Lieutenant Governor of Texas

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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

David Dewhurst.jpg
Name:  David Dewhurst
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 21, 2003
Compensation:  $$7,200
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
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

David Dewhurst (born April 18, 1945) is the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Texas.


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 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 5 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 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the "on 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.


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.[2]

The Lieutenant Governor has the power to "set up standing or special committees and appoint committee chairpersons and individual members."[2] 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."[2]

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."[2] Finally, the Lieutenant Governor is a member of the Executive branch Cash Management Committee and Bond Review Board by statute.[2]

Legislative Budget Board

As chair of the 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."[2]

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."[3]

Legislative Budget Board Resources

Legislative Council

As Chair of the 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."[4]

Legislative Council Resources The Legislative 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, Historical.

Legislative Audit Committee

The Lieutenant Governor is one of six members of the 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."[5] The Audit 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."[6]


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

Article 4, Section 5 of the Texas Constitution defines the method by which the Governor's compensation is set:

The Governor shall, at stated times, receive as compensation for his services an annual salary in an amount to be fixed by the Legislature, and shall have the use and occupation of the Governor's Mansion, fixtures and furniture.

The lieutenant governor's pay is set by law and may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term.


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


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

Historical officeholders

Click "show" for Texas former governors from 1846-2000.[7]

Recent news

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Contact information

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

See also

External links

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