Difference between revisions of "Governor of Rhode Island"

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{{State trifecta status|state=Rhode Island|control=Democratic}}
{{State trifecta status|state=Rhode Island|control=Democratic}}
::''See also: [[Rhode Island State Legislature]], [[Rhode Island House of Representatives]], [[Rhode Island State Senate]]''
==Current officer==
==Current officer==
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==State budget==
==State budget==
===Role in state budget===
::''See also: [[Rhode Island state budget]]''
{{Rhode Island budget process}}
===Governor's office budget===
The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $5,515,431.<ref> [http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText12/HouseText12/H7323.pdf#page=12&zoom=auto,0,759 ''Rhode Island Budget Office,'' "FY 2013 Appropriations Act,"  accessed April 10, 2013] </ref>
The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $5,515,431.<ref> [http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText12/HouseText12/H7323.pdf#page=12&zoom=auto,0,759 ''Rhode Island Budget Office,'' "FY 2013 Appropriations Act,"  accessed April 10, 2013] </ref>

Revision as of 12:53, 8 May 2014

Rhode Island Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
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
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Lincoln Chafee.jpg
Name:  Lincoln Chafee
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 4, 2011
Compensation:  $129,210
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Rhode Island Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Rhode Island. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

As of May 2015, Rhode Island is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.

See also: Rhode Island State Legislature, Rhode Island House of Representatives, Rhode Island State Senate

Current officer

The 74th and current governor is Lincoln Chafee, a Democrat first elected in 2010 as an Independent.[1] 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.[2]


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

Under Article IX, Section I:

The chief executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor...


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

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.

Term limits

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.

Rhode Island Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

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.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Rhode Island State Governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Rhode Island 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 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.

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: Rhode Island state budget

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[3][4]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. Agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September and October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in November and December. Public hearings are held in March and April.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in January.
  5. 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.[4]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.[4]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Governor's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $5,515,431.[5]


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

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.[6]


In 2012, the Rhode Island Governor was paid an estimated $129,210. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

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.[7]


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Rhode Island
Partisan breakdown of the Rhode Island governorship from 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.

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

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.

Chart displaying the partisanship of the Rhode Island government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Recent news

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.

"Rhode+Island"+Governor&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss Governor of Rhode Island News Feed

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Contact information

Office of the Governor
State House, Room 115
Providence, RI 02903

See also

External links

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