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Articles CI-CX, Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution
|Part the First:|
|Articles I - XXX|
|Part the Second:|
|Articles of Amendment|
In the year nineteen hundred and seventy-five and every tenth year thereafter a census of the inhabitants of each city and town shall be taken. Said census shall specify the number of inhabitants residing in each precinct of each town and in each precinct and ward of each city. Said census shall be the basis for determining the representative districts for the ten year period beginning with the first Wednesday in the fourth January following the taking of said census; provided that such districts as established based on the census in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-one shall terminate on the first Wednesday in January in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.
The House of Representatives shall consist of one hundred and sixty members. The General Court shall, at its first regular session after the year in which said census was taken, divide the Commonwealth into one hundred and sixty representative districts of contiguous territory so that each representative will represent an equal number of inhabitants, as nearly as may be; and such districts shall be formed, as nearly as may be, without uniting two counties or parts of two or more counties, two towns or parts of two or more towns, two cities or parts of two or more cities, or a city and a town, or parts of cities and towns, into one district. Such districts shall also be so formed that no town containing less than twenty-five hundred inhabitants according to said census shall be divided. The General Court may by law limit the time within which judicial proceedings may be instituted calling in question any such division. Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the Commonwealth. The manner of calling and conducting the elections for the choice of representatives, and of ascertaining their election, shall be prescribed by law.
Each such census of inhabitants required in section one shall likewise be the basis for determining the senatorial districts and also the councillor districts for the ten year period beginning with the first Wednesday in the fourth January following the taking of such census; provided that such districts as established based on the census in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-one shall terminate on the first Wednesday in January in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.] The Senate shall consist of forty members. The General Court shall, at its first regular session after the year in which said census is taken, divide the Commonwealth into forty districts of contiguous territory, each district to contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants according to said census; and such districts shall be formed, as nearly as may be, without uniting two counties, or parts of two or more counties, into one district. The General Court may by law limit the time within which judicial proceedings may be instituted calling in question such division. Each district shall elect one senator, who shall have been an inhabitant of this Commonwealth five years at least immediately preceding his election and at the time of his election shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen; and he shall cease to represent such senatorial district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the Commonwealth. The manner of calling and conducting the elections for the choice of senators and councillors, and of ascertaining their election, shall be prescribed by law.
Original jurisdiction is hereby vested in the supreme judicial court upon the petition of any voter of the Commonwealth, filed with the clerk of the supreme judicial court for the Commonwealth, for judicial relief relative to the establishment of House of Representatives, councillor and senatorial districts.
Article LII of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof:-
Article LII. The General Court, by concurrent vote of the two houses, may take a recess or recesses amounting to not more than thirty days.
Article XLVI of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth is hereby amended by striking out section 2 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 2. No grant, appropriation or use of public money or property or loan of credit shall be made or authorized by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any infirmary, hospital, institution, primary or secondary school, or charitable or religious undertaking which is not publicly owned and under the exclusive control, order and supervision of public officers or public agents authorized by the Commonwealth or federal authority or both, except that appropriations may be made for the maintenance and support of the Soldiers' Home in Massachusetts and for free public libraries in any city or town and to carry out legal obligations, if any, already entered into; and no such grant, appropriation or use of public money or property or loan of public credit shall be made or authorized for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any church, religious denomination or society. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the Commonwealth from making grants-in-aid to private higher educational institutions or to students or parents or guardians of students attending such institutions.
Article LXXVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof:-
Art. LXXVIII. No revenue from fees, duties, excises or license taxes relating to registration, operation or use of vehicle on public highways, or to fuels used for propelling such vehicles, shall be expended for other than cost of administration of laws providing for such revenue, making of refunds and adjustments in relation thereto, payment of highway obligations, or cost of construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways and bridges, and mass transportation lines and of the enforcement of state traffic laws, and for other mass transportation purposes; and such revenue shall be expended by the commonwealth or its counties, cities and towns for said highway and mass transportation purposes only and in such manner as the general court may direct; provided, that this amendment shall not apply to revenue from any excise tax imposed in lieu of local property taxes for the privilege of registering such vehicles.
Article XLV of the articles of amendment to the constitution, as amended by Article LXXVI of said articles of amendment, is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof:-
Article XLV. The general court shall have power to provide by law for voting, in the choice of any officer to be elected or upon any question submitted at an election, by qualified voters of the commonwealth who, at the time of such an election, are absent from the city or town of which they are inhabitants or are unable by reason of physical disability to cast their votes in person at the polling places or who hold religious beliefs in conflict with the act of voting on the day on which such an election is to be held.
Article I of Part the First of the Constitution is hereby annulled and the following is adopted:-
All people are born free and equal and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed or national origin.
Section 2 of Article LXIII of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof:-
Section 2. The Budget. - Within three weeks after the convening of the general court the governor shall recommend to the general court a budget which shall contain a statement of all proposed expenditures of the commonwealth for the fiscal year, including those already authorized by law, and of all taxes, revenues, loans and other means by which such expenditures shall be defrayed. In the first year of the term of office of a governor who has not served in the preceding year said governor shall recommend such budget within eight weeks after the convening of the general court. The budget shall be arranged in such form as the general court may by law prescribe, or, in default thereof, as the governor shall determine. For the purpose of preparing his budget, the governor shall have the power to require any board, commission, officer or department to furnish him with any information which he may deem necessary.
Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth is hereby amended by striking out, under the heading "GENERAL PROVISION," all of subheading "IV. Information for Voters.," as amended by section 4 of Article LXXIV of said Amendments, and inserting in place thereof the following subheading:
IV. Information for Voters.
The secretary of the commonwealth shall cause to be printed and sent to each person eligible to vote in the commonwealth or to each residence of one or more persons eligible to vote in the commonwealth the full text of every measure to be submitted to the people, together with a copy of the legislative committee's majority reports, if there be such, with the names of the majority and minority members thereon, a statement of the votes of the general court on the measure, and a fair, concise summary of the measure as such summary will appear on the ballot; and shall, in such manner as may be provided by law, cause to be prepared and sent other information and arguments for and against the measure.
The first paragraph of Section 1 of Article CI of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following two sentences:-
For purposes of said census every person shall be considered an inhabitant of the city or town of his usual place of residence in accordance with standards used by the United States from time to time in conducting the federal census required by Section 2 of Article I of the Constitution of the United States subject to such exceptions as the general court may provide by law. Said census shall specify the number of inhabitants of each precinct of each town and of each precinct and ward of each city.
Article XLI of the Amendments to the Constitution is hereby annulled and the following Article is adopted in place thereof:-
Full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the general court to prescribe for wild or forest lands retained in a natural state for the preservation of wildlife and other natural resources and lands for recreational uses, such methods of taxation as will develop and conserve the forest resources, wildlife and other natural resources and the environmental benefits of recreational lands within the commonwealth.
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- The Heritage Foundation, "Massachusetts Constitution"
- Social Law Library Research Council, "Timeline of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780"
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