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THE FIRST CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE
OF OHIO, 1802
We the people of the eastern division of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, having the right of admission into the general government as a member of the Union, consistent with the Constitution of the United States, the ordinance of Congress of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the law of Congress entitled "An act to enable the people of the eastern division of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio to form a Constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States, and for other purposes;” in order to establish justice, promote the welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish the following Constitution or form of government; and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name of the STATE OF OHIO.
ARTICLE I – [OF THE LEGISLATIVE POWER] SECTION 1. The legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a GENERAL ASSEMBLY, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, both to be elected by the people.
SEC. 2. Within one year after the first meeting of the General Assembly, and within every subsequent term of four years, an enumeration of all the white male inhabitants above twenty-one years of age shall be made in such manner as shall be directed by law. The number of Representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the Legislature and apportioned among the several Counties, according to the number of white male inhabitants above twenty-one years of age in each, and shall never be less than twentyfour nor greater than thirty-six until the number of white male inhabitants above twenty-one years of age shall be twenty-two thousand; and after that event, at such ratio that the whole number of Representatives shall never be less than thirty-six nor exceed seventy-two.
SEC. 3. The Representatives shall be chosen annually, by the citizens of each County, respectively, on the second Tuesday of October.
SEC. 4. No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and be a citizen of the United States and an inhabitant of this State; shall also have resided within the limits of the County in which he shall be chosen one year next preceding his election, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this State, and shall have paid a State or County tax.
SEC. 5. The Senators shall be chosen biennially, by the qualified voters for Representatives; and on their being convened in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided, by lot, from their respective Counties or Districts, as near as can be, into two classes: the seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, and of the second class at the expiration of the second year, so that one-half thereof, as near as possible, may be annually chosen forever thereafter.
SEC. 6. The number of Senators shall, at the several periods of making the enumeration, before mentioned, be fixed by the Legislature, and apportioned among the several Counties or Districts, to be established by law, according to the number of white male inhabitants of the age of twenty-one years in each, and shall never be less than one-third nor more than one-half of the number of Representatives.
SEC. 7. No person shall be a Senator who has not arrived at the age of thirty years, and is a citizen of the United States; shall have resided two years in the County or District immediately preceding the election, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this State; and shall, moreover, have paid a State or County tax.
Sec. 8. The Senate and House of Representatives, when assembled, shall each choose a Speaker and its other officers; be judges of the qualifications and elections of its members, and sit upon its own adjournments; two-thirds of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members.
SEC. 9. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish them; the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journals.
SEC. 10. Any two members of either house shall have liberty to dissent from, and protest against, any act or resolution which they may think injurious to the public or any individual, and have the reasons of their dissent entered on the journals.
SEC. 11. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free and independent State.
Sec. 12. When vacancies happen in either house the Governor, or the person exercising the power of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
SEC. 13. Senators and Representatives shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the General Assembly, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
SEC. 14. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, during their session, any person not a member who shall be guilty of disrespect to the house by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in their presence; provided such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed twentyfour hours.
SEC. 15. The doors of each house, and of committee of the whole, shall be kept open, except in such cases as, in the opinion of the house requires secrecy. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than two days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.
SEC. 16. Bills may originate in either house, but may be altered, amended, or rejected by the other.
Sec. 17. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each house, unless, in case of urgency, threefourths of the house where such bill is pending shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speakers of their respective houses.
SEC. 18. The style of the laws of this State shall be: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio."
SEC. 19. The Legislature of this State shall not allow the following officers of government greater annual salaries than as follows, until the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, to-wit: The Governor, not more than one thousand dollars; the Judges of the Supreme Court, not more than one thousand dollars each; the President of the Courts of Common Pleas, not more than eight hundred dollars each; the Secretary of State, not more than five hundred dollars; the Auditor of Public Accounts, not more than seven hundred and fifty dollars; the Treasurer, not more than four hundred and fifty dollars; no member of the Legislature shall receive more than two dollars per day during his attendance on the Legislature, nor more for every twenty-five miles he shall travel in going to and returning from, the General Assembly.
SEC. 20. No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office under this State which shall have been created or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such time.
SEC. 21. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.
SEC. 22. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to, and published with, the laws annually.
SEC. 23. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeaching, but a majority of all the members must concur in an impeachment; all impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; and when sitting for that