Texas General Land Office
Seal of the Texas General Land Office
Stephen F. Austin State Office Building
|Formed||22 December 1836|
|Jurisdiction||Texas public lands|
|Headquarters||Stephen F. Austin State Office Building|
1700 N. Congress Ave
Austin, Texas 78701
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) is a state agency of the U.S. state of Texas, responsible for managing lands and mineral rights properties that are owned by the state. The GLO also manages and contributes to the state's Permanent School Fund. The agency has its headquarters in the Stephen F. Austin State Office Building in Downtown Austin.
Role and remit
The General Land Office's main role is to manage Texas's publicly owned lands, by negotiating and enforcing leases for the use of the land, and sometimes by making sales of public lands. Royalties and proceeds from land sales are added to the state's Permanent School Fund, which helps to fund public education within the state. The agency is also responsible for keeping records of land grants and titles and for issuing maps and surveys of public lands.
Since 2011 the GLO has managed The Alamo in San Antonio. The management of the Alamo was transferred to the General Land Office after allegations of mismanagement were directed at the prior manager, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
The Congress of the Republic of Texas established the General Land Office on 22 December 1836 (making the GLO the oldest existing Texas public agency). The agency's constitutional purpose was to "superintend, execute, and perform all acts touching or respecting the public lands of Texas." Since its establishment the agency has been located in Austin, although a relocation to Houston was briefly attempted during the Texas Archive War. One former home of the GLO, the Old Land Office Building, is a registered historic place and now serves as the Texas State Capitol Visitor's Center.
When Texas was annexed into the United States in 1845, it kept control of all of its public lands from its time as a sovereign state. As a result, Texas is the only US state to control all of its own public lands; all federal lands in Texas were acquired by purchase (e.g. military bases) or donation (e.g. national parks).
Texas's public lands were significantly enlarged by the US Submerged Lands Act of 1953 and the resolution of the ensuing Tidelands Controversy. Because Texas's historical territorial waters originated with the Republic, the US Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that Texas was in the unique position of owning territory out to three leagues (10.35 miles) from its coastline (significantly more than the three miles controlled by other coastal states). All of these lands (and the oil and gas deposits beneath them) are managed by the General Land Office.
Texas Land Commissioner
|Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office|
|Term length||Four years, no term limits|
The head of the General Land Office is the Texas Land Commissioner, a statewide public official elected every four years. The current land commissioner is George P. Bush, who was elected on 4 November 2014. On June 19, 2017, Bush announced he would be running for re-election to the Texas Land Commissioner position, focusing on veteran issues, protection for the Gulf Coast from future disasters, continue to renovate the Alamo, and financing Texas children's education. Bush was reelected in 2018.
- "Locations and Hours". Texas General Land Office. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Satija, Neena (October 28, 2014). "All Eyes on Land Office if George P. Bush Wins". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "History of the Texas General Land Office". Texas General Land Office. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Brown, Beth (26 July 2011). "Control of Alamo Begins to Shift Away From DRT". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "Welcome to the Texas General Land Office!". Texas General Land Office. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Johnson, John G. (15 June 2010). "GENERAL LAND OFFICE". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Joint Resolution for annexing Texas to the United States, J.Res. 8, enacted March 1, 1845, 5 Stat. 797. Joint Resolution for the admission of the state of Texas into the Union, J.Res. 1, enacted December 29, 1845, 9 Stat. 108.
- Wissert, Will (June 19, 2017). "George P Bush seeks re-election as Texas land commissioner". Associated Press. New York City: Star Tribune Media Company. Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017.