Function and role
The Bavarian State Parliament has five important functions:
- Formation of government
- The budgetary right
- Supervisory function
- Other elective functions and cooperation in other bodies
1. Formation of government
The Minister-President is elected within one week after the first meeting of the State Parliament at the latest (Art. 44 par. 1 Bavarian Constitution, BV). The election takes place with a simple majority of the votes submitted. The members of the state government are appointed and dismissed by the Minister-President. For this, as well as for the number and demarcation of the competences of the ministries, he/she requires the approval of the State Parliament. The state government consists of the Minister-President and up to 17 ministers of state and state secretaries (Art. 43 par. 2 BV).
Bills can be introduced from within the State Parliament (by individual members of Parliament or by parliamentary groups), by the state government and by the people (in the form of popular petitions). Laws are resolved by the State Parliament, except in the case of referendums. Here, it is bound by the Bavarian Constitution and the Basic law for the Federal Republic of Germany. These set limits to the legislation of the Bavarian State Parliament.
3. The budgetary right
The budget law occupies an elevated position among the laws on which the Bavarian State Parliament deliberates and decides. It creates the financial basis for the work of the state government and the
administration for the duration of two years (biennial budget).
The Bavarian Constitution rules out a referendum on the state budget. This too shows the special significance of the budgetary right for the Bavarian Parliament. Three quarters of the income of the Free State comes from taxes and sources similar to taxes, which in Germany are shared by the federal state, the states and the municipalities according to a complicated process. Besides these, sources such as administrative fees or regular allocations (such as from the EU) play only a subordinate role for state income.
Avoiding new debtis repeatedly a major financial-policy challenge in the budget deliberations. Bavaria achieved this objective for the first time in 2006. New debt has been avoided each year since. In addition, the state has successfully begun to repay past debt.
3. Supervisory function
A key task of the Bavarian State Parliament is to supervise the state government and the administration subject to it. For this purpose, in accordance with Art. 24 BV the Bavarian State Parliament and its committees can demand the appearance of the Minister-President and any member of the state government. On the other hand, the members of the state government and the commissioners appointed by it have access to all meetings of the State Parliament and its committees.
They must be listened to during the consultation at any time, even if the agenda does not plan for this. So that it can fulfil its supervisory function effectively, the members of the State Parliament are entitled
to a comprehensive right to ask questions and to information towards the state government. A further task of the State Parliament is the discharge of the state government with regard to the budget execution of the year expired regulated in Art. 80 BV. The right of petition is also part of the supervisory function. Anyone can direct requests and complaints to the State Parliament. The petitions give the Parliament an overview of current problems, especially of hardships and cases of doubt that exist with regard to law enforcement.
4. Other elective functions and cooperation in other bodies
The members of the Bavarian Constitutional Court are elected by the State Parliament. The State Parliament elects the President of the Bavarian High Court of Auditors and the State Commissioner for Data Protection upon the proposal of the state government. Due to special legal regulations, members of the Bavarian State Parliament form part of bodies including the Broadcasting Council, the Media Council, the State Monument Council, the State Sport Advisory Council, the State Health Council, the Advisory Council for Information and Communication Technology, the Foundation Council of the "Bayerische Landesstiftung" [Bavarian State Foundation] and the advisory boards of the individual penal institutions.