Comparing the President and the Governor

Today’s post features another podcast that leads up to Governor Brown’s final State of the State Address tomorrow. In today’s podcast we’ll be comparing the US President and California’s Governor, and their respective roles in the legislative process.

We already touched on some of the similarities and differences in my post on Monday, which covered the Governor’s line-item veto authority, a power that the President does not have. Another point of comparison was on the pocket veto and the pocket signature.

Let’s touch on some similarities. In relatively broad terms, both the Governor and the President are extensively involved in the legislative process because they can propose – as well as sign and veto – legislation, they can propose and sign budgets, and they make appointments to executive branch agencies and departments.

They also both make major policy addresses to their respective legislative bodies. As I mentioned earlier, Governor Brown will be delivering his final State of the State address to the California legislature tomorrow morning. The President will be giving his State of the Union address to Congress next week.

Another difference between the President and the Governor is the California Governor’s ability to call the Legislature into extraordinary session. This power allows the Governor to call the California legislature into a session to address specific issues, such as a natural disaster, a budget crisis, or some other high profile policy issue. The US President does not have this power.

The President and Governor are both actively engaged in proposing and reviewing the federal and state government budgets. The Governor largely participates in the California Legislature’s review and adoption of the budget through the Department of Finance (DOF). Similarly, the President engages in this process with Congress through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). While the two agencies have similar duties, DOF doesn’t achieve the same level of power that is vested by federal law in the OMB.

Please listen to the rest of the podcast for more comparisons between the President and the Governor, and their respective roles in the legislative process.