George W. Bush as Governor of Texas
George W. Bush is most well known for leading the United States as President from 2001-2009. Before he reached the White House, however, he was the governor of Texas. The dates of his service in this position lasted from January 1995 to December 2000. He resigned in the middle of his second term to take over the role of President. Bush is a Republican and brought a challenge to the then-current Democratic governor of Texas, Ann Richards. His campaign was run on promises to bring improvement to the public educational system in the state, reform the justice system in relation to juveniles, give needed attention to welfare programs, and adjust the tort laws of the state. (This final point is the system that allows injured people to sue for damages.) He won by a vote of 53% and took over as governor of Texas.
During his first year as governor, he worked with the houses of the Texas legislature, both of which were led by Democrats. He somehow managed to have bills passed in relation to all four issues he promised to tackle in his campaign that won him the election in the first place. Bush was logically considered a pro-business leader who could lead a consensus between all parties.
One of Bush’s most prominent actions as the governor of Texas was to sign the two largest tax cuts in Texas history. Both cuts combined to total over $3 billion. Bush’s idea for funding the cuts—to gain federal approval of privatizing social services in Texas—was unsuccessful. Reform of the state’s educational system was a priority of Bush’s throughout both of his terms. Specific legislation was passed in regards to locally controlling schools, increasing standards, and revising the curriculum. After he was reelected in 1998 with nearly 70% of the vote, he began his campaign for presidency and left halfway through the term.
One prominent action of Bush as the governor of Texas was to use capital punishment for different cases throughout the state. In fact, he gained international attention for his actions. Another portion of his leadership in Texas led to controversy later. This is that some charter schools in Texas are hindered by financial scandals and people are protesting about the concept that one test determines a child’s promotion. Despite these controversies, Bush was able to secure a second term. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing for the controversy of his presidential administration.