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House of Representatives. Art. I.-There shall be in the Legislature of this Commonwealth, a representation of the people, annually elected, and founded upon the principle of equality.
II.-And in order to provide for a representation of the citizens of this Commonwealth, founded upon the principle of equality, every corporate town, containing one hundred and fifty rateable polls, may elect one Representative : Every corporate town, containing three hundred and seventy-five rateable polls, may elect two representatives : Every corporate town, containing six hundred rateable polls, may elect three representatives; and proceeding in that manner, making two hundred and twenty-five rateable polls the mean increasing number for every additional representative.
Provided, nevertheless, that each town now incorporated, not having one hundred and fifty rateable polls, may elect one Representative: but no place shall hereafier be incorporated with the privilege of electing a Representative, unless there are within the same one hundred and fifty rateable polls.(")
And the House of Representatives shall have power, from time to time, to impose fines upon such towns as shall neglect to choose and return members to the same, agreeably to this Constitution.
The expenses of travelling to the General Assembly, and returning home, once in every session, and no more, shall be paid by the government, out of the public treasury, to every member who shall at
(") See Amendments, Art. 12.
tend as seasonably as he can in the judgment of the House, and does not depart without leave.
III.--Every member of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by written votes; and for one year at least next preceding his election shall have been an inhabitant of, and have been seized in his own right of a freehold of the value of one hundred pounds within the town he shall be chosen to represent, or any rateable estate to the value of two hundred pounds : and he shall cease to represent the said town immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.
IV.-Every male person, being twenty-one years of age, and resident in any particular town in this Commonwealth for the space of one year next preceding, having a freehold estate within the same town, of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds, shall have a right to vote in the choice of a Representative or Representatives for the said town.(0)
V.-The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen annually in the month of May, ten days at least before the last Wednesday of that month.
VI.— The House of Representatives shall be the Grand Inquest of this Commonwealth; and all impeachments made by them shall be heard and tried by the Senate.
VII.-All money bills shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.
(1) See Amendments, Art. 3.
VIII.-The House of Representatives shall have power to adjourn themselves : provided such adjournment shall not exceed two days at a time.
IX.-Not less than sixty members of the House of Representatives shall constitute a quorum for doing business.
X.—The House of Representatives shall be judge of the returns, elections, and qualifications of its own members, as pointed out in the Constitution ; shall choose their own Speaker ; appoint their own officers, and settle the rules and orders of proceeding in their own house : They shall have authority to punish by imprisonment, every person, not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the House, by any disorderly, or contemptuous behavior, in its presence : or who, in the town where the General Court is sitting, and during the time of its sitting, shall threaten harm to the body or estate of any of its members, for any thing said or done in the House ; or who shall assault any of them therefor; or who shall assault, or arrest, any witness, or other person, ordered to attend the House, in his way in going, or returning; or who shall rescue any person arrested by the order of the House.
And no meinber of the House of Representatives shall be arrested, or held to bail on mesne process, during his going unto, returning from, or his attending, the General Assembly.
XI.—The Senate shall have the same powers in the like cases; and the Governor and Council shall have the same authority to punish in like cases. Provided, that no imprisonment on the warrant or order of the Governor, Council, Senate, or House of Representatives, for either of the above described offences, be for a term exceeding thirty days.
And the Senate and House of Representatives may try, and determine, all cases where their rights and privileges are concerned, and which, by the Constitution, they have authority to try and determine, by committees of their own members, or in such other way as they may respectively think best.
Art. I.—There shall be a Supreme Executive Magistrate, who shall be styled, THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS; and whose title shall be HIS EX. CELLENCY.
II.-The Governor shall be chosen annually: And no person shall be eligible to this office, unless at the time of his election, he shall have been an inhabitant of this Commonwealth, for seven years next preceding; and unless he shall at the same time, be seized in his own right, of a freehold within the Commonwealth, of the value of one thousand pounds; and unless he shall declare himself to be of the christian religion.(")
III.—Those persons who shall be qualified to vote for Senators and Representatives within the several towns of this Commonwealth, shall, at a meeting, to be called for that purpose, on the first Monday of April annually, give in their votes for a
(1) See Amendments, Art. 7.
Governor, to the Selectmen, who shall preside at such meetings; and the Town-Clerk, in the presence, and with the assistance of the Selectmen, shall, in open town meeting, sort and count the votes, and form a list of the persons voted for, with the number of votes for each person against his name; and shall make a fair record of the same in the town books, and a public declaration thereof in the said meeting; and shall, in the presence of the inhabitants, seal up copies of the said list, attested by him and the Selectmen, and transmit the sanie to the Sheriff of the county, thirty days at least before the last Wednesday in May; and the Sheriff shall transmit the same to the Secretary's office seventeen days at least before the said last Wednesday in May; or the Selectmen may cause returns of the same to be made to the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth seventeen days at least before the said day; and the Secretary shall lay the same before the Senate and the House of Representatives, on the last Wednesday in May, to be by them examined : And in case of an election by a majority of all the votes returned, the choice shall be by them declared and published: But if no person shall have a majority of votes, the House of Representatives shall, by ballot elect two out of four persons who had the highest number of votes, if so many shall have been voted for ; but, if otherwise, out of the number voted for; and make return to the Senate of the two persons so elected; on which, the Senate shall proceed by ballot, to elect one, who shall be declared Governor.(4)
IV.-The Governor shall have authority, from time to time, at his discretion, to assemble and call together the Counsellors of this Commonwealth for the time being; and the Governor, with the said
(1) See Amendments, Art. 10.