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 U.S. state senates

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PostSubject: U.S. state senates   Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:03 pm

In state governments of the United States, the president of the state senate (the upper house) is a matter decided by the state constitution. Some states designate the lieutenant governor as president of the senate, while in other states, the Senate elects its own president. The Tennessee Senate elects a senator Speaker of the Senate, and who is given the title of Lieutenant Governor.

Similarly, New Hampshire has no lieutenant governor, but the state senate elects a president who is the de facto lieutenant governor, given that in the event of the governor's death, resignation, or inability to serve, the president of the senate acts as governor until the vacancy is filled. New Jersey previously used the same system, but with the important proviso that the Senate president continued to serve in that position while also serving as acting governor. After Christine Todd Whitman resigned as governor, Donald DiFrancesco spent nearly a year as acting governor. As a result of his tenure, questions were raised about the propriety of such a system, particularly with regard to separation of powers-related issues. A constitutional amendment was enacted in 2005 to create the office of lieutenant governor, effective with the 2009 election.

In states where the president of the senate chosen by the senate is first the order of succession, it is far more likely the governor and next in line will be of opposing parties.

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