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Plural Executive in Texas

Plural Executive in Texas depicts the executive branch of Texas which means the power of the Governor is limited and it’s distributed amongst other government officials. More specifically, there is not one government official in Texas that is solely responsible for the Texas Executive Branch as documented in Article 4 of the Texas Constitution.

In Texas, the rule of the Plural Executive means the governor does not wield full power and authority to make major decisions in the state but the power is being distributed among other executives. These executives are elected independently; this makes them answer to the public directly; not to the governor.

What is meant by a plural executive?

Ordinarily, Plural Executive is a group of excos or group of committee members elected as the decision-making body of an organization to give orders and in making important decisions for the organization, company or even a state.

In politics, the plural executive is a system of government with limited power to the president or governor by allotting or spreading the office’s power across the board. In other words, the president or governor has other elected leaders working with him and they are not required to answer to the executive. This protects the executive from abusing power.

And you might want to ask,

In Texas, what is the primary effect of a plural executive?

Well again, it lessens the strength or power of the governor by breaking up the executive branch.

Who are the members of the plural executive in Texas?

As you probably already know, the three arms of most governments in the world consist of the legislature, executive and judiciary. In Texas, the plural executive branch is made up of the following:

  1. Governor,
  2. Lieutenant Governor,
  3. Comptroller of Public Accounts,
  4. Land Commissioner,
  5. Attorney General,
  6. Agriculture Commissioner,
  7. Railroad Commissioners,
  8. The State Board of Education,
  9. The Secretary of State.

Governor

Greg Abbott, Texas Governor.

Who is the governor of Texas right now in 2022? Greg Abbott is the current governor of the state of Texas. He is in charge of the state government of Texas, aka, Chief Executive Officer of Texas, the chief authority of the legislative and executive branch of the state government and also the commander in chief of the Texas National Guard. He is named “Best Governor in the Nation” in the year 2020. He is the 48th governor of Texas since 2015.

Lieutenant Governor

Texas Lieutenant Governor | Dan Patrick

Lieutenant Governor of Texas — Dan Patrick, holds the second-highest office in the executive branch of the government of Texas. He wields the power to control the work or activities of the Texas Senate and the budgeting process of the Legislative Budget Board. The office functions in both the executive and legislative branches. The occupant of this seat is literally the president of the Texas Senate under the provisions of the Texas Constitution.

Comptroller of Public Accounts

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts | Glenn Hegar

The word “comptroller” is a fancy word used for someone (or people) who maintains and audits business accounts. You can also think of this person as an accountant.

The Comptroller of Public Accounts of Texas basically is a tax collector, revenue estimator, treasurer, purchasing manager and accounting agency serving the people of Texas. This agency writes checks and keeps the books for the multi-billion-dollar business for the state. Apart from collecting the state’s tax revenue, it also estimates the amount of tax revenue that the Texas Legislature can spend in a period of two years or a biennium.

Glenn Hegar is the current comptroller for the state of Texas.

Land Commissioner

Texas Land Commissioner | George P. Bush

Texas Land Commissioner is a public office. The office is the head of the General Land Office (GLO) agency of the state of Texas. The role of the agency is to manage lands and mineral rights properties (the right to utilize any land area of the state for the minerals i.e. salts, stones, metal ores, gas, coal, oil etc. it holds) owned by the state. George P. Bush is the current land commissioner, he was elected on November 4, 2014.

Attorney General

Texas Attorney General | Ken Paxton

The Attorney General of Texas was appointed by the state constitution as documented in the Texas state constitution Article IV, Sec. 22, page 82 to represent the state in the following: civil litigation matters, approval of public fund issues and legal counsel to all boards and agencies of the state of Texas. Ken Paxton is the current Texas attorney general.

Agriculture Commissioner

Texas Agriculture Commissioner | Sid Miller

The 12th and current Agriculture Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) — Sid Miller, was first elected in 2014 and re-elected to his second term in office in 2018. The office is divided into 10 distinct divisions including communications, administrative services, pesticide programs, regulatory programs, legal affairs and others.

Texas Railroad Commissioners

Republicans — Christi Craddick, Wayne Christian and Jim Wright are currently the commissioners for the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC or TRC: Texas Railroad Commission). They were elected to office in 2012, 2017 and 2021 respectively.

Although, its name suggests the agency deals with railroads, its management and regulation of railroads was discontinued in 2005. Currently, the agency governs gas utilities, pipeline safety, the oil and gas industry, maintaining safety in the liquefied petroleum gas sector, and surface coal and uranium mining (which produces safer and more efficient nuclear power plants).

Board of Education

Texas Board of Education comprises a 15-member State Board of Education (SBOE) and they supervise Texas Education Agency (TEA), the state Permanent School Fund; sets academic standards for Texas public schools and chooses textbooks to be utilized in Texas schools.

The 15-member comprises 6 democratic party members and 9 republicans.

See table below

S/NNAMEPARTYFIRST ELECTEDSEAT UPDISTRICT
1Aicha DavisDemocratic2018202213
2Georgina C. PérezDemocratic201620221
3Lawrence A. Allen, Jr.Democratic200420224
4Marisa B. PerezDemocratic201220223
5Rebecca Bell-MetereauDemocratic202020225
6Ruben Cortez, Jr.Democratic201220222
7Audrey YoungRepublican202020228
8Jay JohnsonRepublican2020202215
9Keven Ellis, ChairRepublican201620229
10Matt RobinsonRepublican201820227
11Pam Little, Vice ChairRepublican2018202212
12Patricia HardyRepublican2002202211
13Sue Melton-MaloneRepublican2012202214
14Tom MaynardRepublican2012202210
15Will HickmanRepublican202020226
SBOE Officers, Committees, and Members

In Texas, which officer in the plural executive is not elected by voters? The Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State

Texas Secretary of State | John B. Scott

John B. Scott, the current and 114th Secretary of State of Texas was elected by the Governor (Greg Abbott) and confirmed by the Senate in 2021. The office is the only office in the plural executive that is not elected directly by voters.

He has several responsibilities as the state secretary, he is the chief election officer; he sees to it that county governments abide by election rules, he officially authenticates the signature of the Texas Governor on official documents, he is also in complete control/custodian of the Seal of the State of Texas which is required by law to be firmly attached or appended to numerous documents, he oversees registering of business entities and also effects appointments for notaries public.

Texas Notary Public is a public servant or public official who is empowered legally by law to serve the public as an impartial witness to certify important documents’ validity and to take depositions. Notaries have other roles, too such as administering oaths and affirmations during court proceedings, when officials are sworn into office, taking depositions and affidavits if they are certified professionals in that area and other responsibilities.

Why did the Texas constitution establish a plural executive?

There was misgiving of having a chief executive wielding too much power and authority.

The same reason goes for other questions you might have, such as: why does Texas have a plural executive system? The plural executive system in Texas stops any one branch of the executive from becoming too powerful thereby taking complete control of the government.

What do some argue is the one advantage of a plural executive in Texas?

Along with the point enumerated above, other advantages or benefits of the plural executive in Texas are:

  1. There is mutual trust and collaboration between the legislature and the executive.
  2. One single majority party in the legislature or a union of two or more parties who agree to work out a typical political programme.
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