A proposal making its way through the Legislature would put the governor and lieutenant governor on the same election ticket. It’s one of a series of bills to streamline state government that would give more power to the governor.
Current Lt. Governor Ken Ard says he thinks it’s a good idea. He told SCRN that while crafting the measure, lawmakers simply need to be careful about mixing branches of government so that a member of the administrative branch does not have any real power over the Senate. That can be worked out, says Ard, especially since the Senate president pro tem and other senators can preside when needed.
“This would free someone like me to go do more of the business of the state,” he says. In his case, Ard says that would be just that—courting more business to South Carolina. “That is where my strength, my comfort level is,” says Ard. “But the next person could be a policy wonk.” Ard then suggests that a Lt. governor could be the one to go to legislative committee and subcommittee meeting to represent the interests of the administration. He says that liaison is another important function that could be filled by someone serving “at the governor’s pleasure.”
If the job description changes in Haley’s administration, Ard says it may be an “uncomfortable marriage” at first, because “she (Haley) did not choose me as a running mate.” But, he says that would be overcome quickly.
One of a list of measures headed to the full Senate Judiciary Committee, S. 16 requires a statewide referendum in 2012 to change the state Constitution.