Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ConCon Agenda for Dummies

Our not very transparent legislature has finally published the agenda for tomorrow's Constitutional Convention (ConCon). Show time is Thursday, November 9th, 1 p.m.

The list follows by item number and order in the agenda, with very brief explanations for some. The three biggies are the DOMA-style amendments -- 19 and 20 -- and the right to health care -- 3.

If you have the time and stomach for it, you can read all the details here. If you do this, you should also open a tab or browser to the commonwealth's constitution for reference, here.

Note that in normal circumstances, those reported from committee as Ought NOT to pass are feel good and show off for the folks at home amendments. They normally fail, particularly those from the legislature, which require 101 of 200 ConCon votes to pass.

In the case of 20, only a 50 vote approval advances them to next year's ConCon for another vote. Only if it passes both votes in identical form, can a ballot initiative amendment get on the general election form.
  • 6. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution allowing absentee voting. (voting from home).
  • 11. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution relative to vacancies in the Governor’s Council. (election within six months with no provision for the governor to appoint)
  • 12. Ought NOT to pass Amendment to the Constitution relative to the certification of judges. (six year terms)
  • 13. Ought NOT to pass Amendment to the Constitution establishing county government. (10 counties of same population in the commonwealth)
  • 14. Ought to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution relative to emergency appointments of elected officials. (The Legislature can appoint replacement officials in emergencies, including terrorist attacks)
  • 15. Ought to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution authorizing the General Court to provide for absentee voting by any voter.
  • 16. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution relative to a vacancy in the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor. (LG would be come governor and governor could appoint LG)
  • 17. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution to change the length of term for Representatives and Senators from two years to four years.
  • 18. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution relative to redistricting for the House of Representatives, Senate and Governor’s Council. (create a bipartisan redistricting commission)
  • 19. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (DOMA-style with no civil unions)
  • 20. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (DOMA-style with no further same-sex marriages; no mention of civil unions)
  • 21. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting eminent domain takings for the purpose of economic development.
  • 2. Second approval vote Legislative Amendment to the Constitution creating a permanent "Rainy Day" fund to provide stable revenues for the Commonwealth.
  • 9. Ought NOT to pass Legislative Amendment to the Constitution establishing an independent redistricting commission and criteria for redistricting.
  • 3. Second approval vote An Initiative Amendment to the Constitution relative to the provision of health insurance. (constitutional right to physical and mental health care)

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