Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor's Duties, Requirements & Powers

The governor of Texas is the chief executive of the state and is elected by the citizens every four years. The governor must be at least 30 years old and a resident of Texas for the five years immediately before the election.

The governor makes policy recommendations that lawmakers in both the state House and Senate chambers may sponsor and introduce as bills. The governor also appoints the Secretary of State, as well as members of boards and commissions who oversee the heads of state agencies and departments.

The constitutional and statutory duties of the Governor include:

  • Signing or vetoing bills passed by the Legislature.
  • Serving as commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.
  • Convening special sessions of the Legislature for specific purposes.
  • Delivering a report on the condition of the state to the Legislature at the beginning of each regular session.
  • Estimating of the amounts of money required to be raised by taxation.
  • Accounting for all public monies received and paid out by him and recommending a budget for the next two years.
  • Granting reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and revoking conditional pardons.
  • Declaring special elections to fill vacancies in certain elected offices.
  • Appointing qualified Texans to state offices that carry out the laws and direct the policies of state government. Some of these offices are filled by appointment only. Others are ordinarily elected by the people, but the governor must occasionally appoint individuals to fill vacancies. The governor also appoints Texans to a wide range of advisory bodies and task forces that assist him with specific issues.