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Governors And Legislatures Contending Powers. Essay

3095 words - 12 pages

The book Governors and Legislatures Contending Powers by Alan Rosenthal addresses the American Governor and his roll with state legislatures. The book examines the powers of governors and how each state differs in the amount of freedom it gives it's chief executive. Rosenthal also adresses the evolving relationship between governors and the state legislators that they share power with. Finally the book adresses the different functions of governors such as budget preparation and legislation initiation. In the book Governors and Legislatures Contending For Power, Alan Rosenthal exposes the differing roles and powers of American Governors. One of the book's main focuses is the roles andpowers that governors have and the extent as to which different states' leaders are able to assert them. One of the biggest roles that the author attributes to governors is the power to shape legislation. Although a governor serves many other roles, his role of policy maker may be the most important. (Rosenthal, 5).Within the role of chief policy shaper lies many powers that have been attributed to governors throughtout the country. One of The first powers addressed by Rosenthal is the power of initiation. By preparing legislation and referring it to the legislature, a governor is exerting his or her power to cross into another branch of government. Although no governor is able to vote in a state house or senate, the ability to introduce legislation is a tremendous source of power.Rosenthal goes on to address the use of speeches as a way governors can effect policy. Starting with their innagural address and followed with the annual state of the state address, governors have the ability to introduce to legislators and, perhaps most importantly, the public their agenda for their administration(Rosenthal, 7).The use of executive orders is another way that governors go about using their own power to battle unfriendly legislatures. By surpassing the legislative branch, the chief executive is able to initiate many changes that would not be able to make it through chambers composed of the opposing party. By doing this the governor is not only using his or own power, but possibly cutting into the power of the legislative branch.The final power of initiation that Rosenthal illustrates lies in the power of governors to call legislatures to special session. With the power to bring lawmakers together for a specific issue, the governor wields a powerfull roll in determining what ideas are addressed. Although the final power of deciding what bills to pass rests with legislators, the ability to initiate debate on issues of importance helps increase the power of governors.The second major power that governors hold ,according to Rosenthal, is the power of rejection. In the veto lies a enormous power to effect what bills become law. With the ability to send back legislation, governors hold a deadly check on what legislatures can accomplish. With all but one state...

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