CONSTITUTION OF 1875


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.


Sec. 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, except general appropriation bills, general revenue bills, and bills adopting a Code, digest, or revision of statutes; and no law shall be revived, amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by reference to its title only; but so much thereof as is revived, amended, extended, or conferred shall be reenacted and published at length.


Sec. 3. Senators and representatives shall be elected by the qualified electors, on the first Monday in August, eighteen hundred and seventy-six; and one-half of the senators and all the representatives shall be elected every two years thereafter, unless the general assembly shall change the time of holding elections. The terms of office of the senators shall be four years, and that of the representatives two years, commencing on the day after the general election, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.


Sec. 4. Senators shall be at least twenty-seven years of age, and representatives twenty-one years of age; they shall have been citizens and inhabitants of this state for three years, and inhabitants of their respective counties or districts one year next before their election, if such county or district shall have been so long established; but if not, then of the county or district from which the same shall have been taken; and they shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their terms of service.


Sec. 5. The general assembly shall meet biennially, at the capitol, in the senate chamber and in the hall of the house of representatives (except in cases of destruction of the capitol, or epidemics, when the governor may convene them at such place in the state as he may deem best) on the day specified in this Constitution, or on such other day as may be prescribed by law; and shall not remain in session longer than sixty days at the first session held under this Constitution, nor longer than fifty days at any subsequent session.


Sec. 6. The pay of the members of the general assembly shall be four dollars per day, and ten cents per mile in going to and returning from the seat of government, to be computed by the nearest usual route traveled.


Sec. 7. The general assembly shall consist of not more than thirty-three senators, and not more than one hundred members of the house of representatives; to be apportioned among the several districts and counties as prescribed in this Constitution.


Sec. 8.
The senate, at the beginning of each regular session, and at such other times as may be necessary, shall elect one of its members president thereof; and the house of representatives, at the beginning of each regular session, shall elect one of its members as speaker; and the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall hold their offices respectively until their successors are elected and qualified. Each house shall choose its own officers, and shall judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of its members.


Sec. 9. At the general election in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six, senators shall be elected in the even numbered districts to serve for two years, and in the odd numbered districts to serve for four years, so that thereafter one-half the senators may be chosen biennially. Members of the house of representatives shall be elected at the general election every second year. The time of service of senators and representatives shall begin on the day after their election, except the terms of those elected in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six, which shall not begin until the term of the present members shall have expired. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in either house, the governor for the time being shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the term.


Sec. 10. 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.


Sec. 11. Each house shall have power to determine the rules of its proceedings, and to punish its members, or other persons, for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence; to enforce obedience to its process; to protect its members against violence, or offers of bribes or corrupt solicitation; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of either house, to expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all the powers necessary for the legislature of a free state.


Sec. 12. A member of either house expelled for corruption shall not thereafter be eligible to either house, and punishment for contempt or disorderly behavior shall not bar an indictment for the same offense.


Sec. 13. 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 for his dissent entered on the journals.


Sec. 14. Members of the general assembly shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, violation of their oath of office, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, 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. 15. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.


Sec. 16. 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.


Sec. 17. 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 offices as may be filled by election by the people.


Sec. 18. No person hereafter convicted of embezzlement of the public money, bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to the general assembly or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this state.


Sec. 19. No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through either house as to change its original purpose.


Sec. 20. No bill shall become a law until it shall have been referred to a committee of each house and returned therefrom.


Sec. 21. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each house; and no bill shall become a law unless, on its final passage, it be read at length, and the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journals, and a majority of each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.


Sec. 22. No amendment to bills by one house shall be concurred in by the other, except by a vote of a majority thereof, taken by yeas and nays, and the names of those voting for and against recorded upon the journals; and reports of committees of conference shall in like manner be adopted in each house.


Sec. 23. No special or local law shall be enacted for the benefit of individuals or corporations, in cases which are or can be provided for by a general law, or where the relief sought can be given by any court of this state; nor shall the operation of any general law be suspended by the general assembly for the benefit of any individual, corporation, or association.


Sec. 24. No local or special law shall be passed on a subject which can not be provided for by a general law, unless notice of the intention to apply therefor shall have been published in the locality where the matter or thing to be affected may be situated; which notice shall be at least twenty days prior to the introduction into the general assembly of such bill, and the evidence of such notice having been given shall be exhibited to the general assembly before such bill shall be passed; provided, that the provisions of this Constitution, as to special or local laws, shall not apply to public or educational institutions of or in this State, nor to industrial, mining, immigration, or manufacturing corporations or interests or corporations for constructing canals or improving navigable rivers or harbors of this state.


Sec. 25. The general assembly shall pass general laws, under which local and private interests shall be provided for and protected.


Sec. 26. The general assembly shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any scheme in the nature of a lottery, in this state; and all acts, or parts of acts, heretofore passed by the general assembly of this state, authorizing a lottery or lotteries, and all acts amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto, are hereby avoided.


Sec. 27. The presiding officer of each house shall, in the presence of the house over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the general assembly, after the titles have been publicly read immediately before signing, and the fact of signing shall be entered on the journal.


Sec. 28. The general assembly shall prescribe by law the number, duties, and compensation of the officers and employes of each house; and no payment shall be made from the state treasury, or be in any way authorized to any person, except to an acting officer or employe, elected or appointed in pursuance of law.


Sec. 29. No bill shall be passed giving any extra compensation to any public officer, servant, or employe, agent, or contractor, after the service shall have been rendered, or contract made; nor shall any officer of the state bind the state to the payment of any sum of money but by authority of law.


Sec. 30. All stationery, printing, paper, and fuel used in the legislative and other departments of government, shall be furnished, and the printing, binding, and distribution of laws, journals, department reports, and all other printing and binding, and repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meetings of the general assembly and its committees, shall be performed under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder below a maximum price, and under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; no member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any way interested in such contracts, and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the governor, state auditor, and state treasurer.


Sec. 31.
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills.


Sec. 32.
The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the state, interest on the public debt, and for the public schools; all other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.


Sec. 33.
No money shall be paid out of the treasury, except upon appropriations made by law, and on warrants drawn by the proper officer in pursuance thereof; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published annually, in such manner as may be by law directed.


Sec. 34. No appropriation shall be made to any charitable or educational institution not under the absolute control of the state, other than normal schools, established by law for the professional training of teachers for the public schools of the state, except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house.


Sec. 35. No act of the general assembly shall authorize the investment of any trust fund by executors, administrators, guardians, and other trustees, in the bonds or stock of any private corporation; and any such acts now existing are avoided, saving investments heretofore made.


Sec. 36. The power to change the venue, in civil and criminal causes, is vested in the courts, to be exercised in such manner as shall be provided by law.


Sec. 37. When the general assembly shall be convened in special session, there shall be no legislation upon subjects other than those designated in the proclamation of the governor calling such session.


Sec. 38. No state office shall be continued or created for the inspection or measuring of any merchandise, manufacture, or commodity; but any county or municipality may appoint such officers, when authorized by law.


Sec. 39. No act of the general assembly changing the seat of government of the state shall become a law until the same shall have been submitted to the qualified electors of the state at a general election, and approved by a majority of such electors voting on the same; and such act shall specify the proposed new location.


Sec. 40. A member of the general assembly who shall corruptly solicit, demand, or receive, or consent to receive, directly or indirectly, for himself, for another, from any company, corporation, or person, any money, office, appointment, employment, reward, thing of value or enjoyment, or of personal advantage, or promise thereof, for his vote or official influence, or for withholding the same; or with an understanding, expressed or implied, that his vote or official action shall be in any way influenced thereby; or who shall solicit or demand any such money or other advantage, matter, or thing aforesaid, for another, as the consideration of his vote or official influence, or for withholding the same; or shall give or withhold his vote or influence, in consideration of the payment or promise of such money, advantage, matter, or thing, to another shall be guilty of bribery within the meaning of this Constitution, and shall incur the disabilities provided thereby for such offense, and such additional punishment as is, or shall be, provided by law.


Sec. 41. Any person who shall, directly or indirectly, offer, give, or promise any money or thing of value, testimonial, privilege, or personal advantage, to any executive or judicial officer, or member of the general assembly, to influence him in the performance of any of his public or official duties, shall be guilty of bribery, and be punished in such manner as shall be provided by law.


Sec. 42. The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the general assembly, or of public officers of this state, or of any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation of such members, or officers, to influence their official action, shall be defined by law, and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment.


Sec. 43. A member of the general assembly, who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill, proposed or pending before the general assembly, shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.


Sec. 44. In all elections by the general assembly, the members shall vote viva voce, and the votes shall be entered on the journals.


Sec. 45. 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.


Sec. 46. It shall be the duty of the general assembly, at its first session after the ratification of this Constitution, and within every subsequent period of ten years, to make provision by law for the revision, digesting, and promulgation of the public statutes of this state of a general nature, both civil and criminal.


Sec. 47. The general assembly shall pass such penal laws as they may deem expedient to suppress the evil practice of dueling.


Sec. 48. 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.


Sec. 49. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to require the several counties of this state to make adequate provision for the maintenance of the poor.


Sec. 50. The general assembly shall not have power to authorize any municipal corporation to pass any laws inconsistent with the general laws of this state.


Sec. 51. 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.


Sec. 52. The general assembly shall not tax the property, real and personal, of the state, counties, or other municipal corporations, or cemeteries; nor lots in incorporated cities or towns, or within one mile of any city or town, to the extent of one acre, nor lots one mile or more distant from such cities or towns, to the extent of five acres, with the buildings thereon, when the same are used exclusively for religious worship, for schools, or for purposes purely charitable; nor such property, real or personal, to an extent not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars in value, as may be used exclusively for agricultural or horticultural associations of a public character.


Sec. 53. The general assembly shall by law prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to ascertain the value of personal and real property exempted from sale under legal process by this Constitution, and to secure the same to the claimant thereof as selected.


Sec. 54. The state shall not engage in works of internal improvement, nor lend money or its credit in aid of such; nor shall the state be interested in any private or corporate enterprise, or lend money or its credit to any individual, association, or corporation.


Sec. 55.
The general assembly shall have no power to authorize any county, city, town, or other subdivision of this state, to lend its credit, or to grant public money or thing of value, in aid of, or to any individual, association, or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in any such corporation, association, or company, by issuing bonds, or otherwise.


Sec. 56. There can be no law of this state impairing the obligation of contracts by destroying or impairing the remedy for their enforcement; and the general assembly shall have no power to revive any right or remedy which may have become barred by lapse of time, or by any statute of this state.


HOME | HISTORY | CONSTITUTIONS | 1875