Texas Governor George W. Bush:
An Inventory of Governor George W. Bush Criminal Justice Division Public Information Requests Located at the George W. Bush Presidential Library, 1995-1999
The governor of Texas is the chief executive officer of the state, elected by the citizens every four years. The duties and responsibilities of the governor include serving as commander-in-chief of the state's military forces; convening special sessions of the legislature for specific purposes; delivering to the legislature at the beginning of each regular session a report on the condition of the state, an accounting of all public money under the governor's control, a recommended biennial budget, an estimate of the amounts of money required to be raised by taxation, and any recommendations he deems necessary; signing or vetoing bills passed by the legislature; and executing the laws of the state. The governor can grant reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons, upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and revoke conditional pardons. He appoints numerous state officials (with the consent of the Senate), fills vacancies in state and district offices (except vacancies in the legislature), calls special elections to fill vacancies in the legislature, fills vacancies in the United States Senate until an election can be held, and serves as ex officio member of several state boards.
The office of governor was first established by the Constitution of 1845 and superseded the office of president of the Republic of Texas. The position now exists under authority of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of 1876 and Texas Government Code, Chapter 401. To be elected governor, a person must be at least thirty years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Texas for at least five years preceding the election. In 1972, the term of office was extended from two to four years, effective in 1975. Since 1856 the governor has had the use of the Governor's Mansion.
In 1999 there were 198 full time equivalent employees in the Office of the Governor. Thirteen divisions outside of the Executive Office assist the governor in carrying out his functions: Administration; Appointments; Budget & Planning; Communications; General Counsel; Legislative; Policy; Scheduling; Criminal Justice Division; Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities; Office of Film, Music, Television and Multimedia Industries; Women's Commission; and Texas Council on Workforce and Economic Competitiveness.
The Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Governor's Office administers state and federal grant funds awarded for criminal justice, crime prevention, law enforcement, special courts and prosecutors, juvenile justice, and victim service projects. Applicants for these grants can include state agencies, regional councils of governments, cities, counties, colleges and universities, private nonprofit corporations, independent school districts, and regional education centers. Furthermore, the Criminal Justice Division oversees the monitoring and evaluation of these grants once awarded. It is also the statewide headquarters for Texas Crime Stoppers and the Texas Narcotics Control Program. Preparing an annual plan outlining goals, priorities, and standards for improving the criminal justice system is another important function of the division. Finally, the division funds a number of statewide initiatives to prevent and prosecute violent crimes and provides interactive videoconference training for grantees.
(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 9th and 10th eds., (1996 and 1999); the contents of the records; and versions of the Governor's Office web site during Governor Bush's term available on the Internet Archive at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.governor.state.tx.us, accessed on March 3, 2009.)
George W. Bush served as governor of Texas from January 17, 1995 to December 21, 2000, resigning as governor in the middle of his second term to become president of the United States.
He challenged the incumbent governor, Democrat Ann Richards, running on promises to improve public education and to reform the juvenile justice system, welfare, and the state's tort laws -- the system under which an injured person may sue for damages. During the 74th Legislature in 1995, he worked with the Democrats who controlled both houses of the Texas legislature and managed to get bills passed that dealt with the four issues he had emphasized in his campaign. Bush was seen as pro-business and a consensus-builder.
Bush advocated and signed the two largest tax cuts to date in Texas history, totaling over $3 billion. To pay for the cuts, he sought (unsuccessfully) federal approval of a plan to privatize Texas' social services. Education reform was a priority throughout his terms, with legislation emphasizing local control of schools, higher standards, and a revised curriculum. Controversy has followed, with charter schools mired in financial scandals and protests against one test determining a child's promotion. After winning reelection in 1998, Bush began his bid for the presidency and was not as involved in the 76th Legislature in 1999.
George W. Bush was born July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He graduated from Andover Academy, and received a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a master's from Harvard Business School. He served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. In 1978, Bush was defeated in a run for the U.S. Congress in West Texas. He was involved in energy exploration from the 1970s into the 1980s. From 1989 until his election as governor, Bush worked with the Texas Rangers baseball organization, leading a group of partners in purchasing the team, and then serving as managing general partner. He married Laura Welch in 1977; they have two daughters.
(Sources include: Versions of the Governor's Office web site during Governor Bush's term available on the Internet Archive at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.governor.state.tx.us, accessed on March 3, 2009.)
The Criminal Justice Division (CJD) of the Texas Governor's Office administers state and federal grant funds awarded for criminal justice, crime prevention, law enforcement, special courts and prosecutors, juvenile justice, and victim service projects. The Criminal Justice Division maintained these files to document public information requests received and responded to by the division. Types of records in this group include correspondence, agenda, notes, audiocassettes, memoranda, meeting files, and related materials that document the Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Governor's Office. Dates range from 1995 to 1999.
Records are incoming letters, outgoing responses, staff memos, copies of documents requested, and photocopy charge forms. Not all documents sent out to the requester are present in the files. In the requests from 1995 to 1998, copies of most of the outgoing replies are present with the majority signed by the executive director of the CJD. Some are signed by program directors within the CJD or by an assistant general counsel, usually Donna Garcia Davidson. The files from 1999 generally do not contain a copy of the outgoing reply, but instead contain a memo, usually to Jim Hines, an assistant general counsel, stating what the request was and to whom it was assigned. The incoming public information requests are present. Copies of documents requested are sometimes present. The incoming requests were sent either to the CJD or to Governor Bush requesting information maintained by the CJD. The folder titles contain the name of the requester and the date of the request. The topics of request include details of guidelines and funding for programs administered by the CJD, grant applications and awards, budget narratives, and audit reports.
Restrictions of Access
Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to, e-mail addresses (V.T.C.A., Government Code Section 552.137); personal family information of government employees or officials (V.T.C.A., Government Code Sections 552.117 and 552.1175); financial information (V.T.C.A., Government Code Section 552.136); and agency memoranda (V.T.C.A., Government Code Section 552.111), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (V.T.C.A., Government Code, Chapter 552). The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P. O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (Dir_Lib@tsl.state.tx.us), or see our web page (https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/requestgovernorbushrecords.html). Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information requested. (Note: The Governor's Office has requested that the State Archives contact the Public Information Coordinator for the Governor's Office when we receive a Public Information Act request for these records.) If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
To obtain equipment to listen to the audiocassettes, please contact Archives staff.
(Identify the item), Texas Governor George W. Bush Criminal Justice Division public information requests. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2002/151
In December 2000, Governor George W. Bush designated the George Bush Presidential Library as the repository for the records from his tenure as Governor of Texas, under authority of Texas Government Code, Section 441.201. Shortly after he left office, the records were shipped to the Bush Library in College Station, Texas. Texas Attorney General John Cornyn ruled that the records are state records subject to the Texas Public Information Act and the management of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission even after transfer to a federal facility (Opinion No. JC-0498, May 3, 2002). In July 2002 the records were transferred from the Bush Library to the Texas State Archives in Austin for preparation for research use. In June 2003, a memorandum of understanding signed by representatives of the National Archives and Records Administration, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and George W. Bush replaced a January 2002 interim memorandum of understanding. The records were moved to the George W. Bush Presidential Library in February 2013.
Jessica Tucker, August 2008
Finding aid updated by Tonia J. Wood, April 2013
Detailed Description of the Records