Bargaining with Governors Formal Powers of Governors Informal Powers of Governors The Legislature vs. the Governor Budget Bargaining Everyday Oversight
The Formal Powers a Governor Does Have Propose a budget Gov’s budget due in early January Constitutional deadline June 15
The Formal Powers a Governor Does Have Thousands of Appointments Cabinet members, agency officials Judges, board members But California has a plural executive, which means that the executive branch is split into many (8) elected offices. The Lt. Governor, Treasurer, Controller, etc. do not serve the Gov.
The Formal Powers a Governor Does Have Executive Orders – car tax Veto powers The governor can veto any bill passed by the legislature, and it takes a 2/3 vote to override the veto. The governor can line item veto some portion of a bill, striking a clause or, more often, a dollar figure.
Veto Activity How Often Do Governors Say No? YearGovernor Chaptered Bills Vetoes Total Bills Percent Vetoed 1967Reagan1,725 831,8084.59 1975Brown1,280 931,3736.77 1984Deukmejian1,7603032,06314.69 1991Wilson1,2312591,49017.38 1999Davis1,0252461,27119.35 2000Davis1,0923621,45424.91 2001Davis 9481691,11715.13 2002Davis1,1702631,43318.35 2003Davis 909 58 967 6.00 2004 Arnold 9543111,26524.58 2005 Arnold 729232 96124.14 2006 Arnold 9102621,17222.35
The Formal Powers a Governor Does Not Have Propose legislation. The governor cannot author a bill. Put an initiative on the ballot. Can’t do it. Enact a budget without reaching an agreement with the Legislature. Nope. Increase funding through a line item veto. Not happening.
Informal Powers of Governors The Power of Initiation. (Alan Rosenthal, Governors and Legislatures: Contending Powers ) Inaugural address and State of the State allow governors to argue for change. Executive orders can get part of a proposal done. Governors can call special sessions for particular purposes
Informal Powers of Governors The Power of Provision. “Any legislator who says he needs nothing from the Governor’s office is either lying or stupid.” Appointments are legislators’ patronage as well as governors’. Roads and other state projects. Social events.
Informal Powers of Governors The Power of Publicity Governors are almost always more popular than the Legislature This gets them on TV, etc. Ever-elusive “political capital”
What Do Governors Say Gives them Power? First Term Effect: “For any governor in any state, and for the president, you are never as powerful as you are on the day of your inauguration. You start at the peak of your power, and then it just goes downhill from there.” -- Gray Davis Popularity: “I think if a governor has strong popularity ratings, he’s got a bigger bully pulpit.” – Bob Taft Party Control: “I was fortunate in having a strong party majority in both houses, far beyond the filibuster-proof, and a couple of times at the end of my administration they’d say “We can’t let our party leader fail.” Parris Glendenning
What Do Governors Say Gives them Power? Sustainable Vetoes: “It is power to veto legislation that gives a governor the power to get legislation.” – Pete Wilson aid Dan Schnur Sustainable Vetoes: As Attorney General, Jerry Brown ruled that it was not illegal for a governor to hold legislative bills hostage to his demands, writing that "compromise in the rough-and- tumble legislative process is not achieved by doilies and tea."
The Legislature vs. the Governor: Two Constituencies Problem Why do the governors and legislators disagree? The Legislature is apportioned to represent residents. Only 16.2% had household incomes of $40-75,000, and 32.4% were Latino in 2000. The electorate for a governor (as well as initiative) is voters. 36% middle class, 13% Latino in 2000.
The Legislature vs. the Governor: Budget Bargaining After the governor proposes a budget, the Legislature does whatever it wants. Senate and Assembly both hold subcommittee hearings, Budget Committee hearings, and even pass bills. Then the real bargaining begins. “May Revise” tells us size of pie Before Jan. 1, 2011: The budget needed to pass with a 2/3 majority, giving minority party a voice. After the passage of Prop. 25 in November, 2010, the budget can be passed with a simple majority (but not tax increases)
The Legislature vs. the Governor: Budget Bargaining “The Big Five” often negotiate the real budget deal: The Governor Assembly Speaker Assembly Minority Leader Senate President Pro Tempore: Senate Minority Leader Prop. 25 Could Make this the Big 3
The Legislature vs. the Governor: Budget Bargaining
The Legislature vs. the Governor: Everyday Oversight Types of Oversight Activity: Oversight hearings in the interim between sessions. Audits performed by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the Bureau of State Audits. Senate approval of appointments. Informal communication between legislative and executive staff.
The Legislature vs. the Governor: Everyday Oversight
Discussion Questions John Jacobs and A.G. Block contrast four governors’ styles. Can these styles help to explain their power? Do you think that the tax shares paid by different income quintiles in California (Decker, p.23) are fair? What about the Big Five (Johnston, pp. 10-11)?
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