Article III - LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
Section 1. Legislative power -- Enacting clause -- Referendum -- Initiative. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a senate and house of representatives. The enacting clause of every bill shall be as follows: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho."
The people reserve to themselves the power to approve or reject at the polls any act or measure passed by the legislature. This power is known as the referendum, and legal voters may, under such conditions and in such manner as may be provided by acts of the legislature, demand a referendum vote on any act or measure passed by the legislature and cause the same to be submitted to a vote of the people for their approval or rejection.
The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws, and enact the same at the polls independent of the legislature. This power is known as the initiative, and legal voters may, under such conditions and in such manner as may be provided by acts of the legislature, initiate any desired legislation and cause the same to be submitted to the vote of the people at a general election for their approval or rejection.
Section 2. Membership of house and senate. (1) Following the decennial census of 1990 and in each legislature thereafter, the senate shall consist of not less than thirty nor more than thirty-five members. The legislature may fix the number of members of the house of representatives at not more than two times as many representatives as there are senators. The senators and representatives shall be chosen by the electors of the respective counties or districts into which the state may, from time to time, be divided by law.
(2) Whenever there is reason to reapportion the legislature or to provide for new congressional district boundaries in the state, or both, because of a new federal census or because of a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, a commission for reapportionment shall be formed on order of the secretary of state. The commission shall be composed of six members. The leaders of the two largest political parties of each house of the legislature shall each designate one member and the state chairmen of the two largest political parties, determined by the vote cast for governor in the last gubernatorial election, shall each designate one member. In the event any appointing authority does not select the members within fifteen calendar days following the secretary of state’s order to form the commission, such members shall be appointed by the Supreme Court. No member of the commission may be an elected or appointed official in the state of Idaho at the time of designation or selection.
(3) The legislature shall enact laws providing for the implementation of the provisions of this section, including terms of commission members, the method of filling vacancies on the commission, additional qualifications for commissioners and additional standards to govern the commission. The legislature shall appropriate funds to enable the commission to carry out its duties.
(4) Within ninety days after the commission has been organized or the necessary census data are available, whichever is later, the commission shall file a proposed plan for apportioning the senate and house of representatives of the legislature with the office of the secretary of state. At the same time, and with the same effect, the commission shall prepare and file a plan for congressional districts. Any final action of the commission on a proposed plan shall be approved by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the commission. All deliberations of the commission shall be open to the public.
(5) The legislative districts created by the commission shall be in effect for all elections held after the plan is filed and until a new plan is required and filed, unless amended by court order. The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction over actions involving challenges to legislative apportionment.
(6) A member of the commission shall be precluded from serving in either house of the legislature for five years following such member’s service on the commission.
Section 3. Term of office. The senators and representatives shall be elected for the term of two years, from and after the first day of December next following the general election.
Section 4. Apportionment of legislature. The members of the legislature following the decennial census of 1990 and each legislature thereafter shall be apportioned to not less that thirty nor more than thirty-five legislative districts of the state as may be provided by law.
Section 5. Senatorial and representative districts. A senatorial or representative district, when more than one county shall constitute the same, shall be composed of contiguous counties, and a county may be divided in creating districts only to the extent it is reasonably determined by statute that counties must be divided to create senatorial and representative districts which comply with the constitution of the United States. A county may be divided into more than one legislative district when districts are wholly contained within a single county. No floterial district shall be created. Multi-member districts may be created in any district composed of more than one county only to the extent that two representatives may be elected from a district from which one senator is elected. The provisions of this section shall apply to any apportionment adopted following the 1990 decennial census.
Section 6. Qualifications of members. No person shall be a senator or representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and an elector of this state, nor anyone who has not been for one year next preceding his election an elector of the county or district whence he may be chosen.
Section 7. Privilege from arrest. Senators and representatives in all cases, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, and shall not be liable to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor during the ten days next before the commencement thereof; nor shall a member, for words uttered in debate in either house, be questioned in any other place.
Section 8. Sessions of legislature. The sessions of the legislature shall be held annually at the capital of the state, commencing on the second Monday of January of each year, unless a different day shall have been appointed by law, and at other times when convened by the governor.
Section 9. Powers of each house. Each house when assembled shall choose its own officers; judge of the election, qualifications and returns of its own members, determine its own rules of proceeding, and sit upon its own adjournments; but neither house shall, without the concurrence of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting.
Section 10. Quorum, adjournments and organization. A majority of each house 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 such house may provide. A quorum being in attendance, if either house fail to effect an organization within the first four days thereafter, the members of the house so failing shall be entitled to no compensation from the end of the said four days until an organization shall have been effected.
Section 11. Expulsion of members. Each house may, for good cause shown, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members, expel a member.
Section 12. Secret sessions prohibited. The business of each house, and of the committee of the whole shall be transacted openly and not in secret session.
Section 13. Journal. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house on any question shall at the request of any three members present, be entered on the journal.
Section 14. Origin and amendment of bills. Bills may originate in either house, but may be amended or rejected in the other, except that bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives.
Section 15. Manner of passing bills. No law shall be passed except by bill, nor shall any bill be put upon its final passage until the same, with the amendments thereto, shall have been printed for the use of the members; nor shall any bill become a law unless the same shall have been read on three several days in each house previous to the final vote thereon: provided, in case of urgency, two-thirds of the house where such bill may be pending may, upon a vote of the yeas and nays, dispense with this provision. On the final passage of all bills, they shall be read at length, section by section, and the vote shall be by yeas and nays upon each bill separately, and shall be entered upon the journal; and no bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of the members present.
Section 16. Unity of subject and title. Every act shall embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith, which subject shall be expressed in the title; but if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be embraced in the title.
Section 17. Technical terms to be avoided. Every act or joint resolution shall be plainly worded, avoiding as far as practicable the use of technical terms.
Section 18. Amendments to be published in full. No act shall be revised or amended by mere reference to its title, but the section as amended shall be set forth and published at full length.
Section 19. Local and special laws prohibited. The legislature shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say:
Regulating the jurisdiction and duties of justices of the peace and constables.
For the punishment of crimes and misdemeanors.
Regulating the practice of the courts of justice.
Providing for a change of venue in civil or criminal actions.
Changing the names of persons or places.
Authorizing the laying out, opening, altering, maintaining, working on, or vacating roads, highways, streets, alleys, town plats, parks, cemeteries, or any public grounds not owned by the state.
Summoning and impaneling grand and trial juries, and providing for their compensation.
Regulating county and township business, or the election of county and township officers.
For the assessment and collection of taxes.
Providing for and conducting elections, or designating the place of voting.
Affecting estates of deceased persons, minors, or other persons under legal disabilities.
Extending the time for collection of taxes.
Giving effect to invalid deeds, leases or other instruments.
Refunding money paid into the state treasury.
Releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or obligation of any person or corporation in this state, or any municipal corporation therein.
Declaring any person of age, or authorizing any minor to sell, lease or incumber his or her property.
Legalizing as against the state the unauthorized or invalid act of any officer.
Exempting property from taxation.
Changing county seats, unless the law authorizing the change shall require that two-thirds of the legal votes cast at a general or special election shall designate the place to which the county seat shall be changed; provided, that the power to pass a special law shall cease as long as the legislature shall provide for such change by general law; provided further, that no special law shall be passed for any one county oftener than once in six years.
Restoring to citizenship persons convicted of infamous crimes.
Regulating the interest on money.
Authorizing the creation, extension or impairing of liens.
Chartering or licensing ferries, bridges or roads.
Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures.
Providing for the management of common schools.
Creating offices or prescribing the powers and duties of officers in counties, cities, townships, election districts, or school districts, except as in this constitution otherwise provided.
Changing the law of descent or succession.
Authorizing the adoption or legitimization of children.
For limitation of civil or criminal actions.
Creating any corporation.
Creating, increasing or decreasing fees, percentages, or allowances of public officers during the term for which said officers are elected or appointed.
Section 20. Gambling prohibited. (1) Gambling is contrary to public policy and is strictly prohibited except for the following:
a. A state lottery which is authorized by the state if conducted in conformity with enabling legislation; and
b. Pari-mutuel betting if conducted in conformity with enabling legislation; and
c. Bingo and raffle games that are operated by qualified charitable organizations in the pursuit of charitable purposes if conducted in conformity with enabling legislation.
(2) No activities permitted by subsection (1) shall employ any form of casino gambling including, but not limited to, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, bacarrat, keno and slot machines, or employ any electronic or electromechanical imitation or simulation of any form of casino gambling.
(3) The legislature shall provide by law penalties for violations of this section.
(4) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following are not gambling and are not prohibited by this section:
a. Merchant promotional contests and drawings conducted incidentally to bona fide nongaming business operations, if prizes are awarded without consideration being charged to participants; and
b. Games that award only additional play.
Section 21. Signature of bills and resolutions. All bills or joint resolutions passed shall be signed by the presiding officers of the respective houses.
Section 22. When acts take effect. No act shall take effect until sixty days from the end of the session at which the same shall have been passed, except in case of emergency, which emergency shall be declared in the preamble or in the body of the law.
Section 23. Compensation of members. The legislature shall have no authority to establish the rate of its compensation and expense by law. There is hereby authorized the creation of the citizens committee on legislative compensation, which shall consist of six members, three to be appointed by the governor and three to be appointed by the supreme court, whose terms of office and qualifications shall be as provided by law. Members of the committee shall be citizens of the state of Idaho other than public officials holding an office to which compensation is attached. The committee shall, on or before the last day of November of each even-numbered year, establish the rate of compensation and expenses for services to be rendered by members of the legislature during the two-year period commencing on the first day of December of such year. The compensation and expenses so established shall, on or before such date, be filed with the secretary of state and the state controller. The rates thus established shall be the rates applicable for the two-year period specified unless prior to the twenty-fifth legislative day of the next regular session, by concurrent resolution, the senate and house of representatives shall reject or reduce such rates of compensation and expenses. In the event of rejection, the rates prevailing at the time of the previous session, shall remain in effect.
The officers of the legislature, including committee chairmen, may, by virtue of the office, receive additional compensation as may be provided by the committee. No change in the rate of compensation shall be made which applies to the legislature then in office except as provided herein.
When convened in extra session by the governor, no such session shall continue for a period longer than twenty days.
Section 24. Promotion of temperance and morality. The first concern of all good government is the virtue and sobriety of the people, and the purity of the home. The legislature should further all wise and well directed efforts for the promotion of temperance and morality.
Section 25. Oath of office. The members of the legislature shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take or subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator (or representative, as the case may be) according to the best of my ability." And such oath may be administered by the governor, secretary of state, or judge of the Supreme Court, or presiding officer of either house.
Section 26. Power and authority over intoxicating liquors. From and after the thirty-first day of December in the year 1934, the legislature of the state of Idaho shall have full power and authority to permit, control and regulate or prohibit the manufacture, sale, keeping for sale, and transportation for sale, of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.
Section 27. Continuity of state and local governmental operations. The legislature, in order to insure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack or in periods of emergency resulting from the imminent threat of such disasters, shall have the power and the immediate duty (1) to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices, and (2) to adopt such other measures as may be necessary and proper for so insuring the continuity of governmental operations. In the exercise of the powers hereby conferred, the legislature shall in all respects conform to the requirements of this constitution except to the extent that in the judgment of the legislature so to do would be impracticable or would admit of undue delay.
Section 28. Marriage. A marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.