CHAPTER 507

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 84

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 3 & 4

AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2

TO

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, RELATING TO INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Article II of the Constituion of the State of Delaware by striking Section 1 in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof a new section, which shall read as follows:

"41. Legislative power; reservation of power to the people

Section 1. The legislative power of this State, except as hereinafter provided, shall be vested in the General Assembly which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The people reserve for themselves, however, the power of initiative to propose laws and amendments to the Constitution, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the General Assembly, and also reserve the power of referendum at their own option to approve or reject at the polls any act or resolution or item, section, or part of any act or resolution passed by the General Assembly and approved by the Governor or passed by the General Assembly over the veto of the Governor."

Section 2. Amend Article II of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding thereto a new section, designated as Section 26, which new Section shall read as follows:

"126. Initiative

Section 26. The power of initiative may be invoked by petition wherein the proposed measure shall be set forth at length. The petition shall be signed by so many electors sit shall constitute 10% of the total votes for Governor cast at the general election next preceeding the filing of such petition. A petition thus signed shall be filed with the State Election Commissioner who shall submit the measure thus proposed to the electors of the state at the first

general election held not less than four months after such petition shall have been filed. If the measure proposed by petition shall be enacted by the General Assembly and approved by the Governor, or passed over the veto of the Governor, then the proposal shall not be submitted at the General Election under the provisions of this section. A measure initiated shall become law when a majority of the votes cast thereon, are cast in favor thereof, and shall take effect upon proclamation by the Governor which shall be made within ten days after the official canvass of such votes. The vote upon initiative measures shall be returned and canvassed in the manner prescribed for the Office of Governor.

This Constitution may be amended by initiative and this method of submitting and adopting amendments to the Constitution shall be supplementary to the method prescribed in Article XVI, Section 1, of this Constitution.

If conflicting measures submitted to the people at the same election be approved, the one receving the highest number of affirmative votes shall thereby become law as to all conflicting provisions. Only the title or proper descriptive words of measures shall be printed on the ballot; and, when two or more measures have the same title, they shall be numbered consecutively in the order of filing with the State Election Commissioner and the number shall be followed by the name of the first petitioner on the corresponding petition. The Constitutional limitations as to the scope and subject matter of bills or resolutions enacted by the General Assembly shall apply to those enacted by initiative."

Section 3. Amend Article II of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by adding thereto a new Section, to be designated as Section 27, which new Section shall read as follows:

"127. Referendum; effective date of act

Section 27. No act or resolution shall take effect until 60 days after its enactment; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to an act or resolution of the General Assembly, passed with the concurrence of 2/3 of all members elected to each House, which makes an emergecy appropriation required for the continued operation of the State, or provides for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, such necessity to be expressed in the preamble or body of the act or resolution.

The power of referendum may be invoked by petition against any act or resolution or item, section, or part of any act or resolution passed by the General Assembly and approved

by the Governor, or passed by the General Assembly over the veto of the Governor. The petition shall be signed by so many electors as shall constitute 3% of the total votes for Governor cast at the general election next preceeding the filing of such petition. A petition thus signed shall be filed with the State Election Commissioner within 90 days after the act or resolution sought to be referred was approved by the Governor or passed by the General Assembly over the veto of the Governor. Such petition shall set out the title of the act or resolution against which the referendum is invoked, and in addition thereto, when only a portion of the act or resolution is sought to be referred, the number of the section or sections or portions of sections of the act or resolution designating such portion. When the referendum is thus invoked, the Election Commissioner shall refer the same to the electors of the state for approval or rejection at the first general election held not less than 30 days after the filing of such petition.

When the referendum is invoked as to any act or resolution or item, section, or part of any act or resolution other than one which makes an emergency appropriation required for the continued operation of the state, or provides for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, it shall suspend the taking effect of such act or resolution, or item, section or part of such act until the same has been approved by the electors of the state. Within 10 days after the official canvass of votes on such referendum, the Governor shall proclaim the results of such referendum. The vote upon referendum measures shall be returned and canvassed in the manner prescribed for the Office of Governor."

Approved July 12, 1978.