Griffo: With uncertainty surrounding governor’s future, now is the time to consider lieutenant governor legislation

With New York facing a potential issue related to gubernatorial lines of succession, state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, is advocating for legislation he has sponsored since 2007 that would reform aspects of the lieutenant governor’s office and bring about a more orderly and better transition process.

Sen. Griffo has advanced legislation since 2007 that would:

·    Provide a method for filling a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor. The governor would nominate a new lieutenant governor within 30 days of the vacancy, and the Senate and Assembly would confirm or reject that individual through independent votes in each house. The most recent lieutenant governor vacancy and resulting controversy and court case that occurred in 2009 gave sole authority to an unelected governor to appoint a lieutenant governor. Sen. Griffo’s bill would make state law identical to the federal Constitution, where the 25th Amendment allows the president to nominate a vice president if a vacancy in the office were to occur. The vice president would take office after receiving a majority vote of both houses of Congress. (S3774)

·    Remove the constitutional provision that the lieutenant governor shall act as governor whenever the governor is absent from the state. (S3775)

·    Change Election Law to require that candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run together as a slate in a primary election, as is currently required in a general election. The present statute allows for the prospect of incompatible candidates being forced to run together and serving together in office. (S3819)

“As controversy and uncertainty swirls around the future of the governor, it is time to take a serious look at these bills that I have introduced during my tenure in the Senate,” Sen. Griffo said. “This legislation makes important, substantive and essential changes that will help to preserve good governance and will allow for an easier and smoother transition of power.”