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Texas' Government: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

In this lesson, we will explore an overview of the Texas government. Read on to learn about the roles of each branch and big government in a big state.

Everything is Bigger in Texas

Texas is known for having 'big' things and doing things in a big way, and with more than 252 counties, Texas has more counties than any other state. Try to imagine the state of Texas chopped up into that many pieces! Within each county are populations of 27 to over 2 million residents. That is a lot of people! If there are so many people to manage, who sets the laws and makes the rules? The Texas state government does!

The Constitution of Texas describes its laws. It describes the roles of the leaders and the laws of the land. Did you know that Texas has one of the longest state constitutions in the United States? It divides the leadership into three different branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Texas Seal
Texas Seal

Executive

The executive branch of government functions just like the federal executive branch and serves to execute the laws. The executive branch consists of many important representatives, and the head of this branch is the governor. A governor is the leader of the state and works with the legislative branch to pass new laws when they are needed. He or she also acts as the ambassador, or representative of Texas in certain ceremonies. For instance, when the government of the United States meets to change laws, the Texas governor is there to represent the people of Texas.

All of the executive branch officials are elected except the Secretary of State. To be elected means the people of the state vote and decide who will be the representative for a certain job.

Legislative

The legislative branch is where the rules, or laws, are made that help approximately 20 million people share a state. Texas' legislative branch also includes elected representatives.

This branch votes on which bills (which are suggestions for new laws) should be included in the Texas Constitution as new laws.

The Texas legislature is a bicameral system, which means there are two chambers that vote on bills: the House and the Senate. Before a new law can be accepted, it must pass through both chambers.

Texas divides legislation among 36 state senators and 150 state house representatives. The 36 senators represent the represent 36 separate geographical districts and the representatives consider the bills.

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