Mr. Michael Smith
March 25, 2013
How does the Governor affect Texas Policy?
Even though the governor does not have very influential powers, he or she can still affect policy enforcement and making. One of these powers is the power to appoint officers and control state agencies. By doing this he can appoint officials that are in accordance with his perspective and by controlling the state agencies he can modify the interest of them. In the other hand, the Texas governor is faced with the plural executive, meaning he or she cannot count on the loyalty, support, or cooperation of these department heads (a lieutenant governor, an attorney general, a comptroller of public accounts, a state land commissioner, an agricultural commissioner, the Railroad Commission, and the Texas State Board of Education), who may even sometimes belong to the opposition party.
Next, the budgetary powers of governors are usually very powerful and important in other states but not in Texas, the Texas governor's budgetary powers are extremely weak except for the line-item veto to veto part of the appropriations bill without vetoing the entire bill. The Governor delivers a budget message, but it has no binding authority. It is up to the Governor to persuade legislators to pay attention to his or her agenda. Law allows the Governor to depart from the budget by transferring money between programs or agencies to meet emergency needs, though such transfers must be approved by the LBB. The LBB can also initiate such transfers, subject to the approval of the Governor. Governors can try to modify legislative budget priorities after the fact by vetoing legislation at the end of the legislative process .Regardless the governor is not mandated by the constitution to submit a budget to the legislature. Another kind of veto is the general veto of any bill passed by the legislature. An override of the veto is possible but it is very rare since the bill passes through the governor’s desk weeks before the final session. From 1876 to 1968, only 25 of 936 vetoes were overridden and the only veto overridden in the last 40 years was in 1979 when Governor Clements had a veto of an insignificant bill overridden (the bill would have limited the ability of county governments to prohibit hunters from killing female deer). Thus, the governor’s threat to veto a bill is a strong bargaining tool to “convince” the legislature to amend the bill and make it more acceptable to the governor. If a governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill, it automatically becomes law without the governor's signature. This is in contrast to the process at the federal level, which in some circumstances allows a president to kill a bill without signing it or vetoing it. This process is called the pocket veto, and it is not available to Texas governors. But the veto is a blunt instrument, and some interpret its extensive use for budgetary reasons as a sign that the Governor is either too weak or lacks the political skill to influence the budget process in more direct