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Ohio Constitution [ The 1851 Constitution with Amendments to 2015 ]

Article III - Executive
§ 01 Executive department

The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, and an attorney general, who shall be elected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, by the electors of the state, and at the places of voting for members of the General Assembly.

(As amended October 13, 1885; 82 v 446.)

§ 01a Joint vote cast for governor and lieutenant

In the general election for governor and lieutenant governor, one vote shall be cast jointly for the candidates nominated by the same political party or petition. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the nomination of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

(Enacted June 8, 1976; SJR No.4.)

§ 01b Lieutenant governor duties assigned by governor

The lieutenant governor shall perform such duties in the executive department as are assigned to him by the governor and as are prescribed by law.

(Enacted effective Jan. 8, 1979; SJR No.4.)

§ 02 Term of office

The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer of state, and attorney general shall hold their offices for four years commencing on the second Monday of January, 1959. Their terms of office shall continue until their successors are elected and qualified. The auditor of state shall hold his office for a term of two years from the second Monday of January, 1961 to the second Monday of January, 1963 and thereafter shall hold his office for a four year term. No person shall hold the office of governor for a period longer than two successive terms of four years.

No person shall hold any one of the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, or auditor of state for a period longer than two successive terms of four years. Terms shall be considered successive unless separated by a period of four or more years. Only terms beginning on or after January 1, 1995 shall be considered in determining an individual's eligibility to hold the office of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, or auditor of state.

In determining the eligibility of an individual to hold an office in accordance with this article, (A) time spent in an office in fulfillment of a term to which another person was first elected shall not be considered provided that a period of at least four years passed between the time, if any, in which the individual previously held that office, and the time the individual is elected or appointed to fulfill the unexpired term; and (B) a person who is elected to an office in a regularly scheduled general election and resigns prior to the completion of the term for which he or she was elected, shall be considered to have served the full term in that office.

(Adopted November 3, 1992.)

(Amended November 2, 1954.)

§ 03 Election returns

The returns of every election for the officers, named in the foregoing section, shall be sealed and transmitted to the seat of government, by the returning officers, directed to the President of the Senate, who, during the first week of the next regular session, shall open and publish them, and declare the result, in the presence of a majority of the members of each House of the General Assembly. The joint candidates having the highest number of votes cast for governor and lieutenant governor and the person having the highest number of votes for any other office shall be declared duly elected; but if any two or more have an equal and the highest number of votes for the same office or officers, one of them or any two for whom joint votes were cast for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be chosen by joint vote of both houses.

(Amended June 8, 1976, SJR No.4; November 2, 1976, SJR No.17, 111th General Assembly.)

§ 04 Repealed
Repealed November 2, 1976; see SJR No.17, 111th General Assembly.

This section referred to returns of election made to the secretary of state when there is no session of the general assembly in January after an election.

§ 05 Executive power vested in governor

The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in the governor.

§ 06 He may require written information, etc.

He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

§ 07 He shall recommend measures, etc.

He shall communicate at every session, by message, to the general assembly, the condition of the state, and recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient.

§ 08 Limiting part of General Assembly in extra session

The governor on extraordinary occasions may convene the general assembly by proclamation and shall state in the proclamation the purpose for which such special session is called, and no other business shall be transacted at such special session except that named in the proclamation, or in a subsequent public proclamation or message to the general assembly issued by the governor during said special session, but the general assembly may provide for the expenses of the session and other matters incidental thereto.

(As amended September 3, 1912.)

§ 09 When he may adjourn the General Assembly

In case of disagreement between the two houses, in respect to the time of adjournment, he shall have power to adjourn the general assembly to such time as he may think proper, but not beyond the regular meetings thereof.

§ 10 Commander-in-chief of militia

He shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the state, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

§ 11 May grant reprieves, commutations and pardons

The Governor shall have power, after conviction, to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, for all crimes and offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions as the Governor may think proper; subject, however, to such regulations, as to the manner of applying for commutations and pardons, as may be prescribed by law. Upon conviction for treason, the Governor may suspend the execution of the sentence, and report the case to the General Assembly, at its next meeting, when the General Assembly shall either pardon, commute the sentence, direct its execution, or grant a further reprieve. The Governor shall communicate to the general assembly, at every regular session, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, stating the name and crime of the convict, the sentence, its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon, or reprieve, with the Governor's reasons therefor.

(As amended January 1, 1996)

§ 12 Seal of the state, and by whom kept

There shall be a seal of the state, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially; and shall be called "The Great Seal of the State of Ohio."

§ 13 How grants and commissions issued

All grants and commissions shall be issued in the name, and by the authority, of the state of Ohio; sealed with the great seal; signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.

§ 14 Who is ineligible for governor

No member of congress, or other person holding office under the authority of this state, or of the United States, shall execute the office of governor, except as herein provided.

§ 15 Who shall fill his place when vacancy occurs

(A) In the case of the death, conviction on impeachment, resignation, or removal, of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall succeed to the office of Governor.

(B) When the Governor is unable to discharge the duties of office by reason of disability, the Lieutenant Governor shall serve as governor until the Governor's disability terminates.

(C) In the event of a vacancy in the office of governor or when the Governor is unable to discharge the duties of office, the line of succession to the office of governor or to the position of serving as governor for the duration of the Governor's disability shall proceed from the Lieutenant Governor to the President of the senate and then to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(D) Any person serving as governor for the duration of the Governor's disability shall have the powers, duties, and compensation of the office of governor. Any person who succeeds to the office of governor shall have the powers, duties, title, and compensation of the office of governor.

(E) No person shall simultaneously serve as Governor and Lieutenant Governor, President of the senate, or Speaker of the House of Representatives, nor shall any person simultaneously receive the compensation of the office of governor and that of lieutenant governor, president of the Senate, or speaker of the House of Representatives.

(Enacted November 2, 1976. Former

§ 15 repealed, see HJR No.37, 111th General Assembly.)

§ 16 Repealed
Repeal effective January 8, 1979; 136 v SJR No.4.

This section referred to the lieutenant governor as president of the senate and the choosing of a president pro tempore in his absence.

§ 17 If a vacancy shall occur while executing the office of governor, who shall act

When a vacancy occurs in both the office of governor and lieutenant governor because of the death,

conviction on impeachment, resignation, or removal of the persons elected to those offices prior to the expiration of the first twenty months of a term, a governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected at the next general election occurring in an even-numbered year after the vacancy occurs, for the unexpired portion of the term. The officer next in line of succession to the office of governor shall serve as governor from the occurrence of the vacancy until the newly elected governor has qualified.

If by reason of death, resignation, or disqualification, the governor-elect is unable to assume the office of governor at the commencement of the gubernatorial term, the lieutenant governor-elect shall assume the office of governor for the full term. If at the commencement of such term, the governor-elect fails to assume the office by reason of disability, the lieutenant governor-elect shall serve as governor until the disability of the governor-elect terminates.

(Enacted November 2, 1976. Former

§ 17 repealed, see HJR No.37, 111th General Assembly.)

§ 17a Filling a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor, the governor shall nominate a lieutenant governor, who shall take office upon confirmation by vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly.

(Adopted November 7, 1989)

§ 18 What vacancies governor to fill

Should the office of Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, Secretary of State, or Attorney General become vacant, for any of the causes specified in the fifteenth section of this article, the Governor shall fill the vacancy until the disability is removed, or a successor elected and qualified. Such successor shall be elected for the unexpired term of the vacant office at the first general election in an even numbered year that occurs more than forty days after the vacancy has occurred; provided, that when the unexpired term ends within one year immediately following the date of such general election, an election to fill such unexpired term shall not be held and the appointment shall be for such unexpired term.

(Amended, effective Jan. 1, 1970; HJR No.26.)

§ 19 Compensation

The officers mentioned in this article shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation to be established by law, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected.

§ 20 Officers to report to governor, and when

The officers of the executive department, and of the public state institutions shall, at least five days preceding each regular session of the general assembly, severally report to the governor, who shall transmit such reports, with his message to the General Assembly.

§ 21 Appointment subject to advice and consent of Senate

When required by law, appointments to state office shall be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. All statutory provisions requiring advice and consent of the Senate to appointments to state office heretofore enacted by the General Assembly are hereby validated, ratified and confirmed as to all appointments made hereafter, but any such provision may be altered or repealed by law.

No appointment shall be consented to without concurrence of a majority of the total number of Senators provided for by this Constitution, except as hereinafter provided for in the case of failure of the Senate to act. If the Senate has acted upon any appointment to which its consent is required and has refused to consent, an appointment of another person shall be made to fill the vacancy.

If an appointment is submitted during a session of the General Assembly, it shall be acted upon by the Senate during such session of the General Assembly, except that if such session of the General Assembly adjourns sine die within ten days after such submission without acting upon such appointment, it may be acted upon at the next session of the General Assembly.

If an appointment is made after the Senate has adjourned sine die, it shall be submitted to the Senate during the next session of the General Assembly.

In acting upon an appointment a vote shall be taken by a yea and nay vote of the members of the Senate and shall be entered upon its journal. Failure of the Senate to act by a roll call vote on an appointment by the governor within the time provided for herein shall constitute consent to such appointment.

(As enacted Nov. 7, 1961.)

§ 22 Jurisdiction to determine disability; succession

The supreme court has original, exclusive, and final jurisdiction to determine disability of the governor or governor-elect upon presentment to it of a joint resolution by the general assembly, declaring that the governor or governor-elect is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor by reason of disability. Such joint resolution shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house. The supreme court shall give notice of the resolution to the governor and after a public hearing, at which all interested parties may appear and be represented, shall determine the question of disability. The court shall make its determination within twenty-one days after presentment of such resolution.

If the governor transmits to the supreme court a written declaration that the disability no longer exists, the supreme court shall, after public hearing at which all interested parties may appear and be represented, determine the question of the continuation of the disability. The court shall make its determination within twenty-one days after transmittal of such declaration.

The Supreme Court has original, exclusive, and final jurisdiction to determine all questions concerning succession to the office of the governor or to its powers and duties.

(Enacted November 2, 1976; HJR No.37, 111th General Assembly.)

* Schedule of HJR 37 (136 v --) reads as follows: If, on the effective date of this amendment, section number 16 is already assigned to a section in Article III of the Constitution of Ohio, the Secretary of State shall assign section number 22 to the section in Article III that would be numbered section 16 by this amendment, and such number shall be the official number of such section and shall be so published in any publication of the Constitution and shall be cited and referred to by such number.

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