Article IV, Section 23 of the Texas Constitution

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As amended November 3, 2015:

The Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, the Attorney General, and any statutory State officer who is elected by the electorate of Texas at large, unless a term of office is otherwise specifically provided in this Constitution, shall each hold office for the term of four years. Each shall receive an annual salary in an amount to be fixed by the Legislature and perform such duties as are or may be required by law. They and the Secretary of State shall not receive to their own use any fees, costs or perquisites of office. All fees that may be payable by law for any service performed by any officer specified in this section or in the officer's office, shall be paid, when received, into the State Treasury.

Editor Comments

The section provides an exception to Article XVI, Section 30(a) for the Agriculture Commissioner (an elected statutory statewide officer).

The 2015 amendment to this section removed the requirement that the state officers governed by the section reside in the state capital.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

None.

Historic Decisions

  • Depoyster v. Baker, 34 S.W. 106, 108 (Tex. 1896) ("The commissioner of the general land office is one of the executive officers of the state. Const. art. 4, § 1. . . . While it is true that under the constitution and laws of the state this court has power to issue a mandamus to compel the performance, by the commissioner of the general land office, of a duty clearly enjoined upon him by law, it will not assume to control his discretion in matters where the law has reposed in him the exercise of his judgment in determining the existence or nonexistence of the given state of facts from the evidence furnished by the records of his department.")
  • Bledsoe v. Int. R. R. Co., 40 Tex. 537, 562 (1874) ("The comptroller being thus placed at the head of the fiscal department, clothed with the power of directing the same, and entitled to bring to his aid able counsel, surely it was intended that in all matters pertaining to the duties of his office, under the constitution, he should exercise judgment and discretion. To countersign and register state bonds would manifestly be an official act, and one pertaining to his general duties under the constitution; for that done, and the bonds would stand as audited and perfected claims against the government, and would perhaps operate as warrants on the treasurer.")

Library Resources

Online Resources