an official New Hampshire government website
 Home Visitors Residents Business Government
eLicensing NH Film & Television NHDOT NHEconomy TransparentNH

 

 

State Constitution > Executive Power - Governor
Established October 31, 1783 Effective June 2, 1784 As Subsequently Amended and in Force January 2007
 

Art.] 41. [Governor, Supreme Executive Magistrate.] There shall be a supreme executive magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of the State of New Hampshire, and whose title shall be His Excellency. The executive power of the state is vested in the governor. The governor shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws. He may, by appropriate court action or proceeding brought in the name of the state, enforce compliance with any constitutional or legislative mandate, or restrain violation of any constitutional or legislative power, duty, or right, by any officer, department or agency of the state. This authority shall not be construed to authorize any action or proceedings against the legislative or judicial branches.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 substituting "Governor" for "President."
Amended 1966 clarifying and reinforcing executive powers of the governor.

[Art.] 42. [Election of Governor, Return of Votes; Electors; If No Choice, Legislature to Elect One of Two Highest Candidates; Qualifications for Governor.] The governor shall be chosen biennially in the month of November; and the votes for governor shall be received, sorted, counted, certified and returned, in the same manner as the votes for senators; and the secretary shall lay the same before the senate and house of representatives, on the first Wednesday following the first Tuesday of January to be by them examined, and in case of an election by a plurality of votes through the state, the choice shall be by them declared and published. And the qualifications of electors of the governor shall be the same as those for senators; and if no person shall have a plurality of votes, the senate and house of representatives shall, by joint ballot elect one of the two persons, having the highest number of votes, who shall be declared governor. And no person shall be eligible to this office, unless at the time of his election, he shall have been an inhabitant of this state for 7 years next preceding, and unless he shall be of the age of 30 years.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 deleting specifics of handling votes at town meeting.
Amended 1852 removing property qualification for holding office.
Amended 1877 three times: biennial elections replacing annual; elections in November instead of March; deleting provision that office holders be of protestant religion.
Amended 1889 changing June to January for the secretary of state to lay the votes before the house and senate.
Amended 19l2 requiring a plurality instead of majority for election of governor.
Amended 1982 changing first Wednesday of January to Wednesday after the first Tuesday.

[Art.] 43. [In Cases of Disagreement Governor to Adjourn or Prorogue Legislature; If Causes Exist, May Convene Them Elsewhere.] In cases of disagreement between the two houses, with regard to the time or place of adjournment or prorogation, the governor, with advice of council, shall have a right to adjourn or prorogue the general court, not exceeding ninety days at any one time, as he may determine the public good may require, and he shall dissolve the same on the first Wednesday of December biennially. And, in cases whereby dangers may arise to the health or lives of the members from their attendance at the general court at any place, the governor may direct the session to be holden at some other the most convenient place within the state.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 twice changing president to governor and inserting "place" of adjournment.
Amended 1889 changing June to January for time of dissolving house and senate.
Amended 1974 providing for the legislature to be dissolved on the first Wednesday of December.
Amended 1980 removing "infectious distemper" as a reason for the governor to convene the legislature at a different place.

[Art.] 44. [Veto to Bills.] Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the general court, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor, if he approves, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with such objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of persons, voting for or against the bill, shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it unless the legislature, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

September 5, 1792

[Art.] 45. [Resolves to Be Treated Like Bills.] Every resolve shall be presented to the governor, and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by the senate and house of representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

September 5, 1792

[Art.] 46. [Nomination and Appointment of Officers.] All judicial officers, the attorney general, and all officers of the navy, and general and field officers of the militia, shall be nominated and appointed by the governor and council; and every such nomination shall be made at least three days prior to such appointment; and no appointment shall take place, unless a majority of the council agree thereto.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 making minor changes in wording.
Amended 1877 deleting solicitors and sheriffs from those appointed by governor and council.
Amended 1976 deleting appointment of coroners by governor and council.

[Art.] 47. [Governor and Council Have Negative on Each Other.] The governor and council shall have a negative on each other, both in the nominations and appointments. Every nomination and appointment shall be signed by the governor and council, and every negative shall be also signed by the governor or council who made the same.

September 5, 1792

[Art.] 48. [Field Officers to Recommend, and Governor to Appoint, Company Officers.] (Repealed)

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 providing that field officers were to nominate and recommend to the governor the captains and subalterns instead of appointing them.
Amended 1903 added proviso that nominees had to be examined and qualified by an examining board.
Repealed 1976.

[Art.] 49. [President of Senate, etc., To Act as Governor When Office Vacant; Speaker of House to Act When Office of President of Senate Is also Vacant.] In the event of the death, resignation, removal from office, failure to qualify, physical or mental incapacity, absence from the state, or other incapacity of the governor, the president of the senate, for the time being, shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled or the incapacity is removed; and if the president of the senate, for any of the above-named causes, shall become incapable of performing the duties of governor, the same shall devolve upon the speaker of the house of representatives, for the time being, or in the case of the like incapacity of the speaker, upon the secretary of state, or in case of his like incapacity, upon the state treasurer, each of whom, in that order, shall act as governor, as herein above provided, until the vacancy is filled or the incapacity removed. Whenever a vacancy for the duration or remainder of the governor´s term of office occurs before the commencement of the last year of such term, a special election for governor shall take place to fill the vacancy, as provided by law. Whenever the speaker of the house acts as governor, he shall act as such only until such time as the vacancy is filled or the incapacity removed in either the office of governor or of president of the senate, whichever occurs first. Whenever either the secretary of state or the treasurer acts as governor, he shall act as such only until such time as the vacancy is filled or the incapacity removed in the offices of governor, of president of the senate or of speaker of the house, whichever occurs first. While acting as governor under this article, the president of the senate, speaker of the house, secretary of state or state treasurer, as the case may be, shall be styled Acting Governor, shall not be required to take an additional oath of office, shall have and exercise all the powers, duties and authorities of, and receive compensation equal to that of the office of governor; and the capacity of each such officer to serve as president of the senate as well as senator, speaker of the house of representatives as well as representative, secretary of state, or state treasurer, as the case may be, or to receive the compensation of such office, shall be suspended only. While the governor or an acting governor is absent from the state on official business, he shall have the power and authority to transact such business.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing some wording and providing that the senate president acting as governor could not hold his office in the senate.
Amended 1889 providing for the speaker of the house to act as governor.
Amended 1956 providing that the governor while absent from the state has authority to transact such business.
Amended 1968 providing for succession through secretary of state and state treasurer, but only until a new senate president or house speaker is elected.
Amended 1984 rewording section generally to include incapacity, new election if vacancy occurs before last year of the term, compensation of acting governor to equal that of governor, and suspension of senate president acting as a senator or speaker to act as a representative while serving as acting governor.

[Art.] 49-a [Prolonged Failure to Qualify; Vacancy in Office of Governor Due to Physical or Mental Incapacity, etc.] Whenever the governor transmits to the secretary of state and president of the senate his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office by reason of physical or mental incapacity and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, the president of the senate, for the time being, shall act as governor as provided in article 49, subject to the succession provisions therein set forth. Whenever it reasonably appears to the attorney general and a majority of the council that the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office by reason of physical or mental incapacity, but the governor is unwilling or unable to transmit his written declaration to such effect as above provided, the attorney general shall file a petition for declaratory judgment in the supreme court requesting a judicial determination of the ability of the governor to discharge the powers and duties of his office. After notice and hearing, the justices of the supreme court shall render such judgment as they find warranted by a preponderance of the evidence; and, if the court holds that the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the president of the senate, for the time being, shall act as governor as provided in article 49, subject to the succession provisions therein set forth, until such time as the disability of the governor is removed or a newly elected governor is inaugurated. Such disability, once determined by the supreme court, may be removed upon petition for declaratory judgment to the supreme court by the governor if the court finds, after notice and hearing, by a preponderance of the evidence that the governor is able to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Whenever such disability of the governor, as determined by his written declaration or by judgment of the supreme court, has continued for a period of 6 months, the general court may, by concurrent resolution adopted by both houses, declare the office of governor vacant. Whenever the governor-elect fails to qualify by reason of physical or mental incapacity or any cause other than death or resignation, for a period of 6 months following the inauguration date established by this constitution, the general court may, by concurrent resolution adopted by both houses, declare the office of governor vacant. The provisions of article 49 shall govern the filling of such vacancy, either by special election or continued service of an acting governor. If the general court is not in session when any such 6-month period expires, the acting governor, upon written request of at least 1/4 of the members of each house, shall convene the general court in special session for the sole purpose of considering and acting on the question whether to declare a vacancy in the office of governor under this article.

November 28, 1984

[Art.] 50. [Governor to Prorogue or Adjourn Legislature, and Call Extra Sessions.] The governor, with advice of council, shall have full power and authority, in the recess of the general court, to prorogue the same from time to time, not exceeding ninety days, in any one recess of said court; and during the sessions of said court, to adjourn or prorogue it to any time the two houses may desire, and to call it together sooner than the time to which it may be adjourned, or prorogued, if the welfare of the state should require the same.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.

[Art.] 51. [Powers and Duties of Governor as Commander-in-Chief.] The governor of this state for the time being, shall be commander-in-chief of all the military forces of the state; and shall have full power, by himself or by any chief commander, or other officer or officers, from time to time, to train, instruct, exercise and govern the militia; to call forth the militia and to put in warlike posture the inhabitants of the state; to execute the laws of the state and of the United States; to suppress insurrection and to repel invasion; and, in fine, the governor is hereby entrusted with all other powers incident to the office of commander-in-chief to be exercised agreeably to the rules and regulations of the constitution and the laws of the land.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.
Amended 1968 condensing authority of the governor as commander-in-chief of military forces.

[Art.] 52. [Pardoning Power.] The power of pardoning offenses, except such as persons may be convicted of before the senate, by impeachment of the house, shall be in the governor, by and with the advice of council: But no charter of pardon, granted by the governor, with advice of the council, before conviction, shall avail the party pleading the same, notwithstanding any general or particular expressions contained therein, descriptive of the offense or offenses intended to be pardoned.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.

[Art.] 53. [Militia Officers, Removal of.] (Repealed)

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.
Repealed 1976.

[Art.] 54. [Staff and Non-commissioned Officers, by Whom Appointed.] (Repealed)

June 2, 1784
Repealed 1976.

[Art.] 55. [Division of Militia into Brigades, Regiments, and companies.] (Repealed)

June 2, 1784
Repealed 1976.

[Art.] 56. [Disbursements from Treasury.] No moneys shall be issued out of the treasury of this state, and disposed of, (except such sums as may be appropriated for the redemption of bills of credit, or treasurer´s notes, or for the payment of interest arising thereon) but by warrant under the hand of the governor for the time being, by and with the advice and consent of the council, for the necessary support and defense of this state, and for the necessary protection and preservation of the inhabitants thereof, agreeably to the acts and resolves of the general court.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.

[Art.] 57. [Accounts of Military Stores.] (Repealed)

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.
Repealed 1950.

[Art.] 58. [Compensation of Governor and Council.] The governor and council shall be compensated for their services, from time to time, by such grants as the general courts shall think reasonable.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.

[Art.] 59. [Salaries of Judges.] Permanent and honorable salaries shall be established by law, for the justices of the superior court.

June 2, 1784

 

 
 nh.gov | privacy policy | accessibility policy | site map | contact us Copyright (c) State of New Hampshire, 2012