State & Local Government Governors & Constitutional Offices
Early Characteristics • The first state constitution, ratified in 1836, established four-year terms for governors and the requirement that they be residents of the state for ten years. • The fifth constitution in 1874, following the American Civil War and Reconstruction, limited the executive's power while increasing the legislative's, lowering gubernatorial terms to two years and changed the residency requirement to seven years. • Amendment 63 to the Arkansas Constitution, passed in 1984, increased the terms of both governor and lieutenant governor to four years. • A referendum in 1992 limited a governor to two consecutive four-year terms.
Modern-Day Governors • Lawyer • White males dominant • Gender and race are not impediments • Campaign experience
Staffing the Office • Beware of poor appointments • Turnover • Make-up of staff • size is variable • loyalty • public relations • political savvy • lawyers galore
Staff Duties • Handle the trivial • Supply information • Screen information • Help with visitors • Answer mail • Liaison with bureaucracy • Empowerment
Campaigns • Increasing expense • 1998 California governor’s race cost $120 million • Missouri candidates spent $20 million in 2000 • Increasing competition • State party strength is important • Candidate profiles have changed • More experience in office before running • High-profile candidates • Incumbency
The Governor’s Roles • Policymaker • Chief Legislator • Chief Administrator • Ceremonial Leader • Intergovernmental coordinator • Economic development promoter • Party Leader • Public Opinion Leader • Crisis Manager
Arkansas’s Executive Power • Directs Arkansas’s executive agencies • Enforcing law • Maintaining peace • Economic development
Requirements • Age • Thirty years old • Citizenship • Must be U.S. Citizen • Can be a naturalized citizen • State residence • Must be a ten year resident of the state
Formal Powers in Arkansas • Tenure • Appointment power • Veto power • Budgetary power • Reorganization power • Staffing power
Informal Powers • Persuasion and leadership • Popular support • office prestige • public relations • negotiation and bargaining • pork barrel and patronage
Advice to Governors • Campaign staff doesn’t always transfer well • Ultimate responsibility lies in the governor, not staff • Avoid isolation • Guard time • Delegate • Set Priorities
Potential Reforms • Terminate the plural executive • Increase appointment power • Increase removal power • Increase power to organize • Reduce span of control • End two-year terms • Provide adequate staff • Provide a budget office
Lieutenant Governor • Like the U.S. Vice President • Not very powerful or important • Currently Bill Halter • Has become stepping stone for the Governorship • Jim Guy Tucker (succeeds Clinton) • Mike Huckabee (succeeds Tucker a/f resignation) • Win Rockefeller (had to bow out of run for Governor for health reasons) • Qualifications • Same as governor
L.G. • Until 1925, should the office of Governor be rendered empty through death, resignation, removal, or other disability, the president of the state senate would act as governor, until such time as a new governor were elected or the disability removed, or the acting governor's senate term expired. • This led to some situations where the governorship changed hands in quick succession, due to senate terms ending or new presidents of the senate being elected. • For example, William Kavanaugh Oldham served only six days in 1913 before he was replaced as president of the senate.
L.G. • Should the president of the senate be similarly incapacitated, the next in line for the governorship was the speaker of the state house of representatives. • Amendment 6 to the state constitution, passed in 1914 but not recognized until 1925, created the office of lieutenant governor, to be elected at the same time as governor for the same term. In case of removal of the governor, the lieutenant governor now became acting governor.
Lieutenant Governor Duties • Succeeds the governor in cases of • Death • Impeachment • Incapacity • Resignation • Extra constitutional duties • Also works with Early Childhood Education • Extensive involvement in tourism program • Not a typical springboard to governorship: Arkansas is the exception
Secretary of State • Keeps all state records • Constitution provides no guidelines for office • Today is a better stepping stone to governorship
Secretary of State duties • Recording state patents • Registering land • Assigning title, too • Records legislature’s votes • State publications • Publishes the “Blue Book” • Prints Arkansas Constitution
Divisions • Business and Commercial Services Division • Provides a range of services to individuals & companies doing business w/n Arkansas. Registering business names, filing appropriate documentations for business, recording trademarks, filing notary public certifications, etc. • Communications & Education Division • Coordinates programs such as Young Voters Month, Sister Cities, & exhibits at the Capitol. Voter outreach campaigns, & civic education programs
Divisions • Elections Division • Maintain state’s election records • Assist county officials with federal, state, & district elections • Maintains state voter registration system • Fiscal Office • Finance • Human Resources • Purchasing, Supply and Mail sections • Responsible for arranging insurance coverage for the Capitol and other buildings
State Auditor • Elected in separate years from rest of state constitutional officers • Intent is to be more independent from the other branches of the state executive • Must have same qualifications as governor • Most winning candidates are Certified Public Accountants • Main function is auditing
Auditing • Financial compliance audits • Making sure money was spent as it was allocated by legislature • Reductions in waste and fraud • Performance auditing • Making sure the money is spent wisely • Goal-focused audits • Recommends areas for improvement • Recently cracked down on state credit card use by employees • Also reported state does not pursue and punish unlicensed daycare providers adequately
Emergence of the Auditor • Rise of performance budgeting and audits • Gave the auditor a mission • And a chance to play politics • Now a politically powerful office • Avenue for public cynicism with government
Land Commissioner • Runs State Land Office • Primary responsibility as Land Commissioner is to oversee the disposition of tax delinquent property. • Since January 2003, over $33.8 million has been collected resulting in over 44,000 delinquent parcels being returned to tax generating status.
Treasurer • Mostly a banking operation • Custodian of state funds • Picks banks in which to invest state money • Statutory limits • But lots of personal discretion • Money authority can lead to fights with Auditor • Must report to governor monthly on state finances • Arkansas: controls state “Lost and Found”
Treasurer’s Duties • Office accepts deposits, reconciles accounts, prepares statements, and answers customer’s questions. As a bank for the State, the Office provides the same services for the State as the private banks do for their customers. • On an average day, the Office accepts more than $56.5 million in deposits – taxes, fees, and other payments made by the people of Arkansas – and credits them to the proper account. • These deposits are made up of electronic fund transfers, cash, and checks. On an average day, approximately 5,000 checks are processed through the Receiving Department.
Treasury Politics • Used to be very close to party line • Has deviated since • Now a good training ground for governorship • New campaigns • Now revolve on management issues, competence, and experience
Attorney General • State’s chief legal officer • Issues formal written opinions on state laws and other legal issues
Arkansas’s Attorney General • Campaigning • Usually crime is the most important issue • Consumer protection has become important • Represents government in legal cases • Does not represent private citizens • Defends government actions when challenged in court • Excellent training for governorship
Duties • Representing most state agencies, boards and commissions in courts of law; • Advocating for citizens with regard to environment, utilities, antitrust and consumer protection issues; • Providing opinions on legal issues presented by legislators, prosecutors and heads of state agencies; • Pursuing civil remedies on behalf of the Arkansas Medicaid Program for fraud and neglect; and • Handling all criminal appeals and habeas corpus matters on behalf of the state.
A.G. Programs • The Attorney General's Community Relations Department administers several public service programs, including: • The Crime Victims Reparations Program • Educational programs, such as “Smart Choices, Better Chances,” a juvenile law-education program, and “Keys to Safety,” a guide to online safety, child abduction, and runaway issues; and • The Arkansas Missing Children Services Program (AMCSP), which works to protect the children of our state by serving as a statewide clearinghouse for missing-and-exploited children.
Six Departments of the Attorney General’s Office • Civil Department • Civil Litigation • State Agencies • Community Relations • Crime Victims Program • Missing Children's Services • Law Education Program • Keys to Safety Program • Youth Suicide Prevention
Departments • Criminal Department • State Briefs • Habeas Corpus • Medicaid Department • Medicaid Fraud • Opinions Department • Information About Opinions • Opinions Search • Public Protection Department • Consumer Protection • Utilities • Environment • Antitrust