Governor of Florida

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 07:28, 13 May 2013 by Geoff Pallay (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Florida Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Rick Scott.jpg
Name:  Rick Scott
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 4, 2011
Compensation:  $130,273
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Florida Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralChief Financial OfficerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerEnvironmental Protection SecretaryEconomic Opportunity DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Florida is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch, and the highest state office in Florida. The governor is elected by popular election every four years, and may serve a maximum of two terms in a row. There is no lifetime limit on the number of times he or she may be elected, but a governor who has been elected to two consecutive terms must be out of office for at least one election cycle before being eligible once again for re-election.

As of May 2013, Florida is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

Current officeholder

The 45th and current governor of Florida is Republican Rick Scott, first elected in 2010. Scott will first come up for re-election in November 2014.

Before becoming governor, Scott ran Solantic Corporation, a network of Florida urgent care centers, which he co-founded in 2001. From 1997 to 2001, he owned a controlling share in America's Health Network, a media company later known as Discovery Health. He previously headed Columbia Hospital Corporation, a conglomeration of 340 hospitals, from its founding in 1987 to 1997. Scott holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University. He and his wife, Ann, have two daughters.[1]


The state constitution establishes the office of the governor in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

The supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Per Article IV, Section 5 of the state constitution, the governor must be at least 30 years old and have been a resident and registered voter of Florida for at least seven years.

Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 5

(b) When elected, the governor, lieutenant governor and each cabinet member must be an elector not less than thirty years of age who has resided in the state for the preceding seven years. The attorney general must have been a member of the bar of Florida for the preceding five years. No person who has, or but for resignation would have, served as governor or acting governor for more than six years in two consecutive terms shall be elected governor for the succeeding term.


See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of governors

Florida elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Florida, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 4, 2011 and January 6, 2015 are inaugural days. The procedures for electing Florida's governor is laid out in Article IV, Section 5 of the Florida Constitution.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Florida governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 5

No person who has, or but for resignation would have, served as governor or acting governor for more than six years in two consecutive terms shall be elected governor for the succeeding term.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article IV, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution.

Whenever the governor is unable or unwilling to discharge the office, either temporarily or permanently, the lieutenant governor takes over all the duties of the governorship either until the governor is able to resume the office or until the next election.

At any time that the governor is on trial for impeachment, the lieutenant governor becomes the Acting Governor.

Additionally, at any time that three members of the cabinet and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court agree on the governor's mental or physical unfitness for office, they may suspend and reinstate the governor, pursuant to § 3.



The Governor of Florida is the chief executive of Florida, and serves as chairman of the Florida cabinet. The governor has the power to execute Florida's laws and to call out the state militia to preserve the public peace, being Commander-in-Chief of the state's military forces that are not in active service of the United States. At least once every legislative session, the governor is required to deliver an address to the Florida Legislature, referred to as the "State of the State Address", regarding the condition and operation of the state government and to suggest new legislation. These primary duties are laid out in § 1 (a).

Additionally, the governor may initiate judicial action against state, county, or municipal officer to enforce compliance with law and the duties of the individual's office, may request opinions and interpretations of constitutional matters from the members of the Florida Supreme Court, and may fill all vacancies in elected and appointed office where the law does not otherwise prescribe the method.

In March 2012, the Florida Legislature passed legislation that expanded the powers of the governor to include more oversight over agency rulemaking, members of local jobs agencies, and the distribution of money used to recruit new business to relocate to Florida.[2]

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • assigning official duties to the lieutenant governor, in addition to those set forth by law (§ 2).
  • casting a tie breaking vote when needed in Cabinet matters
  • under § 4 (e), sitting as Chair of the State Board of Administration, pursuant to Article IX, Section 16 of the Constitution of 1885, and which shall continue as a body at least for the life of Article XII, Section 9(c).
  • under § 4 (f), sitting as Chair of the trustees of the internal improvement trust fund and the land acquisition trust fund
  • under § 4 (g),sitting as agency Chair of the Department of Law Enforcement
  • suspending and reinstating all officers, including militia officers, for any reason related to neglect, incompetence, or inability of fulfill duties; the exception applies in cases of impeachment (§ 7).
  • excepting cases of treason and impeachment, suspend fines and grant reprieves, pardons, and clemency; by himself, the governor may suspend a fine for up to 60 days. For more substantial matters, two cabinet matters must concur (§ 8).
  • cooperating with the cabinet, making all necessary budget reductions in the event of a revenue shortfall (§ 13).


  • Office of Policy & Budget
  • Special Counsel/Legislative Affairs
  • Communications
  • External Affairs
  • General Counsel
  • Deputy Chiefs of Staff[3]


The salary of the Governor of Florida is established by statute, not the state constitution.

As of 2010, the Governor of Florida is paid $130,273 a year.

Contact information

Address: Office of Governor
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Citizen Services Hotline: (850) 488-4441
Switchboard: (850) 488-7146
Fax: (850) 487-0801

See also

External links