Alabama lawmaker proposes bill to strip Lt. Governor of current duties

Kay Ivey_Robert Bentley
Then Lt. Governor Kay Ivey with former Gov. Robert Bentley

Lineville-Republican State Senator Gerald Dial has introduced legislation that would propose an amendment to the Alabama Constitution stripping the Lieutenant Governor’s office of any legislative duties.

Under current legislation, the Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Senate and is entitled to vote in the event of a tie. They are also vested with certain prescribed legislative duties, powers, and responsibilities.

SB88 would change all of that.

The bill, which is a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution, stipulates the “sole responsibility” of the post would be “to succeed to the Office of Governor upon the Governor’s removal from office, death, or resignation.”

It would also require the members of the Senate to elect from its own membership a President and President Pro Tempore of the Senate and would provide that the prior legislative duties, responsibilities, and powers of the Lieutenant Governor would be vested in the President of the Senate.

“It’s a job that does not require hardly any work at all and it could be better used if the people are going to fund it,” Dial said of the job of lieutenant governor to the AP.

Governor Kay Ivey opposes the proposal.

In her State of the State address, she explained her time presiding over the Senate as Lt. Governor prepared to assume the office of the Governor when former. Gov. Robert Bentley resigned.

“The smooth transition of government, brought me full circle – from the legislative to the executive – and I am better able to lead and govern because of it. I support having a lieutenant governor who presides over the Senate. Our current order of succession serves the state well. I know this firsthand, having experienced it. I strongly support our current order of succession,” Ivey said in her speech earlier this month.

If approved by the legislature, the amendment would go to the public for a vote for final approval.