Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

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The lieutenant governor of Massachusetts is the first in the line to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor following the incapacitation of the Governor of Massachusetts. The constitutional honorific title for the office is His, or Her, Honor.

Quick facts: Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Ma...
Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kim Driscoll
since January 5, 2023
Government of Massachusetts
StyleHis Honor/Her Honor
StatusDeputy officer
Member ofGovernor's Council
Reports toGovernor of Massachusetts
ResidenceNone official
SeatState House, Boston, Massachusetts
NominatorNominating petition,
Political parties
AppointerPopular vote
Term lengthFour years, no limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Massachusetts
FormationOriginal post:
April 30, 1629
Current form:
October 25, 1780
Salary$165,000 (2018)

The Massachusetts Constitution provides that when a governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the office of governor remains vacant for the rest of the four-year term. The lieutenant governor discharges powers and duties as acting governor and does not assume the office of governor.[1] The first time this came into use was five years after the constitution's adoption in 1785, when Governor John Hancock resigned his post five months before the election and inauguration of his successor, James Bowdoin, leaving Lieutenant Governor Thomas Cushing as acting governor.[2] Most recently, Jane Swift became acting governor when Paul Cellucci resigned in 2001 to become the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.[3]

When the governor is outside the borders of Massachusetts, the lieutenant governor exercises the power of the governor. Historically a one-year term, the office of lieutenant governor now carries a four-year term, the same as that of the governor. The lieutenant governor is not elected independently, but on a ticket with the governor. The 1780 constitution required a candidate for either office to have lived in Massachusetts for at least seven years immediately preceding election, own at least £1,000 worth of real property and to "declare himself to be of the Christian religion". However, only the residency requirement remains in effect, and both men and women have served in the office.[1][4] Amendment Article LXIV (1918) changed the election from every year to every two years, and Amendment Article LXXXII (1966) changed it again to every four years. The office is currently held by Kim Driscoll, who was inaugurated in January 2023.