Governors and State Legislatures

Summary

Governors are called upon to work with the state legislature in the lawmaking process, to be the head of their political party, and to be the chief spokespersons and crisis managers for their states. State constitution or state statutes give many governors the power to veto legislation, pardon or commute the sentences of convicted criminals, author a state budget, and call a special session of the state legislature. The three key functions performed by state legislatures are lawmaking, constituency service, and oversight. Legislatures differ in size, diversity, party composition, and level of professionalism across the fifty states.