- Lieutenant Governor of Texas
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of
Texas, a state in the United States of America. It is considered the most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senateand controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board. The Lieutenant Governor assumes the powers of Governor when the Governor is out of the state or otherwise unable to discharge the office. The Lieutenant Governor is elected separately from the Governor, rather than on the same ticket; it is therefore possible for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to be from different political parties (which was the case during Governor George W. Bush's first term). The Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor if the elected Governor resigns or dies while in office (current Governor Rick Perrytook office upon Bush's election to President of the United States).
Under the provisions of the
Texas constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Texas Senate. By the rules of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice.
The Lieutenant Governor decides all questions of
parliamentary procedurein the Senate. He or she also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.
The dual role of serving both in the executive and legislative branches of government effectively makes this arguably the most powerful position in Texas state politics.
The Lieutenant Governor is an "
ex officio" member of several statutory bodies. These include the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, the Legislative Audit Committee, the Legislative Education Board, the Cash Management Committee and the Bond Review Board. He or she is Chairperson of the Legislative Budget Board and Legislative Council, which have considerable sway over state programs, the budget and policy.
In the case of a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor's office, the Senate elects one of its members to act as "President of the Senate" until the next statewide office election, in effect becoming the Lieutenant Governor. A Senator elected as presiding officer in this way retains his district seat and the voting privileges entailed with his Senate election.
List of Lieutenant Governors of Texas
* [http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/ltgov/Duties.htm Duties and Powers of the Lieutenant Governor]
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