Article XVII, Hawaii Constitution

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Hawaii Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII
Article XVII of the Hawaii Constitution is labeled Revision and Amendment. It includes five sections that establish the ways in which the constitution can be amended and revised over time.

The two main methods of revision or amendment laid out in Article XVII are the constitutional convention or the legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

The Hawaii State Legislature can propose a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment under these conditions:

  • Through a two-thirds vote in both the Hawaii State Senate and the Hawaii House of Representatives, held in one legislative session.
  • Through a simple majority vote in both chambers, held in two successive sessions of the legislature.
  • Any such proposed amendments must then be placed on a statewide ballot, where they can be approved under these conditions:
If approved by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question if this majority constitutes at least 50% of the total vote cast at the election, or,
If approved at a special election by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question, if this majority consists of at least 30% of the total number of registered voters in the state at that time.

A constitutional convention can be held under these conditions:

  • If the Hawaii State Legislature puts the question, "Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?" on the ballot.
  • If the legislature does not act to place such a question on the ballot, the question shall go on the ballot as an automatic ballot referral every ten years.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Methods of Proposal

Revisions of or amendments to this constitution may be proposed by constitutional convention or by the legislature.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Constitutional Convention

The legislature may submit to the electorate at any general or special election the question, "Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?" If any nine-year period shall elapse during which the question shall not have been submitted, the lieutenant governor shall certify the question, to be voted on at the first general election following the expiration of such period.

Election of Delegates

If a majority of the ballots cast upon such a question be in the affirmative, delegates to the convention shall be chosen at the next regular election unless the legislature shall provide for the election of delegates at a special election.

Notwithstanding any provision in this constitution to the contrary, other than Section 3 of Article XVI, any qualified voter of the district concerned shall be eligible to membership in the convention.

The legislature shall provide for the number of delegates to the convention, the areas from which they shall be elected and the manner in which the convention shall convene. The legislature shall also provide for the necessary facilities and equipment for the convention. The convention shall have the same powers and privileges, as nearly as practicable, as provided for the convention of 1978.

Meeting

The constitutional convention shall convene not less than five months prior to the next regularly scheduled general election.

Organization; Procedure

The convention shall determine its own organization and rules of procedure. It shall be the sole judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its members and, by a two-thirds vote, may suspend or remove any member for cause. The governor shall fill any vacancy by appointment of a qualified voter from the district concerned.

Ratification; Appropriations

The convention shall provide for the time and manner in which the proposed constitutional revision or amendments shall be submitted to a vote of the electorate; provided that each amendment shall be submitted in the form of a question embracing but one subject; and provided further, that each question shall have designated spaces to mark YES or NO on the amendment.

At least thirty days prior to the submission of any proposed revision or amendments, the convention shall make available for public inspection, a full text of the proposed amendments. Every public library, office of the clerk of each county, and the chief election officer shall be provided such texts and shall make them available for public inspection. The full text of any proposed revision or amendments shall also be made available for inspection at every polling place on the day of the election at which such revision or amendments are submitted.

The convention shall, as provided by law, be responsible for a program of voter education concerning each proposed revision or amendment to be submitted to the electorate.

The revision or amendments shall be effective only if approved at a general election by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question, this majority constituting at least fifty per cent of the total vote cast at the election, or at a special election by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question, this majority constituting at least thirty per cent of the total number of registered voters.

The provisions of this section shall be self-executing, but the legislature shall make the necessary appropriations and may enact legislation to facilitate their operation.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.
  • Amended by SB 578 (1979) and SB 1703 (1980) and election on November 4, 1980.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Amendments Proposed by Legislature

The legislature may propose amendments to the constitution by adopting the same, in the manner required for legislation, by a two-thirds vote of each house on final reading at any session, after either or both houses shall have given the governor at least ten days' written notice of the final form of the proposed amendment, or, with or without such notice, by a majority vote of each house on final reading at each of two successive sessions.

Upon such adoption, the proposed amendments shall be entered upon the journals, with the ayes and noes, and published once in each of four successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each senatorial district wherein such a newspaper is published, within the two months' period immediately preceding the next general election.

At such general election the proposed amendments shall be submitted to the electorate for approval or rejection upon a separate ballot.

The conditions of and requirements for ratification of such proposed amendments shall be the same as provided in section 2 of this article for ratification at a general election.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Veto

No proposal for amendment of the constitution adopted in either manner provided by this article shall be subject to veto by the governor.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Conflicting Revisions or Amendments

If a revision or amendment proposed by a constitutional convention is in conflict with a revision or amendment proposed by the legislature and both are submitted to the electorate at the same election and both are approved, then the revision or amendment proposed by the convention shall prevail. If conflicting revisions or amendments are proposed by the same body and are submitted to the electorate at the same election and both are approved, then the revision or amendment receiving the highest number of votes shall prevail.[1]

Amendments

  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1968) and election on November 5, 1968.
  • Amended by Constitutional Convention (1978) and election on November 7, 1978.

See also

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