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See amend. ments, Art. X.
Bill may be
by two. house, notwith.
The legislative body [shall assemble every year on the last Wednesday in May, and at such other times as they shall judge necessary; and shall dissolve and be dissolved on the day next preceding the said last Wednesday in May; and] shall be styled, THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS.
II. No bill or resolve of the senate or house of representatives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the governor for his revisal; and if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the senate or house of representatives, in whichsoever the same shall have originated, who shall enter the objections sent down by the governor, at large, on their records, and proceed to reconsider the said
bill or resolve ; but if, after such reconsideration, twothirds of each thirds of the said senate or house of representatives shall, standing.
not withstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall have the force of a law : but in all such cases, the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the persons voting for or against the said bill or resolve, shall be entered upon the public records of the Commonwealth.
And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill or resolve shall not be returned by the governor within five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall have the force of a law.
III. The general court shall forever have full power judicatories, and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and courts scurts of record, of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of the
Commonwealth, for the hearing, trying and determining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes and things, whatsoever arising or happening within the Commonwealth, or between or concerning persons inhabiting or residing, or brought within the same; whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether
the said crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the Courts, &c., may said pleas be real, personal or mixed ; and for the award
ing and making out of execution thereupon: to which courts and judicatories are hereby given and granted full
See amend. ments, Art. I.
Gencral court may constitute
may enact laws,
power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy, or depending before them.
IV. And further, full power and authoring are hereby General court given and granted to the said general court, from time to &c., time, to make, ordain and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonablo orders, laws, statutes and ordinances, directions and instructions, either with penalties or without, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitu- not repugnant to tion, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the constitution; this Commonwealth, and for the government and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, and for the necessary support and defence of the government thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by fixed laws, for the may provide for naming and settling, all civil officers within the said Com- appointment of monwealth, the election and constitution of whom are not oilicers ; hereafter in this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several duties, powers and limits, prescribe their of the several civil and military officers of this Commonwealth, and the forms of such oaths, or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them for the execution of their several offices and places so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution ; and to impose taxes; impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates and taxes, upon all the inhabitants of, and persons resident, and estates lying, within the said Commonwealth; and also to impose and levy reasonable duties and excises duties and exupon any produce, goods, wares, merchandise and com- cises; modities whatsoever, brought into, produced, manufactured, or being within the same; to be issued and dis- to be disposed posed of by warrant, under the hand of the governor of protection this Commonwealth, for the time being, with the advice and consent of the council, for the public service, in the necessary defence and support of the government of the said Commonwealth, and the protection and preservation of the subjects thereof, according to such acts as are or shall be in force within the same.
And while the public charges of government, or any Valuation of en part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates, in the manner that has hitherto been practised, in order that such while, &e. assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of estates within the Commonwealth, taken anew once in every ten years at least, and as much oftener as the general court shall order.
tates once in ten years, at least,
See amend. ments, Arts.
Counties to be
Senate. Senate, number [Art. I. There shall be annually elected, by the freeholders and of, and by whom other inhabitants of thisCommonwealth, qualified as in this constitution
is provided, forty persons to be councillors and senators, for the year ensuing their election; to be chosen by the inhabitants of the districts,
into which the Commonwealth may, from time to time, be divided by XIII., XVI.
the general court for that purpose: and the general court, in assigning the numbers to be elected by the respective districts, shall govern themselves by the proportion of the public taxes paid by the said districts; and timely made known, to the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, the limits of each district, and the number of councillors and senators to be chosen therein: provided, that the number of such districts shall never be less than thirteen; and that no district be so large as to entitle the same to choose more than six senators.
And the several counties in this Commonwealth shall, until the districts, until, general court shall determine it necessary to alter the said districts, be
districts for the choice of councillors and senators, (except that the
counties of Dukes county and Nantucket shall form one district for XIII. and XXII. that purpose,) and shall elect the following number for councillors
and senators, viz. :
Suffolk, six; Essex, six ; Middlesex, five; Hampshire, four; Plymouth, three; Barnstable, one; Bristol, three; York, two; Dukes county and Nantucket, one; Worcester, five; Cumberland, one; Lincoln, one ; Berkshire, two.]
II. The Senate shall be the first branch of the legislatime of choosing
ture; (and the senators shall be chosen in the following manner, viz. : there shall be a meeting on the first Monday in April, annually, forever, of the inhabitants of each town in the several counties of this Commonwealth, to be called by the selectmen, and warned in due course of law, at least seven days before the first Monday in April, for the purpose of electing persons to be senators and coun
cillors; and at such meetings every male inhabitant of wants art.II., twenty-one years of age and upwards, having a freehold
estate, within the Commonwealth, of the annual income of three pounds, or any cstate of the value of sixty pounds,
shall have a right to give in his vote for the senators for Word “inhabi. the district of which he is an inhabitant.] And to remove
all doubts concerning the meaning of the word "inhal)itant,” in this constitution, every person shall be considered as an inhabitant, for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this State, in that town, district or plantation where he dwelleth or hath his home.
senators and councillors.
See amend. ments, Arts. II., X., XIV. and XV.
XX., XXIII and XXIV.
pay State taxes,
The selectmen of the several towns shall preside at such Selectmen to
preside at town meetings impartially, and shall receive the votes of all the meetings. inhabitants of such towns, present and qualified to vote for senators, and shall sort and count them in open town meeting, and in presence of the town clerk, who shall make a fair record, in presence of the selectmen, and in open Return of votes. town meeting, of the name of every person voted for, and of the number of votes against his name; and a fair copy of this record shall be attested by the selectmen and the town clerk, and it shall be sealed up, directed to the secretary of the Commonwealth, for the time being, with a see amendsuperscription expressing the purport of the contents ments, Art. II. thereof, and delivered by the town clerk of such towns, to Amendments, the sheriff of the county in which such town lies, thirty days at least before the last Wednesday in May, annually, or it shall be delivered into the secretary's office seventeen days at least before the said last Wednesday in May; and the sheriff of each county shall deliver all such certificates, by him received, into the secretary's office, seventeen days before the said last Wednesday in May.]
And the inhabitants of plantations unincorporated, qual- Inhabitants of ified as this constitution provides, who are or shall be plantations, who empowered and required to assess taxes upon themselves may vote. toward the support of the government, shall have the same privilege of voting for councillors and senators, in the plantations where they reside, as town inhabitants have in their respective towns; and the plantation meetings for Plantation diectthat purpose shall be held, annually, [on the same first ings. Monday in April,] at such place in the plantations, re- ments, Art. X. spectively, as the assessors thereof shall direct; which Assessors to assessors shall have like authority for notifying the elect- notify, &e. ors, collecting and returning the votes, as the selectmen and town clerks have in their several towns, by this constitution. And all other persons living in places unincorporated, (qualified as aforesaid,) who shall be assessed to the support of government, by the assessors of an adjacent town, shall have the privilege of giving in their votes for councillors and senators, in the town where they shall be assessed, and be notified of the place of meeting, by the selectmen of the town where they shall be assessed, for that purpose, accordingly.
III. And that there may be a due convention of sen- Governor and ators (on the last Wednesday in May,) amually, the gov- amire and count ernor, with five of the council, for the time being, shall, votes, and issue as soon as may be, examine the returned copies of such
council to ex.
Senate to be
records; and fourteen days before the said day, he shall ments, Art. I. issue his summons to such persons as shall appear to be
chosen by a majority of voters, to attend on that day, and take their seats accordingly ; [provided, nevertheless, that for the first year, the said returned copies shall be examined by the president and five of the council of the former constitution of government; and the said president shall, in like manner, issue his summons to the persons so elected, that they may take their seats as aforesaid. ]
IV. The senate shall be the final judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of their own members, as pointed out in the constitution ; and shall, on the said (last Wednes
; day in May,] annually, determine and declare who are elected by each district to be senators, [by a majority of votes : and in case there shall not appear to be the full number of senators returned, elected by a majority of
votes, for any district, the deficiency shall be supplied in Vacancies, how the following manner, viz. : The members of the house of
representatives, and such senators as shall be declared elected, shall take the names of such persons as shall be found to have the highest number of votes in such district, and not elected, amounting to twice the number of senators wanting, if there be so many voted for; and out of these, shall elect by ballot a number of senators sufficient to fill up the vacancies in such district; and in this manner
; all such vacancies shall be filled up in every district of the Commonwealth ; and in like manner all vacancies in the senate, arising by death, removal out of the State or otherwise, shall be supplied as soon as may be after such vacancies shall happen.]
V. Provided, nevertheless, that no person shall be
capable of being elected as a senator, (who is not scised XIII. And XXII. in his own right of a freehold, within this Commonwealth,
of the value of three hundred pounds at least, or possessed of personal estate of the value of six hundred pounds at least, or of both to the amount of the same sum, and who has not been an inhabitant of this Commonwealth for the space of five years immediately preceding his election, and, at the time of his election, he shall be an inhabitant in the district for which he shall be chosen.
VI. The senate shall have power to adjourn themselves; provided such adjournments do not exceed two days at a
Senate not to ad. journ more than two days.