AS OF APRIL 8, 2016
We, the students of the Southern California Junior State of America, determined to achieve a better understanding of the governmental process, increase our awareness of contemporary issues, promote civil activism in politics, encourage good leadership qualities and responsibility in high school students, and allow every individual the right to achieve the highest degree of involvement one wishes to obtain, do hereby establish this Constitution of the Southern California Junior State of America.
ARTICLE I: NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Southern California Junior State of America. The organization may be referred to as the Junior State.
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. All members of the Junior State shall enjoy equal protection under the Constitution and shall not be denied any rights or privileges entitled to them without proper action according to the law as established within this Constitution.
Section 2. Membership in the Junior State shall be granted to any high school student who has paid the annual State Membership Tax and belongs to or intends to start a Junior State chapter. A high school student shall be defined as one in grades nine (9) through twelve (12).
ARTICLE III: FORMING A CHAPTER
Section 1. The Junior State chapter may be formed by a minimum of eight students at a high school who have paid the annual State Membership Tax.
Section 2. These chapter governments shall not deny the citizens thereof a republican form of government and will elect or appoint officials based on their Chapter Constitution.
Section 3. The chapter will be chartered by the SoCal JSA Governor upon receipt and approval of the chapter’s “Chapter Leadership Form” and “Tax Form.”
Section 4. New chapters and chapters who have updated and/or amended their Chapter Constitution must send a copy to the SoCal JSA Governor.
ARTICLE IV: REGIONS
Section 1. The Junior State shall be divided into various regions, the exact boundaries of each to be determined by the respected regional constitution with the approval of the SoCal JSA Governor.
Section 2. No person or chapter may belong to more than one (1) region and the members of the region are to be the only voters in their regional elections.
Section 3. The regional government shall not deny the citizens thereof a republican form of government.
ARTICLE V: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY
Section 1. The Junior State Assembly shall have the authority to adopt the platform of the Junior State of America. This platform shall be the official stance of the Junior State on youth related issues and shall be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Assembly.
Section 2. Each chapter is entitled to up to two Assembly Members. No chapter shall be denied representation in the Assembly.
Subsection 1. Each chapter only has one (1) vote in the assembly, regardless of the number of Assembly Members in the chapter.
Section 3. All members of the Speaker’s Department shall be members of the Junior State Assembly. Members of the Speaker’s Department are representatives of the State, and therefore do not take up assembly seats from their chapters.
Section 4. The Assembly shall establish its own governing rules as it deems necessary and proper.
ARTICLE VII: LEADERSHIP OF THE STATE
Section 1. The Governor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Junior State. The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor shall have the authority to establish a Southern California Junior State of America Cabinet and agencies necessary and proper for the well-being of the Junior State. The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor have the authority, with the advice and consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the State Senate to create new departments and appoint heads of such department and agencies.
Section 2. The Governor shall be responsible for all Junior State programs and the annual budget. The Governor shall be responsible for providing at least one official report of progress and concerns to the State Senate before Fall State and Spring State.
Section 3. The Lieutenant Governor shall preside over the State Senate. The Lieutenant Governor shall be responsible for chairing the Fair Elections Committee or selecting a chair for the committee.
Subsection 1. All election procedures shall be dictated by the Head Chair of the Fair Elections Committee and established in the Fair Elections Committee Handbook and Fair Elections Committee Bylaws, aside from the regulations explicitly stated in the Southern California Junior State of America Constitution. The Fair Elections Committee Handbook and Fair Elections Committee Bylaws will be ratified yearly by the State Senate with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote. The Lieutenant Governor must present the Fair Elections Committee Handbook and Fair Elections Committee Bylaws and the Senate must ratify them before Winter Congress, or both the previous year’s Fair Elections Committee Handbook and Fair Elections Committee Bylaws will be used.
Section 4. The State Speaker shall preside over the Junior State Assembly.
Section 5. Each Cabinet department will be responsible for the duties allocated to them by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
Section 5. The Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor in the event that the office is vacated. Should any office be vacated for which there is no established replacement, the Governor shall appoint a tax-paid Junior State member to that office within a period of two (2) weeks. The appointment must be reviewed and ratified by the State Senate within two (2) weeks following the Governor’s action. If the State Senate does not review an appointment within a two (2) week period, then the appointment is considered ratified by inaction.
ARTICLE VIII: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE
Section 1. The legislative authority of the Southern California Junior State shall be vested in the State Senate.
Section 2. Each region shall elect two (2) representatives to comprise the State Senate.
Section 3. The State Senate shall interpret the State Constitution.
Section 4. The State Senate shall review and approve the yearly budget and gubernatorial appointments.
Section 5. Every bill passed by the State Senate shall, before becoming a bylaw, will be presented to the SoCal JSA Assembly by a SoCal JSA Senator. To pass, the bill must receive a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the gathered Assembly. If it fails, it goes back to the Senate with suggestions for revisions. If it passes, it is presented to the Governor of the Junior State. If that person approves, that person shall sign it; if not that person shall return it with his or her objections to the State Senate that shall proceed to reconsider it. If a bill is not returned by the Governor within 7 days after first presented to him or her, it shall be enacted as law.
Section 6. The Lieutenant Governor shall preside over the State Senate. If the Lieutenant Governor is not present, the President Pro-Tempore of the State Senate, who shall be elected by the body, will preside. Meetings may be called either by the Lieutenant Governor or the President Pro-Tempore.
ARTICLE IX: ELECTION PROCEDURES
Section 1. The Junior State Fair Elections Committee (FEC) shall be responsible for conducting the election of statewide and regional officers of the Junior State through a popular vote. The Fair Elections Committee shall consist of a combination of Senators and cabinet members as selected by the FEC Head Chair.
Subsection 1. If deemed necessary by the FEC Head Chair, that person can enlist non-cabinet members to serve on the Fair Elections Committee.
Section 2. Each tax-paid JSA member is entitled to exactly one vote at Spring State for each office.
Section 3. Any tax-paid member of a chapter is eligible for any office.
Section 4. No candidate, besides Senator, shall be elected unless that person has the votes of more than fifty percent (50%) of those present and voting.
Subsection 1. The two senatorial candidates with the largest percentage of total votes within their region will be elected.
Section 5. The term of office shall begin on June 1 and terminate May 31 of the following year. If an executive officer resigns before the term ends, the Governor shall appoint a replacement with the approval of the State Senate.
Section 6. There shall be a limit on campaign expenditures for all Junior State candidates. These figures shall be established by the FEC in the Fair Elections Committee Bylaws.
Section 7. Before any member of the Junior State may assume any office of the Junior State that person must take the following oath: “I do Solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Junior State of America; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of this government; that I take this obligation freely, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.”
ARTICLE X: RATIFICATION AND AMENDMENTS
Section 1. This Constitution shall take effect upon ratification by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Junior State Assembly.
Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution shall be written by the Junior State Senate and take effect upon ratification by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Junior State Senate and a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Junior State Assembly.