CONSTITUTION OF 1868




ARTICLE IV.

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

Section 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2. The style of the laws of this state shall be: "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Alabama." Each law shall contain but one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title; and no law shall be revised or amended unless the new act contain the entire act revised, or the section or sections amended; and the section or sections so amended shall be repealed.

Section 3. Senators and representatives shall be elected by the qualified electors, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The term of office of the Senators shall be four years, and that of the Representatives two years, commencing on the day after the general election.

Section 4. No person shall be a Representative unless he is eligible as an elector to vote for members of the General Assembly.

Section 5. No person shall be a Senator, unless he be eligible as an elector to vote for members of the General Assembly, and shall be twenty-seven years of age, and shall have resided for two years within the state, and for the last year thereof within the district for which he shall be chosen.

Section 6. The House of Representatives, when assembled, shall choose a speaker, and its other officers; and the Senate shall choose a president, in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor, and its other officers: each House shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its own members, but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall remain in office until their successors are elected and qualified.

Section 7. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Section 8. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent 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.

Section 9. Each house, during the session, may punish by imprisonment, any person not a member for disrespectful or disorderly behavior in its presence, or obstructing any of its proceedings: Provided, That such imprisonment shall not, at any time, exceed forty-eight hours.

Section 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published immediately after its adjournment, excepting such parts as in its judgment may require secrecy, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-tenth of the members present, be entered on the journals. Any member of either house shall have liberty to dissent from, or protest against, any act or resolution, which he may think injurious to the public or an individual, and have the reasons of his dissent entered on the journals.

Section 11. Members of the General Assembly, shall, in all cases, except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest; and they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the General Assembly, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement and after the termination of each session.

Section 12. When vacancies occur in either house, the Governor, or the person exercising the powers of the Governor, shall issue writs of elections to fill such vacancies.

Section 13. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasion as in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.

Section 14. Neither house shall , without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Section 15. Bills may originate in either house, and be amended, altered or rejected by the other; but no bill shall have the force of law until on three several days it be read in each house and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless in case of urgency, four-fifths of the house in which the bill shall be pending, may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule. And every bill, having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses: Provided, That all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may amend or reject them as other bills.

Section 16. Every bill or resolution having the force of law, to which the concurrence of both houses of the General Assembly may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, which shall have passed both houses, shall be presented to the Governor, and if he approve, he shall sign it; if not, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on the journals, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration, a majority of the whole number of members of that house shall agree to pass it, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall be reconsidered, and if approved by a majority of the whole number of members of that house, it shall have the same effect as if it had been signed by the Governor; but in all such cases, the votes of both houses shall be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of persons voting for and against the bill or resolution, shall be entered on the journals of both houses respectively. If the bill or resolution shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall have the same force and effect as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly by its adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Section 17. Every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, (except on questions of adjournment, and for bringing on elections by the two houses,) shall be presented to the Governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be re-passed by both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of bills.

Section 18. Each member of the General Assembly shall receive from the public treasury such compensation for his services as may be prescribed by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the session at which such increase shall have been made.

Section 19. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such office as may be filled by elections by the people.

Section 20. No person who holds any lucrative office under the United States, or under this State, or any other State or government, (except postmasters, officers in the militia to whose office no annual salary is attached, justices of the peace, members of the court of county commissioners, notaries public, and commissioners of deeds;) no person who has been convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election to any office; no person who has been convicted of bribery, forgery, perjury, or other high crime, or misdemeanor, which may be by law declared to disqualify him; and no person who has been a collector, or holder of any public moneys, and has failed to account for and pay over to the treasury all sums for which he may be by law accountable, shall be eligible to the General Assembly.

Section 21. The General Assembly shall meet annually, on such day as may be by law prescribed, and shall not remain in session longer than thirty days, except by a vote of two-thirds of each House.

Section 22. In all elections by the General Assembly, the members shall vote viva voce, and the votes shall be entered on the journals.

Section 23. All State officers may be impeached for any misdemeanor in office, but judgment shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold office, under the authority of this State. The party impeached, whether convicted or not, shall be liable to indictment, trial and judgment, according to law.

Section 24. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of preferring impeachment. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; the Senators, when sitting for that purpose, shall be on oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted under an impeachment without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present.

Section 25. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties who may choose that mode of adjustment.

Section 26. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly , from time to time, as circumstances may require, to frame and adopt a penal code founded on principles of reformation.

Section 27. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly, within five years after the adoption of this Constitution, and within every subsequent period of ten years, to make provision by law for the revision, digesting and promulgation of all the public statutes of this State, both civil and criminal.

Section 28. The General Assembly shall have power to pass such penal laws as they may deem expedient, to suppress the evil practice of duelling.

Section 29. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to regulate by law the cases in which deductions shall be made from the salaries of public officers for neglect of duty in their official capacities, and the amount of such deductions.

Section 30. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be granted but in the cases by law provided for, and by suit in chancery; but decisions in chancery for divorce shall be final, unless appealed from in the manner prescribed by law, within three months from the date of the enrollment thereof.

Section 31. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of an appropriation made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published annually, in such manner as may be by law directed.

Section 32. The General Assembly shall not borrow or raise money on the credit of this State, except for purposes of military defense against actual or threatened invasion, rebellion or insurrection, without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of each house; nor shall the debts or liabilities of any corporation, person or persons, or other States be guarantied, nor any money, credit or other thing be loaned or given away, except by a like concurrence of each house; and the votes shall, in each case, be taken by the yeas and nays and be entered on the journals.

Section 33. The State shall not engage in works of internal improvement; but its credit in aid of such may be pledged by the General Assembly on undoubted security, by a vote of two-thirds of each House of the General Assembly.

Section 34. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to make adequate provisions in each county for the maintenance of the poor of this State.

Section 35. Any citizen of this State who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, either in or out of this State, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send, or accept a challenge so to do, or act as a second, or knowingly aid or assist in any manner those thus offending, shall be incapable of holding any office under this State.

Section 36. The General Assembly shall not have power to authorize any municipal corporation to pass any laws contrary to the general laws of the State, nor to levy a tax on real and personal property to a greater extend than two per centum of the assessed value of such property.

Section 37. In the event of annexation of any foreign territory to this State, the General Assembly shall enact laws extending to the inhabitants of the acquired territory, all the rights and privileges which may be required by the terms of the acquisition, anything in this Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.


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