Chapter 3

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Article 159

The States are politically equal and autonomous organs with full juridical personality, and are obligated to maintain the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the nation and to comply with and enforce the Constitution and the laws of the Republic.

Article 160

The government and administration of each State corresponds to a Governor [masculine] or Governor [feminine]. To be governor [masculine] or Governor [feminine] it is required to be Venezuelan [masculine] or Venezuelan [feminine], greater than twenty- five years old and of secular estate. The Governor [masculine] or Governor [feminine] will be elected for a period of four years by the majority of the persons that vote. the Governor [masculine] or Governor [feminine] may be re-elected.

Article 161

Governors shall give a yearly public accounting to the State Comptroller for their office, and shall submit a report on the same to the Legislative Council and the Public Policy Planning and Coordination Council. Subsidiary unit government

Article 162

The Legislative Power is exercised in each State by a Legislative Council composed of a number of not greater than fifteen nor less than seven members, who proportionally represent the population of the State and the Municipalities. The Legislative Council has the following attributions:

  1. To legislate concerning matters of State competence.
  2. To approve the Law of the Budget of the State.
  3. The others that the Constitution and the law establish. The obligation[s] of [an] annual rendering of accounts and privilege [inmunidad] in their territorial jurisdiction [are] requirements to be a member of the Legislative Council, governed by the norms that the Constitution establishes for the deputies [masculine] and deputies [feminine] of the National Assembly, in what is applicable. The state legislator [masculine] and legislator [feminine] will be elected for a period of four years, and may be re-elected. The national law will regulate the regime of organization and the function of the Legislative Council.

Article 163

Each State shall have a Comptroller’s Office which shall enjoy structural and operating autonomy. The State Comptroller’s Office shall exercise, in accordance with this Constitution and in accordance with law, control, vigilance and auditing authority over state revenues, expenses and assets, without prejudice to the scope of the functions of the Office of the General Comptroller of the Republic. This body shall act under the direction and responsibility of a Comptroller, whose qualifications to serve in this position shall be determined by law, guaranteeing his capability and independence, as well as the neutrality of his appointment, which shall be by public competition. Subsidiary unit government

Article 164

Is of the States exclusive competence:

  1. Promulgating their Constitution to organize public authority, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
  2. Organization of their Municipalities and other local organs and the territorial and political divisions between them, in accordance with this Constitution and in accordance with law.
  3. Management of their assets and investment and management of their resources, including those deriving from transfers, subsidies or special assuagements from National Power, and those assigned to them as a share of national tax revenues.
  4. Organization, collection, control and administration of their own taxes, in accordance with provisions of national and state law.
  5. The governance and exploitation of non-metallic minerals that are not reserved to National Power, as well as salt deposits and oyster beds, and the management of vacant lands within their jurisdiction, in accordance with law.
  6. Organization of the police and determination of the branches of this service to be assigned to municipal jurisdiction, in accordance with applicable national legislation.
  7. Creation, organization, collection, control and management in the fields of sealed paper and tax documentary stamps.
  8. Creation, governance and organization of state public services.
  9. Construction, preservation, management and exploitation of overland travel routes within the states.
  10. Conservation, management and exploitation of national expressways and highways, as well as ports and airports in commercial use, in coordination with the National Executive.
  11. Any matters not placed, in accordance with this Constitution, under national or municipal jurisdiction.

Article 165

Matters involving concurrent competence shall be regulated by laws enacted by National Power and implementation laws passed by the States. This legislation shall be guided by the principles of interdependence, coordination, cooperation, shared responsibility and subordination.

The States shall decentralize and transfer to the Municipalities the state services and powers which the Municipalities are capable of exercising, as well as management of the associated resources, in the areas in which concurrent jurisdiction exist as between these two levels of Public Power.

The transfer mechanisms shall be regulated by the legal system of the State concerned.

Article 166

In each state, a Public Policy Planning and Coordination Council shall be created, chaired by the Governor and having as members the Mayors, the state directors of the various ministries and representative s of the legislators elected by the State to the National Assembly, as well as representatives from the Legislative Council, the municipal councils and organized communities, including native communities where they exist. This Council shall function and be organized as determined by law.

Article 167

Are revenues of the States:

  1. Those deriving from their property and the management of their assets.
  2. Charges for the use of their goods and services, fines and penalties, and any charges allocated to them.
  3. Proceeds from the sale of State-owned commodities. Subsidiary unit government
  4. The resources to which they are entitled by virtue of constitutional revenue share. The revenue share is equivalent to up to 20% of total ordinary revenues as estimated annually by the National Treasure, which is to be distributed among the States and the Capital District as follows: 30% of the aforementioned percentage in equal shares, and the remaining 70% in proportion to the population of each of such entities. During each fiscal year, the States must invest at least 50% of the amount to which they are entitled by way of revenue share. During each fiscal year, the Municipalities of each State shall be entitled to at least 20% of the revenue share and of all other ordinary revenues of the State corresponding. In the event of changes in the revenues of the National Treasury that require an adjustment to the National Budget, the constitutional revenue share shall be adjusted in the same proportion. Principles, rules and procedures with a view to ensure the proper and efficient use of the resources deriving from the constitutional revenue share and the share of the Municipalities therein shall be established by law.
  5. Any other taxes, charges and special contributions that may be allocated to them by national law for the purpose of helping to develop the state treasuries. Laws creating or transferring tax revenues to the States may offset these allocations by means of changes in the other revenue categories indicated in this article, in order to preserve inter-territorial fairness. The percentage of estimated ordinary national revenues allocated to the constitutional revenue share shall be no less than 15% of estimated ordinary revenues, taking into account the financial position and sustainability of the National Public Treasury, without neglecting the ability of the state administrative authorities to provide adequately for the services for which they are responsible.
  6. Resources deriving from the Inter-territorial Compensation Fund and from any other transfer, subsidy or special appropriation, as well as those allocated to them as a share of national tax revenues, in accordance with the pertinent law.

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