Lieutenant Governor of Colorado

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Colorado Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $302,194
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Colorado Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerControllerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources Exec. DirectorLabor Executive DirectorPublic Utilities Commission
The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Colorado is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Colorado. The Lieutenant Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two terms.

Current officeholder

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The 48th and current lieutenant governor is Joseph Garcia, a Democrat elected in 2010. Garcia assumed office on January 11, 2011.

Before his election as lieutenant governor, Garcia was president of Colorado State University at Pueblo for four years. During his time at CSU, he served as co-chair on former Governor Bill Ritter's P-20 Education Task Force. He was also one of three Colorado commissioners on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), which he now chairs. Prior to joining CSU, Garcia was president of Pikes Peak Community College and executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies in the administration of former Governor Roy Romer.[1]

Garcia holds a B.A. in Business from the University of Colorado and a J.D. from Harvard University's School of Law. He and his wife, Claire, have four children.[2]

Authority

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

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 2

The executive department shall include the governor, lieutenant governor...

Qualifications

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Article IV, Section 4 of the state constitution requires all candidates for lieutenant governor to be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a U.S. citizen
  • a resident of Colorado for at least two years on the day of the election. The standard for residency is not affected by time out of the state due to civil or military service (Article VII, Section 4)

Article III forbids any officer of the executive department from holding any legislative or judicial office.

A candidate is disqualified from holding the office of lieutenant governor if he has been convicted of "embezzlement of public moneys, bribery, perjury, solicitation of bribery, or subornation of perjury"(Article XII, § 4). Additionally, any civil officer who "solicits, demands, or receives" a bribe forfeits his office and his right to hold any other office in the future, and is liable to criminal penalties (Article XII, § 6).

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 4

No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, nor to the office of secretary of state or state treasurer unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, nor to the office of attorney general unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-­five years and be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of the state in good standing, and no person shall be eligible to any one of said offices unless, in addition to the qualifications above prescribed therefore, he shall be a citizen of the United States, and have resided within the limits of the state two years next preceding his election.

Elections

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

Colorado elects its lieutenant governors in federal midterm election years (e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018). Per Article IV, Section 1 of the state constitution, the lieutenant governor takes office on the second Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 11, 2011 and January 13, 2015 are inaugural days.

If two candidates are tied, a joint session of the legislature casts ballots to choose the winner from among the top two voter getters. If the election is contested, the legislature shall jointly resolve the manner as prescribed by law. In early 1905, the previous year's gubernatorial election was formally contested and the legislature did in fact vote to remove the candidate who had been initially declared the winner.

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

(1) The executive department shall include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general, each of whom shall hold his office for the term of four years, commencing on the second Tuesday of January in the year 1967, and each fourth year thereafter. They shall perform such duties as are prescribed by this constitution or by law.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

The position of lieutenant governor has been subject to term limits since 1990, when the Colorado Term Limits Act was approved with 71% of the vote.

Any individual is limited to two terms as lieutenant governor. Serving more than half of a term as an appointee or as an acting governor qualifies as a full term for purposes of applying term limits. Colorado is one of eight states with a lifetime term limit on lieutenant governors.

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

In order to broaden the opportunities for public service and to guard against excessive concentrations of power, no governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, or attorney general shall serve more than two consecutive terms in such office...

Removal from office

Colorado is among the 19 states that provides citizens an avenue to recall their lieutenant governors, though no officeholder has ever been removed from office by the recall process.

Recall

See also: States with gubernatorial recall provisions

Recalls are governed under Article XXI, Sections 1 through 3

State officials, including the lieutenant governor, are subject to recall after the first six months of their term. Recall proponents must file a petition with the same officer who accepts the nominating petition for the office in question; for statewide officers, this is the Colorado Secretary of State.

The petition must have valid signatures equal to 25% of the votes cast for the incumbent in his last election. Based on the number of votes received by the governor-lieutenant governor ticket in the 2010 election, a recall petition would require 446,933 signatures, or 25% of the 1,787,730 votes cast for Hickenlooper/Garcia. Additionally, the petition must contain a statement, not exceeding 200 words, stating the grounds for the recall.

If the petition, once submitted, is insufficient, it may be withdrawn and, within 15 days, amended and refiled. If determined to be sufficient, a recall petition is submitted to the governor, who calls a recall election not less than 30 days and not more than 60 days from the date of the petition's filing. If a general election is set within 90 days, the recall election may be combined with the general election.

If the recall fails, the incumbent may not be recalled again for the remainder of his or her term. Additionally, an incumbent who survives a recall is legally entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses from the state treasury.

Impeachment

See also: Gubernatorial impeachment procedures

Impeachments of civil officers are governed under Article XIII, Sections 1 and 2.

The Colorado House of Representatives has the "sole power of impeachment" and a majority of the House's members must concur to impeach.

If the House does impeach, the Colorado Senate tries all impeachments, with all Senators required to take an oath or affirmation to be impartial before the trial begins. Article XIII, Section 1 of the state constitution requires the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court be the presiding officer when the governor or lieutenant governor is on trial.

The governor and lieutenant governor are liable to impeachment for "high crimes or misdemeanors or malfeasance in office" but, if impeached, the Senate's judgment only extend to removal from office and disqualification to hold further offices. An impeached officer may still be liable for indictment, trial, and punishment by state law enforcement.

Oath of office

Civil officers, including the lieutenant governor, are required to take an oath under Article XII, Section 8 before they may carry out any functions of their office. Under Article XII, Section 9, officers of the executive department file their oath with the Colorado Secretary of State.

Specifics of oaths and affirmations are described in the Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 24, Article 12, Sections 101-108.

Vacancies

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed in Article IV, Section 13 of the state constitution.

If the office of lieutenant governor becomes vacant due to "death, impeachment, conviction of a felony, or resignation," the governor appoints a replacement subject to majority approval from both houses of the legislature. The same procedure applies if the lieutenant governor becomes governor following a vacancy in that office.

Duties

Colorado

Originally, the lieutenant governor served as president of the Colorado Senate; that duty was repealed by the 6th Amendment to the Colorado Constitution in 1974. Currently, the office's primary responsibility is to act as the governor's potential replacement, in addition to other duties that the governor assigns.

Divisions

The lieutenant governor is responsible for a number of policy areas in the Colorado government. His office houses the:

  • Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs
  • Early Childhood Leadership Commission

He also serves as co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition.

State budget

The budget for the Lieutenant Governor's Office in the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year was $302,194.[3]

Compensation

See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries

Per Article IV, Section 19 of the state constitution, the lieutenant governor's salary is legally fixed and may not be raised or decreased effective during the current term.

In 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid $68,500, the 35th highest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America.

Recent news

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Contact information

Physical address:
Joseph Garcia, Lt. Governor
130 State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203-1792

Phone: (303) 866-2087
Fax: (303) 866-5469

See also

External links

References