HCS/SS/SB 507 - This act modifies the processes for vacancies in certain public offices.
Currently, when a vacancy occurs in the office of State Representative or State Senator, the Governor must issue a writ of election without delay. This act removes the phrase "without delay" and provides that the writ shall be issued within thirty days.
This act creates the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2014.
This act requires the Governor to immediately appoint a qualified person to fill a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor. If the vacancy occurs in the first 22 months of the term, then the vacancy shall be filled at the next general election. Otherwise, the acting Lieutenant Governor shall serve the remainder of the term. In the case of impeachment, the office shall remain vacant until the impeachment is determined. This provision is similar to SCS/HCS/HB 110 (2013) and SCS/SB 82 (2013).
The Secretary of State is required to make available to the public in a web-based electronic format an abstract of all commissions issued and appointments made by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
The act creates a process for the following state departments for instances where the position of department head becomes vacant: the Office of Administration; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Corrections; the Department of Economic Development; the Department of Health and Senior Services; the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration; the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; the Department of Natural Resources; the Department of Public Safety; the Department of Revenue; and the Department of Social Services. For each of these state departments, the department head shall designate by written order a deputy to act for the department head during any vacancy or absence of the head for official business, vacation, illness or incapacity. Upon commencement of such vacancy, the Governor shall appoint the deputy as acting department head. If no deputy is designated, then the Governor shall appoint an acting director from among the division heads in the department.
The deputy head shall serve as acting director for no more than 180 days from the date the vacancy or absence first occurs. Upon completion of the 180 days, the authority of the acting director shall expire. The Governor cannot appoint another acting director within 360 days of the appointment of the first acting director. The 180 day limit shall toll during any period of time when the Governor has appointed a department head and submitted the person to the Senate for its advice and consent. If the appointment of a director is returned to the Governor by the Senate, or does not receive its advice and consent, the deputy director may serve as acting director for an additional sixty days, provided that the sixty day limit shall toll during any period of time in which the governor has appointed a director and submitted such person to the Senate for its advice and consent. A deputy director serving as acting director shall be compensated at the same rate as the director during the period when serving as acting director.
The act repeals a provision of law requiring the Governor to immediately appoint a new state treasurer when a vacancy in that office occurs to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the term.
The provisions of this act shall also only become effective upon the passage of a constitutional amendment regarding the Governor's appointment authority.