> United States > Wisconsin
|Established|| June 07, 1848|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||AJ February 25, 2013 01:56am|
The Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin is the first person in the order of succession of Wisconsin's executive branch, thus serving as governor in the event of the death, resignation, removal, impeachment, absence from the state, or incapacity due to illness of the Governor of Wisconsin. The position was first filled by John Edwin Holmes on June 7, 1848, the year that Wisconsin became a state. |
Under the original terms of the state constitution, the lieutenant governor was elected for a two-year term on a separate ticket from the governor; because of this, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin have not always been of the same party. After a 1967 amendment, however, the two have been nominated, and voted upon, as a single ticket. The 1967 amendment also increased the terms of both the governor and lieutenant governor to four years. There is no limit to the number of terms a lieutenant governor may hold.
Until 1979, the Wisconsin Constitution merely stated that in the event of the governor's death, resignation, removal from office, impeachment, absence from the state or incapacity due to illness, "the powers and duties of the office [of Governor of Wisconsin] shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor". Lieutenant governors who served as governor during this period are referred to as "acting governors". In 1979, the constitution was amended to make this more specific: in the event of the governor's death, resignation, or removal from office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor; in the event of the governor's impeachment, absence, or incapacity, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor until the governor is again able to serve.
If the governor appoints the lieutenant governor to a statutory board, committee or commission on which he is entitled membership as his representative, the lieutenant governor has all the authority in that position that would be granted to the governor.
Originally, the lieutenant governor also presided over the state senate and cast a vote in the event of a tie; however, after an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution in 1979, the senate chooses a senator to be presiding officer.