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Constitution of Texas (1845) (Joining the U.S.)

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Executive Department.

SEC. 1. The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Texas.

SEC. 2. The governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at the time and places of elections for members of the legislature.

SEC. 3. The returns of every election for governor, until otherwise provided by law, shall be made out, sealed up, and transmitted to the seat of government, and directed to the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall during the first week of the session of the legislature thereafter, open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the legislature; the person having the highest number of votes, and being constitutionally eligible, shall be declared by the speaker, under the direction of the legislature, to be governor; but if two or more persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be immediately chosen governor by joint vote of both houses of the legislature. Contested elections for governor shall be determined by both houses of the legislature.

SEC. 4. The governor shall hold his office for the term of two years from the regular time of installation, and until his successor shall be duly qualified, but shall not be eligible for more than four years in any term of six years; he shall be at least thirty years of age, shall be citizen of the United States, or a citizen of the State of Texas, at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and shall have resided in the same three years immediately preceding his election.

SEC. 5. He shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for his services, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected. The first governor shall receive an annual salary of two thousand dollars, and no more.

SEC. 6. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the services of the United States.

SEC. 7. He may require information, in writing, from the officers of the executive department on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

SEC. 8. He may, by proclamation, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should be in the actual possession of a public enemy. In case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next regular meeting of the legislature.

SEC. 9. He shall, from time to time, give to the legislature information in writing of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

SEC. 10. He shall take care that the laws he faithfully executed.

SEC. 11. In all criminal cases, except in those of treason and impeachment, he shall have power, after conviction, to grant reprieves and pardons; and under such rules as the legislature may prescribe, he shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures. In cases of treason, he shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to grant reprieves and pardons; and he may, in the recess of the Senate, respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature.

SEC. 12. There shall also be a lieutenant governor, who shall be chosen at every election for governor, by the same persons and in the same manner, continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications. In voting for governor and lieutenant governor, the electors shall distinguish for whom they vote as governor, and for whom as lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor shall, by virtue of the his office, be president of the Senate, and have, when in committee of the whole, a right to debate and vote on all questions, and when the Senate is equally divided, to giving the casting vote. In case of the death, resignation, removal from office, inability or refusal of the governor to serve, or of his impeachment or absence from the State, the lieutenant governor shall exercise the power and authority appertaining to the governor until another be chosen at the periodical election and be duly qualified, or until the governor impeached, absent, or disabled, shall be acquitted, return, or his disability be removed.

SEC. 13. Whenever the government shall be administered by the lieutenant governor, or he shall be unable to attend as president of the Senate, the Senate shall elect one of their own members as president for the time being. And if, during the vacancy of the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall die, resign, refuse to serve, or be removed from office, or be unable to serve, or he shall be impeached, or absent from the State, the president of the Senate for the time being shall in like manner administer the government until he be superseded by a governor or lieutenant governor; the lieutenant governor shall, whilst he acts as president of the Senate, receive for his services the same compensation which shall be allowed to the speaker of the House of Representatives, and no more; and during the time he administers the government as governor, shall receive the same compensation which the governor would have received had he been employed in the duties of his office, and no more. The president for the time being of the Senate shall, during the time he administers the government, receive in like manner the same compensation which the governor would have received, had he been employed in the duties of his office. If the lieutenant governor shall be required to administer the government, and shall, whilst in such administration, die, resign, or be absent from the State during the recess of the legislature, it shall be the duty of the secretary of State to convene the Senate for the purpose of choosing a president for the time being.

SEC. 14. There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially. The said seal shall be a star of five points, encircled by an olive and live-oak branches, and the words "the State of Texas."

SEC. 15. All commissions shall be in the name, and by the authority, of the State of Texas, be sealed with the State seal, signed by the governor, and attested by the secretary of State.

SEC. 16. There shall be a secretary of State, who shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall continue in office during the term of service of the governor elect. He shall keep a fair register of all official acts and proceedings of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before the legislature, or either house thereof; and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.

SEC. 17. Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the legislature shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the journals, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; if approved by two-thirds of the members present of that house, it shall become a law; but in such cases, the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each house respectively; if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it. Every bill presented to the governor one day previous to the adjournment of the legislature, and not returned to the house in which it originate before its adjournment, shall become a law, and have the same force and effect as if signed by the governor.

SEC. 18. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses of the legislature may be necessary, except on questions of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and, before it shall take effect, by approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by both houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

SEC. 19. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate, shall appoint a convenient number of notaries public, not exceeding six for each county, who, in addition to such duties as are prescribed by law, shall discharge such other duties as the legislature may, from time to time, prescribe.

SEC. 20. Nominations to fill all vacancies that may have occurred during the recess, shall be made to the Senate during the first ten days of its session. And should any nomination so made be rejected, the same individual shall not again be nominated during the session to fill the same office. And should the governor fail to make nominations to fill any vacancy during the session of the Senate, such vacancy shall not be filled by the governor until the next meeting of the Senate.

SEC. 21. The governor shall reside, during the session of the legislature, at the place where their sessions may be held, and at all other times wherever, in their opinion, the public good may require.

SEC. 22. No person holding the office of governor shall hold any other office or commission, civil or military.

SEC. 23. A State treasurer and comptroller of public accounts shall be biennially elected by the joint ballot of both houses of the legislature; and in case of vacancy in either of said offices during the recess of the legislature, such vacancy shall be filled by the governor, which appointment shall continue until the close of the next session of the legislature thereafter.