Table 4.14

Lieutenant Governors: Powers and Duties

FIPS State or other
Presides over
Breaks roll-
call ties
Assigns bills Authority for
governor to
assign duties
Member of
cabinet or
advisory body
Serves as acting
governor when
governor out of
Other duties (a)
04Arizona* (d)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
23Maine* (i)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
33New Hampshire* (i)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
34New Jersey(c)
35New Mexico
36New York*✓(m)
37North Carolina*(c)
38North Dakota*
41Oregon* (d)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
44Rhode Island*(c)
45South Carolina(c)
46South Dakota*
54West Virginia*(c)
56Wyoming* (d)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
60American Samoa*
69CNMI* **(c)
72Puerto Rico* (d)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
78U.S. Virgin Islands*✓(f)


The Council of State Governments' survey of lt. governors' offices, 2022.


* Information from The Council of State Governments’ survey of lt. governors’ offices and review of state websites, 2021.
** Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
N/A — Not available.
✓ — Provision for responsibility.
✕ — No provision for responsibility.


(a) Lieutenant governors may obtain duties through gubernatorial appointment, statute, the Constitution, direct democracy action, or personal initiative. Hence, an exhaustive list of duties is not maintained, but this chart provides examples which are not all inclusive.
(b) The lieutenant governor performs the duties of the governor in the event of the governor's death, impeachment, disability, or absence from the state for more than 20 days.
(c) Alabama - Chairs the Alabama Job Creation & Military Stability Commission; member of the Alabama Historical Commission; a member of the Mental Health Board of Trustees and appoints more than 400 positions to approximately 167 boards and commissions Alaska - 1. Supervise the Division of Elections. 2. Chair of the Alaska Historical Commission 3. Work as a member of the Alaska Workforce Investmenr Board 4. Per the Governor's designation work on the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Executive Committee 5. Certify elections and swear in new legislators. 6. Supervise the certification process for citizen ballot initiatives and referenda. 7. Conduct statewide heratings on certified ballot initatives. 8. Review and file regulations. 9. Publish the Alaska Adminstrative Code and maintain the Online Public Notice System. 10. Commission notaries public. 11. Register the use of the State Steal. 12. Chair of the Elections Policy Working Group 12. Co-Chair the Statewide Committee on Research (SCoR). Arkansas - Lieutenant Governor gets to appoint a member to two commissions: the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and the Ethics Commission. California - Lieutenant governor is an ex-officio regent, University of California Board of Regents; ex-officio regent, California State University Board of Trustees; chair, California Commission for Economic Development; member and current chair, California State Lands Commission (chair rotates annually between Lt. Governor and State Controller); member, California Ocean Protection Council (membership rotates with chair of State Lands Commission); and ex-officio commissioner of the California Coastal Commission (membership rotates with chair of State Lands Commission); "Colorado - Lieutenant governor serves as Chair of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (by statute); may be appointed by the governor to concurrently serve as the head of a department (by statute). Also serves as co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition." Connecticut - The lieutenant governor is a member of the Finance Advisory Committee, the Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation and the Corporation of Yale University. Delaware - Serves as president of the Board of Pardons. Georgia - The lieutenant governor, by statute, is responsible for board, commission and committee appointments. In addition the lieutenant governor appoints conference committees, rules on germaneness, and must sign all acts of the General Assembly. Also statutorily serves on the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, One Georgia Board and the Georgia Aviation Authority. Hawaii - Also serves as Secretary of State. The designation requires the Lieutenant Governor to be responsible for: issuing orders granting legal name changes, certifying U.S. documents for recognition abroad, processing documents that convey state-lands inter-departmentally, and serving as the repository for various types of official documentation for public review and consumption. Illinois - The lt. governor leads the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, and chairs the Illinois Council on Women and Girls, the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, the Military Economic Development Council and the Illinois River Coordinating Council. Indiana - Serves as Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development and oversees four state agencies: Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Destination Development Corporation, and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Kentucky - State law also gives the lieutenant governor the responsibility to act as chair, or serve as a member, on various boards and commissions. Some of these include: the State Property and Buildings Commission, Kentucky Turnpike Authority, and the Board of the Kentucky Housing Corporation. The governor also has the power to give the lieutenant governor other specific job duties. Louisiana - Serves as commissioner of the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism and appoints the members of the Board of Directors of the State Museum. Massachusetts - The lieutenant governor is a member of, and presides over, the Governor's Council, an elected body of 8 members which approves all judicial nominations. Michigan - The lieutenant governor serves as a member of the State Administrative Board; and represents the governor and the state at selected local, state, and national meetings. In addition the governor may delegate additional responsibilities. Minnesota - Serves as the Chair of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board Committee and the Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security. Mississippi - The lieutenant governor also appoints chairs of standing committees, appoints conferees to committees and is a member of the Legislative Budget Committee, chair of this committee every other year. Missouri - The lieutenant governor is the only statewide elected official that is part of both the executive and legislative branches of state government. Under the constitution, the lieutenant governor is ex officio president of the Missouri Senate. The lieutenant governor is elected independently from the governor, and each can be members of different political parties. Upon the governor’s death, conviction, impeachment, resignation, absence from the state or other disabilities, the lieutenant governor shall act as governor. By law, the lieutenant governor is a member of the Board of Public Buildings, Board of Fund Commissioners, Missouri Development Finance Board, Missouri Community Service Commission, Missouri State Capitol Commission, Missouri Housing Development Commission and the Tourism Commission. The lieutenant governor is an advisor to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on early childhood education and the Parents-as-Teachers program. The lieutenant governor is the state’s official advocate for senior citizens, and serves on the Special Health, Psychological, and Social Needs of Minority Older Individuals Commission. Nevada - Chair of the Nevada Commission on Tourism; Chair of the Advisory Board on Outdoor Recreaition; Vice Chair of the Board of Transportation; Member of the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board; Member of the Executive Branch Audit Committee; Chair of the Keep Nevada Working Task Force. New Jersey - The Lieutenant governor will serves as the head of a prinicpal department or other executive or administrative agency or delegate duties of the office of governor or both. North Carolina - Serves as a voting member on the State Board of Education. Serves on the State Board of Economic Development. Serves on the State Community College Board. Serves as Chairman of the Energy Policy Council. Serves on the Military Affairs Commission. Serves as Chair of the eLearning Commission. Ohio - The Lieutenant governor also serves as Director of Innovate Ohio Oklahoma - Lieutenant governor also serves on 10 boards and commissions: Toursim and Recreation Commission, Indian Cultural and Educational Authority, State Board of Equalization, School Land Commission, the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority, the Oklahoma Archives and Records Commission, the Oklahoma Film and Music Advisory Commission, CompSource Oklahoma Board of Managers, the Commissioners of the Land Office, and the Oklahoma Linked Deposit Review Board. Pennsylvania - Chairs the Board of Pardons (Constitutional); chairs the Pa. Emergency Management Council (appointed by Gov.); chairs the Pa. Military Community Enhancement Commission (member by statute, elected chair by members); chairs Local Government Advisory Commission (statute.) Rhode Island - Serves as Chair of a number of advisory councils including issues related to emergency management, long term care and small business. Each year submits a legislative package to the General Assembly. South Carolina - Duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Governor. Utah - Serves as chief election officer (statutory); chair of the Lieutenant Governor's Commission on Civic and Character Education (statutory); chair of the Utah Capitol Preservation Board (statutory). Washington - Chairs the Senate Rules Committee. Chairs the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations. Serves on various executive branch committees and boards, inlcuding the State Finance Committee. West Virginia - The President of the Senate and the Lieutenant Governor are one in the same. The legislature provided in statute the title of Lieutenant Governor upon the Senate President. The West Virginia Constitution requires that, in case of the death, conviction or impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation, or other disability of the governor, the President of the Senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled, or the disability removed. Northern Mariana Islands - The Lieutenant Governor is charged with overseeing administrative functions.
(d) No lieutenant governor; secretary of state is next in line of succession to governorship.
(e) Appoints all standing committees. Iowa - appoints some special committees.
(f) Presides over cabinet meetings in absence of governor.
(g) Only in emergency sitautions.
(h) The Kentucky Constitution specifically gives the lieutenant governor the power to act as governor, in the event the governor is unable to fulfill the duties of office.
(i) No lieutenant governor; senate president or speaker is next in line of succession to governorship.
(j) As defined in the state constitution, the lieutenant governor performs gubernatorial functions in the governor's absence. In the event of a vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor is first in line to succeed to the position.
(k) Unicameral legislative body. In Guam, that body elects own presiding officer.
(l) Breaks roll-call ties except of final passage of bills and resolutions.
(m) With respect to procedural matters, not legislation.
(n) May preside over the Senate when desired.
(o) Appoints committees with the Pres. Pro Tem and one Senator on Committee on Committees. Committee on Committees assigns bills.
(p) In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor resulting from the death, resignation or removal of a Governor in office, or the death of a Governor-elect, or from any other cause the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor, until a new Governor is elected and qualifies.
(q) Only serves as acting governor when requested by the governor or after 45 days of the governor's absence.
(r) Only upon invitation from the Senate.