According to the Texas Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor should the office become vacant due to the death, resignation, or removal of the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor also serves as acting Governor when the Governor is out of state, a factor which has come into play in recent years due to the national roles played by Texas governors Richards and Bush. Richards actively campaigned for Bill Clinton in 1992 and frequently traveled out of the state. Bush's presidential candidacy also found him outside the state campaigning, enabling then Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry to gain experience and public exposure in the office he would ultimately occupy on a full-time basis. Such situations provide a financial bonus for the lieutenant governor, whose regular salary is $20 per day, but he or she earns the governor's pay rate of $316 per day when serving as acting governor.
Legislation sets the chain of succession after the Lieutenant Governor, with the governorship passing to the President pro tempore of the Texas Senate, the Speaker of the House, the Attorney General, and the Chief Judges of the Texas Courts of Appeals in ascending order.
The chain of succession specified by the Texas Constitution differs from the United States Constitution: Texas succession incorporates Courts of Appeals, rather than department heads of the executive branch.