What are the responsibilities of state lieutenant governors?

The office of lieutenant governor is an elected statewide executive office in 43 states. In two other states, Tennessee and West Virginia, the President of the State Senate serves as lieutenant governor. Maine, Arizona, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not have lieutenant governors.
 
Lieutenant governors derive their responsibilities from several sources, including gubernatorial appointments, statutes, and state constitutions.
 
In most states with the position, the duties of the lieutenant governor are similar and involve acting as governor in the governor’s absence. Every lieutenant governor is the first official in the line of succession to the governor’s office.
 
Of America’s 45 lieutenant governors:
• 33 serve as acting governor when the governor is out of the state.
• 27 serve as President of the Senate, while 23 have the power to break roll-call ties.
• 25 can be assigned gubernatorial duties at the governor’s discretion.
• 23 serve as members of the governor’s cabinet or advisory body.
• 11 have the power to appoint legislative committees.
• Eight have the power to assign bills to committees.
 



About the author

James McAllister

James McAllister is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at james.mcallister@ballotpedia.org

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