Rhode Island Constitution
|Rhode Island Constitution|
|Preamble • I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • XV|
- 1 Features
- 2 Preamble
- 3 Article I: Declaration of Certain Constitutional Rights and Principles
- 4 Article II: Suffrage
- 5 Article III: Of Qualification for Office
- 6 Article IV: Of Elections and Campaign Finance
- 7 Article V: Of the Distribution of Powers
- 8 Article VI: Of the Legislative Power
- 9 Article VII: Of the House of Representatives
- 10 Article VIII: Of the Senate
- 11 Article IX: Of the Executive Power
- 12 Article X: Of the Judicial Power
- 13 Article XI: Of Impeachments
- 14 Article XII: Of Education
- 15 Article XIII: Home Rule for Cities and Towns
- 16 Article XIV: Constitutional Amendments and Revision
- 17 Article XV: General Transition
- 18 Amending the constitution
- 19 History
- 20 See also
- 21 External links
- 22 Additional reading
- 23 References
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The preamble to the Rhode Island Constitution states:
Article I of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Certain Constitutional Rights and Principles" and consists of 24 sections.
Article II of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of "Suffrage" and consists of two sections.
Article III of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of "Qualification for Office" and consists of eight sections.
Article IV of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of "Elections and Campaign Finance" and consists of ten sections.
Article V of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of the "Distribution of Powers" and consists of only one section.
Article VI of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of the "Legislative Power" and consists of 22 sections.
Article VII of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of the "House of Representatives" and consists of two sections.
Article VIII of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled Of the "Senate" and consists of four sections.
Article IX of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled of the "Executive Power" and consists of 17 sections.
Article X of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled of the "Judicial Power" and consists of seven sections.
Article XI of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled of "Impeachments" and consists of three sections.
Article XII of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled "Of Education" and consists of four sections.
Article XIII of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled "Home Rule for Cities and Towns" and consists of eleven sections.
Article XIV of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled "Constitutional Amendments and Revisions" and consists of two sections.
Article XV of the Rhode Island Constitution is entitled "General Transition" and consists of four sections.
Amending the constitution
- Main article: Article XIV, Rhode Island Constitution
- Amendments may be proposed "by a roll call vote of a majority of the members elected to each house."
- The proposed amendment "shall be published in such manner as the general assembly shall direct."
- Votes on amendments take place only at general elections.
- If a simple majority of voters approve the amendment, it goes into the constitution.
- The question, "Shall there be a convention to amend or revise the constitution?," can go on the ballot if approved by a simple majority of the members of both houses of the state's general assembly.
- If the question hasn't appeared on the ballot at any time in a given ten-year period, the Rhode Island Secretary of State must place it on the ballot as an automatic ballot referral.
- If the state's voters by a simple majority vote to hold a convention, then a convention shall be held.
Rhode Island has a unique provision about elections on the constitutional convention question. It is, "Prior to a vote by the qualified electors on the holding of a convention, the general assembly, or the governor if the general assembly fails to act, shall provide for a bi-partisan preparatory commission to assemble information on constitutional questions for the electors." This means that before the vote is held, a preparatory commission must be created to do some groundwork for a convention, if the state's voters choose to hold one.
On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce its allegiance to King George III. Ironically, Rhode Island would be the last state to ratify the United States Constitution more than 14 years later on May 29, 1790.
Rhode Island did not adopt a state constitution until November 1842, which became effective in May 1843. Prior to this time, the state was governed by the original royal charter granted in 1663. Rhode Island functioned as a parliamentary form of government, in which the legislature held all of the power. This remained in force until 2005.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Conley, Patrick T., and Robert G. Flanders Jr. (2011) The Rhode Island State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- Conley, Patrick T., and Robert G. Flanders Jr. (2007). The Rhode Island State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing
- Wisconsin.edu, "An Introduction to Ratification in Rhode Island"
State of Rhode Island
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | General Treasurer | Auditor General | Commissioner of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Environmental Management | Director of Labor | Chair of Public Utilities |