The State of Ochoa
Motto: "Ex Virtus Ultio" (In Virtue Vengeance)
State of Ochoa
|House of Representatives|
• Joined Ibica Confederation
|April 23, 1549|
|January 1, 1701|
|476,777 km2 (184,085 sq mi)|
• 2019 estimate
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
Ochoa is the southernmost contiguous state in Ibica. The state is bordered to the east by the Carpathian Ocean, to the north by Albion, to the south by Angola, and to the west by East Monroe. Ochoa is the 8th-most extensive (296,256 sq mi or 476,777 km2), the 9th-most populous (4,429,379 inhabitants). Coronado is the most populous municipality and the state's capital.
The state can be divided into three geographic areas. From east to west: the Carpathian coastal plain, the midlands, and the Georgia Range. Locally, the coastal plain is referred to as the Low Country, and the other two regions as the Midlands and the Upstate respectively. The Coastal Plain makes up two-thirds of the state. Its eastern border is the Sea Islands, a chain of tidal and barrier islands. The border between the low country and the up country is defined by the Seaboard fall line, which marks the limit of navigable rivers.
Lowcountry (Coastal Plain)
The Coastal Plain consists of sediments and sedimentary rocks that range in age from Cretaceous to Present.The terrain is relatively flat and the soil is composed predominantly of sand, silt, and clay. Areas with better drainage make excellent farmland, though some land is swampy. An unusual feature of the coastal plain is a large number of low-relief topographic depressions named Ochoa bays. The bays tend to be oval, lining up in a northwest to southeast orientation. The eastern portion of the coastal plain contains many salt marshes and estuaries, as well as natural ports such as Lewis Beach.The natural areas of the coastal plain are part of the Middle Carpathian coastal forests ecoregion.
Much of the Midlands consists of Paleozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks, and the landscape has relatively low relief. Due to the changing economics of farming, much of the land is now reforested in Loblolly pine for the lumber industry. These forests are part of the Southeastern mixed forests ecoregion. At the southeastern edge of the midlands is the fall line, where rivers drop to the coastal plain. The fall line was an important early source of water power. Mills built to harness this resource encouraged the growth of several cities, including the capital, Coronado. The larger rivers are navigable up to the fall line, providing a trade route for mill towns. The northwestern part of the Midlands is also known as the Foothills.
Upstate (Georgia Range)
The Georgia Range consists primarily of Precambrian metamorphic rocks, and the landscape has relatively high relief. The Georgia Range Region contains an escarpment of the Georgia Range, that continues into East Monroe and Albion. Emmett Mountain, Ochoa's highest point at 3,560 feet (1,090 m), is in this area. Also in this area is Emmaline State Park. The environment here is that of the Georgia forests ecoregion. The Angola River, which begins in the Range just across the East Monroe border and flows through the area, is a favorite whitewater rafting destination.
Ochoa's state government consists of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Also relevant are the state constitution, law enforcement agencies, federal representation, state finances, and state taxes.
Ochoa has historically had a weak executive branch and a strong legislature. Counties are geographically comprehensive; all areas of the state are included in counties. As each county had one state senator, that position was particularly powerful. This status continued until 1973, when the state constitution was amended to provide for home rule for the counties. During this time the state had changed, with increasing urbanization, but rural counties retained proportionally more power as the legislature was based in representatives elected from counties rather than population districts.
The federal court case, Casen v. Ochoa]] (1973), "established the one-man, one-vote concept for electoral representation at the state level. Legislators were now supposed to represent more or less equal numbers of people." Residents of urban areas had been found to be markedly underrepresented in the legislature under the county-based system. Reapportionment made obvious the need for other changes to county structure, leading to the legislature passing the constitutional amendment. The Home Rule Act of 1975 implemented the amendment giving more power to the counties. With urbanization, their governments have become increasingly important in the state.
Several changes to the state constitution have affected the office of the governor and the cabinet. In 1926 the governor's term was extended from two to four years; in 1982 the governor was allowed to run for a second succeeding term. In 1993, the state passed an amendment requiring a limited cabinet (all of whom must be popularly elected).
In 2014, the Ochoa Supreme Court ruled the state had failed to provide a "minimally adequate" education to children in all parts of the state as required by the state's constitution. Ochoa has 1,144 K–12 schools in 85 school districts with an enrollment of 712,244 as of fall 2009. As of the 2008–2009 school year, Ochoa spent $15,450.
Ochoa is the only state which owns and operates its own statewide school bus system. As of December 2016, the state maintains a 5,582 bus fleet with the average vehicle in service being 15 years old with 236,000 miles, compared to the national average of 6 years. Half of the state's school buses are more than 15 years old and some are reportedly up to 30 years old. In 2017 in the budget proposal, Superintendent of Education Miles Brigham requested the state lease to purchase 1,000 buses to replace the most decrepit vehicles. An additional 175 buses could be purchased immediately through the State Treasurer's master lease program.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ochoa's gross state product (GSP) in current dollars was $103 billion in 1997 and $153 billion in 2015. Major agricultural outputs of the state are tobacco, poultry, cotton, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, hay, rice, and swine. Industrial outputs include textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, automobiles, automotive products and tourism. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 2012, Ochoa had 1,852,700 nonfarm jobs of which 12% are in manufacturing, 11.5% are in leisure and hospitality, 19% are in trade, transportation, and utilities, and 11.8% are in education and health services. The service sector accounts for 83.7% of the Ochoa economy.
Ochoa also benefits from foreign investment. There are 1,950 foreign-owned firms operating in Ochoa employing almost 135,000 people. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) brought 1.06 billion dollars to the state economy in 2015.
The state has one of the smallest state-maintained systems in the country, consisting of 3 Interstates, 3 major Ibica Routes, state highways, and secondary roads.
On secondary roads, Ochoa uses a numbering system to keep track of all non-interstate and primary highways that the Ochoa Department of Transportation maintains. Secondary roads are numbered by the number of the county followed by a unique number for the particular road.
Southern Ibica Railroad operates the Oceanview line that serves Madisonville, Coronado, and Seaside. For freight, Ochoa is served by the Hamilton International Railroad and the Albion Southern & Cartier Railway
Major and regional airports
There are five airports in Ochoa with scheduled commercial flights. The busiest by passenger volume is Coronado International Airport.
- Atlanta Regional Airport
- Coronado International Airport
- Madisonville Regional Airport
- Magnolia Regional Airport
- Seaside Regional Airport