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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 482   View pdf image (33K)
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two days for an 80-40 house and senate
or a unicameral legislature. Of the other
five that were in the majority, I find three
who are sending minority reports that are
presently before you or coming before you,
and of the remaining five or the remaining
four who are listed in the minority report,
they also are on the. minority reports.
I think one factor is clear: there has
been no unanimity in the Legislative Branch
Committee about what the size of the legis-
lature should be, and there certainly is no
unanimity that the size shall be frozen
for all time in the Constitution of Mary-
The Minority Report, members of the
Committee, addresses itself to two ques-
tions: what shall the size of the legislature
be, and who shall decide what the size of
the legislature should be.
Let us take a look for a moment at what
other states do.
It is certainly clear from the information
that I will give you that there is no una-
nimity in other states with respect to size.
They range from sizes in the Senate, for
example, of 18 members in Delaware, to
67 in Minnesota. They range in the lower
house from 35, also in Delaware, to 400
in New Hampshire.
There is another fact that should be
considered by the members of the Commit-
tee of the Whole and that fact is that there
was no unanimity with respect to size as it
relates to population within the states. For
example, let us take two states that are
approximately the same size as Maryland—
and here I must use the 1960 census figures,
because no other is available—Minnesota,
with 3.4 million people and Alabama with
3.3 million people. Minnesota has a Senate
of 67 members and a House of 135. Ala-
bama has a Senate of 35 members and a
House of 106.
Those are on the medium-sized states.
Let us take the larger states.
California has a 40-80 ratio which has
been in effect for a long time. California,
with 15 million people, as compared with
New York's 16 million people has a Senate
of 40. In New York the Senate has 57
members. In the lower house, the House in
California has 80 members and in New
York, 151 members.
Who is to decide what is the right size
for what kind of state? Is it a group of
delegates to this Convention who have
studied this proposition for a period no
longer than two months when these desig-
nations have great consequence?
Let us look at some of the other states
and the changes that have taken effect
since the Supreme Court decisions of 1962
and 1964.
Sixteen states of the union prescribe the
precise number of members of the lower
house in their constitutions, and 19 pre-
scribe the number of members of the
senate. Twelve states provide that there
shall be a maximum, and that there shall
not be a minimum of members in the
house. Ten states prescribe there shall be
a maximum but no minimum in the upper
chamber of the senate.
A number of states have gone into a
solution of the problem by putting a maxi-
mum and a minimum range. In that cate-
gory, there are seven states which provide
for a range of upper and lower limits in
the house. For the, senate there are only
five states. Three states put the proportion
of members of the house in relation to
the number of members of the senate. Two
states put the proportion of the members
of the senate in relation to the number of
members in the house. Six states have an
apportionment formula for the lower house;
four states for the senate.
One state apportions the lower house
with respect to the number of counties. In
the senate there are six states that appor-
tion the members of the senate by their
counties. There are two states that pro-
vide by law for the lower house, and one
provides by law for the upper chamber.
I think that it is clear from those brief
recitations that there absolutely is no uni-
formity in the other 49 States, and 1 ex-
clude here, of course, Nebraska, which has
a unicameral legislature, with respect to
how you deal with this problem.
Turning next to the question of sizes of
state legislatures, and the effect that has
taken place since 1962 and 1964, it is
fundamental to an understanding of this
provision that at least 45 of the 50 states
have reapportioned their legislatures since
those decisions. Another three states are
in the process of doing so.
I do not think it can be safely challenged
that ever in the history of the country has
so much been done in so little time with
respect to apportioning state legislatures.
There has been a tremendous change.
During this period, of all these tremen-
dous changes, sizes, numbers, and where

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 482   View pdf image (33K)
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