Kris Seago
Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Community College / Lower Division
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:

Introduction: Texas' Governor and Executive Branch


Introduction: Texas' Governor and Executive Branch

Learning Objective

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Explain the structure and function of the executive branch of the Texas government


In its 2019 session, the Texas Legislature failed to pass a “Sunset” bill that would have continued the existence of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. The bill had stalled amid controversy over whether or not to phase out this small agency and combine its functions into the larger Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Without passage of S.B. 621, Texas faced an interesting problem. With no law requiring plumbers to be licensed and no agency to license them, anybody with a pipe wrench could now go into the plumbing business, performing jobs from replacing a kitchen faucet to complex medical gas piping in a hospital with no license and no training.

Shortly after the session, legislators realized what they had done. Some legislators, plumbers, city plumbing inspectors and others began calling for a special legislative session to fix the problem. Instead, Texas Governor Greg Abbott simply issued an executive order extending the existence of the state board through the next regular legislative session.


"A qualified workforce of licensed plumbers throughout the state, including from areas not directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, will be essential as those funds are being invested in crucial infrastructure, medical facilities, living facilities, and other construction projects,” he said in his order. By extending the board through the next legislative session or until “disaster needs subside,” the governor was able to tap into sweeping powers given to his office to deal with natural disasters.

How can a governor in a “weak governor” state sidestep the legislature and resurrect an agency despite legislation to the contrary? In this chapter, we’ll look at the executive branch of state government in Texas.

Licensing and Attribution


The Executive Department and the Office of the Governor of Texas: Introduction. Authored by: Andrew Teas. License: CC BY: Attribution