Article 16, Indiana Constitution

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Article 16 of the Indiana Constitution is labeled Amendments. It consists of two sections and a schedule and was most recently amended in 1998. Article 16 is about the procedures that must be followed in order to amend itself.

The amendment procedures available under the Indiana Constitution are more restrictive than in those of nearly any other state. Only one system is allowed (the legislatively-referred constitutional amendment), and this procedure in Indiana is itself more restrictive than in most states, since any proposed amendment must be approved by two successive sessions of the Indiana General Assembly before it can go to a vote of the people. Article 16 also does not say anything about how a constitutional convention could be held or called; whereas, the constitutions of more than 40 other states do lay out in their constitutions how that process would work in their state.

Details of how the legislatively-referred constitutional amendment process works in Indiana, as defined in Article 16, are:

  • An amendment can be proposed in either chamber of the Indiana General Assembly.
  • An amendment must be agreed to by a simple majority of the members elected to each of the two chambers.
  • If that happens, the same amendment can be proposed in the next session of the legislature that convenes after a general election has taken place.
  • If the amendment is approved by a simple majority vote of both chambers of the general assembly in that second legislative session, the amendment is then to be submitted to a statewide vote of the people at a general election.
  • If a majority of those voting on the question approve it, the proposed amendment then becomes part of the Indiana Constitution.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Amendments

(a) An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the General Assembly. If the amendment is agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, the proposed amendment shall, with the yeas and nays thereon, be entered on their journals, and referred to the General Assembly to be chosen at the next general election.

(b) If, in the General Assembly so next chosen, the proposed amendment is agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each House, then the General Assembly shall submit the amendment to the electors of the State at the next general election.

(c) If a majority of the electors voting on the amendment ratify the amendment, the amendment becomes a part of this Constitution.[1]

Amendments

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Submission

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.[1]

Amendments

  • As amended on November 8, 1966.

Schedule

Text of Schedule:

Whenever a portion of the citizens of the counties of Perry and Spencer, shall deem it expedient to form, of the contiguous territory of said counties, a new County, it shall be the duty of those interested in the organization of such new county, to lay off the same, by proper metes and bounds, of equal portions as nearly as practicable, not to exceed one-third of the territory of each of said counties. The proposal to create such new county shall be submitted to the voters of said counties, at a general election, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law. And if a majority of all the votes given at said election, shall be in favor of the organization of said new county, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to organize the same, out of the territory thus designated.

The General Assembly may alter or amend the charter of Clarksville, and make such regulations as may be necessary for carrying into effect the objects contemplated in granting the same; and the funds belonging to said town shall be applied, according to the intention of the grantor.[1]

Amendments

  • As amended on November 6, 1984.

See also

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