Kentucky Constitution

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Kentucky Constitution
Flag of Kentucky.png
Articles
Preamble
Bill of Rights
Distribution of Powers
Legislative
County Seats
Impeachments
Executive
Judicial
County Courts
Justices
Fiscal Courts
Elections
Municipalities
Taxation
Education
Corporations
Commerce
Militia
General Provisions
Mode of Revision
Schedule and Ordinance
The Constitution of Kentucky is the basic governing document of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Features

The Kentucky Constitution is divided into a preamble and 20 articles.[1]

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Kentucky Constitution states:

We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution.[1]

Bill of Rights

The "Bill of Rights" of the Kentucky Constitution prescribes the rights of the citizens of Kansas.

Distribution of Powers

The article entitled "Distribution of the Powers of Government" of the Kentucky Constitution divides the government into three branches.

Legislative

The article entitled "Legislative Department" of the Kentucky Constitution establishes the legislature as the law-making body of government.

County Seats

The article entitled "Counties and County Seats" of the Kentucky Constitution has three sections.

Impeachments

The article entitled "Impeachments" of the Kentucky Constitution has three sections.

Executive

The article entitled "Executive Department" of the Kentucky Constitution has 40 sections.

Judicial

The article entitled "Judicial Department" of the Kentucky Constitution established the court system of the state.

County Courts

The article entitled "County Courts" of the Kentucky Constitution has two sections, one of which has been repealed.

Justices

The article entitled "Justices of the Peace" of the Kentucky Constitution has two sections.

Fiscal Courts

The article entitled "Fiscal Courts" of the Kentucky Constitution contains only one section.

Elections

The article entitled "Suffrage and Elections" of the Kentucky Constitution has 11 sections.

Municipalities

The article entitled "Municipalities" of the Kentucky Constitution has 17 sections.

Taxation

The article entitled "Revenue and Taxation" of the Kentucky Constitution has 16 sections.

Education

The article entitled "Education" of the Kentucky Constitution consists of sections 183-189.

Corporations

The article entitled "Corporations" of the Kentucky Constitution consists of sections 190-208.

Commerce

The article entitled "Railroads and Commerce" of the Kentucky Constitution consists of sections 209-218.

Militia

The article entitled "Militia" of the Kentucky Constitution consists of sections 219-223.

General Provisions

The article entitled "General Provisions" consists of sections 224-255.

Mode of Revision

The article entitled "Mode of Revision" of the Kentucky Constitution includes Section 256-Section 263 and a Schedule. Sections 256-263 lay out how the constitution can be changed over time.

Schedule and Ordinance

The article entitled "Schedule and Ordinance" of the Kentucky Constitution follows twenty articles, as well as a preamble. This section itself is composed of six sections and an ordinance.

Amending the constitution

Main article: Mode of Revision, Kentucky Constitution

There are two ways to amend the Kentucky Constitution:

A legislatively-referred constitutional amendment can be proposed in either house of the Kentucky General Assembly.

  • If 60 percent of the membership of each chamber approves, the proposed amendment goes on the ballot at the next general election during which members of the state legislature are up for election.
  • If a proposed amendment is approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question, it becomes part of the constitution.
  • The state legislature is not allowed to put more than four proposed amendments on any one ballot.
  • Proposed amendments "may relate to a single subject or to related subject matters and may amend or modify as many articles and as many sections of the Constitution as may be necessary and appropriate in order to accomplish the objectives of the amendment."

A constitutional convention can be called if:

  • A majority of all the members of each of the two chambers of the state legislature agree to place a question before the state's voters about whether to have a constitutional convention.
  • In the next session of the legislature, a majority of the members again agree to place this question before the state's voters.
  • A majority of those voting on the question say "yes" and if the number of voters voting "yes" is "equal to one-fourth of the number of qualified voters who voted at the last preceding general election."

Notable amendments

1992

See also: Kentucky Proposed Amendment 2, Allowable Length of Service for Governors (1992)

Two amendments to the Kentucky Constitution were enacted in 1992. The first allowed charities to run lotteries, and the second changed the nature of both the office of the governor and the office of the lieutenant governor by giving state officers the right to hold office for one consecutive term after their first, putting the governor and lieutenant governor on the same ticket and changing the duties assigned to the lieutenant governor.[2]

2004

See also: Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)

In 2004, Kentucky became the fourth state to send a marriage amendment to voters.[3] Voters passed it by a three-to-one margin.[4][5] The text of the amendment reads:[1]

Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.[6]

History

Between 1784 and 1790, Kentucky held nine constitutional conventions. A 10th convention was held in April 1792, and it was the document that came out of that final convention that was presented to the United States Congress. It was accepted on June 1, 1792, admitting Kentucky as the 15th state in the Union.[7]

That original constitution was revised substantially in subsequent constitutional conventions in August 1799, May 1850 and September 1891.[1][8]

See also

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External links

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Additional reading

References