The most visible office in the state is that of the __________
- attorney general
- lieutenant governor
- speaker of the House
A plural executive is a __________.
- centralized system of authority in which the governor appoints all other major executive officers
- system of authority in which the governorship is rotated among members of a chief council appointed by the legislature
- fragmented system of authority under which most statewide, executive officeholders are elected independently of the governor
- system of authority in which a five-member board elected by the people jointly act as the chief executive
What led Texans to work to limit the power of the governor with the Constitution of 1876?
- to more closely model the state constitution after the U.S. Constitution
- a desire to return to the principles of the Constitution of 1836
- requirements by the federal government as a condition for readmittance to the Union
- radical Reconstruction policies and the abuses of the Governor Davis administration
Which of the following officials are elected independently of the governor?
- the agriculture commissioner and the commissioner of education
- the lieutenant governor and the attorney general
- the director of homeland security and the land commissioner
- the secretary of state and the comptroller of public accounts
Because heads of several executive agencies are elected independently of the governor, __________.
- there is potential for conflict in the executive branch
- there are fewer candidates in elections and elections are less expensive
- the governor has greater influence in the legislature
- the governor of Texas is stronger than the governor of most other states
To serve as governor, the constitution says an individual must __________.
- be at least 30 years old and a resident of Texas for at least five years
- be at least 35 years old and a resident of Texas for at least fourteen years
- be at least 40 years old and a natural-born Texan
- be at least 35 years old and take an oath of belief in a supreme being
What effect has the increasing cost of campaigns had on the gubernatorial election?
- It has allowed more qualified candidates to seek the governorship, as they know how to raise funds.
- It has led more candidates to seek matching funds from the state to cover the costs of campaigning.
- It has prevented many good potential candidates from running because of the burden of raising funds.
- It has allowed for a greater number of candidates to seek the office because of its increasing importance.
Removing a Texas governor from office __________.
- has never occurred
- requires a majority vote in the House and Senate and approval by the public
- requires impeachment by the Judiciary Committee and a trial in the state Supreme Court
- requires impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate
Why was Governor James E. Ferguson impeached and convicted in 1917?
- He was found to have embezzled $2 million from state funds.
- He was accused of misuse of public funds following his call for a special legislative session.
- He was found to have attempted to sell a Senate seat.
- He refused to make appointments to the University of Texas’s board of regents
When a governor is removed from office, resigns, or dies or becomes incapacitated while in office, who becomes governor?
- the lieutenant governor
- the speaker of the House
- the attorney general
- the comptroller of public accounts
The governor’s power in Texas compared to other states is categorized as __________.
- very weak
- very strong
The governor of Texas faces a difficult situation because the governor __________.
- has to appoint so many top officials in the executive, like the attorney general and lieutenant governor
- is unable to get any media coverage and the public expects leadership to come from the legislature
- cannot influence bills considered by the legislature
- has relatively weak formal powers but the public has high expectations of the office
The governor’s main legislative powers provided by the constitution include __________.
- the veto and the authority to call and set the agenda for special sessions
- the power to appoint the presiding officers of the legislature
- the power to set the legislative agenda during the regular session
- the power to appoint the parliamentarian of the House and the Senate
The governor’s veto power and ability to call special sessions of the legislature __________.
- can only ever be used in response to bills already passed by the House and Senate
- were eliminated by the Constitution of 1876 to limit the governor’s role in the state government
- can allow the governor to influence the legislature through the threat of using those powers
- provide the governor with the ability to determine party leadership and committee chairs in the legislature
The governor has the authority to veto a bill for up to __________.
- ten days during a session and twenty days after adjournment
- twenty days during a session and ten days after adjournment
- ten days both during a session and after adjournment
- twenty days both during a session and after adjournment
If the governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill during the allotted time, it __________.
- is automatically introduced in the next regular session on a “fast track”
- dies for lack of a signature
- goes back to committee for more deliberation
- becomes a law without his signature
Overriding a governor’s veto __________.
- requires a majority vote by the public
- requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate
- is not permitted under the constitution
- requires a majority vote in both the House and Senate
The governor’s budgetary power is __________.
- quite strong since the legislature is required to give an “up or down” vote on the governor’s proposed budget
- limited since the legislature typically gives greater attention to budgetary recommendations of the Legislative Budget Board
- strong since he or she gets to appoint all members of the Legislative Budget Board
- weak since he or she must either accept full budget bills or veto them in their entirety
What characterizes the governor’s appointive powers?
- The governor’s powers are constrained because of staggered terms of most board members and the plural executive.
- The governor can remove his or her predecessor’s appointments, so his or her powers are somewhat strong.
- The governor cannot appoint or dismiss anybody, so his or her powers are exceptionally weak.
- The governor is able to appoint all members of many state boards at the beginning of his or her term without legislative approval, so his or her powers are quite strong.
How do the staggered terms of state boards and commissioners affect the governor?
- It is hard for the governor to remove his or her predecessor’s appointees, which impedes progress.
- A governor has to wait at least two years to get majorities favoring his or her policies on most boards.
- For three years, a predecessor’s appointees technically do not answer to the current governor.
- The governor cannot enact new policies until a predecessor’s appointees have left.
Senatorial __________ is an unwritten norm that allows a senator to block the governor’s nomination of an individual who lives in the senator’s district.
The governor’s judicial powers include the ability to __________.
- prosecute members of the legislature
- grant unlimited stays of execution without approval or recommendation of other actors
- make appointments to the Board of Pardons and Paroles
- declare legislation unconstitutional
The military authority given to the governor by the state constitution includes __________.
- his or her role as commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state, and the ability to declare wars on other states
- the ability to appoint an adjutant general and to prohibit Texans from joining the U.S. military when the state is threatened
- the ability to direct the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas and the ability to create military schools in the state
- his or her role as commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state and the ability to mobilize the Texas National Guard to protect lives and property in the state
One of the governor’s informal resources is the ability to __________.
- mobilize the Texas National Guard
- communicate to the public through the mass media
- call and set the agenda for special legislative sessions
- proclaim acts of executive clemency for convicted criminals
Governors’ staff members __________.
- rarely share basic political attitudes with the governor
- run for election on a ticket with gubernatorial candidates
- help collect, organize, and screen information for the governor
- must be confirmed by the state House of Representatives
In carrying out the duties of his office, the governor often uses the mass media to __________.
- run paid advertisements
- leak information or float trial balloons
- hide information from the public
- run public opinion polls paid for by the governor
Why was Governor Bill Clements overwhelmed when he took office?
- His predecessor had left the state with a larger deficit than was publicly known.
- He was an Austin insider, having served four terms in the state Senate prior to being elected governor.
- He did not understand the limitations of the powers of the governor.
- He faced a legislative revolt when he vetoed the budget.
What was the negative view of Bill Clements when he left office in 1991?
- He had seriously degraded the state of education in Texas by vetoing numerous education bills.
- He was an obstructionist who would rather fight the Democrats than provide leadership.
- His actions had delayed the Republican takeover of the Senate by a decade.
- He had overseen the slowest period of economic growth in the history of Texas.
In an effort to raise new revenue for the state, Governor Ann Richards led support for a constitutional amendment to __________.
- create a tax on political campaign contributions
- create a state personal income tax
- establish state property taxes
- create a state lottery
In one of the most emotional issues of the 1993 legislative session, Governor Richards sided with police chiefs and others in killing a proposal to allow __________.
- private citizens to legally carry handguns
- county governments to free inmates in their jails
- school officials to carry concealed weapons on school property
- state legislators to bypass metal detectors at the state Capitol
Governor George W. Bush used a tactic that allowed him to gain the respect of members of the legislature and get many of his initiatives passed. How did he prefer to work out his differences with the legislature?
- He met in public with opposition leaders to hash out disagreements so that the public could stay informed and the government process would be transparent.
- He met in private with legislative leaders to hash out differences and would refuse to leak any disagreements to the press.
- He would often appear before the legislature on the floor to lobby his position on many bills and meet with legislators publicly after.
- He would often identify which bills he would not veto in exchange for legislators supporting some of his policies.
Rick Perry helped increase the influence of Texas’s governor’s office by __________.
- avoiding the use of the veto through successful negotiation with the legislature
- adopting a progressive political agenda to match the preferences of most Texans
- choosing not to run for reelection after his first full term in office
- making thousands of appointments to state agencies
Governor Perry increased his support among conservative Republican voters in preparation for his 2006 reelection race by __________.
- passing a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage
- increasing funding for public schools
- passing new strict rules on the construction of new abortion clinics
- issuing an executive order requiring the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance prior to each meeting of the state legislature
The lieutenant governor of Texas __________.
- is elected in a team along with the governor, comptroller, and attorney general
- is a running mate of the governor, and they are elected as a team
- is chosen by the members of the Senate since he or she is the leader of that chamber
- is elected separately from the governor and can be from a different party
The Texas attorney general is __________.
- mainly a civil lawyer who defends state laws enacted by the legislature
- a civil judge who overhears cases involving the state and private parties
- a criminal lawyer who is primarily involved in murder cases
- a constitutional lawyer whose duty is to determine the constitutionality of legislation
The comptroller of public accounts is __________.
- required to either be a certified public accountant or a graduate of an accredited Master of Business Administration program
- responsible for submitting a proposed state budget to the Legislative Budget Board every year
- the state’s primary tax administrator and accounting officer, and is responsible for issuing revenue estimates
- appointed by the governor subject to approval by the budget committees of the House and Senate
Because of the pay-as-you-go principle, __________.
- the legislature cannot adopt an operating budget that exceeds anticipated revenue
- the state can borrow money but must repay it within two months
- the state creates a new budget every month to adjust to changing needs
- the legislature has created a complicated monthly pay system to finance programs
Unlike other high level executive offices like the lieutenant governor, attorney general, and comptroller of public accounts, the office of commissioner of agriculture __________.
- is filled through appointment by the governor
- is led by an individual elected for six-year terms instead of four-year terms
- was created by state law rather than by the constitution
- is not responsible for carrying out any state laws
Only two of the more than 200 state boards and commissions have elected members. Which boards or commissions have elected members?
- the Railroad Commission and the State Board of Education
- the Pardons and Paroles Board and the State Board of Education
- the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Railroad Commission
- the State Board of Education and the State Treasurer’s Commission