The Kentucky Constitution is divided into a preamble and 20 articles.
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The preamble to the Kentucky Constitution states:
- Bill of Rights
- 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Courts: The article entitled "County Courts" of the Kentucky Constitution has two sections, one of which has been repealed.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:
- 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."
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.
- See also: Kentucky Marriage Amendment (2004)
|“||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.||”|
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.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Kentucky Legislature, "Kentucky Constitution"
- The Kentucky Gazette, "To understand constitution, look to its history", August 3, 1999
- Ireland, Robert M. (1999). The Kentucky State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press
- Legislative Research Commission, "Text of the Kentucky Constitutions of 1792, 1799 and 1850" (1965)
- Legislative Research Commission(February 2003) "Constitutional Background," in the Kentucky Government: Informational Bulletin No. 137 (Revised), Frankfort, Kentucky: Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
- Kleber, John E. (1992). "Constitutions" in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, eds. Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter, Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky
- McQueen, Keven (2001). "William Goebel: Assassinated Governor," in Offbeat Kentuckians: Legends to Lunatics, ed. by Keven McQueen, Kuttawa, Kentucky: McClanahan Publishing House
- Kentucky Legislature, "Kentucky Constitution," accessed March 28, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislators, "State Ballot Measures Database: Kentucky Initiatives and Referenda," accessed June 18, 2014
- Baptist Press, "Ky. lawmakers send marriage amendment to voters," accessed March 28, 2014
- Stateline News, "50-state rundown on gay marriage laws," accessed March 28, 2014
- CNN, "Election 2004 - Ballot Measures," accessed March 28, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Legislative Research Commission, "Kentucky Government," February 2003
- The Green Papers, "History of the Kentucky Constitution," accessed March 28, 2014