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Session Lessons: What does the lieutenant governor do?

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is serving his second term.

DALLAS — Texas voters elect a governor and lieutenant governor every four years.

Governor Greg Abbott was elected to his second term in 2018 as was Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

The candidates do not run together on a single ticket like the U.S. President and Vice President do.

Because the governor and lieutenant governor are separated on the ballot, they can be from different parties.

That has happened in Texas.

Most recently, in the late 1990s, Democrat Bob Bullock was lieutenant governor under Republican Gov. George W. Bush.

RELATED: Session Lessons: What does the Speaker of the House do?

As for the office of lieutenant governor, according to the Texas Constitution, if the governor leaves office through a resignation or if the governor becomes unable to run the state, the lieutenant governor automatically assumes the office.

That is how former Gov. Rick Perry initially took office. He was lieutenant governor under Bush and became governor when Bush became president.

The lieutenant governor is president of the Texas Senate, which gives him the power to appoint senators to committees and decide which bills make it to senate committees for discussion.

The lieutenant governor oversees legislative debate on the Senate floor and casts a vote if there is a tie.

The lieutenant governor also leads the legislative budget board, which means he has significant control over the state’s entire budgeting process.

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