Governor of Rhode Island
|Rhode Island Governor|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$5,515,431|
|Term limits:||Two consecutive terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Rhode Island Constitution, Article IX, Section I|
|Assumed office:||January 4, 2011|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Rhode Island Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
- 1 Current officer
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Vacancies
- 5 Duties
- 6 Elections
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 History
- 12 Recent news
- 13 Contact information
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
As of July 2014, Rhode Island is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.
The 74th and current governor is Lincoln Chafee, a Democrat first elected in 2010 as an Independent. Chafee, who served seven years as a Republican member of the U.S. Senate before becoming an Independent in 2007, switched his party affiliation to Democrat in May 30, 2013.
Under Article IX, Section I:
The chief executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor...
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
Under Article III, Of Qualification for Office, governors must be:
- a qualified elector of Rhode island
- not serving a sentence for, on probation for, or on parole for any felony
- not bound by any other oath of Office, including holding any other state office or holding a federal office
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article IX, Sections 9 and 10.
If the office of the Governor becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment or inability to serve, the Lieutenant Governor will fill the office until a Governor is qualified to act or until the office is filled at the next election.
If the office of the Lieutenant Governor is also vacant, the Speaker of the House is the next in the line of succession.
The Governor is responsible for maintaining that laws are executed according to state law and the state constitution (§ 2).
Additionally, the Governor is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces (§ 3); has the responsibility to submit the state budget to General Assembly annually (§ 19), and may call for special sessions with the Assembly (§ 7).
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Appointing, with the consent of the Senate, all offices not otherwise provided for (§ 5)
- Adjourning the General Assembly when its members cannot agree to do so themselves (§ 6)
- Signing and sealing all commissions made by the state of Rhode Island (§ 8)
- Granting reprieves, after conviction, in all cases, except those of impeachment, until the end of the next session of the General Assembly (§ 4)
- Granting pardons, after conviction, in all cases, except those of impeachment, until the end of the next session of the General Assembly (§ 13)
- Vetoing bills, resolutions, and votes, subject to a two-thirds legislative override (§ 14)
Rhode Island elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Rhode Island, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 4, 2011 and January 6, 2015 are inaugural days.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Rhode Island governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.
|No person shall serve consecutively in the same general office for more than two (2) full terms, excluding any partial term of less than two (2) years previously served.|
To view the electoral history dating back to 2002 for the office of Governor of Rhode Island, Click [show] to expand the section.
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of Rhode Island has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.
Role in state budget
- See also: Rhode Island state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
- Agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September and October.
- Agency hearings are held in November and December. Public hearings are held in March and April.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in January.
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in June. The fiscal year begins July 1.
In Rhode Island, the governor has no veto authority over the budget.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.
Governor's office budget
The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $5,515,431.
The governor's salary is legally fixed and may not be raised or decreased effective during the current term.
In 2013, the governor's salary remained at $129,210.
There have been 74 governors of Rhode Island since 1775. Of the 74 officeholders, 32 were Democrats, 18 were Republican, 9 had no party, 7 were Whigs, 5 were F-R, 1 was Democratic-Republican, 1 was DFS, and 1 was AP.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1775-Present|
|1||Nicholas Cooke||1775 - 1778||No Party|
|2||William Greene||1778 - 1786||No Party|
|3||John Collins||1786 - 1790||No Party|
|4||Arthur Fenner||1790 - 1805||F-R|
|5||Henry Smith||1805 - 1806||No Party|
|6||Isaac Wilbour||1806 - 1807||No Party|
|7||James Fenner||1807 - 1811||F-R|
|8||William Jones||1811 - 1817||F-R|
|9||Nehemiah Rice Knight||1817 - 1821||F-R|
|10||Edward Cox||1821 - 1821||No Party|
|11||William Channing Gibbs||1821 - 1824||No Party|
|12||James Fenner||1824 – 1831||F-R|
|13||Lemuel Hastings Arnold||1831 - 1833||No Party|
|14||John Brown Francis||1833 - 1838||Democratic-Republican|
|15||William Sprague||1838 - 1839||Whig|
|16||Samuel King||1839 - 1843||Whig|
|17||James Fenner||1843 – 1845||Whig|
|18||Charles Jackson||1845 - 1846||Whig|
|19||Byron Diman||1846 - 1847||Whig|
|20||Elisha Harris||1847 - 1849||Whig|
|21||Henry Bowen Anthony||1849 - 1851||Whig|
|22||Phillip Allen||1851 - 1853||DFS|
|23||Francis M. Dimond||1853 - 1854||No Party|
|24||William Warner Hoppin||1854 - 1857||AP|
|25||Elisha Dyer||1857 - 1859||Republican|
|26||Thomas Goodwin Turner||1859 - 1860||Republican|
|27||William Sprague||1860 - 1863||Republican|
|28||William Cole Cozzens||1863 - 1863||Democratic|
|29||James Youngs Smith||1863 - 1866||Republican|
|30||Ambrose Everett Burnside||1866 - 1869||Republican|
|31||Seth Padelford||1869 - 1873||Republican|
|32||Henry Howard||1873 - 1875||Republican|
|33||Henry Lippitt||1875 - 1877||Republican|
|34||Charles Collins Van Zandt||1877 - 1880||Republican|
|35||Alfred Henry Littlefield||1880 - 1883||Republican|
|36||Augustus Osborn Bourn||1883 - 1885||Republican|
|37||George Peabody Wetmore||1885 - 1887||Republican|
|38||John William Davis||1887 - 1888||Democratic|
|39||Royal Chapin Taft||1888 - 1889||Republican|
|40||Herbert Warren Ladd||1889 - 1890||Republican|
|41||John William Davis||1890 – 1891||Democratic|
|42||Herbert Warren Ladd||1891 – 1892||Republican|
|43||Daniel Russell Brown||1892 - 1895||Republican|
|44||Charles Warren Lippitt||1895 - 1897||Republican|
|45||Elisha Dyer||1897 - 1900||Republican|
|46||William Gregory||1900 - 1901||Republican|
|47||Charles Dean Kimball||1901 - 1903||Republican|
|48||Lucius Fayette Clark Garvin||1903 - 1905||Democratic|
|49||George Herbert Utter||1905 - 1907||Republican|
|50||James Henry Higgins||1907 - 1909||Democratic|
|51||Aram Pothier||1909 - 1915||Republican|
|52||Robert Livingston Beeckman||1915 - 1921||Republican|
|53||Emery J. San Souci||1921 - 1923||Republican|
|54||William Smith Flynn||1923 - 1925||Democratic|
|55||Aram Pothier||1925 – 1928||Republican|
|56||Norman Stanley Case||1928 - 1933||Republican|
|57||Theodore Francis Green||1933 - 1937||Democratic|
|58||Robert Emmet Quinn||1937 - 1939||Democratic|
|59||William Henry Vanderbilt||1939 - 1941||Republican|
|60||James Howard McGrath||1941 - 1945||Democratic|
|61||John Orlando Pastore||1945 - 1950||Democratic|
|62||John Sammon McKiernan||1950 - 1951||Democratic|
|63||Dennis Joseph Roberts||1951 - 1959||Democratic|
|64||Christopher Del Sesto||1959 - 1961||Republican|
|65||John A. Notte||1961 - 1963||Democratic|
|66||John Hubbard Chafee||1963 - 1969||Republican|
|67||Frank Licht||1969 - 1973||Democratic|
|68||Philip W. Noel||1973 - 1977||Democratic|
|69||J. Joseph Garrahy||1977 - 1984||Democratic|
|70||Edward D. DiPrete||1985 - 1991||Republican|
|71||Bruce G. Sundlun||1991 - 1995||Democratic|
|72||Lincoln Almond||1995 - 2003||Republican|
|73||Don Carcieri||2003 - 2011||Republican|
|74||Lincoln Chafee||2011 – present||Democratic|
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, in Rhode Island there were Democratic governors in office for three years while there were Republican governors in office for 16 years.
Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Rhode Island state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Rhode Island had a Democratic trifecta in the early years of the study, from 1992-1994, but after that maintained a divided government. The state's best SQLI ranking, finishing 26th, occurred in 2002. In more recent years of the study, Rhode Island's ranking fell, finishing in the bottom-10 at 41st in both 2009 and 2011.
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Rhode Island" + Governor
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Office of the Governor
State House, Room 115
Providence, RI 02903
- Governor: Lincoln Chafee (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Elizabeth Roberts (D)
- Attorney General: Peter Kilmartin (D)
- Secretary of State: Ralph Mollis (D)
- Commissioner of Agriculture: Kenneth Ayars
- Treasurer of State: Gina Raimondo (D)
- Rhode Island Governor, "About," accessed November 3, 2012
- Politico, "Lincoln Chafee switches affiliation to Democrat," May 30, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Rhode Island Budget Office, "FY 2013 Appropriations Act," accessed April 10, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
- National Governors Association, " Former governors of Rhode Island," accessed June 18, 2013
State of Rhode Island
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | General Treasurer | Auditor General | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Environmental Management | Director of Labor | Chair of Public Utilities |