Constitution of the State of Utah

Taken from the Utah Road to Statehood See also modifications


Section 1. [Power vested in senate and house.] The Legislative power of the State shall be vested in a Senate and House of Representatives, which shall be designated The Legislature of the State of Utah.

Sec. 2. [Time of regular sessions.] Regular Sessions of the Legislature shall be held bi-ennially at the seat of government; and, except the first session thereof shall begin on the second Monday in January next after the election of members of the House of Representatives.

Sec. 3. [Members, how and when chosen.] The members of the House of Representatives, after the first election, shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the respective representative districts, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1896, and biennially thereafter. Their term of office shall be two years, from the first day of January next after their election.

Sec. 4. [Senators, how and when chosen.] The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the respective senatorial districts, at the same times and places as members of the House of Representatives, and their term of office shall be four years from the first day of January next after their election: Provided, That the senators elected in 1896 shall be divided by lot into two classes as nearly equal as may be; seats of senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of two years, and those of the second class at the expiration of four years; so that one-half, as nearly as possible, shall be chosen biennially thereafter. In case of increase in the number of senators, they shall be annexed by lot to one or the other of the two classes, so as to keep them nearly equal as practicable.

Sec. 5. [Who eligible as legislator.] No person shall be eligible to the office of senator or representative, who is not a citizen of the United States, twenty-five years of age, a qualified voter in the district from which he is chosen, a resident for three years of the State, and for one year of the district from which he is elected.

Sec. 6. [Who ineligible.] No person holding any public office of profit or trust under authority of the United States, or of this State, shall be a member of the Legislature: Provided, That appointments in the State Militia, and the offices of notary public, justice of the peace, United States commissioner, and postmaster of the fourth class, shall not, within the meaning of this section, be considered offices of profit or trust.

Sec. 7. [Ineligibility of member to office created, etc.] No member of the Legislature, during the term for which he was elected, shall be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the term for which he was elected.

Sec. 8. [Privilege from arrest.] Members of the Legislature, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during each session of the Legislature, for fifteen days next preceding each session, and in returning therefrom; and for words used in any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 9. [Compensation of members.] The members of the Legislature shall receive such per diem and mileage as the Legislature may provide, not exceeding four dollars per day, and ten cents per mile for the distance necessarily traveled going to and returning from the place of meeting on the most usual route, and they shall receive no other pay or perquisite.

Sec. 10. [Each house to judge of election, etc., of its members. Expulsion.] Each house shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members, and may punish them for disorderly conduct, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member for cause.

Sec. 11. [Majority is quorum. Attendance compelled.] A majority of the members of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact 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 each house may prescribe.

Sec. 12. [Rules. Choosing officers.] Each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings and choose its own officers and employees.

Sec. 13. [Elections to fill vacancies.] The Governor shall issue writs of election to fill vacancies that may occur in either house of the Legislature.

Sec. 14. [Journals. Yeas and nays.] Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, which, except in case of executive sessions, shall be published, and the yeas and nays on any question, at the request of five members of such house, shall be entered upon the journal.

Sec. 15. [Sessions to be public. Adjournments.] All sessions of the Legislature, except those of the Senate while sitting in executive session, shall be public; and neither house, without the consent of the other, shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be holding session.

Sec. 16. [Duration of sessions.] No regular session of the Legislature (except the first, which may sit ninety days) shall exceed sixty days, except in cases of impeachment. No special session shall exceed thirty days, and in such special session, or when a regular session of the Legislature trying cases of impeachment exceeds sixty days, the members shall receive for compensation only the usual per diem and mileage.

Sec. 17. [Impeachment by house.] The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, but in order to impeach, two-thirds of all the members elected must vote therefor.

Sec. 18. [Id. Trial by Senate.] All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate, and senators, when sitting for that purpose, shall take oath or make affirmation to do justice according to the law and the evidence. When the Governor is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators elected.

Sec. 19. [Id. Judgment. Prosecution by law.] The Governor and other State and Judicial officers, except justices of the peace, shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit in the State. The party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to prosecution, trial and punishment according to law.

Sec. 20. [Id. Service of articles.] No person shall be tried on impeachment, unless he shall have been served with a copy of the articles thereof, at least ten days before the trial, and after such service he shall not exercise the duties of his office until he shall have been acquitted.

Sec. 21. [Removal of officers.] All officers not liable to impeachment shall be removed for any of the offenses specified in this article, in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 22. [Enacting clause. Passage and amendments of law.] The enacting clause of every law shall be: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Utah," and no bill or joint resolution shall be passed, except with the assent of the majority of all the members elected to each house of the Legislature and after it has been read three times. The vote upon the final passage of all bills shall be by yeas and nays; and no law shall be revised or amended by reference to its title only; but the act as revised, or section amended, shall be re-enacted and published at length.

Sec. 23. [Bill to contain only one subject.] Except general appropriation bills, and bills for the codification and general revision of laws, no bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.

Sec. 24. [Presiding officers to sign bills.] The presiding officer of each house, in the presence of the house over which he presides, shall sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature, after their titles have been publicly read immediately before signing, and the fact of such signing shall be entered upon the journal.

Sec. 25. [When acts take effect.] All acts shall be officially published, and no act shall take effect until so published; nor until sixty days after the adjournment of the session at which it passed, unless the Legislature by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, shall otherwise direct.

Sec. 26. [Enumeration of private laws forbidden.] The Legislature is prohibited from enacting any private or special laws in the following cases:

1. Granting divorce.

2. Changing the names of persons or places, or constituting one person the heir-at-law of another.

3. Locating or changing county seats.

4. Regulating the jurisdiction and duties of Justices of the Peace.

5. Punishing crimes and misdemeanors.

6. Regulating the practice of courts of justice.

7. Providing for a change of venue in civil or criminal actions.

8. Assessing and collecting taxes.

9. Regulating the interest on money.

10. Changing the law of descent or succession.

11. Regulating county and township affairs.

12. Incorporating cities, town or villages; changing or amending the charter of any city, town or village; laying out, opening, vacating or altering town plats, highways, streets, wards, alleys or public grounds.

13. Providing for sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors or others under disability.

14. Authorizing persons to keep ferries across streams within the State.

15. Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures.

16. Granting to an individual, association or corporation any privilege, immunity or franchise.

17. Providing for the management of common schools.

18. Creating, increasing or decreasing fees, percentages or allowances of public officers during the term for which said officers are elected or appointed.

The Legislature may repeal any existing special law relating to the foregoing subdivisions.

In all cases where a general law can be applicable, no special law shall be enacted.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny or restrict the power of the legislature to establish and regulate the compensation of fees of county and township officers; to establish and regulate the rates of freight, passage, toll and charges of railroads, toll roads, ditch, flume and tunnel companies, incorporated under the laws of the State or doing business therein.

Sec. 27. [Legislature cannot release certain debts.] The Legislature shall have no power to release or extinguish, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or obligation of any corporation or person to the state, or to any municipal corporation therein.

Sec. 28. [Lotteries forbidden.] The Legislature shall not authorize any game of chance, lottery or gift enterprise under any pretense or for any purpose.

Sec. 29. [Municipal powers not to be delegated.] The legislature shall not delegate to any special commission, private corporation or association, any power to make, supervise or interfere with any municipal improvement, money, property or effects, whether held in trust or otherwise, to levy taxes, to select a capitol site, or to perform any municipal functions.

Sec. 30. [Extra compensation to officers and contractors forbidden.] The Legislature shall have no power to grant, or authorize any county or municipal authority to grant, any extra compensation, fee or allowance to any public officer, agent, servant or contractor, after service has been rendered or a contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part, nor pay or authorize the payment of any claim hereafter created against the State, or any county or municipality of the State, under any agreement or contract made without authority of law: Provided, That this section shall not apply to claims incurred by public officers in the execution of the laws of the State.

Sec. 31. [Lending public credit forbidden.] The Legislature shall not authorize the State, or any county, city, town, township, district or other political subdivision of the State to lend its credit or subscribe to stock or bonds in aid of any railroad, telegraph or other private individual or corporate enterprise or undertaking.

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