Friday, February 25, 2005

Better late than never

The New Jersey Assembly has passed legislation, now awaiting Senate consideration, to create the post of Lieutenant Governor. This would have been of great help to them when each of their last two governors had to leave before completing his term.

Interesting points:
  1. The legislation will also require voter action, as establishing a new line of succession for the position of Governor would involve a change in the state Constitution.

  2. The new LG post would be, rather like Vice President, an adjunct of gubernatorial candidacy -- i.e., the candidate for Governor would choose a running mate for the November election. This is in contrast with the system in Pennsylvania, in which the LG runs independently during the primary and is then grafted onto the gubernatorial ticket (with sometimes contentious results).

  3. There are nontrivial questions about how the new office will be funded -- not just a new state employee at the top, but a presumed staff, etc. If the office involves heading an existing agency (such as the Department of State), it is hoped that the incease in expenditures (in a cash-strapped budget) can be minimized.
It's rare we get to see state-building issues in progress. Fascinating.


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