Tennessee Amendment would clarify the chain of succession to Governor

We're the only state that does not have a plan if our Governor should face a medical emergency

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – What happens if the Governor suddenly has a stoke or needs surgery.

Tennessee is the only state in the country that does not have a clear succession plan in it’s Constitution.

Voters can remedy that in November.

Right now, Tennessee law does put the Lieutenant Governor (Senate Leader) in the Governor’s seat if the Governor dies. That hasn’t happened since 1927.

But temporary medical incapacity is not covered in the Constitution.

So Amendment 2 on the ballot in November would change that.

The initiative will be on the November ballot as Constitutional Amendment 2.

It says the Lt. Governor would assume the role if the Governor cannot.

If the Governor knows he/she is having major surgery, they would put the change of powers in writing.

If it is unplanned, then a majority of the Governor’s cabinet would have to inform the Lt. Governor of the need to step in.

The last time that happened anywhere in the country was 2003, when the Governor of Indiana suffered a massive stroke which he never recovered from.

Senator Becky Massey from Knoxville co-sponsored the bill:

“In the unusual event the state’s highest elected official is temporarily unable to meet the needs of the office, it is important for the stability of our state that Tennessee’s constitution lays out a clear path for the transfer of power,” said Massey. “It is good practice to plan for all scenarios. I hope we never need to invoke this provision, but if it is ever needed, it will be really needed. It’s time Tennessee joins all other states and adds this provision to our constitution. I urge all citizens to vote “yes” on Amendment 2.”

Categories: Regional News