Tx Govt Ch 9 Summary

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.