Governor of Hawaii

From Academic Kids

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Governors of Hawaii have been administering their duties from the Hawaii State Capitol since 1969. Previous to that, they governed from the adjacent Iolani Palace.
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Ka Hae Hawai'i

The Governor of Hawaii, also called Ke Kia‘aina o Hawai‘i, is the chief executive of the State of Hawaii and its various agencies and departments, as provided in the Hawaii State Constitution Article V, Sections 1 through 6. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state. The governor is responsible for enacting laws passed by the Hawaii State Legislature and upholding rulings of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The role includes being commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Hawaii and having the power to use those forces to execute laws, suppress insurrection and violence and repel invasion. The Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii becomes acting governor upon the governor's absence from the state or disability from discharging duties. Historically, the Governor of Hawaii has been from either the Hawaii Democratic Party or Hawaii Republican Party.

The current Governor of Hawaii is Linda Lingle.

Contents

Qualifications

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Linda Lingle gives the oath of office upon a Torah on December 2, 2002, at the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda by Hawaii State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon.

The Governor of Hawaii is limited to two four-year terms. Inauguration takes place on the first Monday in December following a gubernatorial election. A single term ends at noon four years later. A Governor is:

  • required to be at least thirty years old,
  • required to have have been a resident of Hawaii for five consecutive years previous to election,
  • barred from other professions or paid positions during the term.


Authority

Unlike all but one other state in the Union, Hawaii has only one elected statewide officer in the Governor of Hawaii. Also, the Governor of Hawaii has wide-reaching authority comparably stronger than the other governors in the Union. The government of Hawaii is more centralized than that of most other states, with little authority devolved to the counties, and unlike other states there are no local school districts. It is because of this central authority that the Governor of Hawaii is considered the most powerful executive of the governors in the United States. The governorship of Hawaii has often been characterized by the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and various other local media as an elected monarchy. Included within the governor's sphere of jurisdiction is the power to appoint all judges of the various courts within the Hawaii judicial system. Hawaii is the only state that has no direct voter involvement in either the selection or retention of judges.

The State of Hawaii does not have fixed cabinet positions and departments. By law, the Governor of Hawaii has the power to create his or her cabinet and departments as needed as long as the executive department is composed of no more than twenty bodies and cabinet members. The Governor of Hawaii is also empowered to remove cabinet officers at will, with the exception of the Attorney General of Hawaii, who must be removed by an act of the Hawaii State Senate.

Residence

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Washington Place is the former residence of Queen Lili'uokalani and now the home of the Governors of Hawaii.

The Governor of Hawaii resides in what was once a minor royal palace of Queen Lili'uokalani and her husband, Prince Consort John Owen Dominis. Washington Place, the executive mansion, is located across the street from the Hawaii State Capitol where the Office of the Governor is located. Washington Place is accessed from the Capitol through underground passages beneath Beretania Street in downtown Honolulu. Befitting of its history as a former minor royal palace, the Governors of Hawaii have entertained royal families from around the world at Washington Place including the Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Emperors Hirohito and Akihito of Japan.

In 2002, a new mansion that was commissioned by Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano on the grounds of Washington Place was opened. The original residence had been transformed into a royal museum but is still used for official state dinners and other such occasions. Governor Cayetano was the first governor to take up residence in the new mansion for a few days before leaving office. Governor Linda Lingle became the first governor to begin a term in the new mansion.

List of Governors

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