Article III, Alaska Constitution

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Alaska Constitution
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Article III of the Alaska Constitution is entitled The Executive.

Article III defines the power vested in the executive branch of Alaskan government, otherwise known as the governor of Alaska. Article III also defines the qualification requirements of candidates for this position, as well as how long this position is held, responsibilities to be observed while holding this position, and provisions for possible absences.

It includes sections 1-27, for a total of 27 sections. It has been amended only one time, in 1970.

Amendments to Article I

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Executive Power.

The executive power of the State is vested in the governor.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Governor: Qualifications.

The governor shall be at least thirty years of age and a qualified voter of the State. He shall have been a resident of Alaska at least seven years immediately preceding his filing for office, and he shall have been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:


The governor shall be chosen by the qualified voters of the State at a general election. The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes shall be governor.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Term of Office.

The term of office of the governor is four years, beginning at noon on the first Monday in December following his election and ending at noon on the first Monday in December four years later.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Limit on Tenure.

No person who has been elected governor for two full successive terms shall be again eligible to hold that office until one full term has intervened.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Dual Office Holding.

The governor shall not hold any other office or position of profit under the United States, the State, or its political subdivisions.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Lieutenant Governor Duties.

There shall be a lieutenant governor. He shall have the same qualifications as the governor and serve for the same term. He shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law and as may be delegated to him by the governor.


Section 8

Text of Section 8:


The lieutenant governor shall be nominated in the manner provided by law for nominating candidates for other elective offices. In the general election the votes cast for a candidate for governor shall be considered as cast also for the candidate for lieutenant governor running jointly with him. The candidate whose name appears on the ballot jointly with that of the successful candidate for governor shall be elected lieutenant governor.


Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Acting Governor.

In case of the temporary absence of the governor from office, the lieutenant governor shall serve as acting governor.


Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Succession: Failure to Qualify.

If the governor-elect dies, resigns, or is disqualified, the lieutenant governor elected with him shall succeed to the office of governor for the full term. If the governor-elect fails to assume office for any other reason, the lieutenant governor elected with him shall serve as acting governor, and shall succeed to the office if the governor-elect does not assume his office within six months of the beginning of the term.


Section 11

Text of Section 11:


In case of a vacancy in the office of governor for any reason, the lieutenant governor shall succeed to the office for the remainder of the term.


Section 12

Text of Section 12:


Whenever for a period of six months, a governor has been continuously absent from office or has been unable to discharge the duties of his office by reason of mental or physical disability, the office shall be deemed vacant. The procedure for determining absence and disability shall be prescribed by law.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Further Succession.

Provision shall be made by law for succession to the office of governor and for an acting governor in the event that the lieutenant governor is unable to succeed to the office or act as governor. No election of a lieutenant governor shall be held except at the time of electing a governor.


Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Title and Authority.

When the lieutenant governor succeeds to the office of governor, he shall have the title, powers, duties and emoluments of that office.


Section 15

Text of Section 15:


The compensation of the governor and the lieutenant governor shall be prescribed by law and shall not be diminished during their term of office, unless by general law applying to all salaried officers of the State.


Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Governor's Authority.

The governor shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws. He may, by appropriate court action or proceeding brought in the name of the State, enforce compliance with any constitutional or legislative mandate, or restrain violation of any constitutional or legislative power, duty, or right by any officer, department, or agency of the State or any of its political subdivisions. This authority shall not be construed to authorize any action or proceeding against the legislature.

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Convening Legislature.

Whenever the governor considers it in the public interest, he may convene the legislature, either house, or the two houses in joint session.

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Messages to Legislature.

The governor shall, at the beginning of each session, and may at other times, give the legislature information concerning the affairs of the State and recommend the measures he considers necessary.

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Military Authority.

The governor is commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the State. He may call out these forces to execute the laws, suppress or prevent insurrection or lawless violence, or repel invasion. The governor, as provided by law, shall appoint all general and flag officers of the armed forces of the State, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session. He shall appoint and commission all other officers.

Section 20

Text of Section 120

Martial Law.

The governor may proclaim martial law when the public safety requires it in case of rebellion or actual or imminent invasion. Martial law shall not continue for longer than twenty days without the approval of a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session.

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Executive Clemency.

Subject to procedure prescribed by law, the governor may grant pardons, commutations, and reprieves, and may suspend and remit fines and forfeitures. This power shall not extend to impeachment. A parole system shall be provided by law.

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Executive Branch.

All executive and administrative offices, departments, and agencies of the state government and their respective functions, powers, and duties shall be allocated by law among and within not more than twenty principal departments, so as to group them as far as practicable according to major purposes. Regulatory, quasi-judicial, and temporary agencies may be established by law and need not be allocated within a principal department.

Section 23

Text of Section 23:


The governor may make changes in the organization of the executive branch or in the assignment of functions among its units which he considers necessary for efficient administration. Where these changes require the force of law, they shall be set forth in executive orders. The legislature shall have sixty days of a regular session, or a full session if of shorter duration, to disapprove these executive orders. Unless disapproved by resolution concurred in by a majority of the members in joint session, these orders become effective at a date thereafter to be designated by the governor.

Section 24

Text of Section 24:


Each principal department shall be under the supervision of the governor.

Section 25

Text of Section 25:

Department Heads.

The head of each principal department shall be a single executive unless otherwise provided by law. He shall be appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session, and shall serve at the pleasure of the governor, except as otherwise provided in this article with respect to the secretary of state. The heads of all principal departments shall be citizens of the United States.

Editor's Note. Senate Joint Resolution No. 2, "changing the name of the secretary of state to lieutenant governor" in 16 sections of the Alaska Constitution, approved by the voters August 25, 1970, inadvertently omitted express amendment of this section.

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Boards and Commissions.

When a board or commission is at the head of a principal department or a regulatory or quasi-judicial agency, its members shall be appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session, and may be removed as provided by law. They shall be citizens of the United States. The board or commission may appoint a principal executive officer when authorized by law, but the appointment shall be subject to the approval of the governor.

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Recess Appointments.

The governor may make appointments to fill vacancies occurring during a recess of the legislature, in offices requiring confirmation by the legislature. The duration of such appointments shall be prescribed by law.

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