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An Example of a State Constitution

Dear Source:

I would like to see a copy of the draft constitution being considered made available online to all Virgin Island residents.
Much has been said about general versus specific language and many issues concern residents. If the reader googles “Ohio Constitution” or that of any other state, provisions will be found. I did that for Ohio as I used to practice law there. In law school constitutional law was one of my favorite courses as well as the course in municipal government. I have copied and pasted some provisions which may be of interest to the public and to the Constitutional Convention in particular. While reading these provisions, “legislature” could be substituted for “general assembly,” which is the name of the legislative body at the state level in Ohio. I hope this piques the interest of our electorate and in particular the members of the convention.
Legislative Branch
§ 2.20 Term of office, and compensation of officers in certain cases
[View Article Table of Contents ]
The general assembly, in cases not provided for in this constitution, shall fix the term of office and the compensation of all officers; but no change therein shall affect the salary of any officer during his existing term, unless the office be abolished.
§ 2.22 Appropriations
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, except in pursuance of a specific appropriation, made by law; and no appropriation shall be made for a longer period than two years.
Judicial Branch
§ 4.17 Judges removable
[ View Article Table of Contents ]
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, except in pursuance of a specific appropriation, made by law; and no appropriation shall be made for a longer period than two years.
Judicial Branch
§ 4.17 Judges removable
[ View Article Table of Contents ]
Judges may be removed from office, by concurrent resolution of both houses of the general assembly, if two-thirds of the members, elected to each house, concur therein; but, no such removal shall be made, except upon complaint, the substance of which shall be entered on the journal, nor, until the party charged shall have had notice thereof, and an opportunity to be heard.
Executive Branch
§ 3.19 Compensation
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The officers mentioned in this article shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation to be established by law, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected.
§ 3.11 May grant reprieves, commutations and pardons
[ View Article Table of Contents ]
The Governor shall have power, after conviction, to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, for all crimes and offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions as the Governor may think proper; subject, however, to such regulations, as to the manner of applying for commutations and pardons, as may be prescribed by law. Upon conviction for treason, the Governor may suspend the execution of the sentence, and report the case to the General Assembly, at its next meeting, when the General Assembly shall either pardon, commute the sentence, direct its execution, or grant a further reprieve. The Governor shall communicate to the general assembly, at every regular session, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, stating the name and crime of the convict, the sentence, its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon, or reprieve, with the Governor's reasons therefore.
(As amended January 1, 1996)
Article 1 – Bill of Rights
[Expand Section Text ]
§ 01 Inalienable Rights (1851)
§ 02 Right to alter, reform, or abolish government, and repeal special privileges (1851)
§ 03 Right to assemble (1851)
§ 04 Bearing arms; standing armies; military powers (1851)
§ 05 Trial by jury (1851, amended 1912)
§ 06 Slavery and involuntary servitude (1851)
§ 07 Rights of conscience; education; the necessity of religion and knowledge (1851)
§ 08 Writ of habeas corpus (1851)
§ 09 Bail; cruel and unusual punishments
§ 10 Trial for crimes; witness (1851; amended 1912)
§ 10a Rights of victims of crime
§ 11 Freedom of speech; of the press; of libels (1851)
§ 12 Transportation, etc. for crime (1851)
§ 13 Quartering troops (1851)
§ 14 Search warrants and general warrants (1851)
§ 15 No imprisonment for debt (1851)
§ 16 Redress in courts (1851, amended 1912)
§ 17 Hereditary privileges, etc. (1851)
§ 18 Suspension of laws (1851)
§ 19 Inviolability of private property (1851)
§ 19a Damages for wrongful death (1912)
§ 20 Powers reserved to the people (1851)


§ 12.05a Use of motor vehicle license and fuel taxes restricted
[View Article Table of Contents ]
No moneys derived from fees, excises, or license taxes relating to registration, operation, or use of vehicles on public highways, or to fuels used for propelling such vehicles, shall be expended for other than costs of administering such laws, statutory refunds and adjustments provided therein, payment of highway obligations, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public highways and bridges and other statutory highway purposes, expense of state enforcement of traffic laws, and expenditures authorized for hospitalization of indigent persons injured in motor vehicle accidents on the public highways. (Adopted November 4, 1947; effective January 1, 1948.)
Dena Langdon
St. Thomas

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