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Legislative Department, Vermont Constitution

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Vermont Constitution
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The Legislative Department part of the Vermont Constitution contains 14 sections.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Legislative Powers

The Senate and the House of Representatives shall be styled, The General Assembly of the State of Vermont . Each shall have and exercise the like powers in all acts of legislation; and no bill, resolution, or other thing, which shall have been passed by the one, shall have the effect of, or be declared to be, a law, without the concurrence of the other. Provided, That all Revenue bills shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur in amendments, as on other bills. Neither House during the session of the General Assembly, 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; and in case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to adjournment, the Governor may adjourn them to such time as the Governor shall think proper. They may prepare bills and enact them into laws, redress grievances, grant charters of incorporation, subject to the provisions of section 69, constitute towns, borroughs, cities and counties; and they shall have all other powers necessary for the Legislature of a free and sovereign State; but they shall have no power to add to, alter, abolish, or infringe any part of this Constitution[1]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Biennial Sessions

The General Assembly shall meet biennially on the first Wednesday next after the first Monday of January, beginning in A.D. 1915.[1]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Doors of General Assembly to be Open

The doors of the House in which the General Assembly of this Commonwealth shall sit, shall be open for the admission of all persons who behave decently, except only when the welfare of the State may require them to be shut.[1]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Journals; Yeas ad Nays

The votes and proceedings of the General Assembly shall be printed (when one-third of the members of either House think it necessary) as soon as convenient after the end of the session, with the yeas and nays of the House of Representatives on any question when required by five members, and of the Senate when required by one Senator, (except where the votes shall be taken by ballot), in which case every member of either House shall have a right to insert the reasons of the member's vote upon the minutes.[1]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Style of Laws

This style of the laws of this State shall be, It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont.[1]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Governor to Approve Bills; Veto Proceedings Thereon; Nonaction

Every bill which shall have passed the Senate and House of Representatives shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor; if the Governor approve, the Governor shall sign it; if not, the Governor shall return it, with objections in writing, to the House in which it shall have originated; which shall proceed to reconsider it. If, upon such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present of that House shall pass the bill, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present of that House, it shall become a law.

But, in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House, respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor, as aforesaid, within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to the Governor, the same shall become a law in like manner as if the Governor had signed it; unless the two Houses by their adjournment, within three days after the presentation of such bill shall prevent its return; in which case it shall not become a law.[1]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Fees for Advocating Bills, Etc.

No member of the General Assembly shall, directly or indirectly, receive any fee or reward, to bring forward or advocate any bill, petition, or other business to be transacted in the Legislature; or advocate any cause, as counsel in either House of legislation, except when employed in behalf of the State.[1]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Representatives; Number

The House of Representatives shall be composed of one hundred fifty Representatives. The voters of each representative district established by law shall elect one or two Representatives from that district, the number from each district to be established by the General Assembly.

In establishing representative districts, which shall afford equality of representation, the General Assembly shall seek to maintain geographical compactness and contiguity and to adhere to boundaries of counties and other existing political subdivisions.[1]

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Powers of House

The Representatives so chosen (a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum for transacting any other business than raising a State tax, for which two-thirds of the members elected shall be present) shall meet as required by section 7, and shall be styled the House of Representatives: they shall have power to choose their Speaker, their Clerk and other necessary officers, sit on their own adjournment subject to the limitations of section 6, judge of the elections and qualifications of their own members; they may expel members, but not for causes known to their constituents antecedent to their election, administer oaths and affirmations in matters depending before them, and impeach state criminals.[1]

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Residences of Representatives and Senators

No person shall be elected a Representative or a Senator until the person has resided in this State two years, the last year of which shall be in the legislative district for which the person is elected.[1]

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Representatives' Oaths

The Representatives having met, and chosen their Speaker and Clerk, shall each of them, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe, as well the oath or affirmation of allegiance hereinafter directed (except where they shall produce certificates of their having theretofore taken and subscribed the same) as the following oath or affirmation:

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do nor consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability.

Under the pains and penalties of perjury.[1]

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Oath of Senators and Representatives

The Representatives having met on the day appointed by law for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, and chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oath prescribed in the foregoing section:

You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress. So help you God. (Or in the case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury. The words "office of profit or trust under the authority of Congress" shall be construed to mean any office created directly or indirectly by Congress, and for which emolument is provided from the Treasury of the United States, other than that of a member of the commissioned or enlisted personnel in the reserve components of the armed forces of the United States while not on extended active duty.[1]

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Senators; Numbers; Qualifications

The Senate shall be composed of thirty Senators to be of the senatorial district from which they are elected. The voters of each senatorial district established by law shall elect one or more Senators from that district, the number from each district to be established by the General Assembly.

In establishing senatorial districts, which shall afford equality of representation, the General Assembly shall seek to maintain geographical compactness and contiguity and to adhere to boundaries of counties and other existing political subdivisions.[1]

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Powers of Senate; Lieutenant-Governor's Duties

The Senate shall have the like powers to decide on the election and qualifications of, and to expel any of, its members, make its own rules, and appoint its own officers, as are incident to, or are possessed by, the House of Representatives. A majority shall constitute a quorum. The Lieutenant-Governor shall be President of the Senate, except when exercising the office of Governor, or when the office of the Lieutenant-Governor shall be vacant, or in the absence of the Lieutenant-Governor, in which cases the Senate shall appoint one of its own members to be President of the Senate, pro tempore . And the President of the Senate shall have a casting vote, but no other.[1]

See also

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