Governor of Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $6,429,000
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Tom Corbett 2013.jpg
Name:  Tom Corbett
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 2011
Compensation:  $187,256
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Pennsylvania Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Pennsylvania. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

As of May 2015, Pennsylvania is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

See also: Pennsylvania State Legislature, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Pennsylvania State Senate

Current officer

The 46th and current governor is Tom Corbett, a Republican elected in 2010.[1]


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section 2:

The supreme executive power shall be vested in the Governor...


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

A candidate for the governor must be:

  • a citizen of the United States
  • at least 30 years old
  • a resident of Pennsylvania for at least seven years

Additionally, the governor may not hold Congressional office, any other office under the Commonwealth, or any federal office. The exception is that the governor may be a reserve member of the National Guard.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article IV, Section 13 and 14.

If the office of Governor becomes vacant through death, resignation, or conviction on impeachment, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor for the remainder of the term; if the office is only temporarily vacant due to disability of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor only acts out the duties of Governor.

Should both offices be vacant, the president pro tempore of the Senate becomes Governor. The position of Lieutenant Governor was created in the 1874 state constitution; prior to then, the Speaker of the Senate would act as governor in cases of vacancy.


The Governor is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces (§ 7). The governor has a duty to enforce state laws (§ 2), the power to approve or veto bills passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature subject to a two-thirds override (§ 15), and to convene the legislature for extraordinary session (§ 12).

The governor may grant pardons, reprieves, and commutations except in cases of impeachment, but only when recommended by the Board of Pardons (§ 9). The Board of Pardons consists of the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, and three gubernatorial appointees, each of whom must be confirmed by a two-third vote of the Senate and who serves a six year term.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Appointing the Secretary of Education and all other offices not otherwise provided for, subject to the advice and two-third consent of the Senate (§ 8)
  • Requiring written information from the head of any executive department on any aspect of that department's work (§ 10)
  • Periodically addressing the General Assembly on the state of the state and making recommendation for legislation (§ 11)
  • Adjourning the legislature when the body cannot agree to do so itself, for a period not to exceed four months (§ 12)
  • Convening the Senate by special proclamation for the purposes of transacting executive business (§ 13)
  • Vetoing appropriation bills, subject to legislative override (§ 16)
  • Signing and sealing, with "The Great Seal of the State of Pennsylvania," all commissions granted by the state of Pennsylvania (§ 19)


Pennsylvania state government organizational chart

Pennsylvania elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Pennsylvania, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the third Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 18, 2011 and January 20, 2015 are inaugural days.

In the event of a tie, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose the governor from the two top vote getters.

If an election's outcome is contest, the members of both chambers of the legislature shall select members of the special Commission to resolve the contest.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

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

Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV, Section 3

Except for the Governor who may be in office when this amendment is adopted, he shall be eligible to succeed himself for one additional term.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Pennsylvania State Governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Pennsylvania Partisanship.PNG

Full History


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 Pennsylvania 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.

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: Pennsylvania state budget

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[2][3]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. State agencies submit their requests to the governor in October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in December and January. Public hearings are held in February and March.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
  5. The legislature typically adopts a budget in May or June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Pennsylvania is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[3]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. While the legislature is not legally required to pass a balanced budget, the Governor is legally required to sign a balanced budget.[3]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $6,429,000.[4]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers


In 2013, the governor's salary was $187,256. However, Gov. Tom Corbett refused several cost-of-living adjustments during his tenure, returning the increases to the state, making his actual pay closer to $175,000.[5]


In 2012, the governor was paid an estimated $183,255. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the Governor of Pennsylvania was paid $174,914 a year, the 6th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Historical officeholders

Counting non-consecutive terms, there have been 48 governors of Pennsylvania since 1799. (Otherwise there have been 46). Of the 48 officeholders, 26 were Republican, 10 were Democratic, 7 were Democratic-Republicans, 1 was a Federalist, 1 was Anti-Masonic, 1 was a Jacksonian Democrat, 1 was a Whig, and 1 was a Whig/Republican.[6]


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Pennsylvania
Partisan breakdown of the Pennsylvania governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, in Pennsylvania there were Democratic governors in office for 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for 11 years, including the last three. Pennsylvania was under Republican trifectas for the last three years of the study period.

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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Pennsylvania state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of Pennsylvania 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. Pennsylvania had a Democratic trifecta in 1993, but switched two years later to a Republican trifecta that lasted from 1995-2002. The state had a divided government for many years until a Republican trifecta returned in 2011. Pennsylvania's worst SQLI ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 1994 during a divided government and in 2012 during a Republican trifecta. The state's best ranking, finishing 19th, occurred from 1999-2000 during a Republican trifecta and again in 2004 during a divided government.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 25.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 23.70
  • SQLI average with divided government: 25.20
Chart displaying the partisanship of Pennsylvania government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Governor of Pennsylvania News Feed

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Contact information

Office of the Governor
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

See also

External links

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Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.