A lieutenant governor is the second highest executive official in a state government and serves as the backup or successor to the governor. A governor is the head of state and government of a U.S. state and is responsible for enforcing state laws and overseeing the state’s executive branch. The specific responsibilities and powers of each vary by state, but the governor is typically the more senior and powerful of the two positions.
The powers of a lieutenant governor vary depending on the state’s constitution and laws, but generally, they include:
- Acting as governor in the event that the governor is unable to perform the duties of the office, such as if the governor is out of state or incapacitated.
- Assisting the governor in the administration of the state government and performing duties as assigned by the governor.
- Serving as a member of the state’s executive branch and participating in the making of executive decisions.
- Presiding over the state senate in some states, with the power to cast a tie-breaking vote.
- Fulfilling ceremonial duties, such as serving as host for events and representing the state at official functions.
It is important to note that the powers of a lieutenant governor can vary widely from state to state, and some states have limited the role of the lieutenant governor to being primarily ceremonial.