PowerPoint Presentation.pdf - THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH PART I...

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THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH PART I: THE GOVERNOR
1. Fundamentals of the Office of the Governor - The Governor is Texas’ head of state and head of government - As head of state, the Governor represents the people to outside governments and entities, and is a ceremonial personification of the state - As head of government, the Governor is viewed as the most responsible official for the government’s performance - Must be a U.S. Citizen with at least five years residency in Texas immediately preceding the election, and must be at least 30 years old - Can serve unlimited 4 year terms - $150,000 annual salary is set by the Legislature - Resides in the Governor’s Mansion in Austin - Receives transportation and armed protection - The modern governorship was created in 1845 - However, colonial governors served as early as 1691 57 THE GOVERNOR’S PERSONAL SEAL (LEFT) AND FLAG (RIGHT)
2. Fundamentals of the Office of the Governor (continued) - The Governor is directly elected by the people, but subject to impeachment and removal by the Legislature - A majority vote in the House can impeach the Governor, which triggers a trial in the Senate - If 2/3 of both houses then vote to remove the Governor, his term ends and he can never again hold a state office - This has only happened once (Pa Ferguson) out of 45 governorships - If the Governor is removed or dies, the Lieutenant Governor takes over - Line of succession: 1) Lieutenant Governor 2) President Pro Tempore of the Senate 3) Speaker of the House 4) Attorney General 58
3. The Governor as Chief Executive - Has a responsibility to ensure that all laws are faithfully executed - However, the plural executive system in Texas means that many executive agencies have independently elected leadership (known as the Long Ballot) - The Governor only directly appoints two top executive officials - the Secretary of State and the Adjutant General - He also appoints members of hundreds of boards and commissions, but does not have direct supervisory or budgetary authority over them - Instead, the Governor uses the prestige of the office to influence the performance of agencies outside of his constitutional control - For example, he is an ex officio member of the boards and commissions to which he appoints members - and therefore accountable for their actions in the eyes of the public 59
4. The Governor as Chief Executive (continued) - Must submit an executive budget request to the Legislature within five days of it convening for a regular session - Directs the expenditure of federal grant funds by the state government - Can grant clemency, remit fines & forfeitures, and restore revoked licenses - Can grant a 30 day reprieve of a death sentence, but cannot commute it unilaterally - Once had the power to unilaterally commute sentences and issue pardons, but this power was taken away due to Gov. Miriam Ferguson pre - pardoning criminals in exchange for bribes - Maintains programmatic divisions under his direct supervision to help him exercise his reserved powers 60
5. Governor’s Directly Appointed Executive Officials 61 SECRETARY OF STATE: DAVID WHITLEY

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