Smart Voter June 2, 1998 Primary - California

California State Governor
Duties and Responsibilities

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Reprinted with permission from the California State website. Original source.

The supreme executive power of the State of California is vested in the Governor, whose duty it is to see that the law is faithfully executed. The Governor is elected by the people for up to two terms of four years.

No person is eligible for the office of Governor who is not 18 years of age, and who has not been a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state for five years immediately preceding his election.

The Governor is Commander in Chief of the militia of this state. He is the sole official organ of communication between the government of this state and the federal government and the other states of the United States.

He must supervise the official conduct of all executive and ministerial officers, and he must see that all offices are filled and their duties performed.

The Governor may appoint and fix the salaries of such assistants and other personnel as he deems necessary for the proper conduct of his office...The Governor normally appoints a member of his staff to serve as his legislative secretary whose primary function is to maintain liaison between the executive office and the Legislature.

The Governor's appoint power also extends over the significant areas of state government. First, the Governor has authority to fill vacancies in the judiciary (municipal, superior, appeals and Supreme courts) and to fill newly created judgeships. Second, the Governor has power to appoint a large number of positions throughout the executive department, subject to confirmation by the State Senate.

The Governor must communicate with the Legislature, during each calendar year, regarding the condition of the state and may make recommendations. The Governor must also submit an itemized budget to the Legislature within the first 10 days of each year.

The Governor may veto any bill passed by the Legislature and return it with his objections to the house of origin. He may also reduce or eliminate one or more items of appropriation while approving other portions of the bill.

In addition to his immediate staff, the Governor utilizes a cabinet, composed of the secretaries of the eight major state agencies (State and Consumer Services; Business, Transportation and Housing; Environmental Protection; Child Development and Education; Food and Agriculture, Health and Welfare; Resources; and, the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency), the Director of Finance, and the Director of Industrial Relations.

This conglomerate serves as the Governor's chief policy advisory body and, in their individual capacities, implement and coordinate the Governor's policies throughout the state.

The cabinet supplies the Governor with a comprehensive view and current resume of the state operations and serves as a source for long-range planning.

[Taken from: California's Legislature (1994). Republished with permission.]

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