Article V, Montana Constitution
|I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • Schedule|
| Text of Section 1:
Power and Structure
The legislative power is vested in a legislature consisting of a senate and a house of representatives. The people reserve to themselves the powers of initiative and referendum.
| Text of Section 2:
The size of the legislature shall be provided by law, but the senate shall not have more than 50 or fewer than 40 members and the house shall not have more than 100 or fewer than 80 members.
| Text of Section 3:
Election and Terms
A member of the house of representatives shall be elected for a term of two years and a member of the senate for a term of four years each to begin on a date provided by law. One-half of the senators shall be elected every two years.
| Text of Section 4:
A candidate for the legislature shall be a resident of the state for at least one year next preceding the general election. For six months next preceding the general election, he shall be a resident of the county if it contains one or more districts or of the district if it contains all or parts of more than one county.
| Text of Section 5:
Each member of the legislature shall receive compensation for his services and allowances provided by law. No legislature may fix its own compensation.
| Text of Section 6:
The legislature shall meet each odd-numbered year in regular session of not more than 90 legislative days. Any legislature may increase the limit on the length of any subsequent session. The legislature may be convened in special sessions by the governor or at the written request of a majority of the members.
- Amended with the approval of Constitutional Initiative No. 1 on November 5, 1974.
| Text of Section 7:
A vacancy in the legislature shall be filled by special election for the unexpired term unless otherwise provided by law.
| Text of Section 8:
A member of the legislature is privileged from arrest during attendance at sessions of the legislature and in going to and returning therefrom, unless apprehended in the commission of a felony or a breach of the peace. He shall not be questioned in any other place for any speech or debate in the legislature.
| Text of Section 9:
No member of the legislature shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office under the state; and no member of congress, or other person holding an office (except notary public, or the militia) under the United States or this state, shall be a member of the legislature during his continuance in office.
| Text of Section 10:
Organization and Procedure
(1) Each house shall judge the election and qualifications of its members. It may by law vest in the courts the power to try and determine contested elections. Each house shall choose its officers from among its members, keep a journal, and make rules for its proceedings. Each house may expel or punish a member for good cause shown with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its members.
(2) A majority of each house constitutes a quorum. A smaller number may adjourn from day to day and compel attendance of absent members.
(3) The sessions of the legislature and of the committee of the whole, all committee meetings, and all hearings shall be open to the public.
(4) The legislature may establish a legislative council and other interim committees. The legislature shall establish a legislative post-audit committee which shall supervise post-auditing duties provided by law.
(5) Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn or recess for more than three days or to any place other than that in which the two houses are sitting.
| Text of Section 11:
(1) A law shall be passed by bill which shall not be so altered or amended on its passage through the legislature as to change its original purpose. No bill shall become law except by a vote of the majority of all members present and voting.
(2) Every vote of each member of the legislature on each substantive question in the legislature, in any committee, or in committee of the whole shall be recorded and made public. On final passage, the vote shall be taken by ayes and noes and the names entered on the journal.
(3) Each bill, except general appropriation bills and bills for the codification and general revision of the laws, shall contain only one subject, clearly expressed in its title. If any subject is embraced in any act and is not expressed in the title, only so much of the act not so expressed is void.
(4) A general appropriation bill shall contain only appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, for interest on the public debt, and for public schools. Every other appropriation shall be made by a separate bill, containing but one subject.
(5) No appropriation shall be made for religious, charitable, industrial, educational, or benevolent purposes to any private individual, private association, or private corporation not under control of the state.
(6) A law may be challenged on the ground of noncompliance with this section only within two years after its effective date.
| Text of Section 12:
Local and Special Legislation
The legislature shall not pass a special or local act when a general act is, or can be made, applicable.
| Text of Section 13:
(1) The governor, executive officers, heads of state departments, judicial officers, and such other officers as may be provided by law are subject to impeachment, and upon conviction shall be removed from office. Other proceedings for removal from public office for cause may be provided by law.
(2) The legislature shall provide for the manner, procedure, and causes for impeachment and may select the senate as tribunal.
(3) Impeachment shall be brought only by a two-thirds vote of the house. The tribunal hearing the charges shall convict only by a vote of two-thirds or more of its members.
(4) Conviction shall extend only to removal from office, but the party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall also be liable to prosecution according to law.
| Text of Section 14:
Districting and Apportionment
(1) The state shall be divided into as many districts as there are members of the house, and each district shall elect one representative. Each senate district shall be composed of two adjoining house districts, and shall elect one senator. Each district shall consist of compact and contiguous territory. All districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable.
(2) In the legislative session following ratification of this constitution and thereafter in each session preceding each federal population census, a commission of five citizens, none of whom may be public officials, shall be selected to prepare a plan for redistricting and reapportioning the state into legislative districts and a plan for redistricting the state into congressional districts. The majority and minority leaders of each house shall each designate one commissioner. Within 20 days after their designation, the four commissioners shall select the fifth member, who shall serve as chairman of the commission. If the four members fail to select the fifth member within the time prescribed, a majority of the supreme court shall select him.
(3) Within 90 days after the official final decennial census figures are available, the commission shall file its final plan for congressional districts with the secretary of state and it shall become law.
(4) The commission shall submit its plan for legislative districts to the legislature at the first regular session after its appointment or after the census figures are available. Within 30 days after submission, the legislature shall return the plan to the commission with its recommendations. Within 30 days thereafter, the commission shall file its final plan for legislative districts with the secretary of state and it shall become law.
(5) Upon filing both plans, the commission is then dissolved.
- Amended with the approval of Constitutional Amendment No. 14 November 6, 1984.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Montana Judicial Branch, "Montana Constitution"
- Montana.gov, "Chapter 21: A People's Constitution (1972)"
- Montana State Legislature, "Highlights from Legislative History"
- Montana Historical Society, "The Blessings of Liberty: Montana's Constitutions"
- Montana Policy Institute, "Home"
- Beartooth NBC, "Big Sky Chronicles: Montana Constitution,"
- Montana PBS, "For This and Future Generations..."
- Elison, Larry and Fritz Snyder. (2011). The Montana State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- University of Montana's William J. Jameson Law Library, "Documentary History of the Ratification of the Montana Constitution"