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SEC. 15. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
SEC. 16. Private property shall not be taken for public uses, without just compensation.
SEC. 17. The people shall continue to enjoy and freely exercise all the rights of fishery, and the privileges of the shore, to which they have been heretofore entitled under the charter and usages of this state. But no new right is intended to be granted, nor any existing right impaired, by this declaration.
SEC. 18. The military shall be held in strict subordination to the civil authority. And the law martial shall be used and exercised in such cases only as occasion shall necessarily require.
SEC. 19. No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time of peace, without the consent of the owner; nor, in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.
SEC. 20. The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, unless published from malicious motives, shall be sufficient defence to the person charged.
SEC. 21. The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or for other purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.
SEC. 22. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
SEC. 23. The enumeration of the foregoing rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.
Of the Qualification of Electors.
SEC. I. Every male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who has had his residence and home in this state for one year, and in the town or city in which he may claim a right to vote, six months next preceding the time of voting, and who is really and truly possessed in his own right of real estate in such town or city of the value of one hundred and thirty-four dollars over and above all incumbrances, or which shall rent for seven dollars per annum over and above any rent reserved or the interest of any incumbrances thereon, being an estate in fee simple, fee tail, for the life of any person, or an estate in reversion or remainder, which qualifies no other person to vote, the conveyance of which estate, if by deed, shall have been recorded at least ninety days, shall thereafter have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers and on all questions in all legal town or ward meetings so long as he continues so qualified. And if any person hereinbefore described shall own any such estate within this state out of
the town or city in which he resides, he shall have a right to vote in the election of all general officers and members of the general assembly in the town or city in which he shall have had his residence and home for the term of six months next preceding the election, upon producing a certificate from the clerk of the town or city in which his estate lies, bearing date within ten days of the time of his voting, setting forth that such person has a sufficient estate therein to qualify him as a voter; and that the deed, if any, has been recorded ninety days.
SEC. 2. Every male native citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who has had his residence and home in this state two years, and in the town or city in which he may offer to vote, six months next preceding the time of voting, whose name is registered pursuant to the act calling the convention to frame this constitution, or shall be registered in the office of the clerk of such town or city at least seven days before the time he shall offer to vote, and before the last day of December in the present year; and who has paid or shall pay a tax or taxes assessed upon his estate within this state and within a year of the time of voting to the amount of one dollar, or who shall voluntarily pay, at least seven days before the time he shall offer to vote, and be fore said last day of December, to the clerk or treasurer of the town or city where he resides, the sum of one dollar, or such sum as with his other taxes shall amount to one dollar, for the support of public schools therein, and shall make proof of the same, by the certificate of the clerk, treasurer or collector of any town or city where such payment is made or who, being so registered, has been enrolled in any military company in this state, and done military service or duty therein, within the present year, pursuant to law, and shall, (until other proof is required by law) prove by the certificate of the officer legally commanding the regiment, or chartered, or legally authorized volunteer company in which he may have served or done duty, that he has been equiped and done duty according to law, or by the certificate of the commissioners upon military claims, that he has performed military service, shall have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers, and on all questions in all legally organized town or ward meetings, until the end of the first year after the adoption of this constitution, or until the end of the year eighteen hundred and fortythree.
From and after that time, every such citizen who has had the residence herein required, and whose name shall be registered in the town where he resides, on or before the last day of December, in the year next preceding the time of his voting, and who shall show by legal proof, that he has for and within the year next preceding the time he shall offer to vote, paid a tax or taxes assessed against him in any town or city in this state, to the amount of one dollar, or that he has been enrolled in a military company in this state, been equiped and done duty therein, according to law, and at least for one day during such year, shall have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers, and on all questions, in all legally organized town or ward meetings: Provided, that no person shall at any time be allowed to vote in the election of the city council of the city of Providence, or upon any proposition to impose a tax or for the expenditure of money in any town or city, unless he shall within the year next preceding, have paid a tax assessed upon his property therein, valued at least at one hundred and thirty-four dollars.
SEC. 3. The assessors of each town or city shall annually assess upon every person whose name shall be registered, a tax of one dollar, or such sum as with his other taxes shall amount to one dollar, which registry tax shall be paid into the treasury of such town or city, and be applied to the
support of public schools therein: but no compulsory process shall issue for the collection of any registry tax: Provided, that the registry tax of every person who has performed military duty according to the provisions of the preceding section, shall be remitted for the year he shall perform such duty; and the registry tax assessed upon any mariner, for any year while he is at sea, shall, upon his application, be remitted; and no person shall be allowed to vote whose registry tax for either of the two years next preceding the time of voting is not paid or remitted as herein provided.
SEC. 4. No person in the military, naval, marine or any other service of the United States, shall be considered as having the required residence by reason of being employed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval station in this state and no pauper, lunatic, person non compos mentis, person under guardianship, or member of the Narragansett tribe of Indians, shall be permitted to be registered or to vote. Nor shall any person convicted of bribery, or of any crime deemed infamous at common law, be permitted to exercise that privilege, until he be expressly restored thereto by act of the general assembly.
SEC. 5. Persons residing on lands ceded by this state to the United States shall not be entitled to exercise the privilege of electors.
SEC. 6. The general assembly shall have full power to provide for a registry of voters, to prescribe the manner of conducting the elections, the form of certificates, the nature of the evidence to be required in case of a dispute as to the right of any person to vote, and generally to enact all laws necessary to carry this article into effect, and to prevent abuse, corruption, and fraud in voting.
Of the Distribution of Powers.
The powers of the government shall be distributed into three departments: the legislative, executive and judicial.
Of the Legislative Power.
SEC. 1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and any law inconsistent therewith shall be void. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this constitution into effect.
SEC. 2. The legislative power, under this constitution, shall be vested in two houses, the one to be called the senate, the other the house of representatives; and both together the general assembly. The concurrence of the two houses shall be necessary to the enactment of laws. The style of their laws shall be, It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows.
SEC. 3. There shall be two sessions of the general assembly holden annually one at Newport, on the first Tuesday of May, for the purposes of election and other business; the other on the last Monday of October, which last session shall be holden at South Kingstown once in two years,
and the intermediate years alternately at Bristol and East-Greenwich; and an adjourment from the October session shall be holden annually at Providence.
SE 4. No member of the general assembly shall take any fee, or be of counsel, in any case pending before either house of the general assembly, under penalty of forfeiting his seat, upon proof thereof to the satisfaction of the house of which he is a member.
SEC. 5. The person of every member of the general assembly shall be exempt from arrest and his estate from attachment in any civil action, during the session of the general assembly, and two days before the commencement and two days after the termination thereof, and all process served contrary hereto shall be void. For any speech in debate in either house, no member shall be questioned in any other place.
SEC. 6. Each house shall be the judge of the elections and qualifications of its members; and a majority shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as may be prescribed by such house or by law. The organization of the two houses may be regulated by law, subject to the limitations contained in this constitution.
SEC. 7. Each house may determine its rules of proceeding, punish contempts, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same
SEC. 8. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings. The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.
SEC. 9. Neither house shall, during a session, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than two days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.
SEC. 10. The general assembly shall continue to exercise the powers they have heretofore exercised, unless prohibited in this constitution.
SEC. 11. The senators and representatives shall receive the sum of one dollar for every day of attendance, and eight cents per mile for travelling expenses in going to and returning from the general assembly. The general assembly shall regulate the compensation of the governor and all other officers, subject to the limitations contained in this constitution.
SEC. 12. All lotteries shall hereafter be prohibited in this state, except those already authorized by the general assembly.
SEC. 13. The general assembly shall have no power, hereafter, without the express consent of the people, to incur state debts to an amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars, except in time of war, or in case of insurrection or invasion; nor shall they in any case, without such consent, pledge the faith of the state for the payment of the obligations of others. This section shall not be construed to refer to any money that may be deposited with this state by the government of the United States.
SEC. 14. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall be required to every bill appropriating the public money or property for local or private purposes.
SEC. 15. The general assembly shall, from time to time, provide for making new valuations of property, for the assessment of taxes, in such manner as they may deem best. A new estimate of such property shall be taken before the first direct state tax after the adoption of this constitution, shall be assessed.
SEC. 16. The general assembly may provide by law for the continuance in office of any officers of annual election or appointment, until other persons are qualified to take their places.
SEC. 17. Hereafter, when any bill shall be presented to either house of the general assembly, to create a corporation for any other than for religious, literary or charitable purposes, or for a military or fire company, it shall be continued until another election of members of the general assembly shall have taken place, and such public notice of the pendency thereof shall be given as may be required by law.
SEC. 18. It shall be the duty of the two houses, upon the request of either, to join in grand committee for the purpose of electing senators in congress, at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by law for said elections.
Of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1. The house of representatives shall never exceed seventy-two members, and shall be constituted on the basis of population, always allowing one representative for a fraction exceeding half the ratio; but each town or city shall always be entitled to at least one member; and no town or city shall have more than one sixth of the whole number of members to which the house is hereby limited. The present ratio shall be one representative to every fifteen hundred and thirty inhabitants, and the general assembly may, after any new census taken by the authorty of the United States or of this state, re-apportion the representation by altering the ratio; but no town or city shall be divided into districts for the choice of representatives.
SEC. 2. The house of representatives shall have authority to elect its speaker, clerks, and other officers. The senior member from the town of Newport, if any be present, shall preside in the organization of the house.
Of the Senate.
SEC. 1. The senate shall consist of the lieutenant governor and of one senator from each town or city in the state.
SEC. 2. The governor, and, in his absence, the lieutenant governor, shall preside in the senate and in grand committee. The presiding officer