The Governor of
Tennessee is the head of government of the U.S. state
of Tennessee. The governor is the only official in
government who is directly elected by the voters of the entire state.
The current governor is Bill Haslam, a Republican. Haslam won election
in November 2010 and took office on January 15, 2011.
2 Powers and duties
4 Line of succession
5 List of governors
Tennessee Constitution provides that the governor must be at least
30 years old and must have lived in the state for at least seven years
before being elected to the office. The governor is elected to a
four-year term and may serve no more than two terms consecutively.
The governor is the only official of the
Tennessee state government
who is directly elected by the voters of the State of Tennessee.
Judges on several state courts also appear on statewide ballots, but
in accordance with the
Tennessee Plan they are subject to votes only
on their retention in office.</ref> There are only two other
U.S. states, New Jersey and Hawaii, where the governor is the only
state official to be elected statewide.
Powers and duties
Tennessee Constitution provides that “The supreme executive
power of this state shall be vested in a governor.” Most state
department heads and some members of boards and commissions are
appointed by the governor.
The governor is the commander-in-chief of the state's army and navy
and the state militia, except when they have been called up into
federal service. The governor chairs the
Tennessee Board of Regents
and the University of
Tennessee Board of Trustees and holds seats on
the State Funding Board, State Building Commission, Board of
Tennessee Local Development Authority, School Bond
Tennessee Industrial and Agricultural Development
Tennessee governor can veto laws passed by the
Assembly and has line-item veto authority for individual spending
items included in bills passed by the legislature. In either
situation, the governor's veto can be overridden by a simple majority
of both houses of the legislature. If a governor exercises the veto
authority after the legislature has adjourned, the veto stands. It
is uncommon for
Tennessee governors to use their veto power, probably
because it is so easy for the General Assembly to override a veto.
The state constitution empowers the governor to call the General
Assembly into special session, with the subjects to be considered
limited to matters specified in the call.
As of 2010[update], the governor's salary was set at $170,340 per
year. This is the ninth highest U.S. gubernatorial salary. Haslam
and his predecessor, Phil Bredesen, both were independently wealthy
before taking office and refused to accept state salaries for their
service as governor.
Line of succession
Further information: Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee
Tennessee does not elect a lieutenant governor. If a vacancy occurs in
the office of governor due to the governor's death, removal, or
resignation from office, the
Tennessee Constitution provides for the
Speaker of the
Tennessee Senate to become governor. Because this
has the effect of making the speaker the lieutenant governor, the
speaker is often referred to by the title "lieutenant governor." and
was also granted this title by statute in 1951. Following the
lieutenant governor/senate speaker in the line of succession are the
speaker of the
Tennessee House of Representatives, the secretary of
state, and the comptroller.
List of governors
Further information: List of Governors of Tennessee
William Blount served from 1790 to 1796, when
known as the Southwest Territory. He was replaced by John Sevier, the
state's first governor. Other notable governors include Willie Blount
Sam Houston (better known for his role as
the President of the Republic of Texas), and future U.S Presidents
James K. Polk
James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson.
^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries" (Press release). Council of
State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
^ a b c d e Lyons, William; Scheb, John M.; Stair, Billy (2001).
Government and Politics in Tennessee. University of
pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-1-57233-141-9.
^ Goodman, Josh (January 6, 2009). "Why Everyone Is Running for
Governor of Tennessee". Governing.com. . Judges on several state
courts also appear on statewide ballots, but in accordance with the
Tennessee Plan they are subject to votes only on their retention in
^ a b c d e "Office of the Governor" (PDF).
Tennessee Blue Book
2009-2010. pp. 123–125.
^ Lester, Connie L. "
Tennessee Governor's Office". Tennessee
Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
^ Sisk, Chas (May 3, 2012). "Gov.
Bill Haslam Uses First
Vanderbilt's 'All-Comers' Bill". The Tennessean. [dead link]
^ a b "The Governors: Compensation, Staff, Travel and Residence (Table
4.3)" (PDF). The Book of the States 2010. Council of State
Governments. pp. 199–200.
Tennessee Gov. Haslam Exempts Himself and Top Staff from Financial
Disclosure". AllGov.com. January 20, 2011.
Governors of Tennessee
Officers of the State of Tennessee
Speaker of the Senate
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Secretary of State
Tennessee Supreme Court
State of Tennessee
Tennessee National Guard
Seal of Tennessee
Blue Ridge Mountains