« AnteriorContinuar »
shall be actually a resident and freeholder within the county, city, town, borough, or election district, qualified by virtue of his freehold to vote for members of the general Assembly according to this Constitution : Provided, that all persons holding lucrative offices, and ministers of the gospel, and priests of every denomination, shall be incapable of being elected members of either House of As. sembly.
8. The members of the Assembly shall receive for their services a compensation to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the public treasury: but no law increasing the compensation of the members shall take effect until the end of the next annual session after such law shall have been enacted. And no senator or delegate shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under the commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.
9. The general Assembly shall meet once or oftener every year. Neither House, during the session of the legislature, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting. A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum 10 do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide. And each House shall choose its own speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies. But if vacancies shall occur by death or resignation, during the recess of the general Assembly, such writs may be issued by the Governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each House shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members ; may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.
10. All laws shall originate in the House of Delegates, to be approved or rejected by the Senate, or to be amended with the consent of the House of Delegates.
11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not in any case be suspended. The legislature shall not pass any bill of attainder; or any ex post facto law ; or any law impairing the obligation of contracts; or any law whereby private property shall be taken for public uses, without just compensation : or any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish or enlarge their civil capacities. And the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever; nor confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any one sect or denomination ; vor pass' any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public wor. ship, or for the support of any church or ministry ; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and make for his support such private contract as he shall please.
12. The legislature may provide by law that no person shall be capable of holding or being elected to any post of profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this commonwealth, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or shall in any manner aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge or acceptance ; but no person shall be so disqualified by reason of his having heretofore fought such duel, or sent or accepted such challenge, or been a second in such duel, or bearer of such challenge or acceptance.
13. The Governor, the judges of the court of appeals and superior courts, and all others offending against the State, either by maladministration, corruption, neglect of duty, or any other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be impeachable by the House of Delegates ; such impeach. ment w be prosecuted before the Senate, which shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, the Senate shall be on oath or affirma. tion: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judge ment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the commonwealth ; but the party convicted shall neverthe. less be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.
14. Every white inale citizen of the commonwealth, resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upwards, being qualified to exercise the right of suffrage according to the former Constitution and laws; and every such citizen, being possessed, or whose tenant for years, at will or at sufferance, is possessed, of an estate or freehold in land of the value of twenty-five dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; and every such citizen, being possessed as tenant in common, joint tenant or partner, of an interest in or share of land, and having an estate of freehold therein, such interest or share being of the value of twenty-five dollars, and so as• sessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; and every such citizen being entitled to a reversion or vested remainder in fee, expectant on an estate for life or lives, in land of the value of fifty dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; (each and every such citizen, unless his title shall have come to him by descent, devise, marriage, or marriage settlement, having been so possessed or entitled for six months ;) and every such citizen, who shall own and be himself in actual occupation of a lease-hold estate, with the evidence of title recorded two months before he shall offer to vote, of a term originally not less than five years, of the annual value or rent of twenty dollars; and every such citi.
zen, who for twelve months next preceding has been a housekeeper and head of a family within the county, city, town, borough, or election district where he may offer to vote, and shall have been assessed with a part of the revenue of the commonwealth within the preceding year, and actually paid the same and no other persons shall be qualified to vote for members of the general Assembly, in the county, city, town, or borough, respectively, wherein such land shall lie, or such housekeeper and head of a family shall live. And in case of two or more tenants in common, joint tenants, or parceners, in possession, reversion, or remainder, having interest in land, the value whereof shall be insufficient to entitle them all to vote, they shall together have as many votes as the value of the land shall entitle them to; and the legislature shall by law provide the mode in which their vote or votes shall in such case be given: Provided, nevertheless, that the right of suffrage shall not be exercised by any person of unsound mind, or who shall be a pauper, or a non-commissioned officer, soldier, searan, or marine, in the service of the United States, or by any person convicted of any infamous offence.
15. In all elections in this commonwealth to any office or place of trust, honor, or profit, the votes shall be given openly, or viva voce, and not by ballot.
ARTICLE 4. 1. The chief executive power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a Governor, to be elected by the joint vote of the two Houses of the general Assembly. He shall hold his office during the term of three years, 'o commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, or on such other day as may from time to time be prescribed by law; and he shall be ineligible to that office for three years next after his term of service shall have expired.
2. No person shall be eligible to the office of Gover. nor, unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall be a native citizen of the United States, or shall have been a citizen thereof at the adoption of the federal
Constitution, and shall have been a citizen of this com monwealth for five years next preceding his election.
3. The Governor shall receive for his services a com. pensation to be fixed by law, which shall be neither in. creased nor diminished during his continuance in office.
4. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully execu. ted, shall communicate to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expe. dient. He shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the State. He shall have power to embody the militia, when, in his opinion, the public safety shall require it; to convene the legislature, on application of a majority of the members of the House of Delegates, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the commonwealth may require it; to grant reprieves and pardons, except where the prosecution shall have been carried on by the House of Delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct: to conduct, either in person or in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign states ; and during the recess of the legislature, to fill, pro tempore, all vacancies in those offices, which it may be the duty of the legislature to fill permanently : Provided, that his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of the next succeeding session of the general Assembly.
5. There shall be a Council of State, to consist of three members, any one or more of whom may act. They shall be elected by joint vote of both Houses of the general Assembly, and remain in office three years. But of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot, shall remain in office one year only, and one other, to be desig. nated in like manner, shall remain in office for two years only. Vacancies occurring by expiration of the term of service, or otherwise, shall be supplied by elections made in like manner. The Governor shall, before he exercises any discretionary power conferred on him by the Constitution and laws, require the advice of the Council of State, which advice shall be registered in books kept for that purpose, signed by the members presentand consenting thereto, and laid before the general Assembly