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What are a Governor's Responsibilities?

By Venus D.
Updated May 17, 2024
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A governor is the head of a non-sovereign state. Countries all over the world have this role within their government, with differing titles for it.

Each of the 50 states in the United States has a governor, who is ultimately responsible for how the state is run. State constitutions delegate different duties and requirements for the role of governor, such as the number of terms a candidate may be elected for the office and the age requirement to run. The rules for the line of succession vary, as do the responsibilities of the role. There are some significant similarities however.

In all US states, this person is the chief executive of the state and runs the executive branch of the government. He is the commander-in-chief of the military and is responsible for managing the state budget. Furthermore, the US constitution states that the he or she is allowed to fill vacancies in the state's two Senate seats.

In Georgia, for example, the governor has the power to veto legislation from the Georgia General Assembly. The veto, however, can be overturned by two-thirds of both houses in the Assembly: the House of Representatives and the Senate. In addition, he or she can fill vacancies in both Assembly houses.

While the Georgia General Assembly sets the budget, the budget is at the control of the governor. Therefore, it is possible for him or her to allocate the budget according to his or her political allies and foes. Furthermore, the Georgia governor, unlike the one in Florida, is not equal to leaders of other state departments. Instead, he outranks them.

Governors also have significant involvement in foreign affairs, especially due to the advent of the Homeland Security Bureau. They must be familiar with security procedures, such as raising the terror alert. In addition to international politics, governors have influence within national policy decisions. In 2006, George Pataki and Bob Ehrlich threatened legal action if Dubai Portal World was allowed to enforce security in US ports. These legal actions include canceling state lease agreements at the ports in question.

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Discussion Comments
By anon264766 — On Apr 29, 2012

What symbol do we use to describe the governor?

By anon241696 — On Jan 19, 2012

Why are the governor's duties and responsibilities different for each state?

By anon167814 — On Apr 14, 2011

How can we overthrow the governor of Texas, immediately? (Other than violent means, I'm being serious here).

By anon117017 — On Oct 08, 2010

Yes the governor of Texas has the duty to defend the state, but he has only so much power. The current Texas Constitution was made to have a governor with as little power as possible. The current constitution was written after the Texas governor, E.J. Davis, abused his position. He was about as corrupt as you can get. Thanks to him, the current Texas government has some tight reigns on everything.

By anon105744 — On Aug 22, 2010

the governor of the state of texas has the duty to

defend the state against all foes, foreign or domestic and also has the obligation to maintain

a safe border. not doing so is a dereliction of his duties and obligations. he is the governor, and

a president of this state of texas first of all.

By anon79196 — On Apr 21, 2010

what can a governor do that a senator or president cannot do?

By anon70149 — On Mar 12, 2010

Can the governor kill a man?

By anon51245 — On Nov 04, 2009

does the governor get to do what ever they want?

By anon47486 — On Oct 05, 2009

I believe that if the governor wanted to overthrow the president, they could. They have some power that the president does not.

By anon33252 — On Jun 03, 2009

In most states the governor has the power of the line-item veto, which allows them to pick and choose what parts of a bill they approve, as opposed to just saying "yes" or "no." This is a power that the president does not hold.

By uscitizen — On Apr 09, 2009

Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, was on Glenn Beck. He was saying that he couldn't mobilize the National Guard to protect the borders. Why not? He's commander in chief of the military.

By anon11766 — On Apr 22, 2008

does the governor deal with congress in any way?

By anon2663 — On Jul 20, 2007

can the governor do anything that the president cannot do?

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