Hoosier voters will decide at the 2024 general election whether to give effect to a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution removing the state superintendent of public instruction from the gubernatorial line of succession.

On Thursday, the Indiana Senate voted 47-0 to submit House Joint Resolution 1 for ratification. It also was endorsed in the House by a 99-0 margin on Jan. 31, and previously approved as House Joint Resolution 3 by both chambers of the 2022 General Assembly.

The state schools chief currently is last in line to become acting governor in the unlikely event that death or disability simultaneously renders the governor, lieutenant governor, House speaker, Senate president, state treasurer, state auditor and secretary of state unable to serve.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb delivers his annual "State of the State" address Jan. 10, 2023, to members of the Indiana House and Senate at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

According to the Constitution, any time an acting governor is serving in the absence of a governor and lieutenant governor, the General Assembly must convene within 48 hours to elect a new governor of the same political party as the immediate past governor to finish the governor's term.

Backers of the proposed amendment said it doesn't makes sense for the state superintendent to potentially accede to the governor's office — even temporarily — because the post, since 2020, no longer is elected by the people of Indiana, and instead is appointed by the governor as the secretary of education.

A proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by two consecutive General Assemblies, and ratified by Hoosier voters at the next general election, to be incorporated into the state's primary governing document.

The Indiana Constitution last was amended in 2018 to explicitly require the House and Senate adopt a balanced budget, where state spending is less than projected revenue, unless two-thirds of both chambers agree to temporarily suspend the mandate.

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