Department of State State Library and Archives Home Page Services for Citizens Services for State Employees Services for Librarians Services for Archivists Services for Records Managers
Map to select Services
Contact Us by Email:

An Introduction to Florida Government

The Florida State Constitution declares that the powers of state government be divided into three separate and relatively independent branches -

Each branch is sovereign in its own area of responsibility, but it is also influenced by the checks and balances from the other branches. It is basically the same governmental model found at the national level and in all 50 states. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability provides an organizational chart of Florida's government structure.


The EXECUTIVE branch is the law-administering and law-enforcing branch of the government. It is patterned along the lines of a large corporation with the governor serving as chairman of the board and the three independently elected cabinet members serving as directors. The governor is elected for a four-year term and may serve two terms in succession. The lieutenant governor is elected as running mate of the governor. Members of the Cabinet are elected to four year terms with a two-term limit. All of the many agencies and departments that are responsible for programs in Florida State government are also part of the Executive Branch.

The Governor is responsible for day-to-day operations of the state and is the chief law enforcement officer. The governor appoints not only the heads of departments under sole oversight of the governor, but also the heads of departments that are under both the governor and Cabinet's oversight, although at least three Cabinet members must agree to the appointments. The governor also appoints members of several regulatory boards and commissions.

By executive order, the governor may suspend from office any state or county elected official who is not subject to impeachment. The governor cannot suspend the lieutenant governor, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, appellate judges, or circuit court judges. They can be removed only by legislative impeachment.

The office of Lieutenant Governor was authorized in the 1968 revision of the Constitution, but duties of that office were left to the discretion of the governor and the legislature. The only Constitutional chore of this office-holder is to become the governor should that office become vacant due to death, impeachment trial, or incapacity. The Lieutenant Governor is elected on the same ticket as governor and is chosen by the gubernatorial candidate as running mate.

Florida's Constitution states that in addition to a governor and lieutenant governor "there shall be a Cabinet composed of :

Return to Home

Email your Questions or Comments
Last modified Wednesday March 19 2014

Ask a Librarian | Government | Education | Business | Tourism | Consumer | History & Culture | Work | Libraries | Home

Florida Department of State | State Library and Archives of Florida |
Services for: Citizens | State Employees | Librarians | Archivists | Records Managers

| Division of Library and Information Services | Department of State Homepage |
| Services for Citizens | Services for Librarians | Services for Archivists | Services for Records Managers | Services for State Employees |

Copyright © 2004 - 2013 State of Florida, Department of State. All Rights Reserved and other copyrights apply.      Privacy    Send email to

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.