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State, taken anew once in every five years at least, and as much oftener as the General Court shall order.
No member of the General Court shall take fees, be of counsel or act as advocate, in any cause before either branch of the Legislature; and upon due proof thereof, such member shall forfeit his seat in the Legislature.
The doors of the galleries of each house of the Legislature shall be kept open to all persons who behave decently, except when the welfare of the State, in the opinion of either branch, shall require secrecy.
Senate. The Senate shall consist of twelve members, who shall hold their offices for one year, from the first Wednesday in June next ensuing their election.
And that the State may be equally represented in the Senate, the Legislature shall, from time to time, divide the State into twelve districts, as nearly equal as may be without dividing towns and unincorporated places; and in making this division, they shall govern themselves by the proportion of public taxes paid by the said districts, and timely make known to the inhabitants of the State the limits of each district.
The freeholders and other inhabitants of each district, qualified as in this Constitution is provided, shall annually give in their votes for a senator, at some meeting holden in the month of March.
The Senate shall be the first branch of the Legislature: and the senators shall be chosen in the following manner, viz. : Every male inhabitant of each town, and parish with town privileges, and places unincorporated, in this State, of twenty-one years of age and upwards, excepting paupers, and persons excused from paying taxes at their own request, shall have a right at the annual or other meetings of the inhabitants of said towns and parishes, to be duly warned and holden annually forever in the month of March, to vote in the town or parish wherein he dwells, for the senators of the county or district whereof he is a member.
Provided, nevertheless, That no person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not seized of a freehold estate, in his own right, of the value of two hundred pounds, lying within this State, who is not of the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been an inhabitant of this State for seven years immediately preceding his election, and at the time thereof he shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he shall be chosen.
And every person, qualified as the Constitution provides, shall be considered an inhabitant for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this State, in the town, parish, and plantation where he dwelleth and hath his home.
And the inhabitants of plantations and places unincorporated. qualified as this Constitution provides, who are or shall be required to assess taxes upon themselves towards the support of government, or shall be taxed therefor, shall have the same privilege of voting for senators in the plantations and places wherein they reside, as · the inhabitants of the respective towns and parishes aforesaid have. And the meeting of such plantations and places for that purpose shall be holden annually, in the month of March, at such places respectively therein as the assessors thereof shall direct; which assessors shall have like authority for notifying the electors, collecting and returning the votes, as the selectmen and town clerks have in their several towns by this Constitution.
The meetings for the choice of Governor, Council and senators shall be warned, by warrant, from the selectmen, and governed by a moderator, who shall, in the presence of the selectmen, (whose duty it shall be to attend,) in open meeting, receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns and parishes present, and qualified to vote for senators; and shall, in said meetings, in presence of the said selectmen and of the town clerk, in said meeting, sort and count the said votes, and make a public declaration thereof, with the name of every person voted for, and the number of votes for each
person : and the town clerk shall make a fair record of the same at large, in the town book, and shall make out a fair attested copy thereof, to be by him sealed up and directed to the Secretary of the State, with a superscription expressing the purport thereof: and the said town clerk shall cause such attested copy to be delivered to the sheriff of the county in which such town or parish shall lie, forty days at least before the first Wednesday in June; or to the Secretary of the State at least thirty days before the said first Wednesday in June; and the sheriff of each county, or his deputy, shall deliver all such certificates by him received, into the Secretary's office, át least thirty days before the first Wednesday in June.
And that there may be a due meeting of senators on the first Wednesday in June annually, the Governor and the majority of the Council for the time being, shall, as soon as may be, examine the returned copies of such records, and, fourteen days before the said first Wednesday in June, he shall issue his summons to such persons as appear to be chosen senators by a majority of votes, to attend and take their seats on that day.
Provided, nevertheless, That for the first year, the said returned copies shall be examined by the President and a majority of the Council then in office : and the said President shall, in like manner, notify the persons elected, to attend and take their seats accordingly.
And in case there shall not appear to be a senator elected by a majority of votes, for any district, the deficiency shall be applied in the following manner, viz.: The members of the House of Representatives, and such senators as shall be declared elected, shall take the names of the two persons having the highest number of votes in the district, and out of them shall elect by joint ballot the senator
wanted for such district; and in this manner all such vacancies shall be filled up in every district of the State; and in like manner all vacancies in the Senate, arising by death, removal out of the State, or otherwise, shall be supplied as soon as may be after such vacancies happen.
The Senate shall be final judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their own members, as pointed out in this Constitution.
The Senate shall have power to adjourn themselves, provided such adjournment do not exceed two days at a time.
Provided, nevertheless, That whenever they shall sit on the trial of any impeachment, they may adjourn to such time and place as they may think proper, although the Legislature be not assembled on such day or at such place.
The Senate shall appoint their President and other officers, and determine their own rules of proceedings: and not less than seven members of this Senate shall make a quorum for doing business ; and when less than eight senators shall be present, the assent of five at least shall be necessary to render their acts and proceedings valid.
The Senate shall be a court, with full power and authority to hear, try, and determine, all impeachments made by the House of Representatives against any officer or officers of the State, for bribery. corruption, malpractice, or maladministration in office'; with full power to issue summons, or compulsory process, for convening witnesses before them, with all necessary powers incident to a court of trials; but, previous to the trial of any such impeachment, the members of the Senate shall be respectively sworn truly and impartially to try and determine the charge and question, according to evidence And every officer, impeached for bribery, corruption, malpractice, or maladministration in office, shall be served with an attested copy of the impeachment and order of the Senate thereon, with such citation as the Senate may direct, setting forth the time and place of their sitting to try the impeachment; which service shall be made by the sheriff
, or such other sworn officer as the Senate may appoint, at least fourteen days previous to the time of trial; and such citation being duly served and returned, the Senate may proceed in hearing of the impeachment, giving the person impeached, if he shall appear, full liberty of producing witnesses and proofs, and of making his defense, by himself and counsel ; and may, also, upon his refusing or neglecting to appear, hear the proofs in support of the impeachment, and render judgment thereon, his non-appearance notwithstanding; and such judgment shall have the same force and effect as if the person impeached had appeared and pleaded in the trial. Their judgment, however, shall not extend further than removal from office, disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honor, trust, or profit under this State ; but the party so convicted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to the laws of the land.
Whenever the Governor shall be impeached, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court shall, during the trial, preside in the Senate, but have no vote therein.
House of Representatives. There shall be, in the Legislature of this State, a representation of the people, annually elected, and founded upon principles of equality; and in order that such representation may be as equal as circumstances will admit, every town, parish, or place, entitled to town privileges, having one hundred and fifty ratable male polls, of twenty-one years of age, and upwards, may elect one representative: if four hundred and fifty ratable male polls, may elect two representatives; and so proceeding, in that proportion, make three hundred such ratable polls the mean of increasing number, for
Such towns, parishes, or places, as have less than one hundred and fifty ratable polls, shall be classed by the general assembly, for the purpose of choosing a representative, and seasonably notified thereof. And in every class formed for the above-mentioned purpose, the first annual meeting shall be held in the town, parish, or place wherein most of the ratable polls reside; and afterwards in that which has the next highest number; and so on, annually, by rotation, through the several towns, parishes, or places forming the district.
Whenever any town, parish, or place entitled to town privileges, as aforesaid, shall not have one hundred and fifty ratable polls, and be so situated as to render the classing thereof with any other town, parish, or place very inconvenient; the general assembly may, upon application of a majority of the votes of such town, parish, or place, issue a writ for their selecting and sending a representative to the General Court.
The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen annually, in the month of March, and shall be the second branch of the Legislature.
All persons qualified to vote in the election of senators shall be entitled to vote, within the district where they dwell, in the choice of representatives. Every member of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by ballot; and for two years at least next preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of this State; shall have an estate within the district which he may be chosen to represent, of the value of one hundred pounds, one-half of which to be a freehold, whereof he is seized in his own right; shall be, at the time of his election, an inhabitant of the district he may be chosen to represent, and shall cease to represent such district immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.
The members of both houses of the Legislature shall be compensated for their services out of the treasury of the State, by a law
made for that purpose ; such members attending seasonably, and not departing without license. All intermediate vacancies in the House of Representatives, may be filled up from time to time, in the same manner as annual elections are made.
The House of Representatives shall be the grand inquest of the State; and all impeachments made by them shall be heard and tried by the Senate.
All money-bills shall originate in the House of Representatives : but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.
The House of Representatives shall have the power to adjourn themselves, but no longer than two days at a time.
A majority of the members of the House of Representatives shall be a quorum for doing business; but when less than two-thirds of the House of Representatives elected shall be present, the assent of two-thirds of those members shall be necessary to render their acts and proceedings valid.
No member of the House of Representatives or Senate shall be arrested or held to bail, on mesne process, during his going to, return from, or attendance upon the court.
The House of Representatives shall choose their own Speaker, appoint their own officers, and settle the rules of proceedings in their own house; and shall be judge of the return, elections, and qualifications of its members, as pointed out in this Constitution. They shall have authority to punish, by imprisonment, every person who shall be guilty of disrespect to the House in its presence, by any disorderly and contemptuous behaviour, or by threatening or ill treating any of its members; or by obstructing its deliberations; every person guilty of a breach of its privileges, in making arrests for debt, or by assaulting any member during his attendance at any session; in assaulting or disturbing any one of its officers in the execution of any order or procedure of the House : in assault. ing any witness or other person ordered to attend by, and during his attendance on, the House, or in rescuing any person arrested by order of the House, knowing them to be such. The Senate, Governor, and Council shall have the same powers in like cases : provided that no imprisonment by either for any offence exceed ten days.
The journal of the proceedings, and all the public acts of both houses of the Legislature, shall be printed and published immediately after every adjournment or prorogation ; and upon motion made by any one member, the yeas and nays upon any question shall be entered in the journals: and any member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall have a right, on motion made at the time for that purpose, to have his protest or dissent, with the reasons, against any vote, resolve, or bill passed, entered on the jouranals.