Page images
PDF
EPUB

except upon the condition that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution and the laws passed in pursuance thereof.

Sec. 64. In all the cases enumerated in the last section, and in every other case which, in its judgment, may be provided for by general laws, the General Assembly shall enact general laws. Any general law shall be subject to amendment or repeal, but the amendment or partial repeal thereof shall not operate directly or indirectly to enact, and shall not have the effect of the enactment of a special, private, or local law.

No general or special law shall surrender or suspend the right and power of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, to tax corporations and corporate property, except as authorized by Article Thirteen. No private corporation, association, or individual shall be specially exempted from the operation of any general law, nor shall its operation be suspended for the benefit of any private corporation, association, or individual.

Sec. 65. The General Assembly may, by general laws, confer upon the boards of supervisors of counties, and the councils of cities and towns, such powers of local and special legislation, as it may from time to time deem expedient, not inconsistent with the limitations contained in this Constitution.

Sec. 66. The Clerk of the House of Delegates shall be Keeper of the Rolls of the State but shall receive no compensation from the State for his services as such.

The General Assembly by general law shall prescribe the number of employees of the Senate and House of Delegates, including the clerks thereof, and fix their compensation at a per diem for the time actually employed in the discharge of their duties.

Sec. 67. The General Assembly shall not make any appropriation of public funds, of personal property, or of any real estate, to any church, or sectarian society, association, or institution of any kind whatever, which is entirely or partly, directly or indirectly, controlled by any church or sectarian society; nor shall the General Assembly make any like appropriation to any charitable institution, which is not owned or controlled by the State; except that it may, in its discretion, make appropriations to non-sectarian institutions for the reform of youthful criminals; but nothing herein contained shall prohibit the General Assembly from authorizing counties, cities, or towns to make such appropriations to any charitable institution or association.

Sec. 68. The General Assembly shall, at each regular session, appoint a standing committee, consisting of two members of the Senate and three

2

members of the House of Delegates, which shall be known as the Auditing Committee. Such committee shall annually, or oftener in its discretion, examine the books and accounts of the First Auditor, the State Treasurer, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and other executive officers at the seat of government whose duties pertain to auditing or accounting for the state revenue, report the result of its investigations to the Governor, and cause the same to be published in two newspapers of general circulation in the State. The Governor shall, at the beginning of each session, submit said reports to the General Assembly for appropriate action. The committee may sit during the recess of the General Assembly, receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and employ one or more accountants to assist in its investigations.

ARTICLE V.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.

Sec. 69. The chief executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor. He shall hold office for a term of four years, to commence on the first day of February next succeeding his election, and be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected, and to any other office during his term of service.

Sec. 70. The Governor shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the time and place of choosing members of the General Assembly. Returns of the election shall be transmitted, under seal, by the proper officers, to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, who shall deliver them to the Speaker of the House of Delegates on the first day of the next session of the General Assembly. The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall, within one week thereafter, in the presence of a majority of the Senate and of the House of Delegates, open the returns, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected; but if two or more shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen Governor by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. Contested elections for Governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 71. No person except a citizen of the United States shall be eligible to the office of Governor; and if such person be of foreign birth, he must have been a citizen of the United States for ten years next preceding his election; nor shall any person be eligible to that office unless he shall

[ocr errors]

have attained the age of thirty years, and have been a resident of the State for five years next preceding his election.

Sec. 72. The Governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive five thousand dollars for each year of his service, and while in office shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.

Sec. 73. The Governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the General Assembly, at every session, the condition of the State; recommend to its consideration such measures as he may deem expedient, and convene the General Assembly on application of two-thirds of the members of both houses thereof, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the State may require. He shall be commanderin-chief of the land and naval forces of the State; have power to embody the militia to repel invasion, suppress insurrection and enforce the execution of the laws; conduct, either in person or in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign states; and, during the recess of the General Assembly, shall have power to suspend from office for misbehavior, incapacity, neglect of official duty, or acts performed without due authority of law, all executive officers at the seat of government except the Lieutenant-Governor; but, in any case in which this power is so exercised, the Governor shall report to the General Assembly, at the beginning of the next session thereof, the fact of such suspension and the cause therefor, whereupon the General Assembly shall determine whether such officer shall be restored or finally removed; and the Governor shall have power, during the recess of the General Assembly, to appoint, pro tempore, successors to all officers so suspended, and to fill, pro tempore, vacancies in all offices of the State for the filling of which the Constitution and laws make no other provision; but his appointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the General Assembly. He shall have power to remit fines and penalties in such cases, and under such rules and regulations, as may be prescribed by law, and except when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates, to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction; to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offences committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution, and to commute capital punishment; but he shall communicate to the General Assembly, at each session, particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same.

Sec. 74. The Governor may require information in writing, under

oath, from the officers of the executive department and superintendents of state institutions upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices and institutions; and he may inspect at any time their official books, accounts and vouchers, and ascertain the condition of the public funds in their charge, and in that connection may employ accountants. He may require the opinion in writing of the Attorney-General upon any question of law affecting the official duties of the Governor.

Sec. 75. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and be attested by the Governor, with the seal of the Commonwealth annexed.

Sec. 76. Every bill, which shall have passed the Senate and House of Delegates, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but, if not, he may return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its journal and proceed to reconsider the same. If, after such consideration, two-thirds of the members present, which two-thirds shall include a majority of the members elected to that house, shall agree to pass the bill it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by twothirds of all the members present, which two-thirds shall include a majority of the members elected to that house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objections. The Governor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object. The item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner heretofore provided in this section as to bills returned to the General Assembly without his approval. If he approve the general purpose of any bill, but disapprove any part or parts thereof, he may return it, with recommendations for its amendment, to the house in which it originated, whereupon the same proceedings shall be had in both houses upon the bill and his recommendations in relation to its amendment, as is above provided in relation to a bill which he shall have returned without his approval, and with his objections thereto: provided, that if after such reconsideration, both houses, by a vote of a majority of the members present in each, shall agree to amend the bill in accordance with his recommendations in relation thereto, or either house by such vote shall fail or refuse to so amend it, then, and in either case the bill shall be again sent to him, and he may act upon it as if it were then before him for the first time. But in all the cases above set forth the votes of both houses shall be determined by ayes and noes, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill, or item or items of an appropriation bill, shall be entered on the journal

[ocr errors]

of each house. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly shall, by final adjournment, prevent such return; in which case it shall be a law if approved by the Governor in the manner and to the extent above provided, within ten days after such adjourment, but not otherwise.

Sec. 77. A Lieutenant-Governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as the Governor, and his qualifications and the manner and ascertainment of his election, in all respects, shall be the same.

Sec. 78. In case of the removal of the Governor from office, or of his death, failure to qualify, resignation, removal from the State, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, shall devolve upon the Lieutenant-Governor; and the General Assembly shall provide by law for the discharge of the executive functions in other necessary cases.

Sec. 79. The Lieutenant-Governor shall be president of the Senate, but shall have no vote except in case of an equal division; and while acting as such, shall receive a compensation equal to that allowed to the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Sec. 80. A Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained as in the case of the Governor. He shall keep a daily record of the official acts of the Governor, which shall be signed by the Governor and attested by the Secretary, and, when required, he shall lay the same, and any papers, minutes and vouchers pertaining to his office, before either house of the General Assembly. He shall discharge such other duties as may be prescribed by law. All fees received by the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be paid into the treasury monthly.

Sec. 81. A State Treasurer shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained in the same manner. His powers and duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 82. An Auditor of Public Accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly for the term of four years. His powers and duties shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 83. The salary of each officer of the Executive Department, except in those cases where the salary is determined by this Constitution, shall be fixed by law; and the salary of no such officer shall be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected or appointed.

« PreviousContinue »