Mode of Revision, Kentucky Constitution
- If 60% of the membership of each chamber approves, the proposed amendment goes on the ballot at the next general election during which members of the state legislature are up for election.
- If a proposed amendment is approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question, it becomes part of the constitution.
- The state legislature is not allowed to put more than four proposed amendments on any one ballot.
- Proposed amendments "may relate to a single subject or to related subject matters and may amend or modify as many articles and as many sections of the Constitution as may be necessary and appropriate in order to accomplish the objectives of the amendment."
A constitutional convention can be called if:
- A majority of all the members of each of the two chambers of the state legislature agree to place a question before the state's voters about whether to have a constitutional convention.
- In the next session of the legislature, a majority of the members again agree to place this question before the state's voters.
- If a majority of those voting on the question say "yes" Convention and if the number of voters voting "yes" is "equal to one-fourth of the number of qualified voters who voted at the last preceding general election."
| Text of Section 256:
Amendments to Constitution -- How proposed and voted upon.
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either House of the General Assembly at a regular session, and if such amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by three-fifths of all the members elected to each House, such proposed amendment or amendments, with the yeas and nays of the members of each House taken thereon, shall be entered in full in their respective journals. Then such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the voters of the State for their ratification or rejection at the next general election for members of the House of Representatives, the vote to be taken thereon in such manner as the General Assembly may provide, and to be certified by the officers of election to the Secretary of State in such manner as shall be provided by law, which vote shall be compared and certified by the same board authorized by law to compare the polls and give certificates of election to officers for the State at large. If it shall appear that a majority of the votes cast for and against an amendment at said election was for the amendment, then the same shall become a part of the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and shall be so proclaimed by the Governor, and published in such manner as the General Assembly may direct. Said amendments shall not be submitted at an election which occurs less than ninety days from the final passage of such proposed amendment or amendments. Not more than four amendments shall be voted upon at any one time. If two or more amendments shall be submitted at the same time, they shall be submitted in such manner that the electors shall vote for or against each of such amendments separately, but an amendment may relate to a single subject or to related subject matters and may amend or modify as many articles and as many sections of the Constitution as may be necessary and appropriate in order to accomplish the objectives of the amendment. The approval of the Governor shall not be necessary to any bill, order, resolution or vote of the General Assembly, proposing an amendment or amendments to this Constitution.
- Amended with the approval of Kentucky Four Amendments Referendum (1979) in 1979.
| Text of Section 257:
Publication of proposed amendments.
Before an amendment shall be submitted to a vote, the Secretary of State shall cause such proposed amendment, and the time that the same is to be voted upon, to be published at least ninety days before the vote is to be taken thereon in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
| Text of Section 258:
Constitutional Convention -- How proposed, voted upon, and called.
When a majority of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly shall concur, by a yea and nay vote, to be entered upon their respective journals, in enacting a law to take the sense of the people of the State as to the necessity and expediency of calling a Convention for the purpose of revising or amending this Constitution, and such amendments as may have been made to the same, such law shall be spread upon their respective journals. If the next General Assembly shall, in like manner, concur in such law, it shall provide for having a poll opened in each voting precinct in this state by the officers provided by law for holding general elections at the next ensuing regular election to be held for State officers or members of the House of Representatives, which does not occur within ninety days from the final passage of such law, at which time and places the votes of the qualified voters shall be taken for and against calling the Convention, in the same manner provided by law for taking votes in other State elections. The vote for and against said proposition shall be certified to the Secretary of State by the same officers and in the same manner as in State elections. If it shall appear that a majority voting on the proposition was for calling a Convention, and if the total number of votes cast for the calling of the Convention is equal to one-fourth of the number of qualified voters who voted at the last preceding general election in this State, the Secretary of State shall certify the same to the General Assembly at its next regular session, at which session a law shall be enacted calling a Convention to readopt, revise or amend this Constitution, and such amendments as may have been made thereto.
| Text of Section 259:
Number and qualifications of delegates
The Convention shall consist of as many delegates as there are members of the House of Representatives; and the delegates shall have the same qualifications and be elected from the same districts as said Representatives.
| Text of Section 260:
Election of delegates -- meeting.
Delegates to such Convention shall be elected at the next general State election after the passage of the act calling the Convention, which does not occur within less than ninety days; and they shall meet within ninety days after their election at the Capital of the State, and continue in session until their work is completed.
| Text of Section 261:
Certification of election and compensation of delegates.
The General Assembly, in the act calling the Convention, shall provide for comparing the polls and giving certificates of election to the delegates elected, and provide for their compensation.
| Text of Section 262:
Determination of election and qualifications of delegates -- Contests.
The Convention, when assembled, shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its members, and shall determine contested elections. But the General Assembly shall, in the act calling the Convention, provide for taking testimony in such cases, and for issuing a writ of election in case of a tie.
| Text of Section 263:
Notice of election on question of calling convention.
Before a vote is taken upon the question of calling a Convention, the Secretary of State shall cause notice of the election to be published in such manner as may be provided by the act directing said vote to be taken.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Kentucky Legislature, "Kentucky Constitution"
- The Kentucky Gazette, "To understand constitution, look to its history", August 3, 1999
- Ireland, Robert M. (1999). The Kentucky State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press
- Legislative Research Commission, "Text of the Kentucky Constitutions of 1792, 1799 and 1850" (1965)
- Legislative Research Commission(February 2003) "Constitutional Background," in the Kentucky Government: Informational Bulletin No. 137 (Revised), Frankfort, Kentucky: Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
- Kleber, John E. (1992). "Constitutions" in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, eds. Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter, Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky
- McQueen, Keven (2001). "William Goebel: Assassinated Governor," in Offbeat Kentuckians: Legends to Lunatics, ed. by Keven McQueen, Kuttawa, Kentucky: McClanahan Publishing House