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California Resources

This State Guide provides an in-depth look at sources of law within the state of California.

More on California's Executive Branch

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

The Governor is elected by the citizens of California and may serve no more than two four-year terms. Duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • The presentation of the State of the State Address to the members of the legislature at the beginning of each legislative session;
  • Presentation of the annual budget to the legislature with anticipated revenue and expense statements;
  • The power to veto any bill passed by the Legislature and return it with his objections to the house of origin;
  • Line item veto power over appropriations bills;
  • The duty to submit an itemized budget to the Legislature within the first 10 days of each calendar year;
  • The power to fill vacancies in the judiciary and appoint individuals to fill vacant positions within the executive departments of the government;
  • The power to acts as the Commander in Chief of the militia of the state and represents the state in official communications between other states and the federal government.

The Lieutenant Governor is also elected to a four year term, whose service cannot exceed two terms in office. The Lieutenant Governor performs duties delegated by the Governor. If the Governor leaves office before the end of the four year term for any reason, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor.

The Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, and Treasurer shall be elected at the same time and places and for the same term as the Governor. No Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, or Treasurer may serve in the same office for more than 2 terms. Cal. Const., art. V, § 11.

Executive Departments and Agencies

Along with members of his immediate staff, the Governor's Cabinet is composed of the secretaries and directors of the following state agencies: (1) Secretary of Food and Agriculture, (2) Secretary of Transportation, (3) Secretary of Environmental Protection; (4) Secretary of Child Development and Education; (5) Secretary of Health and Human Services; (6) Secretary of Natural Resources; (7) Secretary of Business, Consumer Services and Housing; (8) Secretary of Veterans Affairs; (9) Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation; (10) Director of Finance; and (11) Director of Industrial Relations.

California Secretary of State. The Chief Elections Officer of the State of California is an elected official who can serve no more that two four-year terms. The duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State include the following:

  • The State's Chief Elections Officer overseeing all aspects of the voter registration and participation;
  • The California Automated Lobbyist And Campaign Contribution & Expenditure Search System (CAL-ACCESS) which facilitates the "electronic filing and Internet disclosure of campaign and lobbyist financial information";
  • Chartering corporations and other business classifications;
  • Overseeing the State Archives;
  • Filing official documents from Uniform Commercial Code financing and tax lien information to certificates of limited partnerships and limited liability companies.

California Attorney General. The Attorney General is an elected official who can serve no more that two four-year terms. Some of the key duties of the Attorney General include:

  • Ensuring the laws of California are equitably enforced and applied;
  • Being the representative of California citizenry in litigated matters before state and federal court jurisdictions;
  • Acting as legal counsel to state officers, and with a few exceptions, state agencies, boards and commissions;
  • Assisting district attorneys, local law enforcement officers, federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice;
  • Promoting efforts to protect the citizens of California, "from fraudulent, unfair, and illegal activities that victimize consumers or threaten public safety, and enforces laws that safeguard the environment and natural resources."

Other state elected officials include:

  • State Treasurer's Office. The duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer's Office include overseeing and managing investment and financial matters of the state. The office is also responsible for financing public works projects.
  • State Controller. The Controller is responsible "for accountability and disbursement of the state's financial resources."