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This Bulletin was prepared by the Legislative Research Commission and paid for from state funds.

The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government."

George Washington

Farewell Address September 17, 1796 FOREWORD

On November 8, 1977, Kentucky voters will decide in favor of or against calling a convention to revise the state Constitution. In anticipation of that event, the Legislative Research Commission directed its staff to prepare informational material to assist the voters as they contemplate this important decision.

This bulletin surveys Kentucky's constitutional development, from the initial Constitution of 1792 through the revisions of 1799, 1850 and 1891, with particular emphasis on the making of the present Constitution in 1890-91. Also included is historical narrrative concerning amendments proposed, revisions attempted, and judicial interpretations of the present Constitution. The document concludes with a description of constitutional revision methods in other states, and a schedule of events leading to the vote next November on the question of major constitutional revision for Kentucky

Many questions arise in considering the possibility of a constitutional convention in 1979. What happens if a convention is called? Who serves at the convention? What if the people of Kentucky do not like what the convention does with the Constitution? The voters of Kentucky should and will be raising questions such as these before casting a vote for or against a constitutional convention

The Legislative Research Commission offers this publication to all Kentuckians concerned with the status of our Constitution, and hopes it will serve as a guide to an enlightened decision on approval or rejection of the proposed constitutional convention.

Mrs. Mary Helen Wilson has done an excellent job of pulling together useful information on constitutional revision in Kentucky and presenting it in an interesting manner. The manuscript was typed by Mrs. Kay Tincher. Mrs. Ann McElroy and Mrs. Sally Tillert typeset the text for publication using LRC'S new photocomposition equipment.


The Capitol
Frankfort, Kentucky
November, 1976

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