Governor of Wisconsin
The Governor of Wisconsin is the highest executive authority in the government of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The position was first filled by Nelson Dewey in June 7, 1848, the year Wisconsin became a state. Prior to statehood, there were four Governors of Wisconsin Territory.
The current governor is Jim Doyle, a Democrat, who was elected in 2002, defeating the incumbent Scott McCallum, and re-elected in 2006, defeating Congressman Mark Green. His term is scheduled to last until 2011, and he is not term limited.
The Governor of Wisconsin is responsible for ensuring that the laws of Wisconsin are carried out, and is also required to "communicate to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the state, and recommend such matters to them for their consideration as he may deem expedient."
Any bill passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature must be presented to the governor, who either signs it into law, or vetoes it. In the event of a veto, the bill is returned the legislature, who may then vote to override the veto. In 1930, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to give the governor line-item veto power, with which portions of appropriations bills may be vetoed; the partial veto may still be overridden by the legislature. In 1990, a further amendment specified that the line-item veto does not give the governor power to veto individual letters of appropriations bills, therby forming new words.
The governor is the commander-in-chief of the militia of the state. If it is deemed necessary, the governor may also convene extraordinary sessions of the state legislature; and he may convene them anywhere in the state, if Madison, the state capital, is deemed unfit for the purpose due to invasion or contagious disease.
The governor has the power to pardon or commute sentences or grant reprieves thereto, except in cases of treason or impeachment; it is required that notifications of these be submitted to the Wisconsin State Legislature each year, along with the reason for them. In cases of treason, may suspend the carrying out of the sentence until the next session of the legislature, who then vote to grant a pardon, commutation or reprieve, or to carry out the sentence.
Gubernatorial elections and term of office
The Governor of Wisconsin is elected in a direct election—the candidate with the most votes becomes governor. In the event that two candidates receive an equal number of votes which is higher than that received by any other candidate, the members of the state legislature vote between the two at their next session. In order to be eligible for the office of Governor of Wisconsin, a candidate must be a citzen of the United States and a qualified voter in the state of Wisconsin.
Under the original Wisconsin Constitution, governors were elected for a term of two years; in 1967, the constitution was amended to increase the term of office to four years, beginning with the governor elected in the 1970 election. There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may hold.
The governor may be removed from office through an impeachment trial or through a recall election. An impeachment trial is carried out by the Wisconsin State Assembly, if a majority of its members agree to the impeachment. A governor may also choose to resign from office. Four governors have resigned for various reasons, and none have been removed from office through impeachment, although Arthur MacArthur, Sr., who, as lieutenant governor, became governor upon the resignation of William Barstow, was removed after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Barstow's opponent in the election, Coles Bashford was the election's legitimate winner.
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