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Idaho Constitution

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Idaho Constitution
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The Idaho Constitution is the state constitution of Idaho. It is the fundamental governing document of the state. The constitution was adopted on August 6, 1889 by a constitutional convention and was then ratified in a statewide vote of the people in November 1889. The United States Congress approved the ratified constitution on July 3, 1890, accepting Idaho as a state.

The constitution includes twenty-one articles. It has been amended over one hundred times but, unlike the constitutions of many other states, has never undergone a major revision.


See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the constitution says:

We, the people of the state of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.


  • Article I is the Declaration of Rights of the citizens of Idaho; it details the unalienable rights granted to everyone.
  • Article II divides the government into three distinct branches: the legislative, executive and judicial.
  • Articles III, IV, and V establish the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, respectively.
  • Article VI describes the election process as well as the guidelines for suffrage.
  • Article VII deals with the state's power to tax and generate revenue.
  • Article VIII concerns public indebtedness and subsidies.
  • Article IX sets up the school system and guarantees all children the right to a free public education.
  • Article X deals with public institutions, such as the seat of government and the prison system.
  • Article XI concerns all corporations other than municipal.
  • Article XII establishes the rights and limitations of municipal corporations.
  • Article XIII concerns immigration and labor laws.
  • Article XIV establishes a state militia.
  • Article XV concerns public use of water, including rights, priorities, and limitations.
  • Article XVI deals with livestock.
  • Article XVII sets the boundaries of the state in great detail.
  • Article XVIII establishes the individual counties in the state.
  • Article XIX is entitled Apportionment.
  • Article XX details the amendment process.
  • Article XXI is the schedule, to ease transition from territory to state.

Amending the constitution

Main article: Amending state constitutions

Article XX of the Idaho Constitution establishes two ways in which the constitution can be altered over time, either via legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or constitutional conventions.

Either house of the Idaho State Legislature can propose an amendment. If the amendment is agreed to by two-thirds of the members of both the Idaho State Senate and the Idaho House of Representatives, the proposed amendment goes on the next general election ballot. The amendment becomes part of the constitution if it is approved in a simple majority.

A constitutional convention can be called if:

  • Two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature vote to place before the people a question as to whether the people want to call a convention.
  • If a majority of all the voters voting at the election vote for a convention, the legislature must arrange to have a convention.

External links


Wikipedia® has an article on:
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