Section 1. The legislative power of the State is vested in the Legislature and extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with this Constitution.
Case annotations: The power of the legislature is to decide what the law shall be, to determine public policy and to frame the laws to reflect that public policy. Siba v. Sigrah, 4 FSM Intrm. 329, 336 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1990).
It is an inconsistency and a conflict with the legislative role in the Kosrae government when a member of the Legislature is made an allottee of funds for a purpose other than the operation of the legislature. Siba v. Sigrah, 4 FSM Intrm. 329, 339 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1990).
The legislature has some discretion as to who it may make an allottee and complete discretion as to the purpose and policies behind the allotment, but the function of the allottee is definitely not legislative in character. Siba v. Sigrah, 4 FSM Intrm. 329, 340 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 1990).
Section 2. The Legislature is composed of fourteen Senators who are elected by the qualified voters of the electoral districts of Lelu, Malem, Tafunsak, and Utwe.
Section 3. Until reapportionment, Senators are apportioned as follows: Lelu elects five Senators; Malem elects three Senators; Tafunsak elects four Senators; and Utwe elects two Senators.
Reapportionment of the Legislature shall be made on the basis of population every ten years.
Section 4. Senators are elected at a general election. The term of office is four years, beginning at noon on the second Tuesday of January following the general election, and ending at noon on the second Tuesday of January following the next general election, except that a Senator may not hold the same office for more than three consecutive terms and is ineligible to hold the same office until at least four years have passed since his last day in office.
(Amended by 1995 Con. Con.)
Section 5. Any vacancy in the Legislature is filled for the unexpired term by special election, except that an unexpired term of less than one year is filled by appointment by the Governor of a resident of the electoral district in which the vacancy exists.
Section 6. No person is eligible to serve as a Senator unless he has been, at the time of election or appointment, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia for not less than ten years, a resident of the State for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding the election, and a resident of his electoral district for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the election or appointment, and is able to read and write, and is not less than twenty-five years of age on the day of election. A person convicted of a felony is not eligible to serve as a Senator unless the person so convicted has received a pardon restoring his civil rights at least five years prior to election or appointment.
(Amended by 1995 Con. Con. Effective upon the first general election after ratification.)
Section 7. No Senator may hold another public office or public employment, nor may he for one year succeeding the term for which he was elected or appointed, be elected or appointed to any public office or employment which was created, or which had its emoluments increased, by legislative act during such term.
Section 8. No Senator may be held to answer before any other tribunal for any statement made or action taken in the exercise of his legislative functions, and Senators are, in all cases except felony or breach of the peace, privileged from arrest during their attendance at sessions or committee meetings of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same.
Section 9. Senators receive compensation as prescribed by law. No law increasing compensation may take effect until the end of the term of office for which the Senators voting thereon were elected.
Section 10. The Legislature shall organize and determine the qualifications of its members on the second Monday of January following the general election, shall convene its meetings on the following day, and may meet regularly for four years. A regular session shall not exceed thirty calendar days, excluding Sundays, provided that the number of regular sessions may be prescribed by law. A special session may be convened at the call of the Governor, or by the Speaker at the written request of two-thirds of the Senators.
(Amended by 1995 Con. Con.)
Section 11. The Legislature is the judge of the qualifications of Senators and may, for misconduct, disorderly behavior, or neglect of duty by a Senator, punish the Senator by censure or upon a vote of three-fourths of the Senators, by suspension or expulsion of the Senator.
Section 12. The Legislature shall choose its own officers, including a Speaker, Vice-Speaker and Floor Leader, determine its rules of procedure, and keep a journal. The Legislature has and may exercise all the authority and attributes inherent in legislative bodies, including the power to institute and conduct investigations, issue subpoenas to witnesses and other concerned parties, and administer oaths.
Section 13. Three-fourths of the Senators constitute a quorum for the conduct of ordinary business, for which a majority vote of the quorum suffices. The final passage of a bill or resolution requires the vote of two-thirds of the Senators taken by a roll call vote and entered in the journal. A smaller number than a quorum may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Senators in a manner and subject to such penalties as the Legislature may prescribe.
Section 14. No law may be passed except by bill. A law may embrace but one subject, which is expressed in its title. The enacting clause of each law is, . Be it enacted by the Kosrae State Legislature..
Section 15. No bill may become law unless it passes two readings in the Legislature on separate days. No bill may pass final reading unless printed copies of the bill in the form to be passed have been made available to the Senators. Resolutions may be adopted upon a single reading in the Legislature.
Section 16. A bill passed by the Legislature shall be certified by the Speaker and the Clerk of the Legislature and thereupon be presented to the Governor. If the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign it and the bill becomes law. The final passage of a bill may not occur less than thirty days prior to the end of the term of the Legislature.
The Governor may veto any specific item or items in any bill which appropriates money for specific purposes by striking out or reducing the item or items, but he may veto other bills only as a whole. If the Governor vetoes any bill, item or items, he shall return the bill with his objections to the Legislature.
The Governor has thirty days to consider a bill presented to him, and the bill becomes law on the thirtieth day if it is neither signed nor returned on or before that day.
Resolutions directed to the Governor shall be answered in writing not later than thirty days after transmitted. If the Governor is requested to take action, the answer shall include a progress statement or the reasons why the action is not feasible.
(Amended by 1995 Con. Con.)
Section 17. Upon receipt of a veto message from the Governor, the Legislature may reconsider the vetoed bill, or the item or items vetoed, and again vote upon the bill, the item or items. The vetoed bill, item or items, become law if approved by a vote with four-fifths of the Senators on one reading. If, upon receipt of a veto message from the Governor, the Legislature is not in session or recess, the Legislature may reconsider the vetoed bill, item or items, in the next regular or special session. A vetoed bill may be amended to meet the objections of the Governor and, if so amended and passed upon one reading, it shall again be presented to the Governor, and becomes law only if signed within ten days after presentation.
(Amended by 1995 Con. Con.)
Section 18. The Governor shall have the laws published in both the Kosraean and English languages within sixty days after they become laws. Resolutions shall be published in both the Kosraean and English languages within sixty days of their adoption by the Legislature. Laws and resolutions so published shall be distributed to public officials and offered for sale to the public at the actual cost of publication. In the event of a conflict between the English language version of a law and the Kosraean language translation of the law, the English language version is controlling.