TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION - ARTICLE III. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
The Supreme Executive power of this State shall be vested in a Governor.
The Governor shall be chosen by the electors of the members of the General Assembly, at the time and places where they shall respectively vote for the members thereof. The returns of every election for Governor shall be sealed up, and transmitted to the seat of Government, by the returning officers, directed to the Speaker of the Senate, who shall open and publish them in the presence of a majority of the members of each House of the General Assembly. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, one of them shall be chosen Governor by joint vote of both Houses of the General Assembly. Contested elections for governor shall be determined by both Houses of the General Assembly, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
He shall be at least thirty years of age, shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been a citizen of this State seven years next before his election.
The Governor shall be elected to hold office for four years and until a successor is elected and qualified. A person may be eligible to succeed in office for additional four-year terms, provided that no person presently serving or elected hereafter shall be eligible for election to more than two terms consecutively, including an election to a partial term.
One succeeding to the office vacated during the first eighteen calendar months of the term shall hold office until a successor is elected for the remainder of the term at the next election of members of the General Assembly and qualified pursuant to this Constitution. One succeeding to the office vacated after the first eighteen calendar months of the term shall continue to hold office for the remainder of the full term.
He shall be commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of this State, and of the Militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States: But the Militia shall not be called into service except in case of rebellion or invasion, and then only when the General Assembly shall declare, by law, that the public safety requires it.
He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, after conviction, except in cases of impeachment.
He shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for his services, which shall not be increased or diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected.
He may require information in writing, from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly by proclamation, in which he shall state specifically the purposes for which they are to convene; but they shall enter on no legislative business except that for which they were specifically called together.
He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of the state of the government, and recommend for their consideration such measures as he shall judge expedient.
In case of the removal of the Governor from office, or of his death, or resignation, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve on the Speaker of the Senate; and in case of the death, removal from office, or resignation of the Speaker of the Senate, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve on the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, or this State, shall execute the office of Governor.
When any officer, the right of whose appointment is by this Constitution vested in the General Assembly, shall, during the recess, die, or the office, by the expiration of the term, or by other means, become vacant, the Governor shall have the power to fill such vacancy by granting a temporary commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Legislature.
There shall be a Seal of this State, which shall be kept by the Governor, and used by him officially, and shall be called the Great Seal of the State of Tennessee.
All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Tennessee, be sealed with the State Seal, and signed by the Governor.
A Secretary of State shall be appointed by joint vote of the General Assembly and commissioned during the term of four years; he shall keep a fair register of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor; and shall, when required lay the same, and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto, before the General Assembly; and shall perform such other duties as shall be enjoined by law.
Every Bill which may pass both Houses of the General Assembly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor for his signature. If he approve, he shall sign it, and the same shall become a law; but if he refuse to sign it, he shall return it with his objections thereto, in writing, to the House in which it originated; and said House shall cause said objections to be entered at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider the Bill. If after such reconsideration, as majority of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the Bill, notwithstanding the objections of the Executive, it shall be sent, with said objections, to the other House, by which it shall be likewise reconsidered. If approved by a majority of the whole number elected to that House, it shall become a law. The votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of all the members voting for or against the Bill shall be entered upon the journals of their respective Houses.
If the Governor shall fail to return any Bill with his objections in writing within ten calendar days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall become a law without his signature. If the General Assembly by its adjournment prevents the return of any Bill within said ten-day period, the Bill shall become a law, unless disapproved by the Governor and filed by him with his objections in writing in the office of the Secretary of State within said ten-day period.
Every joint resolution or order (except on question of adjournment and proposals of specific amendments to the Constitution) shall likewise be presented to the Governor for his signature, and on being disapproved by him shall in like manner, be returned with his objections; and the same before it shall take effect shall be repassed by a majority of all the members elected to both houses in the manner and according to the rules prescribed in case of a Bill.
The Governor may reduce or disapprove the sum of money appropriated by any one or more items or parts of items in any Bill appropriating money, while approving other portions of the Bill. The portions so approved shall become law, and the items or parts of items disapproved or reduced shall be void to the extent that they have been disapproved or reduced unless repassed as hereinafter provided. The Governor, within ten calendar days (Sundays excepted) after the Bill shall have been presented to him, shall report the items or parts of items disapproved or reduced with his objections in writing to the House in which the Bill originated, or if the General Assembly shall have adjourned, to the office of the Secretary of State. Any such items or parts of items so disapproved or reduced shall be restored to the Bill in the original amount and become law if repassed by the General Assembly according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other Bills over the executive veto.
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