Texas Government

Governments operate within set rules and structures. The Texas government operates under a constitution that is composed of a unitary democracy guided by the Dillon Rule. Other structures include county governments and municipal councils. The government has an executive branch that comprises of the Governor, the Lt Governor, the public Accounts comptroller, the Attorney general, the Land Commissioner Agricultural Commissioner along with the three-member Texas Railroad Commission, the Secretary of State and the state board of education. The executive branch system of Texas is a plural structure that limits the governor’s power and devolves it to other arms. Most important to note is that, all executive officers except for the Secretary to the State are independently elected making them answerable to the public directly and not to the governor.

Fairly due to the many officials taking office through election, the powers of the governor are somewhat limited compared to other governors to state or even the president of the United State. In a common belief and lore, the Lt Governor given the mandate to head the Senate and appoint members to committees has more authority than the governor. The work of the governor is to command the militia of the state and veto bills passed through the legislature and call important legislature sessions. The governor’s power is excusive to him and can be conducted as regularly as desired. Additionally, the governor has the power to appoint members of several executive boards and again fill in judicial vacancies in between elections. The entire executive branch members are elected statewide except for the appointment of the Secretary of State and the State Board of Education where each of the fifteen members come to office through elections from single-member districts.

At the county level, governance is run through a commissioners’ court comprising of five members where four of them are chosen through elections from single-member districts known as commissioner precincts together with a county judge chosen at large. The judge at the county level does not have power to veto a decision made by the commissioners’ court as he votes together with the other commissioners. However, the judge can carry out judicial roles in small counties. However, such roles are limited in large counties where he is only mandated to serve the commissioners’ court and certify elections. The Texas government is also governed through municipals and special districts with other minor functions supporting the state government.

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