Sec.17. But no governor has full power to prevent the passage of a law. If he does not approve a bill, he must return it to the house in which it originated, stating his objections to it; and if it shall be again passed by both houses, it will be a law without the governor’s assent But in such cases greater majorities are generally required to pass a law. In some states, a majority of two-thirds of the members present is necessary; in others, a majority of all the members elected. In a few states, only the same majorities are required to pass a bill against the veto as in the first instance. Or if the governor does not return a bill within a certain number of days, it becomes a law without his signature, or without being considered a second time. In some states, bills are not sent to the governor, but are laws when passed by both houses and signed by their presiding officers.
Executive Department. Governor and Lieutenant-Governor.
Sec.1. The chief executive power of a state is, by the constitution, vested in a governor. The governor is chosen by the people at the general election; in South Carolina by the legislature. The term of office is not the same in all the states. In the six New England states, the governors are chosen annually; in the other states, for the different terms of two, three, and four years.
Sec.2. The qualifications for the office of governor are also different in the different states. To be eligible to the office of governor, a person must have been for a certain number of years a citizen of the United States, and for a term of years preceding his election a resident of the state. He must also be above a certain age, which, in a majority of the states, is at least thirty years; and in some states he must be a freeholder.
Sec.3. The powers and duties of a governor are numerous. He communicates by message to the legislature, at every session, information of the condition of the state of its affairs generally, and recommends such measures as he judges necessary and expedient. He is to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and to transact all necessary business with the officers of the government. He may convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions: that is, if, at a time when the legislature is not in session, a matter should arise requiring immediate attention, the governor may call a special meeting of the legislature, or as it is usually termed, an extra session.
Sec.4. A governor has power to grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment, and, in some states, of treason. To reprieve is to postpone or delay for a time the execution of the sentence of death upon a criminal. To pardon is to annul the sentence by forgiving the offense and releasing the offender. A governor may also commute a sentence; which is to exchange one penalty or punishment for another of less severity; as, when a person sentenced to suffer death, is ordered to be imprisoned.