Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Lieutenant Governor Replacement Introduced by Senator Marty – Senate File 2647
St. Paul, Minn. – Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville) has introduced a proposed constitutional amendment to change the process for filling a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor. Senate File 2647, which is to be included in bill introductions on Monday, February 26, would direct the governor to appoint a replacement when there is a vacancy in the office. Currently, the constitution calls for the last elected presiding officer of the senate to fill the vacancy.
“The governor is elected by the people of Minnesota to govern. The governor should have the ability to select the lieutenant governor should a vacancy arise,” Sen. Marty said. “The current situation is clearly untenable, both because it can create a situation where the governor and lieutenant governor disagree on fundamental directions for the state and because it can throw the senate into turmoil if the senate president prefers to remain in the senate.”
Sen. Marty’s proposed amendment would be on the ballot for ratification in the 2018 general election this November, if both legislative bodies approve the bill.
Although the legislation would make the appointment subject to senate confirmation, Sen. Marty said that he is open to removing that provision to avoid delays in filling vacancies due to partisan disputes or a vacancy occurring when the legislature is not in session.
“Legislative leaders of both parties have indicated that they believe a governor should be able to select their choice of lieutenant governor, and there is widespread agreement that the current process is not helpful. As a result, I hope we can adopt this constitutional amendment to prevent future situations of the type we currently face,” Sen. Marty said.