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Maine Constitution Art. 04 Part 1

Article IV. — Part First.
House of Representatives.

Section 1. Legislative department; style of acts. The legislative power shall be vested in 2 distinct branches, a House of Representatives, and a Senate, each to have a negative on the other, and both to be styled the Legislature of Maine, but the people reserve to themselves power to propose laws and to enact or reject the same at the polls independent of the Legislature, and also reserve power at their own option to approve or reject at the polls any Act, bill, resolve or resolution passed by the joint action of both branches of the Legislature, and the style of their laws and Acts shall be, “Be it enacted by the people of the State of Maine.”

Section 2. Number of Representatives; biennial terms; division of the State into districts for House of Representatives. The House of Representatives shall consist of 151 members, to be elected by the qualified electors, and hold their office 2 years from the day next preceding the first Wednesday in December following the general election. The Legislature which convenes in 1983 and every 10th year thereafter shall cause the State to be divided into districts for the choice of one Representative for each district. The number of Representatives shall be divided into the number of inhabitants of the State exclusive of foreigners not naturalized according to the latest Federal Decennial Census or a State Census previously ordered by the Legislature to coincide with the Federal Decennial Census, to determine a mean population figure for each Representative District. Each Representative District shall be formed of contiguous and compact territory and shall cross political subdivision lines the least number of times necessary to establish as nearly as practicable equally populated districts. Whenever the population of a municipality entitles it to more than one district, all whole districts shall be drawn within municipal boundaries. Any population remainder within the municipality shall be included in a district with contiguous territory and shall be kept intact.

Section 3. Submission of reapportionment plan to Clerk of House; Legislature’s action on commission’s plan. The apportionment plan of the commission established under Article IV, Part Third, Section 1-A shall be submitted to the Clerk of the House no later than 120 calendar days after the convening of the Legislature in which apportionment is required. In the preparation of legislation implementing the plan, the commission, following a unanimous decision by commission members, may adjust errors and inconsistencies in accordance with the standards set forth in this Constitution, so long as substantive changes are not made. The Legislature shall enact the submitted plan of the commission or a plan of its own by a vote of 2/3 of the Members of each House within 30 calendar days after the plan of the commission is submitted. Such action shall be subject to the Governor’s approval as provided in Article IV, Part Third, Section 2.

In the event that the Legislature shall fail to make an apportionment within 130 calendar days after convening, the Supreme Judicial Court shall, within 60 days following the period in which the Legislature is required to act, but fails to do so, make the apportionment. In making such apportionment, the Supreme Judicial Court shall take into consideration plans and briefs filed by the public with the court during the first 30 days of the period in which the court is required to apportion.

The Supreme Judicial Court shall have original jurisdiction to hear any challenge to an apportionment law enacted by the Legislature, as registered by any citizen or group thereof. If any challenge is sustained, the Supreme Judicial Court shall make the apportionment.

Section 4. Qualifications; residency requirement. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, unless the person shall, at the commencement of the period for which the person is elected, have been 5 years a citizen of the United States, have arrived at the age of 21 years, have been a resident in this State one year; and for the 3 months next preceding the time of this person’s election shall have been, and, during the period for which elected, shall continue to be a resident in the district which that person represents.

No person may be a candidate for election as a member of the House of Representatives unless, at the time of the nomination for placement on a primary, general or special election ballot, that person is a resident in the district which the candidate seeks to represent.

Section 5. Election of Representatives; lists of votes delivered forthwith; lists of votes examined by Governor; summons of persons who appear to be elected; lists shall be laid before the House. The meetings within this State for the choice of Representatives shall be warned in due course of law by qualified officials of the several towns and cities 7 days at least before the election, and the election officials of the various towns and cities shall preside impartially at such meetings, receive the votes of all the qualified electors, sort, count and declare them in open meeting; and a list of the persons voted for shall be formed, with the number of votes for each person against that person’s name. Cities and towns belonging to any Representative District shall hold their meetings at the same time in the respective cities and towns; and such meetings shall be notified, held and regulated, the votes received, sorted, counted and declared in the same manner. Fair copies of the lists of votes shall be attested by the municipal officers and the clerks of the cities and towns and the city and town clerks respectively shall cause the same to be delivered into the office of the Secretary of State forthwith. The Governor shall examine the returned copies of such lists and 7 days before the first Wednesday of December biennially, shall issue a summons to such persons as shall appear to have been elected by a plurality of all votes returned, to attend and take their seats. All such lists shall be laid before the House of Representatives on the first Wednesday of December biennially, and they shall finally determine who are elected.

Section 6. Vacancies. Whenever the seat of a member shall be vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise the vacancy may be filled by a new election.

Section 7. To choose own officers. The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker, clerk and other officers.

Section 8. Power of impeachment. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Source: http://maine.gov/legis/const/ (accessed October 26, 2011)

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This entry was last modified: October 26, 2011 03:02 PM

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