This week, Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell took over power, at least partially, while Governor Holden was out of the state. The written agreement reached between the two, though, raises questions over how partial gubernatorial power is doled out. Maxwell signed six bills into law while being given just partial power of the Governor’s office. Holden’s deputy chief legal counsel, Chris Bauman, says while the authority to grant partial powers is not spelled out specifically in the constitution, it is allowed. A dozen years ago in a clash between a former governor and lieutenant governor, the State Supreme Court ruled that the constitution does not provide for two governors at the same time. Bauman says under the Governor’s executive authority, Holden is allowed to give up some of his power while putting restrictions on whoever takes over, even if he is effectively absent. Bauman insists the arrangement is not contrary to any law because there is no law against it.
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