The position of lieutenant governor is unlike any other in Washington state government, because its duties fall within both the Executive and Legislative branches. While elected independently from the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor becomes the Acting Governor whenever the Governor leaves the state, or is otherwise unable to serve. The Lieutenant Governor also functions as President of the State Senate and, as such, is the lead parliamentarian of that body and helps determine which legislation advances to the Senate floor for debate.
The Lieutenant Governor also serves by statute on a number of boards and committees, including the State Capitol Committee, the State Finance Committee, the Washington Healthcare Facilities Board, the Washington Higher Education Facilities Board, and the Capitol Furnishings Preservation Committee. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is also statutorily linked to the Association of Washington Generals, a nonprofit organization founded by Lieutenant Governor Cherberg that honors charitable and civic-minded Washingtonians and helps promote trade and tourism. Lieutenant Governor Habib plans to work closely with AWG to strengthen and grow the organization and leverage it to build public-private partnerships over the next several years.
The Lieutenant Governor serves as Acting Governor, with all of the powers and responsibilities of the Governor, when the Governor is out of the state or is otherwise unable to serve. In this capacity, the Lieutenant Governor needs to be prepared to assume all of the state’s executive responsibilities at a moment’s notice, particularly in response to an emergency.
In January, Lt. Governor Habib was appointed to Resilient Washington by Gov. Inslee, to prepare for any potential emergencies that may occur while serving as acting governor. The Lieutenant Governor aims to prepare all Washingtonians for any future disasters and connect residents to necessary services, should an emergency occur.