Sec. 3. The assessors of each town or city shall annually assess upon every person whose name shall be registered, a tax of one dollar, or such sum as with his other taxes shall amount to one dollar, which registry tax shall be paid into the treasury of such town or city, and be applied to the support of public schools therein : but no compulsory process shall issue for the collection of any registry tax: Provided, that the registry tax of every person who has performed military duty according to the provisions of the preceding section, shall be remitted for the year he shall perform such duty; and the registry tax assessed upon any mariner, for any year while he is at sea, shall, upon his application, be remitted; and no person shall be allowed to vote whose registry tax for either of the two years next preceding the time of voting is not paid or remitted as herein provided.

Sec. 4. No person in the military, naval, marine or any other service of the United States, shall be considered as having the required residence by reason of being employed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval station in this state: and no pauper, lunatic, person non compos mentis, person under guardianship, or member of the Narragansett tribe of Indians, shall be permitted to be registered or to vote. Nor shall any person convicted of bribery, or of any crime deemed infamous at common law, be permitted to exercise that privilege, until he be expressly restored thereto by act of the general assembly.

Sec. 5. Persons residing on lands ceded by this state to the United States shall not be entitled to exercise the privilege of electors.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall have full power to provide for a registry of voters, to prescribe the manner of conducting the elections, the form of certificates, the nature of the evidence to be required in case of a dispute as to the right of any person to vote, and generally to enact all laws necessary to carry this article into effect, and to prevent abuse, corruption and fraud in voting.


Of the Distribution of Powers. The powers of the government shall be distributed into three departments : the legislative, executive and judicial.


Of the Legislative Power. Sec. 1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and any law inconsistent therewith shall be void. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this constitution into effect.

Sec. 2. The legislative power, under this constitution, shall be vested in two houses, the one to be called the senate, the other the house of representatives; and both together the general assembly. The concurrence of the two houses shall be necessary to the enactment of laws. The style of their laws shall be, It is enacted by the general assembly as follows:

Sec. 3. There shall be two sessions of the general assembly holden annually: one at Newport, on the first Tuesday of May, for the purposes of election and other business; the other on the last Monday of October, which last session shall be holden at South Kingstown once in two years, and the intermediate years alternately at Bristol and East Greenwich ; and an adjournment from the October session shall be holden annually at Providence.

Sec. 4. No member of the general assembly shall take any fee, or be of counsel, in any case pending before either house of the general assembly, under penalty of forfeiting his seat, upon proof thereof to the satisfaction of the house of which he is a member.

Sez. 5. The person of every member of the general assembly shall be exempt from arrest and his estate from attachment in any civil action, during the session of the general assembly, and two days before the commencement and two days after the termination thereof, and all process served contrary hereto shall be void. For any speech in debate in either house, no member shall be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 6. Each house shall be the judge of the elections and qualifications of its members; and a majority shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as may be prescribed by şuch house or by law. The organization of the two houses may be regulated by law, subject to the limitations contained in this constitution.

Sec. 7. Each house may determine its rules of proceeding, punish contempts, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same cause.

SEC. 8. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings. The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Sec. 9. Neither house shall, during a session, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than two days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 10. The general assembly shall continue to exercise the powers they have heretofore exercised, unless prohibited in this constitution,

SEC. 11. The senators and representatives shall receive the sum of one dollar for every day of attendance, and eight cents per mile for travelling expenses in going to and returning from the general assembly. The general assembly shall regulate the compensation of the governor and all other officers, subject to the limitations contained in this constitution.

SEC. 12. All lotteries shall hereafter be prohibited in this state, except those already authorized by the general assembly.

Sec. 13. The general assembly shall have no power, hereafter, without the express consent of the people, to incur state debts to an amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars, except in time of war, or in case of insurrection or invasion; nor shall they in any case, without such consent, pledge the faith of the state for the payment of the obligations of others. This section shall not be construed to refer to any money that may be deposited with this state by the government of the United States.

Sec. 14. The assent of two thirds of the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall be required to every bill appropriating the public money or property for local or private purposes.

SEC. 15. The general assembly shall, from time to time, provide for making new valuations of property, for the assessment of taxes, in such manner as they may deem best. A new estimate of such property shall be taken before the first direct state tax, after the adoption of this constitution, shall be assessed.

SEC. 16. The general assembly may provide by law for the continuance in office of any officers of annual election or appointment, until other persons are qualified to take their places.

Sec. 17. Hereafter, when any bill shall be presented to either house of the general assembly, to create a corporation for any other than for religious, literary or charitable purposes, or for a military or fire company, it shall be continued until another election of members of the general assembly shall have taken place, and such public notice of the pendency thereof shall be given as may be required by law.

SEC. 18. It shall be the duty of the two houses, upon the request of either, to join in grand committee for the purpose of electing senators in congress, at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by law for said elections.


of the House of Representatives. Sec. 1. The house of representatives shall never exceed seventytwo members, and shall be constituted on the basis of population, always allowing one representative for a fraction exceeding half the ratio : but each town or city shall always be entitled to at least one member; and no town or city shall have more than one sixth of the whole number of members to which the house is hereby limited. The present ratio shall be one representative to every fifteen hundred and thirty inhabitants, and the general assembly may, after any new census taken by the authority of the United States or of this state, re-apportion the representation by altering the ratio; but no town or city shall be divided into districts for the choice of representatives.

SEC. 2. The house of representatives shall have authority to elect its speaker, clerks, and other officers. The senior member from the town of Newport, if any be present, shall preside in the organization of the house.


Of the Senate. SEC. 1. The senate shall consist of the lieutenant-governor and of one senator from each town or city in the state.

Sec. 2. The governor, and, in his absence, the lieutenant-governor, shall preside in the senate and in grand committee. The presiding officer of the senate and grand committee shall have a right to vote in case of equal division, but not otherwise.

SEC. 3. If, by reason of death, resignation, absence or other cause, there be no governor or lieutenant-governor present, to preside in the senate, the senate shall elect one of their own members to preside during such absence or vacancy; and until such election is made by the senate, the secretary of state shall preside.

Sec. 4. The secretary of state shall, by virtue of his office, be secretary of the senate, unless otherwise provided by law; and the senate may elect such other officers as they may deem necessary.



Of the Executive Power. Sec. 1. The chief executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor, who, together with a lieutenant-governor, shall be annually elected by the people.

Sec. 2. The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 3. He shall be captain-general and commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of this state, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Sec. 4. He shall have power to grant reprieves after conviction, in all cases except those of impeachment, until the end of the next session of the general assembly.

Sec. 5. He may fill vacancies in office not otherwise provided for by this constitution or by law, until the same shall be filled by the general assembly, or by the people.

Sec. 6. In case of disagreement between the two houses of the general assembly, respecting the time or place of adjournment certified to him by either, he may adjourn them to such time and place as he shall think proper; provided that the time of adjournment shall not be extended beyond the day of the next stated session.

Sec. 7. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at any town or city in this state, at any time not provided for by law; and in case of danger from the prevalence of epidemic or contagious disease, in the place in which the general assembly are by law to meet, or to which they may have been adjourned, or for other urgent reasons, he may by proclamation, convene said assembly at any other place within this state.

SEC. 8. All commissions shall be in the name and by authority of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; shall be sealed with the state seal, signed by the governor and attested by the secretary

SEC. 9. In case of vacancy in the office of governor, or of his inability to serve, impeachment, or absence from the state, the lieutenant-governor shall fill the office of governor and exercise the powers and authority appertaining thereto, until a governor is qualified to act, or until the office is filled at the next annual election.

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