Texas is governed under a constitution adopted in 1876, as amended. Four earlier constitutions had been adopted, in 1845, 1861, 1866, and 1869. An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by the legislature. To become effective, the amendment must be approved by a majority of people voting on the issue in an election.
The chief executive of Texas is a governor, who is elected to a term lasting four years and may be reelected any number of times. The lieutenant governor, who succeeds the governor should the latter resign, die, or be removed from office, is also elected, as are the attorney general, treasurer, comptroller of public accounts, commissioner of agriculture, and commissioner of general land office. The influential Texas Railroad Commission, made up of elected officials, regulates the state’s production of petroleum, natural gas, and coal, as well as its railroads and trucking industry.
The Texas legislature is composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The 31 senators are popularly elected to four-year terms, and the 150 representatives are elected to two-year terms. The legislature convenes in January.
The highest tribunals in Texas are the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals, each with justices popularly elected to six-year terms. The state’s intermediate court of civil appeals is composed of judges popularly elected to six-year terms, and the major trial courts, called district courts, are made up of judges elected to four-year terms. Among the other tribunals in Texas are corporation courts and municipal courts.
Texas has more counties than any other state. Each county is governed by an elected commissioners court consisting of a county judge or administrator and four commissioners. Other elected county officers include the county attorney, treasurer, sheriff, and assessor-collector of taxes. Many of the cities have a council-manager or commissioner-manager form of government.
Texas elects two senators and 32 representatives to the Congress of the United States. The state casts 34 electoral votes for president. "Texas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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