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Title VI COUNTY, TOWNSHIP AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISION GOVERNMENT

  Chapter 66back to chapter 66

  66.711.  Certain counties of the first classification may adopt alternative form of constitutional charter, procedure — constitution effective when. — 1.  Pursuant to Section 9 of Article VI of the State Constitution, any county of the first classification without a charter form of government may adopt an alternative form of government and frame a county constitution for the vesting of any and all powers the general assembly has the authority to confer, provided such powers are consistent with the constitution of this state and not limited or denied by either the county constitution or by laws of this state, except those powers to regulate and provide for free and open elections.  A county approving the alternative form of government and adopting a county constitution in the manner prescribed by this section shall only impose such taxes as it is authorized by the constitution and law to impose.  The county commission of such a county may authorize the submission of the question set forth in this section by placing such question on the ballot at a county or state general, primary or special election as set by the county commission.  The circuit judges of the circuit where such county is located shall establish a county constitution commission to develop a county constitution if the qualified voters of the county, at a county or state general, primary or special election, approve the following question:

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Shall a commission be chosen by the ______ circuit court (circuit number) to frame a county constitution which shall be submitted to the voters of ______ County (county's name)?
☐ YES ☐ NO

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The election authority shall certify the results of the election to the county commission of the county and the circuit court where such county is located.  If a majority of the votes cast by the qualified voters voting thereon are in favor of the proposal, then the circuit judges of the circuit where such county is located shall establish a commission in the manner prescribed in subsection 2 of this section.  If a majority of the votes cast by the qualified voters voting thereon are opposed to the proposal, the circuit judges shall not establish a county constitution.

  2.  In any county where the question submitted pursuant to subsection 1 of this section is approved, the circuit judges of the circuit where such county is located shall, within sixty days after certification of the election results by the election authority, appoint a commission to frame the county constitution, consisting of fourteen residents of the county who shall serve without pay and be equally divided between the two political parties casting the greater number of votes for governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election.

  3.  The county constitution framed by the commission shall take effect on the day fixed therein and shall supersede any existing county constitution or government, if approved by the majority of the qualified voters of the county voting thereon.  The county constitution shall be submitted by the county constitution commission to the election authority of the county not later than thirty days after the completion of the county constitution or more than one year from the date of the selection of the county constitution commission by the circuit court.  The election authority of the county shall conduct the election at the next available election authorized under state law.  The election shall be conducted under the provisions of chapter 115 and may, at the request of the county constitution commission, be conducted by mail ballot.  The commission may submit for separate vote any parts of the county constitution, or any alternative sections or articles, and the alternative sections or articles receiving the larger affirmative vote shall prevail if a constitution is adopted.

  4.  In addition to notices required under chapter 115, the  election authority shall publish the full text of the county constitution in each newspaper of general circulation in the county at least once a week for at least three weeks, the last publication to be not more than three nor less than two weeks immediately preceding the election.

  5.  The ballot of submission shall contain, but need not be limited to, the following language:

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Shall ______ County adopt the proposed county constitution?
☐ YES ☐ NO

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If a majority of the votes cast by the qualified voters voting thereon are in favor of the proposal, then the county constitution shall be adopted.  If a majority of the votes cast by the qualified voters voting thereon are opposed to the proposal, the county constitution shall not be adopted.  No county constitution shall be submitted to the voters of the county within two years after the election at which a county constitution was defeated, and prior to resubmitting the question of whether to adopt a county constitution to the voters pursuant to this subsection, the county commission shall resubmit the question set forth in subsection 1 of this section to the qualified voters of the county and a majority of the votes cast by the qualified voters voting thereon shall be in favor of the proposal.

  6.  Duplicate certificates shall be made, setting forth the county constitution adopted and its ratification, signed by the election authority of the county after canvassing election returns.  One of such certified copies shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state and the other, after being recorded in the records of the county, shall be deposited among the archives of the county and all courts shall take judicial notice thereof.  This subsection shall also apply to any amendment to the county constitution.

  7.  All amendments to such county constitution shall be approved by the voters and shall become part of the county constitution at the time and under the conditions fixed in the amendments.

  8.  Pursuant to section 1.140, the provisions of this section are severable.  If any provision of this section is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, the remaining provisions of this act* are valid unless the court finds the valid provisions of this act* are so essentially and inseparably connected with, and so dependent upon, the void provision that it cannot be presumed the legislature would have enacted the valid provisions without the void one; or unless the court finds that the valid provisions, standing alone, are incomplete and are incapable of being executed in accordance with the legislative intent.

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(L. 1994 S.B. 700 § 1)

*"This act" (S.B. 700, 1994) contained numerous sections.  Consult Disposition of Sections table for a definitive listing.


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