Current Responsibilities of
Rhode Island’s Lieutenant Governor

You may wonder

“What does the Lieutenant Governor do?”

The responsibilities are:

  1. Fill the governor’s position if the governor dies, refuses to serve, becomes insane, or becomes otherwise incapacitated.

  2. Chair 3 councils:

  • Small Business Advocacy Council

  • Rhode Island Emergency Management Advisory Council

  • Long Term Care Coordinating Council

I can do this.

Working together we can do more.

Here is more detailed information on this from the Rhode Island Constitution and Rhode Island Government Owner’s Manual


The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Constitution 1986 (latest version)

Article IV Section 3. Filling vacancy caused by death, removal, refusal to serve, or incapacity of elected officers — Election when no candidate receives plurality.
When the governor-elect shall die, remove from the state, refuse to serve; become insane, or be otherwise incapacitated, the lieutenant governor-elect shall be qualified as governor at the beginning of the term for which the governor was elected. 

When both the governor  and lieutenant governor-elect, or either the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney-general, or general treasurer-elect, are so incapacitated, or when there has been a failure to elect any one or more of the officers mentioned in this section, the general assembly shall upon its organization meet in grand committee and elect some person or persons to fill the office or offices, as the case may be, for which such incapacity exists or as to which such failure to elect occurred. When the general assembly shall elect any of said officers because of the failure of any person to receive a plurality of the votes cast, the election in each case shall be made from the persons who received the same and largest number of votes.

Article IX Section 9.  Vacancy in office of governor.
If the office of the governor shall be vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment or inability to serve, the lieutenant governor shall fill the office of governor, and exercise the powers and authority appertaining thereto, until a governor is qualified to act, or until the office is filled at the next election.


From the Rhode Island Government Owner’s Manual

Major Responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor
Under state law, the Lieutenant Governor is responsible for working in several policy areas in state government through the councils he chairs. They include the Small Business Advocacy Council, which was created to give small business a voice in government; the Rhode Island Emergency Management Advisor Council, which helps ensure the state is prepared for emergencies; and the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, which works to preserve seniors' quality of life in all settings. Under an executive order signed in 2015, the Lieutenant Governor is also leading an effort to develop best practices for the sharing of services by Rhode Island's cities and towns.