Senate

ESTABLISHED OCTOBER 3l, l783 TO TAKE EFFECT JUNE 2, l784 AS SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDED AND IN FORCE DECEMBER 1990

SENATE

[Art.] 25. [Senate, How Constituted.] The senate shall consist of twenty-four members.

June 2, l784. Provided for l2 senators.
Amended l792. Generally rephrased specifying term as one year from the first Wednesday in June.
Amended l877 increasing senators to 24 and providing for 2 year term.
Amended l889 so that term started in January instead of June.
Amended l974 deleting reference to term.

[Art.] 26. [Senatorial Districts, How Constituted.] And that the state may be equally represented in the senate, the legislature shall divide the state into single-member districts, as nearly equal as may be in population, each consi sting of contiguous towns, city wards and unincorporated places, without dividing any town, city ward or unincorporated place. The legislature shall form the single-member districts at its next session after approval of this article by the voters of the state and thereafter at the regular session following each decennial federal census.

June 2, l784. Number of senators elected from each district (county) proportioned to taxes paid by each district.
Amended l792 dividing the state into l2 senatorial districts still based on proportion of taxes paid by the district.
Amended l877 increasing senate to 24 members from single member districts.
Amended l964 providing for election of senators on basis of population.

[Art.] 26-a. [Division of Town, Ward or Place; Senatorial Districts.] Notwithstanding Article 26 or any other article, a law providing for an apportionment to form senatorial districts under Article 26 of Part Second may divide a t own, ward or unincorporated place into two or more senatorial districts if such town, ward or place by referendum requests such division.

November 22, l978

[Art.] 27. [Election of Senators.] The freeholders and other inhabitants of each district, qualified as in this constitution is provided shall biennially give in their votes for a senator, at some meeting holden in the month of Novemb er.

June 2, l784. Annual election of senators at annual meeting in March.
Amended l792 rewording phrases but not changing the meaning.
Amended l877 twice substituting biennial election and sessions for annual elections and sessions and providing for elections in November instead of March.

[Art.] 28. [Senators, How and by Whom Chosen; Right of Suffrage.] (Repealed)

June 2, l784. Senate, first branch of the legislature, elected by male inhabitants 2l years of age and older who pay their own poll tax.
Amended l792 changing wording but not the meaning.
Amended l877 twice, substituting "biennially" for "annually" and "November" for "March."
Amended l958 removing obsolete reference to "male" inhabitants as being the only ones allowed to vote.
Repealed l976. Provisions covered by Article ll.

[Art.] 29. [Qualifications of Senators.] Provided nevertheless, that no person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not of the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been an inhabitant of this state for seven ye ars immediately preceding his election, and at the time thereof he shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he shall be chosen. Should such person, after election, cease to be an inhabitant of the district for which he was chosen, he shall be dis qualified to hold said position and a vacancy shall be declared therein.

June 2, l784
Amended l852 deleting property qualifications.
Amended l877 deleting requirements that senators be Protestant.
Amended l976 adding provision that a senator is disqualified if he moves from his district.

[Art.] 30. [Inhabitant Defined.] And every person, qualified as the constitution provides, shall be considered an inhabitant for the purpose of being elected into any office or place within this state, in the town, or ward, where h e is domiciled.

June 2, l784
Amended l958 substituting "ward" for "parish, and plantation."
Amended l976 twice deleting reference to electing and substituting "is domiciled" for "dwelleth and hath his home."

[Art.] 3l. [Inhabitants of Unincorporated Places; Their Rights, etc.] (Repealed)

June 2, l784. Procedure and qualifications for inhabitants of unincorporated places to vote.
Amended l877 twice providing for biennial instead of annual elections in November instead of March.
Amended l958 deleting reference to plantations and substituting "wards" for "parishes."
Repealed l976. Provisions covered by Part I, Art. ll.

[Art.] 32. [Biennial Meetings, How Warned, Governed, and Conducted; Return of Votes, etc.] The meetings for the choice of governor, council and senators, shall be warned by warrant from the selectmen, and governed by a moderator, w ho 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 wards present, and qualified to vote for senators; and shall, in said meetings, in presence of the sa id selectmen, and of the town or city clerk, in said meetings, 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 or city 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 state, within five days following the election, with a superscription expressing the purport there of.

June 2, l784
Amended l792 generally rewording section.
Amended l889 substituting "January" for "June" regarding notification to secretary of state.
Amended l958 substituting "wards" for "parishes" and added reference to city clerks.
Amended l974 substituting "December" for "January" and "twenty" and "thirty" regarding notification to secretary of state.
Amended l976 changing notification to 5 days after the election.

[Art.] 33. [Secretary of State to Count Votes for Senators and Notify Persons Elected.] And that there may be a due meeting of senators and representatives on the first Wednesday of December, biennially, the secretary of state shal l, as soon as may be, examine the returned copy of such records; and fourteen days before the first Wednesday of December, he shall issue his summons to such persons as appear to be chosen senators and representatives, by a plurality of votes, to attend a nd take their seats on that day.

June 2, l784. President and 3 of the council to issue summons to senators to take their seats.
Amended l792 changing president to governor and specific number of councilors to majority of councilors.
Amended l877 changing annually to biennially.
Amended l889 changing June to January for beginning of session.
Amended l9l2 substituting "plurality of votes" for "majority of votes."
Amended l968 deleting proviso relating to the first year.
Amended l974 changing meeting to first Wednesday of December.
Amended l976 providing that the secretary of state should examine the returns and notify those elected instead of governor.

[Art.] 34. [Vacancies in Senate, How Filled.] And in case there shall not appear to be a senator elected, by a plurality of votes, for any district, the deficiency shall be supplied 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 i n this manner all such vacancies shall be filled up, in every district of the state and in case the person receiving a plurality of votes in any district is found by the Senate not to be qualified to be seated, a new election shall be held forthwith in sa id district. All vacancies in the senate arising by death, removal out of the state, or otherwise, except from failure to elect, shall be filled by a new election by the people of the district upon the requisition of the governor and council, as soon as may be after such vacancies shall happen.

June 2, l784
Amended l792 generally rewording section.
Amended l889 adding provisions for new elections in case of vacancies.
Amended l9l2 providing for plurality of votes instead of majority.
Amended l968 providing for new election if person elected is not qualified.

[Art.] 35. [Senate, Judges of Their Own Elections.] The senate shall be final judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications, of their own members, as pointed out in this constitution.

June 2, l784

[Art.] 36. [Adjournment.] The senate shall have power to adjourn themselves, and 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.

June 2, l784
Amended l792 adding proviso relating to impeachment.
Amended l948 increasing adjournment from 2 days to 5 days.
Amended l966 deleting limitation on adjournment.

[Art.] 37. [Senate to Elect Their Own Officers; Quorum.] The senate shall appoint their president and other officers, and determine their own rules of proceedings: And not less than thirteen members of the senate shall make a quorum f or doing business; and when less than sixteen senators shall be present, the assent of ten, at least, shall be necessary to render their acts and proceedings valid.

June 2, l784
Amended l792 adding "president."
Amended l877 increasing quorum from 7 to l3 and changing assent of 5 when less than 8 present to assent of l0 when less than l6 present.

[Art.] 38. [Senate to Try Impeachments; Mode of Proceeding.] 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 offic ers 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: But previous to the trial of any such impeachment, the members of the sen ate shall respectively be sworn truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence. And every officer, impeached for bribery, corruption, malpractice or maladministration in office, shall be served with an attested c opy 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 s enate 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 the 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 nonappearance notwithstanding; and such judgm ent shall have the same force and effect as if the person impeached had appeared and pleaded in the trial.

June 2, l784
Amended l792 adding mode of proceeding.

[Art.] 39. [Judgment on Impeachment Limited.] 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 co nvicted, shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to the laws of the land.

June 2, l784

[Art.] 40. [Chief Justice to Preside on Impeachment of Governor.] 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.

September 5, l792