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Articles XCI-C, Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution

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Massachusetts Constitution
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Preamble
Part the First
Part the Second:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Articles of Amendment

Article XCI

Whenever the governor transmits to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the office of governor shall be deemed to be vacant within the meaning of this Constitution.

Whenever the chief justice and a majority of the associate justices of the supreme judicial court, or such other body as the general court may by law provide, transmit to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house their written declaration that the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the office of governor shall be deemed to be vacant within the meaning of this Constitution.

Thereafter, in either of the above cases, whenever the governor transmits to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house his written declaration that no inability exists such vacancy shall be deemed to have terminated four days thereafter and the governor shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the chief justice and a majority of the associate justices of the supreme judicial court, or such other body as the general court may by law provide, transmit within said four days to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house their written declaration that the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon the general court shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the general court within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if the general court is not in session, within twenty-one days after the general court is required to assemble, determine by a vote, taken by yeas and nays, of two thirds of each house present and voting thereon, that the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the office of governor shall continue to be deemed to be vacant; otherwise such vacancy shall be deemed to have terminated and the governor shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

The above provisions shall be applicable to the lieutenant governor when the lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy is performing all the duties incumbent upon the governor as provided in this Constitution.

If a vacancy in the office of governor, as described in this Article, continues for six months and if such six-month period expires more than five months prior to a biennial state election other than an election for governor, there shall be an election of governor at such biennial state election for the balance of the unexpired four-year term.

Article XCII

Section 1

In the year nineteen hundred and seventy-one 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 in the year nineteen hundred and sixty-eight shall continue until the first Wednesday in January in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-five.

The house of representatives shall consist of two hundred and forty members. The general court shall, at its first regular session after the year in which said census was taken, divide the commonwealth into two hundred and forty 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; provided, however, that the county of Dukes county and Nantucket county shall each be a representative district. Such districts shall also be so formed that no town containing less than six thousand 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.

Section 2

Each 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 prior to the year nineteen hundred and seventy-one shall continue until the first Wednesday in January in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-five. 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.

Section 3

Note: Article XCII Section 3 was annulled by Amendments, Art. CI.

Articles XXI and XXII of the Amendments to the Constitution, as appearing in Article LXXI of said Amendments, are hereby annulled.

Article XCIII

Article III of the Amendments to the Constitution, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out the words "within the commonwealth one year, and."

Article XCIV

Article III of the Amendments to the Constitution, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out the word "twenty-one" and inserting in place thereof the word: -- nineteen.

Article XCV

Article III of the Amendments to the Constitution, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out the words "pauper and."

Article XCVI

The general court shall have power to authorize the commonwealth to make loans, on such terms as it may deem reasonable, to any residents of the commonwealth for tuition and board at any college, university or other institution of higher learning.

Article XCVII

Article XLIX of the Amendments to the Constitution is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof: - The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose.

The general court shall have the power to enact legislation necessary or expedient to protect such rights.

In the furtherance of the foregoing powers, the general court shall have the power to provide for the taking, upon payment of just compensation therefore, or for the acquisition by purchase or otherwise, of lands and easements or such other interests therein as may be deemed necessary to accomplish these purposes.

Lands and easements taken or acquired for such purposes shall not be used for other purposes or otherwise disposed of except by laws enacted by a two thirds vote, taken by yeas and nays, of each branch of the general court.

Article XCVIII

Article I of Chapter III of Part the Second of the Constitution, as amended by Article LVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution, is hereby annulled and the following Article is adopted in place thereof:-

Article I. The tenure, that all commissioned officers shall by law have in their offices, shall be expressed in their respective commissions. All judicial officers, duly appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behavior, excepting such concerning whom there is different provision made in this Constitution; provided, nevertheless, the governor, with the consent of the council, may remove them upon the address of both houses of the legislature; and provided, also, that the governor, with the consent of the council, may after due notice and hearing retire them because of advanced age or mental or physical disability; and provided further, that upon attaining seventy years of age said judges shall be retired. Such retirement shall be subject to any provisions made by law as to pensions or allowances payable to such officers upon their voluntary retirement.

Article XCIX

Full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the general court to prescribe, for the purpose of developing and conserving agricultural or horticultural lands, that such lands shall be valued, for the purpose of taxation, according to their agricultural or horticultural uses; provided, however, that no parcel of land which is less than five acres in area or which has not been actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural uses for the two years preceding the tax year shall be valued at less than fair market value under this article.

Article C

Article III of the Amendments to the Constitution, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out the word indicating the age at which a citizen shall have a right to vote in an election of Governor and other public officers and inserting in place thereof the following word: -- eighteen.

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