JUNIOR STATE OF AMERICA PACIFIC NORTHWEST CONSTITUTION
Amended and Adopted 4.2007
We, as students determined to achieve a better understanding of the governmental process and the dynamics of politics, to increase awareness of contemporary issues, and to encourage responsible leadership qualities in high school students, do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of the Pacific Northwest Junior State of America.
Article I: Name and Boundaries
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Pacific Northwest Junior State of America (PNWJSA).
Section 2. The PNWJSA shall be composed of the states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Alaska and that portion of Montana west of the Continental Divide of the United States of America shall be considered territories of the PNWJSA.
Article II: The Chapter
Section 1. A Chapter of the PNWJSA may be formed by a minimum of eight (8) students in the same high school who have submitted their annual membership taxes to the Governor. A high school student shall be defined by the chapter’s local school board. No student shall apply for official membership unless applying through an authorized chapter.
Section 2. Each chapter must be approved by their high school’s administration and have a teacher/advisor from their school’s faculty
Section 3. Each chapter of the PNWJSA shall have a constitution approved by the PNWJSA Governor as its governing document. Once authorized, a chapter need resubmit their constitution to the Governor only when amendments have been made to that document.
Section 4. No chapter shall deny the members thereof a republican form of government.
Section 5. Each chapter’s constitution shall define the chapter leader as the Chapter President.
Article III: The Region
Section 1. The PNWJSA may be divided into various regions, the exact numbers, boundaries, and names of which shall be determined by the Governor with a simple majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents (COCP). No one person or chapter shall belong to more than one region.
Section 2. No region shall deny the members thereof a republican form of government.
Section 3. The chief executive officer of the region shall be the Mayor.
Section 4. The Mayor shall have the authority to establish any departments necessary and proper for the functioning of the region and with the authority to appoint or remove any department directors and department members of the region throughout his/her term of office. All appointments shall be subject to confirmation by a simple majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents.
Article III: Legislative Branch
Section 1. The legislative powers of the PNWJSA shall be vested in a Council of Chapter Presidents.
Section 2. The Council of Chapter Presidents shall be composed of the Chapter President or duly appointed representative of each official chapter of the PNWJSA.
Section 3. The Council of Chapter Presidents shall meet twice a year at major conventions at which at least two thirds (2/3rds) of the chapters are in attendance.
Section 4. Official business may be conducted only when a quorum of two thirds (2/3rds) of the chapters are represented at a COCP meeting.
Section 5. The Council of Chapter Presidents may consider bylaws concerning the governing of the PNWJSA. All by-laws passed by the COCP, before taking effect, shall be presented to the Governor; if s/he approves, s/he shall sign it; but if not, s/he shall return it with his/her objections to the COCP which shall proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds (2/3rds) of the COCP agrees to pass the by-law, it shall take effect.
Section 6. The official rules of procedure for the Council of Chapter Presidents shall be the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The COCP may establish its own officers and other rules of procedure consistent with Roberts Rules of Order.
Article IV: Executive Branch of the State
Section 1. The elected officers of the executive branch of the PNWJSA shall be the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor.
The Governor shall be the chief executive officer of the PNWJSA.
i. The Governor shall have the power to charter chapters. A chapter becomes chartered when the Governor approves its constitution and receives its taxes. If a constitution is not approved, the Governor shall return it to the chapter with recommendations for resubmission.
ii. The Governor shall have the authority to establish any departments necessary and proper for the functioning of the state and have the authority to appoint or remove any department directors and department members throughout her/his term of office. All appointments shall be subject to confirmation by a simple majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents.
iii. The Governor shall be responsible for all programs of the PNWJSA and for preparing a PNWJSA financial report which must be submitted to the Council of Chapter Presidents.
iv. The Governor shall be responsible for making a State of the State address at each meeting of the Council of Chapter Presidents including but not limited to, the State’s finances, upcoming events and status of chapter affairs and expansion efforts.
v. The Governor shall have the power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Council of Chapter Presidents, to create regions within the PNWJSA and define their boundaries.
vi. Should any office become vacant for which there is no replacement provided herein, the Governor shall appoint a replacement who will be subject to confirmation by a simple majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents.
vii. The Governor shall have the power to call an emergency session of the Council of Chapter should it be deemed necessary.
Section 3. The Lieutenant Governor shall be the second-ranking official of the PNWJSA.
i. The Lt. Governor shall act as Governor, either temporarily (until such time as the Governor returns to office), or permanently, should that office be vacant.
ii. The Lt. Governor shall call into session and preside over the Council of Chapter and shall have all rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereof, but shall not have a vote, unless they be equally divided.
iii. The Lt. Governor shall assist the Governor in administering the programs of the PNWJSA.
iv. The Lt. Governor shall conduct all elections for PNWJSA state and regional, offices unless he/she is a candidate. In that case, or in the case of her/his absence, the Governor, with the Advice and Consent of the Council of Chapter Presidents, shall appoint a replacement to preside over elections.
v. The Lt. Governor shall appoint, with the Advice and Consent of the Council of Chapter Presidents, a three (3) member Fair Elections Committee (FEC) to enforce election related by-laws and resolve disputes between candidates. FEC members shall be unbiased and shall not support any candidate for state or regional office. The Lt. Governor shall serve as chair of the Fair Elections Committee, except when the Lt. Governor is a candidate, in which case the Governor shall appoint a chair who shall be approved by the FEC members.
vi. Before June 1st the Lt. Governor shall distribute copies of the PNWJSA constitution, copies of all by-laws of the constitution, and copies of all resolutions passed by the Council of Chapter Presidents to the Governor, the Governor-elect, and the Lt. Governor-elect.
Article VI: Elections
Section 1. Any member of the PNWJSA is eligible for the candidacy of the offices of either Governor or Lieutenant Governor. Candidates for Mayor and Vice Mayor must be an authorized member of the region they are campaigning to represent and candidates for the Senate must attend a chapter in the district they are campaigning to represent.
Section 2. The terms of all elected officials shall be the 1st of June the year of election to the 31st of May the following year.
Section 3. All elections for state and regional offices shall occur at either, Fall State Convention, Winter Congress or the Spring State Convention.
Section 4. Any tax-paid member of a chartered chapter, registered and attending the IER Winter Congress or Spring State Convention at which the election takes place is a qualified voter in the election. Each tax-paid member present will represent one (1) vote.
Section 5 A candidate must receive over 50% of the votes to be elected, except in cases of unopposed candidates, who shall need 60% of the vote. If no candidate received over 50% of the votes, the top two names shall be retained on the ballot for a revote until a candidate has received 50%.
Section 6. The Council of Chapter Presidents shall establish any other rules necessary regarding voting and elections at the Fall State meeting of the COCP.
Section 7. The official rules of procedure for elections shall be the current version of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
Section 8. No person shall run for more than one state, regional and/or district position simultaneously. Neither shall any person hold more than one of said positions simultaneously.
Article VII: Affirmation of Office
Section 1. Before any member of the PNWJSA shall assume any office, that member
must say the following affirmation:
“I, (state your name), affirm to faithfully fulfill the duties of the office of _____________ of the Pacific Northwest Junior State; to at all times uphold the Constitution of the Pacific Northwest Junior State; to exhibit conduct becoming of a student leader; and to provide effective leadership for my constituents and the Pacific Northwest Junior State to the best of my abilities.”
Article VIII: Removal of Elected Officials
Section 1. Impeachment charges against elected officials may be filed to the Governor or Lt. Governor by a petition of ten percent of the current membership of the state or Region of which s/he is an officer.
Section 2. The person charges shall have the opportunity to be heard before an emergency meeting of the Council of Chapter Presidents within 30 days of charges being filed.
Section 3. A vote of no less than two thirds of the Council of Chapter Presidents shall be required for removal from office following impeachment.
Article IX: Amendments
Section 1. Constitutional Amendments must be passed by two thirds (2/3rds) of the
Council of Chapter Presidents and ratified by a vote of two thirds (2/3rds) of the registered delegates attending a Fall State or Spring State Convention where at least two thirds (2/3rds) of the tax-paid chapters are represented in attendance.
Article XIII: Ratification
This Constitution shall be ratified upon a two-thirds vote the State Council of Chapter Presidents, and the signature of the Governor.
Article XIV: The Basic Rights of a member
Section 1. All members of the Pacific Northwest Junior State shall enjoy equal protection under the PNWJSA Constitution. No member shall be denied any rights or privileges entitled to them through the PNWJSA Constitution without the proper action according to the law established by the Constitution.
Section 2. The Pacific Northwest Junior State shall not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, nationality, class standing, sexual orientation, religious preference, or political affiliation.
Section 3 The Pacific Northwest Junior State shall at no time be affiliated with any political party, organization, or political lobby.
Section 4. The Pacific Northwest Junior State shall at all times remain non-profit, non- secret, non-partisan, and non-sectarian.
Section 5. The enumeration in the PNWJSA, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the members of this organization.
Section 6. The conduct of all members of the Pacific Northwest Junior State shall at all JSA functions reflect the established rules and regulations of the Junior State of America, the student’s school, and national, state and local laws.
Section 7. The powers not delegated to the Pacific Northwest Junior State, nor prohibited by it to the chapters, are reserved to the chapters respectively, or to the people.
Section 8. The right of members of the PNWJSA to be represented shall not be denied or abridged on any account. This includes, but is not limited to, voting, legislative representation, and chapter representation.
These changes shall take effect on April 22, 2007 and, if approved, no elections for the position of Senator will be held henceforth.