In Commemoration of NLGA's 45th Anniversary in 2007
In Partnership with The Council of State Governments 75th Anniversary
The National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) is the professional association for the elected officials first in line of gubernatorial succession in every state and U.S. territory. NLGA maintains its founding mission providing a medium for the exchange of views and experiences on subjects of importance; fostering interstate cooperation; promoting the effectiveness of the Office of Lieutenant Governor; and by improving the efficiency of state and territorial administration through education on issues and leadership training.
Minutes from the December 4, 1962, NLGA organizational meeting show founding members were concerned the office of lieutenant governor was not sufficiently understood or appreciated by the general public or political scientists. Moreover, members wanted NLGA to help all states establish an office of lieutenant governor; to clarify legislative and executive responsibilities of lieutenant governors; and to improve continuity of administrative operations.
By 2010, forty-six states will have a lieutenant governor. In 2005, New Jersey voters approved creation of the office of lieutenant governor electing the first in 2009. Including New Jersey, twenty-five lieutenant governors are elected to office with the governor, while eighteen are elected separately.
Today, twenty-three lieutenant governors are Acting Governor when the governor is out of state. Thirty NLGA members preside over their state Senates and more than half cast tie-breaking votes. In 2005, the North Carolina lieutenant governor cast the tie-breaking vote to create a state lottery. And, in 2006, the South Carolina lieutenant governor campaigned that his parliamentary rulings stopped $1.5-billion in taxes. Most lieutenant governors advance a legislative agenda. They are the only state leaders with powers in both the executive and legislative branches.
To support these roles, the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors (NCLG) was founded in 1962. In 1966, NCLG affiliated with The Council of State Governments (CSG). NCLG was staffed by CSG with Edward Feigenbaum as Director from 1983 - 1988. In 1988, NCLG became financially independent and Gail Manning assumed daily operations. In 1991, she was promoted to Director and served until 2002. In 2002, Julia Hurst became Executive Director. That year, Hurst oversaw a name change to the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) and adoption of a new logo.
NLGA published books on the office of lieutenant governor and its powers in 1983, 1987, and 1996. NLGA has published issue reports. These include a Report on Volunteerism (1978), Education and Economic Development in a Global Economy (1986), and a Report on Youth Suicide Prevention (1987). In 2002, the web site HYPERLINK "http://www.nlga.us" www.nlga.us was launched. The site contains daily news on the office and its powers, research findings, and historical compilations of all NLGA Chairs and meeting sites.
Lieutenant governors leverage their office collectively through NLGA to advance life-saving issues. Since 2001, lieutenant governors distributed more than 3-million gun locks through Project Childsafe. The effort was recognized by The Future of Children for reducing childhood death. From 2006 to today, NLGA is working to "End Cervical Cancer in our Lifetime." This public health campaign was recognized in 2007 as one of the nation's six best public service campaigns.
For the past 100 years, one in every four governors was first was a member of NLGA. The occupants of the office of lieutenant governor have a greater success rate of becoming governor than any other local, state or Congressional officeholder, according to 2006 research commissioned by NLGA.
In 2005, USA Today wrote, "Lieutenant governors, once the fifth wheels of U.S. politics, are playing an increasingly significant, visible, and controversial role in state government." NLGA will continue to work with members in leading today, preparing for tomorrow.
Prepared by NLGA Director Julia Hurst
April 11, 2007