Lieutenant Governor of Texas

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Texas Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Texas Constitution, Article 4, Section 16
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Dan Patrick.jpg
Name:  Dan Patrick
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 20, 2015
Compensation:  $7,200
Other Texas Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralComptrollerAuditorEducation CommissionerAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerLand CommissionerWorkforce CommissionPublic Utility CommissionRailroad Commission
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas. The office of the lieutenant governor is part of both the executive and legislative branches. According to the Texas Constitution the lieutenant governor is the "Constitutional President of the Senate." In Texas, the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor. The lieutenant governor becomes governor if the elected governor resigns or dies while in office.

The lieutenant governor's powers, term of office, qualifications and installation are established by Article 4 of the Texas Constitution.[1]

Current officeholder

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The current officeholder is Dan Patrick (R). He was first elected to the office on November 4, 2014, and sworn into office on January 20, 2015. Patrick replaced David Dewhurst (R), who he defeated in a May 2014 primary.[2]


Article 4, Section 16 of the Texas Constitution establishes an office of Lieutenant Governor:

There shall also be a Lieutenant Governor, who shall be chosen at every election for Governor by the same voters, in the same manner, continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications. The voters shall distinguish for whom they vote as Governor and for whom as Lieutenant Governor.


"Article 4, Section 16" of the Texas Constitution establishes the qualifications of office as the same as those of the governor:

There shall also be a Lieutenant Governor, who shall be chosen at every election for Governor by the same voters, in the same manner, continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications. The voters shall distinguish for whom they vote as Governor and for whom as Lieutenant Governor.

  • at least 30 years old
  • a resident of Texas for at least five years
  • a United States citizen


Texas elects lieutenant governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Texas, 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant gubernatorial inauguration is always set for "the first Tuesday after the organization of the Legislature, or as soon thereafter as practicable."

If two candidates tie for the most votes or if an election is contested, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to resolve the issue.

Texas elects the governor and the lieutenant governor in separate elections in both the primary and the general elections; therefore, it is possible to have a partisan split in the executive.

Full history


See also: Texas Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

Republican Dan Patrick won election on November 4, 2014.

Lieutenant Governor of Texas, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Patrick 58.1% 2,724,493
     Democrat Leticia Van de Putte 38.7% 1,813,974
     Libertarian Robert Butler 2.6% 119,833
     Green Chandrakantha Courtney 0.6% 27,719
Total Votes 4,686,019
Election Results via Texas Secretary of State.


Role as President of the Senate

The Lieutenant Governor is a powerful and influential position in the Texas state government. Much of this power is derived in the Lieutenant Governor's role in the state Senate. As Constitutional President of Texas State Senate, the Lieutenant Governor has the authority to decide all parliamentary questions and to use his/her discretion in following Senate procedural rules. And since the Constitution gives the Senate the authority to write its own rules, the position of the Lieutenant Governor has great influence on how the Senate conducts its business.[3]

The Lieutenant Governor has the power to "set up standing or special committees and appoint committee chairpersons and individual members."[3] Further, the Lieutenant Governor determines the order in which bills are considered by the Senate. When the Senate sits as a Committee of the Whole the Lieutenant Governor has the right to debate and vote on all issues. As the President of Senate, the Lieutenant Governor casts the deciding vote in the case of a tie, and also signs all bills and resolutions. "The Constitution also names him to the five-member Legislative Redistricting Board which apportions the state into senatorial and representative districts in the event the Legislature is unable to do so."[3]

Statutorily Defined Roles

By state statute the Lieutenant Governor gains additional powers and responsibilities not enumerated by the Texas Constitution. Among these statutorily defined roles are membership in a number of legislative boards and committees: the Legislative Budget Board , the Legislative Council, and the Legislative Audit Committee. "He is designated as Chair of the Legislative Budget Board and Legislative Council, which have considerable sway over state programs, the budget and policy."[3] Finally, the Lieutenant Governor is a member of the Executive branch Cash Management Committee and Bond Review Board by statute.[3]

Legislative Budget Board

As chair of the Texas Legislative Budget Board and with power to make appointments to it, the lieutenant governor asserts considerable influence over public policy in Texas. "The authority of the Legislative Budget Board is broad, and its influence on spending is significant."[3]

The Texas Legislative Budget Board is "a permanent joint committee of the Texas Legislature that develops budget and policy recommendations for legislative appropriations for all agencies of state government, as well as completes fiscal analyses for proposed legislation. The LBB also conducts evaluations and reviews for the purpose of identifying and recommending changes that improve the efficiency and performance of state and local operations and finances."[4]

Legislative Budget Board Resources

Legislative Council

As chair of the Texas Legislative Council, the lieutenant governor has considerable sway over state programs and policy. The council is "a nonpartisan legislative agency that provides bill drafting, computing, research, publishing, and document distribution services to the Texas Legislature and the other legislative agencies. The council also serves as an information resource for state agencies, the citizens of Texas, and others as time and resources allow."[5]

Legislative Council Resources The council publishes a wealth of information for Texas researchers, officials and citizens, much of which is available in electronic format for free via their website (links below). The council's publications are divided into the five categories: legislative reference, session summaries, constitutional amendments, policy issues and historical.

Legislative Audit Committee

The lieutenant governor is one of six members of the Texas Legislative Audit Committee. The remaining five members include: "the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one member of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, and the chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee, House Appropriations Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee."[6] The committee provides guidance and oversight to the state auditor's office, which serves at the independent auditor of the Texas state government. "Types of audits the SAO performs include financial statement opinion audits, financial audits, compliance audits, economy and efficiency audits, effectiveness audits, and other special audits. The SAO may also perform reviews, which are less rigorous than audits and do not follow auditing standards, but provide a certain degree of assurance to decision makers. Investigations are performed whenever there is evidence of fraud or abuse of state resources."[7]


See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The lieutenant governor, which in Texas is equivalent to president of the senate, is entitled to a fixed annual salary and a per diem pursuant to Article 3, Section 24 of the Texas Constitution.

Functionally a state senator, the lieutenant governor is compensated in the amount and manner of a legislator rather than a state executive officer. Created by constitutional amendment, the Texas State Ethics Commission sets the lieutenant governor's per diem and may recommend he receive a higher salary than other state senators, in the amounts prescribed by law.[8]

Though a member of the executive branch, the lieutenant governor's only executive duty is to assume the governorship in the event the office becomes vacant or the governor temporarily leaves the state. If/when this executive duty is activated, the lieutenant governor's salary is reset to match the governor's and his legislative pay is suspended.[9]


In 2014, the lieutenant governor received a salary of $7,200, according to the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2013, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $7,200. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[11]


In 2012, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $7,200. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


As of 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid $7,200, the lowest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America.

Historical officeholders

Click "show" for Texas former governors from 1846-2000.[12]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Texas + Lieutenant + Governor

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Lieutenant Governor of Texas News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact information

Capitol Station
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711

See also

External links

Suggest a link