House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
|State Government Operations & Accountability Committee|
Brief Description: Outlining the duties of the lieutenant governor.
Sponsors: Representatives Kessler and Haigh; by request of Lieutenant Governor.
Brief Summary of Bill
Hearing Date: 1/17/06
Staff: Stephanie Toby (786-7106).
The Lieutenant Governor of Washington is the President of the Senate, and serves the state as acting governor in the absence of the Governor. He or she serves on and makes appointments to a variety of committees and boards. Additionally, the Lieutenant Governor has a variety of duties stipulated throughout the code. Some of these duties relate to the following:
(1) The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor.
The law enforcement medal of honor (medal) was established in 1994 to award any law enforcement officer who has been seriously injured or killed while performing his or her duty, or who has been nominated by the Governor's State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee for exceptional conduct. The medal may be awarded posthumously by presenting it to a representative of the deceased. The medal's design is also laid out in its chapter.
At the request of the Governor, either the Lieutenant Governor or the Attorney General may be delegated the duty to award the state law enforcement medal of honor. It is awarded during the National Law Enforcement Recognition Week.
(2) Expenses when acting as Governor.
The rules regarding public officials' salaries and reimbursements of their expenses are detailed in the code. When the Lieutenant Governor is asked to temporarily perform the Governor's duties, he or she is paid upon his or her personal voucher ten dollars per day for expenses.
(3) Duties when the Governor is absent.
The rules regarding the Office of the Governor are detailed in the code. The Governor will give the Lieutenant Governor prior notification of his or her pending absence and the Lieutenant Governor shall perform the Governor's duties during such absence.
(4) The Association of Washington Generals.
The Association of Washington Generals (Association) is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, corporation. Its purpose includes bringing together individuals who have performed outstanding service to the state. These individuals serve the state as ambassadors of trade, tourism, and international goodwill. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors (Board). If funds are available, the legislature may make appropriations in support of the Association.
The Lieutenant Governor sits on the Board of the Association and can provide the Association with technical or financial assistance.
(5) The Legislative International Trade Account.
One statute details the general provisions of the Legislature. One such provision is the Legislative International Trade Account.
All moneys received by the President of the Senate and the Secretary of State for international trade hosting, international relations, and international missions activities must be deposited in the Legislative International Trade Account (Account). Such funds may be in the form of gifts, grants, or endowments. Expenditures from the Account may be used only for the purposes of international trade hosting, international relations, and international trade mission activities, excluding travel and lodging, in which the President and members of the Senate, members of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of State participate in an official capacity. The State Treasurer has custody of the Account. Further regulations regarding the Account are detailed in the statute.
The Lieutenant Governor, when acting as President of the Senate, can receive money for the Account. He or she must authorize final expenditures from the Account, along with the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Senate.
(6) The Legislative Committee on Economic Development.
The Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations (Committee) was created in 1985. Its stated purpose is to involve the Legislature in economic development, so as to maintain a healthy state economy and to provide employment opportunities to Washington residents. It consists of six senators and six representatives from the Legislature, and the Lieutenant Governor who serves as chairperson. The Committee establishes sub-committees, and together they have the power to study and review economic development issues. The Senate and House provide the Committee with staff support. Other Committee regulations are detailed in the statute.
The duties of the Lieutenant Governor with respect to the Committee include serving as chairperson and appointing six senators to the Committee. He or she must sign voucher forms to pay the Committee's expenses.
Summary of Bill:
The Legislature finds that as the duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor (Office) have increased over time, they have been distributed throughout the code in unrelated sections. The Legislature's stated intent is to consolidate the duties of the Office so as to keep the statutes consistent among the different statewide elected offices and make it easier to understand the Office's role.
A new chapter is created, entitled the "Office of Lieutenant Governor." The following sections of RCW are recodified as sections in the new chapter:
1. The section stating when the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor (medal) can be awarded and that either the Lieutenant Governor or the Attorney General may be asked by the Governor to present the medal.
2. The section regarding the paid expenses of the Lieutenant Governor while he or she is temporarily performing the Governor's duties.
3. The section stating that the Lieutenant Governor performs all duties of the Governor during the Governor's absence.
4. All sections in the chapter on the Association of Washington Generals.
5. The section discussing the Legislative International Trade Account.
6. All sections in the chapter on the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations.
Additionally, the various boards and committees to which the Lieutenant Governor makes appointments and on which he or she serves are listed in the new chapter. Cross-references are made to the original codes that stipulated such duties.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.