Branches of Texas government
Branchesof Texas government
Texasis the second largest state in the United States in both geographicalarea and population. It was seized by the U. S. in the year 1845 andhad been formed under the Anglo-American custom. The Texas governmentoperates within the Constitution of the Texas Republic that wasdrafted in the year 1833 which rested on Anglo-American doctrines.Texas contains a unitary state that works under the Dillon Rule ofadministrations. The three branches of Texas government include theLegislature, Executive and Judiciary (Stein, 2013 pg. 28-245).
Thelegislative branch is bicameral and composed of 31 members in theSenate representing each district across the states of Texas and 150members in the House of Representative. The Senate members hold theiroffice for 4 years while House of Representatives are elected after aperiod of 2 years. Dan Patrick the current Lieutenant Governorfunctions as the head of the senate. Obligations of the president ofthe senate include: chairing over the senate, appoints chairpersonsof committees, members of various committees, mentioning bills toparticular committees and making procedural rulings. The speaker ischosen in the House of Representatives who does the following dutiesmaintains order during debate proceedings, recognizes legislators whoare willing to contribute during debates. Currently, Joe Straus isthe current speaker in the House of Representatives.
TheLegislative branch in the Texas government has the following. First,it makes laws in the process of lawmaking, the representatives helpin shaping the political agenda for Texans since they are thedeterminants of the state policies that relates to education andenvironmental welfare. The legislators establish priorities on howfunds should be allocated to all sectors of the economy. Thelegislature also provides a good measure for testing the leadingpolitical culture of the state.
Secondly,it does amendment functions the legislative branch is empowered tocreate and amend the constitution. In this function, the legislaturesare involved in the amendment of the national constitution. Thelegislatures also suggest amendments to the state constitutions andpass statues that will be sufficient until the constitutionalamendments are accepted. In case there is amendment of the U.S.constitution, the ratification process is to naturally vote of thelegislatures.
Thirdly,it performs administrative functions. The legislative branch locallyperforms executive duties through the process of legislativeoversight by taking control of government administration. It isperformed by committees of each house that holds hearings as wellcall state agency officials to affirm and respond to queriesregarding programs and public expenditure. Approves executiveappointments, takes part in firing of state officers and budgetpreparation (Bowles, Nigel & Robert, 2014).
Theexecutive body of the Texas government contains the governor by nameGreg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor, Land Commissioner, AttorneyGeneral, Controller of Public Accounts and Agriculture commissioner.The government has a complex branch structure that limits the powersof the governor. All the officials of the executive are elected andthis makes them directly answerable to the public. Since the powersof the governor who is the head of the executive are limited, theLieutenant Governor has more powers in the executive body. Thegovernor appoints members of various executive boards as well filljudicial vacancies between elections, calls for special debates ofthe legislature and commands state militia (Zimring & Franklin,2013).
Theexecutive branch of the Texas government does the following roles:First, it enforces laws it has the primary function to implementlaws amended by the legislative body and maintain law and order inthe state. Therefore, in case a break of laws takes place, theexecutive has a responsibility to bring the lawbreakers to the bookfor judgment. Likewise, to maintain law and order in the state, theexecutive has the mandate to organize and maintain police force.
Secondly,the executive branch defends, preserves the unity and integrity ofthe state as well protects the state in the occasion of an externalaggression. The executive organ has the responsibility to undertakethese duties by organizing military for defense of the state, toprepare and fight during wars and signing of peace settlement afterevery war. The executive has the responsibility to take all therequired steps for the sake of security and integrity of the state.The governor who is the head of executive is also the commander ofthe armed forces in the state.
Thirdly,it performs financial functions. The executive exercises a number offinancial functions. It prepares the budget, proposes the levy of newtaxes as well changes the tax structure. The executive collects therevenues and spends the funds as authorized by the legislature. Theexecutive branch decides the ways and means through which the fundsare to be collected and spent. It formulates all the economicpolicies and plans by taking suitable measures regulating theproduction, distribution of commodities, money in circulation andprices.
Thejudicial system of Texas government is outlined in Article 5 of theTexas Constitution and it has its reputation in the United States. The judicial system is complex in that it features many layers ofcourts and many instances overlapping authorities. The judicialpowers of the Texas state are vested in: Texas Supreme Court whichhandles civic cases headed by the Chief Justice (Nathan L. Hecht) andCourt of Criminal Appeals headed by a presiding judge (Lawrence E.Meyers). The Courts of Appeals and other trial courts are headed bythe chief justice and judges who perform administrativeresponsibility in these courts.
Judicialadministration of the Texas government has the followingresponsibilities: First, the Supreme Court of Texas has generalduties to ensure effective administrative activities of the judicialsystem the judiciary has the responsibility of interpreting laws andthis is exercised when cases are brought before the judges wherebythe query for interpretation of the laws arises if in such case thelaw is not clear. In these cases, the judges of the courts providetheir decisions. Decisions for these cases are quoted later andthrough this way the courts expand the laws indirectly (Wilson, James& John, 245).
Secondlythe judicial branch protects the fundamental rights of people. Sincethe fundamental rights of citizens are granted by the constitution,the Supreme Courts protects these rights as spelled them in theConstitution. In many situations the fundamental rights in theconstitution are violated by the citizens thus an individual loseshis rights and an appeal can be filed in judicial court for theprotection. It is very clear that the judicial branch that comprisescourts have provided decisions in many cases. In this process, thequestion of the violation of the fundamental rights is involved.
Thirdly,the Supreme Court under the judicial system performs the function ofproviding guidelines in the practice and governing procedures in thetrials and appeals in civil and juvenile cases. The Texas judicialsystem provides rules of administration and code of conduct of thestate of court administration. The Supreme Court that is at the highrank in the judicial system has the responsibility of transferringcases between the 14 courts of appeal to attain a more equaldelegation of duties in the courts.
Theconstitution of Texas divides the powers of government into thelegislature, executive and judiciary. This division is calledseparation of powers where each body can exercise a check on each armas following ways. First, the legislature engages in oversight byreviewing the work of government departments and agencies as wellinvestigates specific issues. The oversight often results toconflicts with the executive branch. This happens when the executivebodies withhold information from the legislature for securityreasons. Secondly, the judiciary regulates the laws passed by thelegislature since it always challenges the legislative body in court(Bruff, 2014).
Inconclusion, the three branches of the Texas government work togetherby checking balances of each other. Therefore, there are specificsystems in place for each of the branches that enable them to obtainsome power over the other body of the government. These check andbalance powers ensures that one organ of the government does notexercise more power over the other. Moreover, the constitutionindicates that the three branches are independent but the operationsof each branch are influenced by one another.
Bowles,Nigel, and Robert K. McMahon. Government and politics of the UnitedStates. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Bruff,Harold H. "The president and congress: Separation of powers inthe United States of America." Adel. L. Rev. 35 (2014): 205.Retrieved from:www.encyclopedia.com/politics/legal-and…/executive-legislative-checks-and-balances
Stein,Theodore J. Social Policy & Policymaking by the Branches ofGovernment and the Public-at-Large. Columbia University Press, 2013.
Wilson,James Q., John J. DiIulio Jr, and Meena Bose. American government:Institutions and policies. Cengage Learning, 2016.
Zimring& Franklin E. "Levels of Government, Branches of Government,and the Reform of Juvenile Justice." Tex. Tech L. Rev. 46(2013): 1
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