For roughly 40 years, since Ohio’s lieutenant governors stopped being state Senate president, the lieutenant governorship has been a job in search of duties, besides any assignments a governor may make — or of course the significant duty of succeeding that governor should he or she die or resign.
Today, Ohio’s lieutenant governor is suburban Columbus Republican Jon Husted, Gov. Mike DeWine’s running mate, whose assignment will be to lead the Office of InnovateOhio.
The General Assembly, in its lame-duck December session, among other things approved pay raises for elected officials. Senate Bill 296 set the governor’s salary at $154,248 and the lieutenant governor’s at $113,947. Or is it $176,426? The answer is, “It depends,” thanks to muddled legislation that can keep Ohioans in the dark about the lieutenant governor’s pay.
Plainly put, $113,947 is the lieutenant governor’s default salary. But in creating InnovateOhio within DeWine’s office, SB 296 also set the salary of InnovateOhio’s director at $176,426.
To serve voters, Ohio needs to set one clearly defined salary for its lieutenant governors that reflects the expectation of their ancillary roles.