Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the organization of the Texas executive branch. The roles of the boards and commissions are discussed, in addition to explaining the measures in place for bureaucratic accountability.

The executive branch of Texas is a plural executive. This means voters directly elect a large number of the executive branch officials, including the lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller of public accounts, agriculture commissioner, land commissioner, the Railroad Commission of Texas, secretary of state, and the members of several boards and commissions. The secretary of state is an executive branch official not elected but appointed by the governor. Boards and commissions carry out many necessary state functions, including education, criminal justice, transportation, and regulation. Voters elect two boards, the Board of Education and the Railroad Commission. The governor appoints others, such as the Texas Department of Transportation and the Public Utility Commission. State agencies are subject to sunshine laws that require official business be completed in the public eye. Sunset review demands that agencies demonstrate on a regular basis that they are worthy of the budgets and power they receive.