The Governor of California is the highest executive authority in the state government, whose responsibilities include making yearly "state of the state" addresses to the California state legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced and government runs smoothly. At the time of this writing, the current governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican elected in October 2003.
The governor has the power to veto legislation, overrideable by a two-thirds majority in both houses, and can veto particular items from an appropriations bill while leaving others intact (see line-item veto). Law-enforcement powers include the ability to grant pardons and commute sentences, as well as serving as the commander-in-chief of the state militia (see United States National Guard).
Governors are elected by popular ballot and serve terms of four years, with a maximum of two terms.
The 2003 California recall was a representative recall movement that successfully forced sitting governor Gray Davis into a special recall election. It marked the first time in California's history that a governor faced a recall election. He was subsequently voted out of office, becoming just the second governor in U.S. history to have been recalled. He was replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.