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Constitution of the State of West Texas (1868)

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ARTICLE V.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.

SEC. 1. The supreme executive power of this State shall be vested in the Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of the State of West Texas.

SEC. 2. The Governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State, at the time and place of elections for members of the Legislature.

SEC. 3. The returns for every election of Governor shall be made out, sealed up, and transmitted by the returning officers to the seat of government, 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 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 forthwith chosen Governor, by a joint vote of both Houses of the Legislature. Whenever there shall be a contested election for the office of Governor, or any of the Executive officers to be elected by the qualified voters of the State, it shall be determined by the joint action of both Houses of the Legislature.

SEC. 4. The Governor shall hold his office for the term of four years from the regular time of installation, and until his successor shall be duly qualified, but shall not be eligible for more than eight years in any term of twelve years; he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, shall be a citizen of the United States, a qualified voter of the State of West Texas, and (after the first election) shall have resided in this State 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 four thousand dollars, and no more.

SEC. 6. He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Militia of the State, except when they are called into the actual service of the United States; and shall have control and management of the police force of the State, for the purpose of suppressing disorder and maintaining the laws.

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 shall have power, by proclamation, on extraordinary occasions, to convene the Legislature at the seat of Government; but if the prevalence of dangerous disease, or the presence of the public enemy there shall render it necessary, then at any other place within the State he may deem expedient. 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 be faithfully executed.

SEC. 11. In all criminal cases, except 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. With the advice and consent of the Senate, he may grant pardons in cases of treason; and to this end, he may respite a sentence therefor until the close of the succeeding session of the Legislature; provided, that in all cases of remission of fines or forfeitures, or grants of reprieve or pardon, the Governor shall file in the office of the Secretary of State his reasons therefor.

SEC. 12. Nominations to fill vacancies occurring in the recess of the Legislature shall be made by the Governor during the first ten days of its session. And should any such nomination be rejected, the same person shall not again be nominated during the session, to fill the same office. 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. 13. During the sessions of the Legislature, the Governor and heads of Departments shall be present where its sessions are held; and at all other times at the capital, except when, in the opinion of the Legislature, the public good may otherwise require.

SEC. 14. No person, holding the office of Governor, shall hold any other office or commission, civil or military.

SEC. 15. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of West 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, appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who 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, with 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 for his approval. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if he disapprove, he shall return it, with his objections, to that House in which it originated; which House shall enter the objections at large upon the journals of the House, 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, both Houses shall determine the question by yeas and nays, with the names of the members respectively entered upon the journals of each House. If a bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it. Every bill presented to the Governor one day before the final adjournment of the two Houses, and not signed by him, shall become a law, and shall have the same force and effect as if signed by him. The Governor may approve any appropriation, and disapprove any other appropriation, in the same bill, by signing the bill, and designating the appropriation disapproved, and sending a copy of such appropriation, with his objection, to the House in which it originated; and the same proceedings shall be had on that part disapproved as on other bills disapproved by him; but if the Legislature shall have adjourned before it is returned, he shall return it, with him objections, to the Secretary of State, to be submitted to both Houses at the succeeding session of the Legislature.

SEC. 18. Every order, resolution, or vote, in which the concurrence of both Houses shall be required, except the question of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor, and must be approved by him before it can take effect; or being disapproved, shall be repassed in the manner prescribed in the case of a bill.

SEC. 19. There shall be a Comptroller of Public Accounts, and a Treasurer of the State, who shall be elected by the qualified voters at the same time and in the same manner as the Governor is elected. These officers shall hold their offices for the term of four years, and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law. In case of vacancy in either of these offices it shall be filled by appointment by the Governor until the next general election.

SEC. 20. Until otherwise established by law, the salaries of the Comptroller and Treasurer of the State shall be twenty-five hundred dollars annually; the salary of Secretary of State shall be fifteen hundred dollars annually; the salary of Attorney General shall be two thousand dollars annually; the salaries of the District Attorneys shall be one thousand dollars annually. The Attorney General and District Attorneys shall have in addition such fees as may be fixed by law.

SEC. 21. 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 President of the Senate shall exercise the powers and authority appertaining to the office of 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. Whenever the government shall be administered by the President of the Senate, 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 President of the Senate shall die, resign, refuse to serve, or be removed from office, or be unable to serve, or if he shall be impeached, or absent from the State, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, for the time being, shall in like manner administer the government until he shall be superseded by a Governor elected by the people, or by the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House, while he acts as such, shall receive for his services the compensation given by law to that office, 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 Legislature shall provide who shall administer the government in case of vacancy, at the same time in the offices of Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 22. There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the Governor, and used by him officially.