Article X, Georgia Constitution

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Georgia Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXI
Article X of the Georgia Constitution is labeled Amendments to the Constitution. It consists of one section with six paragraphs. The Article as a whole establishes two ways in which the constitution can be altered, revised or amended over time.

Some noteworthy features of Article X:

  • It contains a prohibition found in very few state constitutions in that it explicitly restricts the type of amendment that can be offered by saying, "Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people."
  • The governor is also explicitly forbidden from vetoing acts of the legislature to propose amendments or call conventions.
  • Newly approved amendments or revisions are effective on the first day of January following their approval.

Rules for proposed amendments offered by the Georgia General Assembly include:

  • An amendment can be proposed starting in either chamber of the assembly, i.e., the House of Representatives or the Senate.
  • A proposed amendment must be approved by 2/3rds of the membership of each chamber before going to the state's voters.
  • Proposed amendments are to be voted on during general elections of even-numbered years.
  • Article X establishes a Georgia Constitutional Amendments Publication Board which is charged with ensuring that the state's voters have adequate notification that an election is to occur on a proposed amendment(s).
  • The General Assembly can put a measure on the ballot that is either an amendment to the existing constitution, or an entirely new constitution.
  • The General Assembly is allowed to repeal a previous vote to put a proposed amendment on the ballot if they do so with a 2/3rds vote of both chambers and at least two months before the election would have occurred.

Rules for a constitutional convention include:

  • Unlike in many other states, the state legislature can unilaterally call for a convention as long as 2/3rds of the members of each chamber vote in favor of doing that; the people of the state do not have to be further consulted.
  • Any proposed amendments or revisions arising out of a convention must be put to the state's voters.

Section 1: Constitution, How Amended

Paragraph I

Text of Paragraph I:

Proposals to Amend the Constitution; New Constitution

Amendments to this Constitution or a new Constitution may be proposed by the General Assembly or by a constitutional convention, as provided in this article. Only amendments which are of general and uniform applicability throughout the state shall be proposed, passed, or submitted to the people.[1]

Paragraph II

Text of Paragraph II:

Proposals by the General Assembly; Submission to the People

A proposal by the General Assembly to amend this Constitution or to provide for a new Constitution shall originate as a resolution in either the Senate or the House of Representatives and, if approved by two-thirds of the members to which each house is entitled in a roll-call vote entered on their respective journals, shall be submitted to the electors of the entire state at the next general election which is held in the even-numbered years. A summary of such proposal shall be prepared by the Attorney General, the Legislative Counsel, and the Secretary of State and shall be published in the official organ of each county and, if deemed advisable by the "Constitutional Amendments Publication Board," in not more than 20 other newspapers in the state designated by such board which meet the qualifications for being selected as the official organ of a county. Said board shall be composed of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Such summary shall be published once each week for three consecutive weeks immediately preceding the day of the general election at which such proposal is to be submitted. The language to be used in submitting a proposed amendment or a new Constitution shall be in such words as the General Assembly may provide in the resolution or, in the absence thereof, in such language as the Governor may prescribe. A copy of the entire proposed amendment or of a new Constitution shall be filed in the office of the judge of the probate court of each county and shall be available for public inspection; and the summary of the proposal shall so indicate. The General Assembly is hereby authorized to provide by law for additional matters relative to the publication and distribution of proposed amendments and summaries not in conflict with the provisions of this Paragraph. If such proposal is ratified by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly voting thereon in such general election, such proposal shall become a part of this Constitution or shall become a new Constitution, as the case may be. Any proposal so approved shall take effect as provided in Paragraph VI of this article. When more than one amendment is submitted at the same time, they shall be so submitted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment separately, provided that one or more new articles or related changes in one or more articles may be submitted as a single amendment.[1]

Paragraph III

Text of Paragraph III:

Repeal or Amendment of Proposal

Any proposal by the General Assembly to amend this Constitution or for a new Constitution may be amended or repealed by the same General Assembly which adopted such proposal by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members to which each house is entitled in a roll-call vote entered on their respective journals, if such action is taken at least two months prior to the date of the election at which such proposal is to be submitted to the people.[1]

Paragraph IV

Text of Paragraph IV:

Constitutional Convention; How Called

No convention of the people shall be called by the General Assembly to amend this Constitution or to propose a new Constitution, unless by the concurrence of two-thirds of the members to which each house of the General Assembly is entitled. The representation in said convention shall be based on population as near as practicable. A proposal by the convention to amend this Constitution or for a new Constitution shall be advertised, submitted to, and ratified by the people in the same manner provided for advertisement, submission, and ratification of proposals to amend the Constitution by the General Assembly. The General Assembly is hereby authorized to provide the procedure by which a convention is to be called and under which such convention shall operate and for other matters relative to such constitutional convention.[1]

Paragraph V

Text of Paragraph V:

Veto Not Permitted

The Governor shall not have the right to veto any proposal by the General Assembly or by a convention to amend this Constitution or to provide a new Constitution.[1]

Paragraph VI

Text of Paragraph VI:

Effective Date of Amendments or of a New Contitution

Unless the amendment or the new Constitution itself or the resolution proposing the amendment or the new Constitution shall provide otherwise, an amendment to this Constitution or a new Constitution shall become effective on the first day of January following its ratification.[1]

See also

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