"Man proposes, (but) God disposes” is an old proverb, indicating that God is the final arbiter of proposals. “The governor proposes and the legislature disposes” is a state government saying, indicating that a governor can propose something, but it must go through the legislature before it becomes law.
“The governor proposes and the legislature disposes” has been cited in print since at least 1892. “The president proposes and congress disposes” has been cited since 1902. A frequent variation is “the executive proposes and the legislature disposes.”
Proverbs: Man proposes, God disposes
Cf. early 14th-cent. Fr. car se li homme mal propose, Diex‥le dispose, for if man proposes evil, God‥disposes of it; [c 1420 T. À Kempis De Imitatione Christi i. xix.] homo proponit, sed Deus disponit (see quot. c 1450 below).
A man off malice may a thyng purpose‥But God a-boue can graciousli dispose [determine] Ageyn such malice to make resistence.
[c 1440 J. Lydgate Fall of Princes (EETS) i. 3291]
For man purposith and god disposith.
[c 1450 tr. T. à Kempis’ De Imitatione Christi (EETS) i. xix.]
Man Proposeth, God disposeth.
[1640 G. Herbert Outlandish Proverbs no. 1]
(Oxford English Dictionary)
In the proverb man proposes, (but) God disposes (see sense 1a) after Middle French l‘homme propose, et Dieu dispose (end of the 15th cent.) and its model post-classical Latin homo proponit, sed Deus disponit (T. à Kempis De Imitatione I. xix); compare also Old French se li homme mal propose, Diex, si comme il vent, le dispose (c1315), Middle French les hommes proposent, et Dieu ordonne (1409).
14 January 1892, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, pg. 4, col. 2
The governor proposes and the legislature disposes and the disposition of the legislature is not in accord with the proposition of the governor.
20 May 1899, New York (NY) Times, “Governor Sees Mr. Platt,” pg. 1:
“I think we may find when we get together at Albany that the Governor proposes and the Legislature disposes.”
3 December 1902, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, pg. 8, col. 2:
The president proposes and congress disposes and a single session taught President Roosevelt that congress is not always disposed to do what the president proposes.
7 January 1903, Oshkosh (WI) Daily Northwestern, pg. 4, col. 3:
Robert M. La Follette has entered upon his second term and John M. Whitehead has two years to serve in the state senate. As the governor proposes and the legislature disposes, there is no reason that the Janesville statesman should not be able to reconcile himself to the events of last summer.—Milwaukee News.
21 April 1904, New York (NY) Times, “Mayor Outlines His Own Views on Partisanship,” pg. 3, col. 1:
“Unfortunately, the Mayor proposes and the Legislature disposes.”
Google News Archive
1 March 1912, The Day (New London, CT), “Congressman Moss Made Reply To Chairman Moss,” pg. 9, col. 2:
Rather should it. be stated that the executive proposes and congress disposes.
23 December 1918, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “New Jersey Tangle Not Unwound Yet,” pg. 8:
But the Governor proposes and the Legislature disposes and some of the executive suggestions may fall by the wayside.
12 January 1928, New York (NY) Times, “Republicans Wary Over State Budget,” pg. 26:
The Governor proposes and the Legislature disposes of the Governor’s proposals as it sees fit, except that it cannot exercise as a final power the right to…
7 February 1928, New York (NY) Times, “Cutting down the parks,” pg. 20:
Under the Executive budget the Governor proposes, the Legislature disposes.
2 December 1934, New York (NY) Times, “Bingham Invites British-U.S. Unity,” pg. 28:
... in short, that in the words of the old epigram, the American President proposes but Congress disposes.
State Government and Administration in the United States
By Arthur Watson Bromage
New York, NY: Harper
In matters of legislation, the governor proposes and the legislature disposes. We have executive suggestion of bills, but legislative execution.
The Tax Foundation
October 1, 1951
The Governor Proposes; The Legislature Disposes
by TF Staff
This survey of legislative action on the governors’ tax proposals of 1951 is a sequel to our earlier study: The Governor Reports: A Roundup of Governors’ Messages to 1951 Legislatures. In addition to following up the action on the proposals of the governors, this survey also covers other major tax legislation of the 1951 sessions of the 39 state legislatures included in the study.
A total of 35 major tax increases have been passed by these 39 states as of this date: Fourteen were in line with specific recommendations of the governors and 21 on their own initiative (including two in states where the governors recommended increased taxes in general).
New York (NY) Times
The New York City Council vs. Mayor Koch
By Peter F. Vallone; Peter F. Vallone is vice chairman and majority leader of the New York City Council.
Published: July 23, 1988
Under America’s constitutional form of government, executives propose and legislatures dispose. This budgetary process is not always tidy and doesn’t always run on schedule.
Tribune of the People:
The Minnesota Legislature and its leadership
By Royce Hanson
Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press
“The governor proposes, the legislature disposes,” remains the basic operating rule of American state government.
Inside the Statehouse:
Lessons from the speaker
By Ralph G. Wright
Washington, DC: CQ Press
The only safety net available to us was the dictum, “The governor proposes, and the legislature disposes.”
This Old State
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Guv proposes, legislature disposes
Just as in Washington, so it is in Raleigh: The governor proposes and the legislature disposes.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, February 09, 2010 • Permalink