Tx Govt Ch 9 Summary

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1

The government of Texas was conceived in the post Reconstruction era, after an unfortunate & unhappy experience with a centralized, alien, & unpopular state government.

The state govt. has been systematically weakened & decentralized by both the constitution & statutes as voters exhibit a basic distrust in govt. n general & n the executive branch n particular. This distrust is reflected in a governor’s office with extensive appointive powers 2 boards & commissions but without meaningful removal or direct administrative powers.

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The governor is given relatively strong legislative prerogatives with the veto & the item veto. These formal powers, together with the astute use of the informal powers inherent in the office, enable the governor 2 exert considerable influence on the direction & 2 some degree on the operation of the state’s govt.

The office of the governor in Texas is administratively weak when compared to the office in other states.

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This denial of power to the governor(& the legislature) has created a power vacuum in govt. that has been willingly filled by interest groups & administrative agencies. Thus, nonelective institutions may supersede elected officials, especially in the area of policy formulation & initiation.

Because much of the real power in Texas govt. rests with these institutions, the legislature & governor r frequently placed n the position of merely ratifying, as public policy, the proposals advocated by dominant economic & other interest groups & their allies in the administrative agencies.

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Like 48 governors & the U. S. President, Texas’s chief executive is elected to a 4 year term. However, unlike 37 states & the national govt., there r no limits on the # of terms the chief executive may serve.

The Tx governor’s institutional powers r somewhat weaker than the typical state governor. The Texas governor has especially weak administrative powers because he or she shares power with numerous other elected executives in a plural executive system, & unlike most governors, the Tx governor does not have a cabinet. The Tx governor appoints supervisory boards & commissions, but directly appoints only some agency directors. The Tx governor has relatively limited powers 2 remove state officers. Unique 2 Tx is a budget system n which the governor’s budget proposals r largely ignored n favor of the recommendations of the Legislative Budget Board.

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As in most states, the Tx governor has the power 2 call special sessions & line item veto spending bills. The governor also wields considerable influence within his or her political power & commands greater access 2 publicity than any other state politician. Still, more than most chief executives, the Tx governor must develop leadership power through informal personal relationships, manipulation of publicity, & vigorous bargaining among special interests.

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