Maine Governor Paul LePage is reportedly considering a switch in how the state government is organized. If the change goes through, Maine would replace the Secretary of State role with a Lieutenant Governor.
According to a report in the Bangor Daily News, the governor is drafting legislation that would alter the state constitution in order to make the change, and would also change how two other positions within state government are appointed. Those changes would impact the attorney general and treasurer. Currently, the state legislature picks both appointees – LePage wants to give those powers to the governor.
Maine’s secretary of state role already performs many of the duties of lieutenant governors in other states. However, if a question of succession were to arise, the president of the state Senate would take over for the governor not the secretary of state. Under the change the lieutenant governor would take over for the governor.
There may also be a political element to the proposed legislation. LePage has disagreed with the current attorney general – a democrat – throughout his administration. The proposal would effectively ensure that the highest levels of government are from the same party.
Another Republican controlled state is also considering a change to its rules for public officials. As CivSource reported earlier this month, Indiana is looking at a bill that would allow the governor there to run for president and governor at the same time.