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Constitution of the State of Texas (1876)

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ARTICLE IV.
Executive Department.

SECTION 1. The executive department of the State shall consist of a governor, who shall be the chief executive officer of the State, a lieutenant-governor, secretary of State, comptroller of public accounts, treasurer, commissioner of the general land office and attorney general.

SEC. 2. All the above officers of the executive department (except secretary of state) shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the time and places of election for members of the Legislature.

SEC. 3. The returns of every election for said executive officers, until otherwise provided by law, shall be made out, sealed up, and transmitted by the returning officers prescribed by law to the seat of government, directed to the secretary of state, who shall deliver the same to the speaker of the house or representatives as soon as the speaker shall be chosen; and the said speaker shall, during the first week of the session of the legislature, open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the Legislature. The person, voted for at said election, having the highest number of votes for each of said offices respectively, and being constitutionally eligible, shall be declared by the speaker, under sanction of the Legislature, to be elected to said office. But if two or more persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes for either of said offices one of them shall be immediately chosen to such office by joint vote of both houses of the legislature. Contested elections for either of said offices, shall be determined by both houses of the Legislature in joint session.

SEC. 4. The governor shall be installed on the first Tuesday after the organization of the Legislature, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and shall hold his office for the term of two years, or until his successor shall be duly installed. He shall be at least thirty years of age, a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State at least five years immediately preceding his election.

SEC. 5. He shall, at stated times, receive as compensation for his services an annual salary of four thousand dollars and no more, and shall have the use and occupation of the governor's mansion, fixtures and furniture.

SEC. 6. During the time he holds the office of governor he shall not hold any other office, civil, military, or corporate; nor shall he practice any profession, and receive compensation, reward, fee, or the promise thereof for the same; nor receive any salary, reward, or compensation, or the promise thereof, from any person or corporation, for any service rendered or performed during the time he is governor, or to be thereafter rendered or performed.

SEC. 7. He shall be commander-in-chief of the military forces of the State, except when they are called into actual service of the United States. He shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, repel invasions, and protect the frontier from hostile incursions by Indians or other predatory bands.

SEC. 8. The governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature at the seat of government, or at a different place in case that should be in possession of the public enemy or in case of the prevalence of disease thereat. His proclamation therefor shall state specifically the purpose for which the Legislature is convened.

SEC. 9. The governor shall at the commencement of each session of the Legislature, and at the close of his term of office, give to the Legislature information, by message, of the condition of the State; and he shall recommend to the Legislature such measures as he may deem expedient. He shall account to the Legislature for all public moneys received, and paid out by him for any funds subject to his order, with vouchers; and shall accompany his message with a statement of the same. And at the commencement of each regular session he shall present estimates of the amount of money required to be raised by taxation for all purposes.

SEC. 10. He shall cause the laws to be faithfully executed; and shall conduct, in person, or in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse and business of the State with other States and with the United States.

SEC. 11. In all criminal cases, except treason and impeachment, he shall have power, after conviction, to grant reprieves, commutations of punishment 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 remissions of fines and forfeitures, or grants of reprieve, commutation of punishment or pardon, he shall file in the office of the secretary of state his reasons therefor.

SEC. 12. All vacancies in State or district offices, except members of the Legislature, shall be filled, unless otherwise provided by law, by appointment of the governor, which appointment, if made during its session, shall be with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate present. If made during the recess of the senate, the said appointee, or some other person to fill such vacancy, shall be nominated to the senate during the first ten days of its session. If rejected, said office shall immediately become vacant, and the governor shall, without delay, make further nominations, until a confirmation takes place. But should there be no confirmation during the session of the senate, the governor shall not thereafter appoint any person to fill such vacancy who has been rejected by the senate; but may appoint some other person to fill the vacancy until the next session of the senate or until the regular election to said office, should it sooner occur. Appointments to vacancies in offices elective by the people shall only continue until the first general election thereafter.

SEC. 13. During the session of the Legislature the governor shall reside where its sessions are held, and at all other times at the seat of government, except when by act of the Legislature, he may be required or authorized to reside elsewhere.

SEC. 14. 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 it, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which house shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, in the other house, by which likewise it shall be reconsidered; and, if approved by two-thirds of the members 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 and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor with his objections within ten 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, unless the Legislature, by its adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law, unless he shall file the same, with his objections, in the office of the secretary of state, and give notice thereof by public proclamation within twenty days after such adjournment. If any bill presented to the governor contains several items of appropriation he may object to one or more of such items, and approve the other portion of the bill. In such case he shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the items to which he objects, and no item so objected to shall take effect. If the Legislature be in session he shall transmit to the house in which the bill originated a copy of such statement and the times objected to shall be separately considered. If, on reconsideration, one or more of such items be approved by two-thirds of the members present of each house, the same shall be part of the law, notwithstanding the objections of the governor. If any such bill, containing several items of appropriation, not having been presented to the governor ten days (Sundays excepted) prior to adjournment, be in the hands of the governor at the time of adjournment, he shall have twenty days from such adjournment within which to file objections to any items thereof and make proclamation of the same, and such item or items shall not take effect.

SEC. 15. 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, shall be approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by both houses; and all the rules, provisions and limitations shall apply thereto as prescribed in the last preceding section in the case of a bill.

SEC. 16. There shall also be a lieutenant-governor, who shall be chosen at every election for governor by the same electors, in the same manner, continue in office the same time, and possess the same qualifications. The electors shall distinguish for whom they vote as governor and for whom as lieutenant-governor. The lieutenant-governor shall by virtue of his office be president of the senate, and shall have, when in committee of the whole, a right to debate and vote on all questions; and when the senate is equally divided to give 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 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.

SEC. 17. If, during the vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor should 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 president of the senate, for the time being, shall, like manner, administer the government until he shall be superseded by a governor or lieutenant-governor. The lieutenant-governor shall, while he acts as president of the senate, receive for his services the same compensation and mileage which shall be allowed to the members of the senate, and no more; and during the time he administers the government, as governor, he shall receive in like manner 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.

SEC. 18. The lieutenant-governor or president of the senate succeeding to the office of governor, shall, during the entire term in which he may succeed, be under all the restrictions and inhibitions imposed in this Constitution on the governor.

SEC. 19. There shall be a Seal of the State which shall be kept by the secretary of state, and used by him officially under the direction of the governor. The seal of the State shall be a star of five points, encircled by olive and live oak branches, and the words, "The State of Texas."

SEC. 20. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Texas, sealed with the State seal, signed by the governor and attested by the secretary of state.

SEC. 21. 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 who shall continue in office during the term of service of the governor. He shall authenticate the publication of laws, and 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. He shall receive for his services an annual salary of two thousand dollars, and no more.

SEC. 22. The attorney general shall hold his office for two years and until his successor is duly qualified. He shall represent the State in all suits and pleas in the Supreme Court of the State in which the State may be a party, and shall especially inquire into the charter rights of all private corporations, and, from time to time, in the name of the State, take such action in the courts as may be proper and necessary to prevent any private corporation from exercising any power or demanding or collecting any species of taxes, tolls, freight or wharfage, not authorized by law. He shall, whenever sufficient cause exists, seek a judicial forfeiture of such charters, unless otherwise expressly directed by law, and give legal advice in writing to the governor and other executive officers, when requested by them, and perform such other duties as may be required by law. He shall reside at the seat of government during his continuance in office. He shall receive for his services an annual salary of two thousand dollars, and no more, besides such fees as may be prescribed by law; provided, that the fees which he may receive shall not amount to more than two thousand dollars annually.

SEC. 23. The comptroller of public accounts, the treasurer and the commissioner of the general land office shall each hold office for the term of two years, and until his successor is qualified; receive an annual salary of two thousand and five hundred dollars, and no more; reside at the capital of the State during his continuance in office; and perform such duties as are or may be required of him by law. They and the secretary of state shall not receive to their own use any fees, costs or perquisites of office. All fees that may be payable by law for any service performed by any officer specified in this section, or in his office, shall be paid, when received, into the State treasury.

SEC. 24. An account shall be kept by the officers of the executive department, and by all officers and managers of State institutions, of all moneys and choses in action received and disbursed or otherwise disposed of by them, severally, from all sources, and for every service performed; and a semi-annual report thereof shall be made to the governor under oath. The governor may, at any time, require information in writing from any and all of said officers or managers, upon any subject relating to the duties, condition, management and expenses of their respective offices and institutions, which information shall be required by the governor under oath, and the governor may also inspect their books, accounts, vouchers, and public funds; and any officer or manager who, at any time, shall wilfully make a false report or give false information, shall be guilty of perjury, and so adjudged and punished accordingly, and removed from office.

SEC. 25. The Legislature shall pass efficient laws facilitating the investigation of breaches of trust and duty by all custodians of public funds, and providing for their suspension from office on reasonable cause shown, and for the appointment of temporary incumbents of their offices during such suspension.

SEC. 26. The governor, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate, shall appoint a convenient number of notaries public for each county who shall perform such duties as now are or may be prescribed by law.