State Capitol News
11:01 am
Sat October 3, 2009

Group wants Lieutenant Governor position created

Phoenix, AZ – David Jones of the Arizona Contractors Association said the
problem with the current system is that when a governor quits,
dies or is forced out of office, the job goes to the secretary of
state. But that person is elected independent of the governor and
may not share the same philosophy.

(If the replacement comes in, and they're of the opposite party,
state government is turned upside down. All the department heads
are gone. The people are moving left and right. And the
continuity of state government is interrupted for quite a period
of time while transitions are being made.)

Arizona has replaced governors in the middle of their terms five
times in the last 35 years -- most recently in January when
Republican Jan Brewer took over after Democrat Janet Napolitano
quit. Jones said there might be some opposition to creating
another public official. But he said one option would be to fire
the heads of the departments of commerce, tourism and agriculture
and have those agencies run by the lieutenant governor.

(Take those salaries out, and take the administrative back-up for
that, fund the lieutenant governor's office with that. And then
take what currently would be the number 2 position, and they
become the day-to-day operational people.)

The plan would need voter approval at the ballot next year to
take effect. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.