Utah’s Lieutenant Governor has a narrow, but critical range of duties. Specifically, Chapter 67, Title 1A, Section 2 of the Utah Code spells out the powers bestowed upon the office.
The primary power designated to this office is their duty as chief elections officer for the people of Utah. In this capacity, the Lieutenant Governor is responsible for carrying out all aspects of the election process: overseeing candidate filings, receiving contribution information, monitoring Political Action Committees (PACs) active in the state, determining residency for candidates, reporting election results, etc. In addition, any reference to a Secretary of State in the Utah Code is referring to the Lieutenant Governor.
Another important power designated to the Lieutenant Governor of Utah is their power overseeing all aspects of the annexation process for local government in the state. Any proposed boundary action impacting a local agency is overseen by the Lieutenant Governor.
A third duty of the office is their role to serve–at the pleasure of the Governor–as an official gubernatorial adviser, a liaison to the state legislature, or with the approval of the legislature, as chief of other state agencies.
In addition, the Lieutenant Governor may propose their own office budget for each fiscal year and send it to the legislature for approval, rather than rely on the Governor for an annual appropriation request.
Further, a fifth power provided to the Lieutenant Governor is their role as custodian of the Great Seal of Utah. The office ensures that the Great Seal is used in accordance with the approved process, and is not abused in any way.
Sixth, the Utah Lieutenant Governor commissions notary publics in the state, and is empowered to administer oaths of office to other public officers as well.
Finally, the Lieutenant Governor is formally designated as the Chair of the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education, which is tasked with promoting civic involvement in schools and the community throughout Utah.
These grants of power to the office have allowed Utah’s Lieutenant Governor to carve out an important and independent base for the office in the administration of state government, and follows the path of lieutenant governorships created in the 20th-century, which tend to be focused primarily on executive duties, with either a limited or no role for the office in the machinery of the state legislature.
State of Utah. Utah State Code, Chapter 67, Title 1A, Section 2. Salt Lake City.
“About Us.” The Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education. State of Utah. August 22, 2017.