The legislature itself consists of a bicameral arrangement with 141 house representatives and 47 senators. This general assembly proposes, debates and passes all laws designed for the state's welfare.
The Maryland state judiciary is composed of a four-tiered system, including the district court, circuit courts, court of special appeals and court of appeals. Maryland courts decide issues of both criminal and civil law, and its judges decide individual cases based on state statutes, common law precedents and equity, depending on circumstance. The courts are supported by additional judicial offices, agencies and affiliated entities, including the state board of law examiners, the attorney grievance commission and judicial nominating commissions.