The State Governments

Administration in the Länder (provinces, or federal states) is the duty of the state governments, the Landesregierungen.

A state government is made up of the governor (Landeshauptmann or Landeshauptfrau), his deputies, and other government members (Landesräte).

The governor represents the province.

Before taking office, the governor is sworn in on the federal constitution by the Federal President, the other members of the regional government by the governor.

A governor has no authority over the other government members on matters concerning the state. On matters of importance to the state, the state government makes decisions as a collegiate body. As regards indirect federal administration, the Landeshauptmann acts as the administrative authority, bound on the one hand by instructions from the federal ministers, and authorised, on the other, to give instructions to the other government members.

Landtag (State Parliament)

The Landtag exercises the states` legislative powers.

The members of the Landtag are elected by all female and male residents of the state who are eligible to vote in an equal, direct, secret and personal election.

Legislation of a state must be passed by the Landtag and then certified, countersigned, and published in the state gazette by the governor.

In the event of a state law requiring the co-operation of federal bodies in order to be implemented, the federal government must give its approval.

Immediately after legislation has been passed by the Landtag and before it can be published, the governor must notify the federal chancellery thereof.

The Federal President is empowered to dissolve any Landtag at the instigation of the federal government and with the consent of the Bundesrat. This dissolution may, however, be carried out only once for the same reason.

In the case of Vienna, which is the national capital and a state at the same time, the city council also serves as the Landtag, the city senate as the state government, and the mayor as the Landeshauptmann/frau.

Links to the regional governments:

Carinthia (Kärnten)
Lower Austria (Niederösterreich)
Upper Austria (Oberösterreich)
Styria (Steiermark)
Tyrol (Tirol)
Vienna (Wien)