Book of the States 2004

The office of secretary of state is evolving into a position that demands increasingly specialized skills and knowledge, particularly a thorough understanding of technology and e-government policies, and for some, experience in international trade. Recent policy trends show that election reform and e-government are demanding an increasing amount of time and effort for these state executives. For those secretaries that handle election matters, the job also comes with a new level of media and public interest in how elections are run and administered.

The office of lieutenant governor is gaining recognition for its power and possibility. Lieutenant governors are unique officeholders with many having power in both the executive and legislative branches. In states in which the lieutenant governor is elected as a team with the governor and does not preside over the Senate, a trend is emerging. Lieutenant governors are being named to lead state departments and major authorities.

Government accountability, advancing technological progress, and market reforms combine to influence the future direction of our state chief financial officers. Well-managed state financial organizations are not just about managing cost; they are also synonymous with the rigor of control, the delivery of accountability, the execution of technology, and the expectation of well-managed change.

The year 2003 will be etched in the future news reports and analyses as a year of major change occurring to governors. The most startling event was the recall of Gov. Gray Davis of California. The California gubernatorial recall and replacement votes highlight the fact that some elected governors faced situations in which they could lose their office without being beaten by a challenger at the ballot box, becoming ill or dying. One other unique aspect about the current governors is that there are eight women serving as governor in 2004 – the highest number of women serving at one time in the office. As we move through the first decade of the 21st century, we continue to find new faces in governors’ offices.

Whether attorneys general are viewed as activists, advocates or interpreters of the law, they impact all areas of public policy and all aspects of citizen life. Emerging technologies have changed the methods used by the chief legal officers to investigate crimes, as well as enforce and prosecute all areas of the law.

Pages