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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 605   View pdf image (33K)
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[Nov. 10] DEBATES 605
voted for yesterday, this could serve as a
shock absorber during the periods of the
I would now like to yield three minutes
to Delegate Sollins.
THE CHAIRMAN: I will call on you
later to yield time.
The Chair recognizes Delegate Gallagher.
man and ladies and gentlemen of the Com-
I rise, I might say somewhat reluctantly,
to oppose this amendment, in view of the
wholesale support the sponsors have given
the Committee throughout these debates
that started last Tuesday.
I should point out that the Committee de-
cided with very little difficulty that we
should have a two year general residence
qualification in order to be able to seek a
seat in the General Assembly.
On the question of whether or not this
particular amendment should prevail, the
Committee voted eleven to nine against this
particular amendment, so that it was very
close in the Committee. I believe that the
rationale which we have followed is this:
that we recognize the difficulties in reappor-
tionment and some of the inequities that
are going to occur from time to time. Con-
sequently, all the majority required was
that one be a resident for six months of a
senate district in order to seek either the
senate seat or any of the three house seats
within that single senate district. So one
need not be a resident of the particular
house district, as long as one is a resident
of that same district.
Single-member districting, of course, has
for its objective not only the high visibility
of the candidates and those who hold the
elective office, but also a concern for the
problems of the particular area.
The Committee compromised 13 to 7 on
requiring the six months' residence require-
ment for the senate district office seeker,
either for the senate or for any of the three
house districts, because it wanted the candi-
date for public office to have something
more than a passing acquaintanceship with
the particular senate district itself.
You will note that the old Constitution
had a three year State residence require-
ment, and a one year legislative district or
county residence requirement. We have re-
duced both these figures, have taken the
three year period and reduced it to two for
statewide residence, and we have taken the
one year qualification which used to exist
for a political subdivision, which has now
been translated by virtue of the vote yester-
day into state senatorial districts, and made
that a six month requirement—we have cut
it in half.
We think this is an ideal kind of com-
promise. We do recognize, of course, that
there is a possibility that within a single
senatorial district the three house members
could all come from the one house district.
That is, from a residence point of view.
But we did feel we would be cutting it a
bit too thin if we tried to require that one
must be a six month resident of his par-
ticular house district. We compromised to
try to take care of these inequities we have
to face every ten years or five years, if
there should be a five year Federal census.
In speaking against the amendment I do
so with the suggestion to you that we do
want to require some minimum residence
within the district, and we believe six
months is not too much to ask one to have
resided in a district in order to be able to
represent it either in the Senate or the
House of Delegates.
Therefore, I would respectfully ask you
to support the Committee Recommendation,
and not the amendment which you have be-
fore you.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Hopkins?
I yield three minutes to Delegate Sollins.
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Sollins?
members of the Committee of the Whole,
Delegate Hopkins has very ably presented
all the good reasons for not imposing resi-
dence requirements. I am not going to take
up too much of your time.
I would like to point out just one or two
things: first of all, the Constitutional Con-
vention Commission in its recommenda-
tions, I call your attention to page 130,
agreed with the minority position. At page
130 with regard to this position the Con-
stitutional Convention Commission Report
states that although they are recommend-
ing that there be no requirement that a
legislator be a resident of the district from
which he is elected, it is stated that candi-
dates will almost invariably be such resi-
dents just as are candidates for seats in
A majority of the Commission is of the

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 605   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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