The Governor of Vermont is the governor (chief executive, head of government) of the U.S. state of Vermont. The governor is elected in even numbered years by direct voting for a term of two years; Vermont and bordering New Hampshire are the only states to hold gubernatorial elections every two years, instead of every four. There is no limit on the number of terms a governor can serve.
The incumbent governor is Peter Shumlin. In his election he was endorsed by the Vermont Democratic and Working Families Party. He is the 81st governor of the State of Vermont. (Two others, Thomas Chittenden and Moses Robinson, served as governor of the Vermont Republic before Vermont's admission to the Union in 1791.)
The governor's working offices are located in The Pavilion in the state capital of Montpelier, Vermont. The governor's ceremonial office, used during the legislative session of the General Assembly, is located in the Vermont State House, also in Montpelier.
The Constitution of Vermont details the powers of the governor:
- To commission or appoint all officers ("except where provision is, or shall be, otherwise made by law or this Frame of Government")
- To fill all vacancies in office until the office can be filled in the manner directed by state constitution or by state law
- To correspond with other States
- To "transact business with officers of government, civil and military"
- To "prepare such business as may appear necessary, to lay before the General Assembly.
- To grant pardons and remit fines, except for cases of treason, in which the Governor may only grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the General Assembly, and for cases of impeachment, in which the Governor cannot grant either reprieves or pardons
- To "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" and "expedite the execution of such measures as may be resolved upon by the General Assembly"
- To "draw upon the Treasury for such sums as may be appropriated by the General Assembly"
- To "lay embargoes, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity" for up to 30 days during a recess of the General Assembly
- To "grant such licenses as shall be directed by law"
- To call special sessions of the General Assembly when necessary
- To be the "Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief" of the "forces of the State" (the Vermont State Guard and Vermont National Guard), although the Governor cannot "command in person, in time of war, or insurrection, unless by the advice and consent of the Senate, and no longer than they shall approve thereof"
There is a separately-elected Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, who assumes the powers of the Governor in case there is a vacancy in the office of Governor or the Governor was unable to serve. The Lieutenant Governor is also the Lieutenant-General of the "forces of the State."
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... On May 26, 2011, "Vermont became the first state to lay the groundwork for single-payer health care...when signed an ambitious bill aimed at establishing ... On August 17, 2011, Shumlin became the first sitting governor in the United States to preside over a same-sex wedding ceremony ... Shumlin joked that Vermont "almost lost the governor," and added that he was within "three feet of getting 'arrrh.'" On May 16, 2012, Shumlin signed a bill in front of group of high school students who pushed ...
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“Three years ago, also, when the Sims tragedy was acted, I said to myself, There is such an officer, if not such a man, as the Governor of Massachusetts,what has he been about the last fortnight? Has he had as much as he could do to keep on the fence during this moral earthquake?... He could at least have resigned himself into fame.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“In order to get to East Russet you take the Vermont Central as far as Twitchells Falls and change there for Torpid River Junction, where a spur line takes you right into Gormley. At Gormley you are met by a buckboard which takes you back to Torpid River Junction again.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)
“There are times when even the most potent governor must wink at transgression, in order to preserve the laws inviolate for the future.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)