- 1 Features
- 2 Chapter I
- 3 Chapter II
- 4 Amending the constitution
- 5 History
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 Additional reading
- 9 References
- Chapter I is entitled "A Declaration of Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont."
- Chapter II is entitled "Plan or Frame of Government" and establishes the frame of government, detailing the three branches of government as well as elections, impeachments, militia and other general provisions.
Chapter I of the Vermont Constitution is entitled "A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont." It is divided into 21 articles.
Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution is entitled "Plan or Frame of Government." It encompasses the remaining parts of the constitution.
"The Delegation and Distribution of Powers" part of the Vermont Constitution contains five sections.
The "Legislative Department" part of the Vermont Constitution contains 14 sections.
The "Executive Department" part of the Vermont Constitution contains eight sections.
The "Judicial Department" part of the Vermont Constitution contains 14 sections.
The "Qualifications of Freemen and Freewomen" part of the Vermont Constitution contains one section.
The "Elections; Officers; Terms of Office" part of the Vermont Constitution contains 13 sections.
The "Oath of Allegiance; Oath of Office" section of the Vermont Constitution contains one section.
The "Impeachment" part of the Vermont Constitution contains two sections.
The "Militia" part of the Vermont Constitution consists of one section.
The "General Provisions" part of the Vermont Constitution contains twelve sections.
The "Amendment of the Constitution" part of the Vermont Constitution contains two sections.
The "Temporary Provisions" part of the Vermont Constitution contains three sections.
Amending the constitution
Section 72 lays out the procedures which govern changes to the Virginia Constitution.
- Proposed amendments must originate in the Vermont State Senate.
- Amendments must earn a 2/3rds vote of the members of Vermont State Senate, but require only a majority vote of members of the Vermont House of Representatives.
- Amendments, once adopted by the senate and house, must then be considered against at the next biennial session of the Vermont General Assembly.
- The amendment must win a majority vote of both chambers when it is considered for this second time.
- Such amendments then go on a ballot for a vote of the state's electors. If a proposed amendment wins a simple majority vote, it becomes part of the state's constitution.
The Vermont Constitution, like that of several other states, does not provide for constitutional conventions. Perhaps as a result, Vermont's current constitution was adopted in 1793. The Massachusetts Constitution is the only older constitution.
However, in 1969, the Vermont State Legislature referred an advisory measure to the ballot, asking ""Shall a Vermont Constitutional Convention be convened at the state house in Montpelier on October 6, 1969 to consider the following topics which shall receive a majority of the votes cast upon it in this election, and no others?" (The state's voters said "no" to this advisory question.)
Vermont has changed its amendment process three times:
- From 1777-1870, amendments could be proposed every seven years by the Council of Censors. This was a 13-member group whose members were elected in statewide elections.
- From 1870-1974, proposals originated as they do now in the state senate, but could only be made every ten years. This ten-year limit was known as the "time-lock."
- In 1974, the ten-year "time lock" was reduced to four years.
Vermont was admitted into the Union in 1791. The state constitution was then adopted in 1793. The constitution was modeled after the 1777 Constitution of the Vermont Republic, which was ratified when Vermont was known as the Vermont Republic, an independent state. That constitution was amended in 1786 and again in 1793.
In 1913, major constitutional revisions to the constitution changed much of the core structure prompting scholars to believe that the contemporary Vermont Constitution should be called the "Constitution of 1913."
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Vermont State Legislature, "Constitution of Vermont"
- Vermont Archives.org, "Vermont Republic Constitution, 1777"
- Vermont Archives.org, "1786 Constitution"
- Vermont Archives.org, "1793 Constitution"
- Hill, William C. (2011). The Vermont State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- Hill, William C. (1992). The Vermont State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing
- Vermont.gov, "Old Constitution Books"
- Vermont SOS, "Publications"
- Digital Collections at Middlebury College, "Vermont Constitutions"
- Vermont Historical Society, "The Vermont Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014
- Vermont State Legislature, "Constitution of Vermont," accessed March 30, 2014
- Vermont Archives.org, "1969 Vermont referred statute," accessed March 30, 2014
- Adrian, Charles, "Trends in State Constitutions," 5 Harv J on Legis, pp. 311 (1967-1968)
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