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constitution as well as every subsequent constitution failed to vest in the governor the executive power which it has declared to be his. As Governor Hughes remarked in his inaugural address of 1909, "There is a domain of executive or administrative action over which he has no control, or slight control." In other words, the means of exercising the executive power are not given to the governor. To continue the analysis made by Governor Hughes: "There are several elected state officers not accountable to the governor, who exercise within their prescribed spheres most important executive powers * * *. The multiplication of executive duties incident to the vast and necessary increase in state activities has resulted in the creation of a large number of departments exercising administrative powers of first consequence to the people. The governor has the power of appointment, but in most cases the concurrence of the senate is necessary. The terms of officers are generally longer than the governor's term. And in their creation the legislature, with few exceptions, has reserved the final administrative control to the senate in making the heads of departments, to whose appointment the senate's consent is necessary, removable only by it." Thus the fundamental fact stands forth that the means of exercising the executive power are largely withheld from the governor in whom the power is constitutionally vested.


Nevertheless, in two important ways the governor is recognized as a responsible leader:

His Duty to Recommend Measures

All of the constitutions of this state have made it the duty of the governor to inform the legislature of the condition of the state and to recommend such matters as he shall deem worthy of consideration by that body. In the first organic law, he was instructed to recommend such matters “as appear to him to concern its [the state's] good government, welfare and prosperity." Under the present constitution he is to recommend whatever he shall "judge expedient." Obviously the duty of studying public policies and administrative methods is thus clearly laid upon the governor, with a view to his formulating positive recommendations to the legislature. By this very act the governor assumes before the public a marked responsibility, which is not discharged by a mere perfunctory address to the representative body.

His Power to Call Representatives Together in Extra Session

Further evidence of recognition of the need for executive leadership is found in provisions that give to the governor the power to call an extraordinary session of the legislature and to limit the work of such a

session to only those subjects which he may recommend for consideration. The exercise of this power by executives of great distinction and the general approval that has followed such exercise, in most cases, are evidence of popular appreciation and understanding of its significance.


What is lacking is the means for making leadership effective. When the principle which is recognized in private affairs as essential to leadership (viz., responsibility and effective collective action) is applied to the business of government it is evident that the one power essential to effective leadership is withheld or not made mandatory. It is not made the duty of the executive to appear personally before the legislature with projects or measures that are regarded by him to be needful. He is not required to formulate measures nor to have them formulated and presented by a responsible body of executive advisers or cabinet. Neither the governor nor anyone responsible to him is required to appear on the floor of the legislature to submit and defend his proposals against all "opposition" or to modify them, so that, if he is not supported, he may be in a strong position in going before the people on the issue raised. This has long been the common practice in all business corporations, but it has not been fully developed as a means of making government responsible.

Right to Introduce and Defend Measures Necessary to Effective Leadership


Since the establishment of the first state constitution, however, the above principle has been firmly fixed abroad. Recognizing such a requirement of the executive as essential to leadership, as well as essential to the location and enforcement of responsibility, the King's speech from the throne" in England is written by the cabinet and embodies the recommendations of the executive branch of the government. The French constitution provides that the executive may call extraordinary sessions and communicate by message, as in this country, and also gives to the executive power to introduce bills concurrently with the members of the legislature; and finally adds that "the ministers have entrance to both chambers and must be heard" (Article 6 of the Act of July 16, 1875). The admission of the executive to the floor of the legislature has also found widespread approval in the United States. The principle has received the endorsement of more than one president and it was approved by a committee of the federal senate a quarter of a century ago. It has been demonstrated to be sound and effective in foreign government as well as in private business enterprises.

Argument Opposed to the Principle Not Well Founded

The only argument in opposition to the principle, which carries weight with American opinion, is based on the assumption that admission of the executive to the floor would break down the accepted theory of separation of powers. This assumption has no foundation. On the contrary, it has been shown by all the experience of representative government that in those institutions in which the executive is required to meet with the representative body and submit his proposals and defend them, the principle of separation of powers has been preserved, whereas in those institutions in which no provision has been made for this, there has been a constant invasion of the administrative field by the legislative branch or the legislative field by the executive, or both.

Executive Leadership Essential to Preservation of Separation of Powers

The power to propose, explain, and defend, does not convey any power to enact; the power to question and criticize an executive officer is not an executive power, but a legitimate legislative function. The practice of admitting the executive officers to the legislature, only emphasizes the separation of powers and makes it really effective. It makes unnecessary those subterranean relations between the two branches which inevitably spring up when official lines of communication are forbidden. Under such a system the executive can really and effectively criticize the legislature and the legislature can force the executive to give an account of his conduct in office every day in the year. Without such administrative measures the constitutional inhibitions to prevent autocracy (the provisions requiring the executive to get authority from the legislature before he can proceed) gives to the legislature the power gradually to supplant the executive in the field of administration as it has done in this country.

Executive Leadership Essential to Safe Use of Veto Power

Certainly it must be admitted that such a system is not so much a violation of the separation of powers as is the authority to veto acts of the legislature; yet this is employed without any means of gaining for the people the benefits of requiring both the executive and the legislative to work in the open. Under present conditions the veto makes the governor responsible for legislation as well as for administration; and the denial of the right to the governor to formulate measures of administrative importance, to introduce and defend them, makes the legislature responsible for administration as well as for legislation. The result is the utmost confusion, instead of separation, of powers and responsibilities, as has been claimed.

An Alternative to Invisible Government

By adding to the power to propose measures and veto enactments, the right of introducing bills and defending them before the legislature, responsibility for both administration and legislation is definitized and made enforceable through appeals to public opinion. In the absence of such a procedure, unwise administrative measures are proposed by persons not responsible to the state at large for results and enacted into law without receiving the scrutiny of any officers charged with their enforcement. The only consideration that can now be given to such measures is in committee. Those which are enacted into law are usually enacted as the result of arrangements among members who are not openly responsible to the legislature, to say nothing of the state at large, and who work often in conjunction with those wholly unofficial persons that make it a business to organize the votes of localities favored by the legislation in hand to build up a system of patronage through the appropriations, contracts, and independent administrative functionaries of the state.

No Provision for Leadership in Matters of Economy

No provision is made for executive leadership in obtaining authority to raise and spend money. The power of the governor is negative only. The present constitution of New York vests in the governor power to veto single items of appropriation as well as whole bills. Article IV, section 9, provides that "if any bill presented to the governor contain several items of appropriation of money, he may object to one or more of such items while approving of the other portion of the bill." If the legislature is in session it may enact such items into law only by a twothirds vote. In actual practice, however, it generally happens that the legislature adjourns leaving a large number of unsigned appropriation measures in the hands of the governor.

Executive Veto to Items in Money Measures Only a Palliative

Under such circumstances the governor is held responsible for the acceptance or reduction of items as passed in measures for which he is not responsible. The power operates as a check on an irresponsible legislature. It does not cure irresponsibility; it does not supply leadership; it does put into the hands of the governor the power to punish political enemies by using the pruning knife where he will, in the plea of economy. The power is not constructive, but may be made highly destructive. It transfers from the legislative committee room to the executive chamber all the pressure that has been brought to bear in furtherance of the plans of an irresponsible "boss." It simply invites another dark room proceeding, instead of having the business of the state done in the open, in the face of the "opposition."

Uncertainty of Operation of Negative Power

If the legislature is in session at the time the governor vetoes an appropriation measure, he is required to transmit a copy of his reasons for refusing to sign the same to the house in which it originated, and the said house is instructed to reconsider separately the items objected to. Under these circumstances the governor may, if he chooses, get a fair statement of a consistent fiscal policy before the legislature for discussion and action. But usually the legislature has adjourned before the governor has an opportunity to act on many appropriations. He may also spread before the legislature in his messages a survey of the state's finances and recommendations for expenditures and retrenchments, but such a survey and such recommendations are merely pious wishes, so far as compelling even the attention of the legislature is concerned.

Positive Requirements under Present System Ineffective

A number of states impose upon the governor the constitutional obligation to present to the legislature estimates of the amount of money to be raised by taxation, but such a provision alone does not go very far in establishing executive responsibility for appropriation bills. The Efficiency and Economy Committee of Illinois, where such a constitutional provision exists, remarks in its recent report that as far as it is aware no governor has complied with this important mandate. It adds, in justice to the governors, that failure in this respect may be attributed in the main to the fact that the executive authorities of the state as now organized have not afforded the governor the facilities for securing the requisite information. In no state does the governor seem to have used his constitutional powers to the fullest extent in the direction of complete budget making, but doubtless for the additional reason that the incentive to do so is slight in view of the impossibility of really securing legislative action under proper scrutiny and in the light of effective public discussion. All the expedients have proved ineffective due to lack of provision for responsible executive leadership in matters that are of fundamental importance to the administration.

Constitutional Requirement of Executive to Frame, Submit and Defend Money Bills

The mere fact that there is an increasing number of states which are giving the governor the power to veto items in appropriation bills is indicative of a condition demanding change. Inasmuch as the finances in our states call for more systematic attention and centralized and responsible control, sound public policy requires that effective measures be adopted for giving the governor a power over the budget which is commensurate with the present responsibility really vested in him as the chief executive" by popular opinion. Nothing short of a thorough


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