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Executive Branch The Plural Executive. Attorney General Greg Abbott Elected 2002/6. Phil Wilson – Perry Appointee. The Executive Branch. Topical Scenario Elected State Officials Appointed State Officials Bureaucracy Organization Controlling the Bureaucracy

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executive branch the plural executive
Executive Branch The Plural Executive

Attorney General

Greg Abbott

Elected 2002/6

Phil Wilson – Perry Appointee

the executive branch
The Executive Branch
  • Topical Scenario
  • Elected State Officials
  • Appointed State Officials
  • Bureaucracy Organization
  • Controlling the Bureaucracy
  • Bureaucracy and Change
  • Bureaucracy and Democracy
topical scenario page 155
Topical Scenario – Page 155
  • Deregulating College Tuition
  • 2003 - $10,000,000 Budget Deficit
  • Tuition rates set by legislature
  • Schools lobby legislature for change
  • Law passes allowing schools to set rates
  • Goals –
    • Increase graduation rates
    • Efficient use of facilities
    • Financial assistance (grants, work study, loans)
  • Spring of 2004
    • 20% increase in tuition
    • 40% increase in federal loans for education
tuition growth
Tuition Growth
  • University of Texas 15 Hour Semester
    • 2002 $2472
    • 2009 $4686
  • Current Year
    • UT $8060
    • A&M $7326
    • TT $7083
    • TSU $6518
the bureaucracy government agencies
Implement legislative policy (detail rules)

Power and organization dictated by legislature

Three organizational patterns

Headed by single person

Headed by part-time unpaid commission

Headed by full-time commission

Electorate only has limited influence

List of Texas Bureaucratic Agencies - 157

The Bureaucracy - Government Agencies
plural executive versus cabinet executive
Plural Executive versus Cabinet Executive
  • 1836 -1876 – Governor had cabinet style executive
  • 1876 Constitution created Plural Executive
  • 1931 reorganization committee recommends cabinet style executive
  • Proposal killed in legislature
  • Texas is one of only a few states with a plural executive
elected state officials
Attorney General – Greg Abbott

Chief state lawyer, 4 year term

Stepping stone to governor’s office

Litigation area

Represents agencies as defender or plaintiff

Almost entirely civil rather than criminal

Issues include: anti-trust, consumer-protection, consumer safety, environment statutes, health issues.

Elected State Officials
elected state officials1
Comptroller - Tax collector

Susan Combs – lawyer and politician

Forecasts revenues available for budget

Large, expert staff

Absorbed the state treasurer’s responsibilities in 1996

Elected State Officials
elected state officials2
Elected State Officials
  • Land Commissioner - manages all state owned lands
  • Jerry Patterson – senator, bureaucrat and businessman
  • Controls state land leases
  • Manages oil/gas revenues generated by state land leases for schools and universities
  • Runs Veterans Land Program
  • Environmental protections issues
  • Recently water and natural gas promotion efforts
elected state officials3
Elected State Officials
  • Agricultural Commissioner
  • Susan Combs - Lawyer and rancher
  • Created by legislative action
  • Promotes and regulates agricultural products
  • Oversees pest-control regulations, egg/seed labeling, monitors weights and measures, water supply issues
elected state officials4
Elected State Officials
  • Railroad Commission -1891
  • Three members in 6 years staggered terms
  • Initially designed to regulate railroads
  • Federal government now performs that function
  • Regulates oil and gas industry and mining
  • Michael Williams is first African American to win state wide office with 80% of the vote in 2000
oil not railroads
Oil not Railroads
  • From RR regulation to oil & gas issues
  • Wells and pipeline safety and spills
  • Land versus mineral rights owner conflict
  • 1999 - Garza proposes new clean up standards with Williams support.
  • Matthews opposes - gains industry support
  • Williams switches allegiances
  • Proposal is dropped
elected state officials5
Elected State Officials
  • State Board of Education
  • Originally elected supervisor with advisory board
  • Became statewide elected board of 23
  • Reduced to 15 in the 1980’s
  • Governor given power to appoint the commissioner in the 90’s
  • Controls investing of state education fund
  • Legislature removed textbook authority
sboe today
SBOE Today
  • State Board of Education
    • Mixture of appointed and elected officials
    • Currently 15 members plus Commissioner and Chair
  • Religious conservative influence
    • Sex Ed, Phonics, Vouchers, Textbook selection
  • Teachers have organized opposition
  • Legislature has limited power
appointed state officials
Appointed State Officials
  • 15 Heads of Agencies
  • 11 Regulatory Commissions
  • 150 Various Boards and Commissions
  • Can only be removed with 2/3 vote of Senate
secretary of state
Secretary of State
  • Keeper of state records
  • Responsible for election data and filing
  • Responsible for supervision of elections
  • Certifies election results
public utility commission
Public Utility Commission
  • Three members in six years staggered terms
  • Responsible for regulation of utility and telecommunication industries
  • Overseeing energy deregulation between 2002 and 2004
  • Rules on cost bases, monitors abuse in power market, reviews and supervises power grid procedures
texas commission on environmental quality
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Three commissioners in six year staggered terms
  • Environmental policy regulation
  • Quasi-judicial role
  • Settles disputes arising between environmental and home owner groups and business
insurance commission
Insurance Commission
  • Originally 3 member board
  • Regulates and oversees the insurance industry
  • Monitors health of industry (assets available)
  • Regulates rates
  • Regulates HMOs
public counsels
Public Counsels
  • Public advocates for selected government agencies
    • Public insurance counsel
    • Public utilities counsel
  • Examine rate hikes and other agency specific issues
  • Argue for public rights and lower rates
commissioner of health and human services
Commissioner of Health and Human Services
  • Use to Oversees 13 different agencies
  • More coordinating than controlling position
  • Constitutional amendment was rejected in 1999 to extend tenure and give commissioner more power.
  • Reorganized by legislature in 2003
boards and commissions
Boards and Commissions
  • Vary in size from 3 to 9
  • Most have six years staggered terms
  • PUC, TCEQ, Railroad Commission, Board of Pardons and Parole, and Workforce Commission are only full-time paid groups
staff size and pay
Staff Size and Pay
  • Full Time Equivalent Workers in 2004 – 268,172
  • Total Workforce 2007 –
    • 343,950
    • 186,100 – Higher education
  • Pay Range
    • $16,176
    • $203,935 - $904,000
    • $3,000,000
organizing and reorganizing
Organizing and Reorganizing
  • As administrations and legislatures and the times change the bureaucracy must change as well.
  • Drastic changes are usually opposed by bureaucracy and legislature.
  • Reorganization usually takes place gradually and piecemeal.
  • Ann Richards and John Sharp tried to form a cabinet style executive and consolidate agencies.
controlling the bureaucracy
Controlling the Bureaucracy
  • Legislative oversight is critical part of system checks and balances.
  • Sunset Process
    • Agencies have 12 year life span unless extended by legislature
    • Sunset Advisory Commission made up of legislators
  • Since 1979 230 agencies have been continued, 61 have been abolished or absorbed by another.
bureaucracy and change
Bureaucracy and Change
  • Evolution of Agencies
    • From industry controller and watchdog
    • To captured agency controlled by industry
  • Sympathetic industry commissioners appointed
  • Clientele relationship develops
  • “Revolving Door” employment develops
  • Iron triangle controls amount and speed of change.
bureaucracy and democracy
Bureaucracy and Democracy
  • Not elected equals undemocratic
  • Administration Procedures Act attempts to force open public deliberation
  • Iron triangle model suggests agencies only going through motions of openness
  • Actual deliberations are closed
  • Some agencies do encourage a pluralistic approach to democracy but many are not