The Yavapai County  courthouse is located  in Prescott, Arizona.  This picture shows the  courthouse decorated  for the holidays. The legislators do not always agree which laws are good and which laws are bad. Sometimes they raise taxes and sometimes they lower taxes. Sometimes they make new laws and sometimes they remove old laws. They are elected to do the work of and for the people of Arizona. The executive branch has the job of enforcing the laws. It is headed by the governor of the state. Some of the people who assist the governor’s office are selected by the governor. Others are elected by the people. The executive branch of state government is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the state. People working in the executive branch oversee the collection of taxes and the protection of the natural environment. They are responsible for the operations of the public and charter schools. The third branch is called the judicial branch. Its job is to judge whether the laws are fair and right, and to judge people accused of breaking the law. Our courts are part of the judicial branch. The State Supreme Court is the highest judge of the laws in the state. The three branches work together to do things for the state that the people cannot do alone, such as build roads and provide police protection. People have become interdependent. They rely on one another for help. As the population of Arizona continues to grow, state and local governments need to work together to best serve the people of Arizona. How does government help solve problems? The territorial leaders decided they could not do everything. So they decided to make counties. They organized the territory into districts. At first there were only four. There are now fifteen counties in Arizona. Each has its own government. The purpose of a county is to bring the government closer to the people whom it represents. People in Arizona also have local governments. Cities, towns, and school districts are kinds of local government. 120  Chapter 12 • Arizona’s Government