Article IX. General Provisions.
Section 1. Oaths and subscriptions.
Administration of oaths to Governor, Senators,
Representatives, and other officers.
Section 2. Offices incompatible with each other; election to Congress disqualifies.
Section 3. Commissions.
Section 4. Elections on the first Wednesday after first Tuesday of January
may be adjourned from day to day.
Section 5. Removal by impeachment or address.
Section 6. Tenure of office.
Section 7. Valuation.
Section 8. Taxation.
1. Intangible property.
2. Assessment of certain lands based on current use;
penalty on change to higher use.
3. School districts.
Section 9. Power of taxation.
Section 10. Tenure of sheriffs.
Removal of sheriffs from office and replacement.
Section 11. Attorney General.
Section 12. Voting districts.
Section 13. Bribery at elections.
Section 14. Authority and procedure for issuance of bonds.
Section 14-A Authority to insure industrial, manufacturing,
fishing, and agricultural mortgage loans.
Section 14-B. Authority to insure revenue bonds of the Maine School Building Authority.
Section 14-C. Authority to insure mortgage loans for Indian housing.
Section 14-D. Authority to insure Maine veterans' mortgage loans, and to
appropriate moneys and issue bonds for the payment of same.
Section 15. Municipal borrowing regulated by Legislature through general law.
Section 16. Seat of government.
Section 17. Continuity of Government in case of enemy attack.
Section 18. Limitation on use of funds of Maine State Retirement System.
Section 19. Limitation on expenditure of motor vehicle and motor vehicle fuel revenues.
Section 20. Mining Excise Tax Trust Fund.
Section 21. State mandates.
Section 22. Revenues generated by fisheries and wildlife management.
Article IX. General Provisions.
Section 1. Oaths and subscriptions. Every person elected or
appointed to either of the places or offices provided in this
Constitution, and every person elected, appointed, or
commissioned to any judicial, executive, military or other office
under this State, shall, before entering on the discharge of the
duties of that place or office, take and subscribe the following
oath or affirmation: "I,_______ do swear, that I will support
the Constitution of the United States and of this State, so long
as I shall continue a citizen thereof. So help me God."
Alternative affirmation. "I ______ do swear, that I will
faithfully discharge, to the best of my abilities, the duties
incumbent on me as ______according to the Constitution and laws
of the State. So help me God." Provided, that an affirmation in
the above forms may be substituted, when the person shall be
conscientiously scrupulous of taking and subscribing an oath.
Administration of oaths to Governor, Senators, Representatives,
and other officers. The oaths or affirmations shall be taken
and subscribed by the Governor before the presiding officer of
the Senate, in the presence of both Houses of the Legislature,
and by the Senators and Representatives before the Governor and
by the residue of said officers before such persons as shall be
prescribed by the Legislature; and whenever the Governor shall
not be able to attend during the session of the Legislature to
take and subscribe said oaths or affirmations, such oaths or
affirmations may be taken and subscribed in the recess of the
Legislature before any Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and
provided further that, if the Governor shall be unable to appear
and administer the oath to the Senators and Representatives,
such oaths shall be administered by the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Judicial Court or in the absence of the Chief Justice, by
the senior Associate Justice of said Supreme Judicial Court
present at the State Capitol on the first day of the term for
which said Senators and Representatives shall have been elected.
Section 2. Offices incompatible with each other; election to
Congress disqualifies. No person holding the office of Justice
of the Supreme Judicial Court, or of any inferior court,
Attorney General, district attorney, Treasurer of the State,
Adjutant General, judge of probate, register of probate,
register of deeds, sheriffs or their deputies, clerks of the
judicial courts, shall be a member of the Legislature; and any
person holding either of the foregoing offices, elected to, and
accepting a seat in the Congress of the United States, shall
thereby vacate said office; and no person shall be capable of
holding or exercising at the same time within this State, more
than one of the offices before mentioned.
Section 3. Commissions. All commissions shall be in the name
of the State, signed by the Governor, attested by the Secretary
or a deputy of the Secretary and have the seal of the State
Section 4. Elections on the first Wednesday after first
Tuesday of January may be adjourned from day to day. In case
the elections, required by this Constitution on the first
Wednesday after the first Tuesday of January biennially, by the 2
Houses of the Legislature, shall not be completed on that day,
the same may be adjourned from day to day, until completed, in
the following order: The vacancies in the Senate shall first be
filled; and the Governor shall then be elected, if there be no
choice by the people.
Section 5. Removal by impeachment or address. Every person
holding any civil office under this State, may be removed by
impeachment, for misdemeanor in office; and every person holding
any office, may be removed by the Governor on the address of both
branches of the Legislature. But before such address shall pass
either House, the causes of removal shall be stated and entered
on the journal of the House in which it originated, and a copy
thereof served on the person in office, that the person may be
admitted to a hearing in that person's own defense.
Section 6. Tenure of office. The tenure of all offices, which
are not or shall not be otherwise provided for, shall be during
the pleasure of the Governor.
Section 7. Valuation. While the public expenses shall be
assessed on estates, a general valuation shall be taken at least
once in 10 years.
Section 8. Taxation. All taxes upon real and personal estate,
assessed by authority of this State, shall be apportioned and
assessed equally according to the just value thereof.
1. Intangible property. The Legislature shall have power to
levy a tax upon intangible personal property at such rate as it
deems wise and equitable without regard to the rate applied to
other classes of property.
2. Assessment of certain lands based on current use; penalty on
change to higher use. The Legislature shall have power to
provide for the assessment of the following types of real estate
whenever situated in accordance with a valuation based upon the
current use thereof and in accordance with such conditions as the
Legislature may enact:
A. Farms and agricultural lands, timberlands and woodlands;
B. Open space lands which are used for recreation or the
enjoyment of scenic natural beauty; and
C. Lands used for game management or wildlife sanctuaries.
In implementing paragraphs A, B and C, the Legislature shall
provide that any change of use higher than those set forth in
paragraphs A, B and C, except when the change is occasioned by a
transfer resulting from the exercise or threatened exercise of
the power of eminent domain, shall result in the imposition of a
minimum penalty equal to the tax which would have been imposed
over the 5 years preceding that change of use had that real
estate been assessed at its highest and best use, less all taxes
paid on that real estate over the preceding 5 years, and
interest, upon such reasonable and equitable basis as the
Legislature shall determine. Any statutory or constitutional
penalty imposed as a result of a change of use, whether imposed
before or after the approval of this subsection, shall be
determined without regard to the presence of minerals, provided
that, when payment of the penalty is made or demanded, whichever
occurs first, there is in effect a state excise tax which
applies or would apply to the mining of those minerals.
3. School districts. The Legislature shall have power to
provide that taxes, which it may authorize a School
Administrative District or a community school district to levy,
may be assessed on real, personal and intangible property in
accordance with any cost- sharing formula which it may
4. Watercraft. Beginning with the property tax year 1984, all
watercraft as defined by the Legislature shall be exempt from
taxation as personal property, provided that certain watercraft
as defined by the Legislature shall be subject to an excise tax
to be collected and retained by the municipalities.
Section 9. Power of taxation. The Legislature shall never, in
any manner, suspend or surrender the power of taxation.
Section 10. Tenure of sheriffs. Sheriffs shall be elected by
the people of their respective counties, by a plurality of the
votes given in on the Tuesday following the first Monday of
November, and shall hold their offices for 4 years from the first
day of January next after their election, unless sooner removed
as hereinafter provided.
Removal of sheriffs from office and replacement. Whenever the
Governor upon complaint, due notice and hearing shall find that
a sheriff is not faithfully or efficiently performing any duty
imposed upon the sheriff by law, the Governor may remove such
sheriff from office and appoint another sheriff to serve for the
remainder of the term for which such removed sheriff was
elected. All vacancies in the office of sheriff, other than
those caused by removal in the manner aforesaid shall be filled
in the same manner as is provided in the case of judges and
registers of probate.
Section 11. Attorney General. The Attorney General shall be
chosen biennially by joint ballot of the Senators and
Representatives in convention. Vacancy in said office occurring
when the Legislature is not in session, may be filled by
appointment by the Governor, subject to confirmation as required
by this Constitution for Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court.
Section 12. Voting districts. The Legislature may by law
authorize the dividing of towns into voting districts for all
state and national elections, and prescribe the manner in which
the votes shall be received, counted, and the result of the
Section 13. Bribery at elections. The Legislature may enact
laws excluding from the right of suffrage, for a term not
exceeding 10 years, all persons convicted of bribery at any
election, or of voting at any election, under the influence of a
Section 14. Authority and procedure for issuance of bonds. The
credit of the State shall not be directly or indirectly loaned
in any case, except as provided in sections 14-A, 14-B, 14-C and
14-D. The Legislature shall not create any debt or debts,
liability or liabilities, on behalf of the State, which shall
singly, or in the aggregate, with previous debts and liabilities
hereafter incurred at any one time, exceed $2,000,000, except to
suppress insurrection, to repel invasion, or for purposes of war,
and except for temporary loans to be paid out of money raised by
taxation during the fiscal year in which they are made; and
excepting also that whenever 2/3 of both Houses shall deem it
necessary, by proper enactment ratified by a majority of the
electors voting thereon at a general or special election, the
Legislature may authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf of the
State at such times and in such amounts and for such purposes as
approved by such action; but this shall not be construed to
refer to any money that has been, or may be deposited with this
State by the Government of the United States, or to any fund
which the State shall hold in trust for any Indian tribe.
Whenever ratification by the electors is essential to the
validity of bonds to be issued on behalf of the State, the
question submitted to the electors shall be accompanied by a
statement setting forth the total amount of bonds of the State
outstanding and unpaid, the total amount of bonds of the State
authorized and unissued, and the total amount of bonds of the
State contemplated to be issued if the enactment submitted to
the electors be ratified. For any bond authorization requiring
ratification of the electors pursuant to this section, if any
bonds have not been issued within 5 years of the date of
ratification, then those bonds may not be issued after that
date. Within 2 years after expiration of that 5-year period, the
Legislature may extend, by a majority vote, the 5-year period for
an additional 5 years or may deauthorize the bonds. If the
Legislature fails to take action within those 2 years, the bond
issue shall be considered to be deauthorized and no further bonds
may be issued. For any bond authorization in existence on
November 6, 1984, and for which the 5-year period following
ratification has expired, no further bonds may be issued unless
the Legislature, by November 6, 1986, reauthorizes those bonds by
a majority vote, for an additional 5-year period, failing which
all bonds unissued under those authorizations shall be
considered to be deauthorized. Temporary loans to be paid out
of moneys raised by taxation during any fiscal year shall not
exceed in the aggregate during the fiscal year in question an
amount greater than 10% of all the moneys appropriated,
authorized and allocated by the Legislature from undedicated
revenues to the General Fund and dedicated revenues to the
Highway Fund for that fiscal year, exclusive of proceeds or
expenditures from the sale of bonds, or greater than 1% of the
total valuation of the State of Maine, whichever is the lesser.
Section 14-A. Authority to insure industrial, manufacturing,
fishing, and agricultural mortgage loans. For the purposes of
fostering, encouraging and assisting the physical location,
settlement and resettlement of industrial, manufacturing,
fishing, agricultural and recreational enterprises within the
State, the Legislature by proper enactment may insure the
payment of mortgage loans on real estate and personal property
within the State of such industrial, manufacturing, fishing,
agricultural and recreational enterprises not exceeding in the
aggregate $90,000,000 in amount at any one time and may also
appropriate moneys and authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf
of the State at such times and in such amounts as it may
determine to make payments insured as aforesaid. For the
purposes of this section, a documented fishing vessel or a vessel
registered under state law shall be construed as real estate.
Section 14-B. Authority to insure revenue bonds of the Maine
School Building Authority. In order to encourage and assist in
the provision and construction of public school buildings in the
State, the Legislature by proper enactment may insure the payment
of revenue bonds of the Maine School Building Authority on school
projects within the State not exceeding in the aggregate
$6,000,000 in amount at any one time and may also appropriate
moneys and authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf of the State
at such times and in such amounts as it may determine to make
payments insured as aforesaid.
Section 14-C. Authority to insure mortgage loans for Indian
housing. For the purpose of fostering and encouraging the
acquisition, construction, repair and remodeling of houses owned
or to be owned by members of the 2 tribes on the several Indian
reservations, the Legislature by proper enactment may insure the
payment of mortgage loans on such houses not exceeding in the
aggregate $1,000,000 in amount at any one time and may also
appropriate moneys and authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf
of the State at such times and in such amounts as it may
determine to make payments insured as aforesaid.
Section 14-D. Authority to insure Maine veterans' mortgage
loans, and to appropriate moneys and issue bonds for the payment
of same. For the purposes of recognizing the services and
sacrifices of Maine's men and women who have served their state
and country through honorable service in the Armed Forces of the
United States in time of war or national emergency; enlarging
the opportunities for employment of Maine's veterans; insuring
the preservation and betterment of the economy of the State of
Maine; and stimulating the flow of private investment funds to
Maine's veterans, the Legislature by proper enactment may insure
the payment of any mortgage loan to resident Maine veterans of
the Armed Forces of the United States, including a business
organization owned in whole or in part by a resident Maine
veteran, when such loans are made in connection with such
legitimate purposes and under such terms and conditions as the
Legislature may determine, not exceeding in the aggregate
$4,000,000 in amount at any one time and may also appropriate
moneys and authorize the issuance of bonds on behalf of the
State at such times and in such amounts as it may determine to
make payments insured as aforesaid.
Section 15. Municipal borrowing regulated by Legislature
through general law. The Legislature shall enact general law
regulating the total borrowing capacity of municipal
Section 16. Seat of government. Augusta is hereby declared to
be the seat of government of this State.
Section 17. Continuity of Government in case of enemy attack.
Notwithstanding any general or special provision of this
Constitution, the Legislature, in order to insure continuity of
state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency
resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack, shall have the
power and the immediate duty to provide for prompt and temporary
succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of
whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment,
the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on
the powers and duties of such offices, and to adopt such other
measures as may be necessary and proper for insuring the
continuity of governmental operations including but not limited
to the financing thereof. In the exercise of the powers hereby
conferred the Legislature shall in all respects conform to the
requirements of this Constitution except to the extent that in
the judgment of the Legislature so to do would be impracticable
or would admit of undue delay.
Section 18. Limitation on use of funds of Maine State
Retirement System. All of the assets, and proceeds or income
therefrom, of the Maine State Retirement System or any successor
system and all contributions and payments made to the system to
provide for retirement and related benefits shall be held,
invested or disbursed as in trust for the exclusive purpose of
providing for such benefits and shall not be encumbered for, or
diverted to, other purposes. Funds appropriated by the
Legislature for the Maine State Retirement System are assets of
the system and may not be diverted or deappropriated by any
Section 19. Limitation on expenditure of motor vehicle and
motor vehicle fuel revenues. All revenues derived from fees,
excises and license taxes relating to registration, operation
and use of vehicles on public highways, and to fuels used for
propulsion of such vehicles shall be expended solely for cost of
administration, statutory refunds and adjustments, payment of
debts and liabilities incurred in construction and
reconstruction of highways and bridges, the cost of construction,
reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways and
bridges under the direction and supervision of a state
department having jurisdiction over such highways and bridges and
expense for state enforcement of traffic laws and shall not be
diverted for any purpose, provided that these limitations shall
not apply to revenue from an excise tax on motor vehicles
imposed in lieu of personal property tax.
Section 20. Mining Excise Tax Trust Fund. The principal amount
of the Mining Excise Tax Trust Fund or any successor fund may
not be expended unless the expenditure is approved in a separate
measure by a 2/3 vote of all the members elected to each House
of the Legislature and by the Governor.
Section 21. State mandates. For the purpose of more fairly
apportioning the cost of government and providing local property
tax relief, the State may not require a local unit of government
to expand or modify that unit's activities so as to necessitate
additional expenditures from local revenues unless the State
provides annually 90% of the funding for these expenditures from
State funds not previously appropriated to that local unit of
government. Legislation implementing this section or requiring a
specific expenditure as an exception to this requirement may be
enacted upon the vote of 2/3 of all members elected to each
House. This section must be liberally construed.
Section 22. Revenues generated by fisheries and wildlife
management. The amount of funds appropriated in any fiscal year
to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, or any
successor agency responsible for fisheries and wildlife
management, other than commercial marine fisheries management,
may not be less than the total revenues collected, received or
recovered by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, or
successor agency, from license and permit fees, fines, the sale,
lease or rental of property, penalties, and all other revenue
sources pursuant to the laws of the State administered by the
department or successor agency, except that revenues received
from the Federal Government may be allocated as provided by
federal or state law and the Legislature may establish special
funds and deposit revenues collected, received or recovered by
the department or successor agency into those special funds,
provided that the revenues are allocated and expended only for
the purposes of those special funds as provided by law.