LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DUTIES UP FOR DEBATE

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By WVUA 23 Web Writer Emma Cary

It has been 10 months since Gov. Kay Ivey was sworn in as the 54th governor in the state of Alabama. Some lawmakers are pushing the role of the Lieutenant Governor, Ivey’s former position, to be changed.

Alabama’s lieutenant governor’s current duties include acting as the successor to the governor and as the president of the state senate, however, the bill would strip the lieutenant governor from presiding over the Alabama senate. The office would only exist to serve as a replacement should the governor become unable to serve.

“At present, the Alabama lieutenant governor really only has a few limited duties in the state,” said Alabama Rep. Bill Poole. “(With this bill) the senate rules have been changed, so the lieutenant governor no longer presides over the state senate.”

Ivey said she’s against that idea because her duties prepared her for being governor.

“I strongly support the current order of succession that is in place in the state with the lieutenant governor presiding over the senate, and then, if there’s a vacancy, the position succeeds to the chair,” Ivey said. “I strongly support that because I’ve been through it. That process serves the people of Alabama well.”

Ivey took the position as governor after former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned.

If the bill passes, the lieutenant governor’s office will be moved from the state house to the state capitol to serve more like a vice president.

“I think we’ll see something in the next year or two on that how can we best utilize that position for the benefit of the state,” Poole said.

Currently no one has been sworn in as lieutenant governor.

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