Section 1. Separation of powers. The power of the government of this state is divided into three distinct branches--legislative, executive, and judicial. No person or persons charged with the exercise of power properly belonging to one branch shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or permitted.
Section 2. Continuity of government. The seat of government shall be in Helena, except during periods of emergency resulting from disasters or enemy attack. The legislature may enact laws to insure the continuity of government during a period of emergency without regard for other provisions of the constitution. They shall be effective only during the period of emergency that affects a particular office or governmental operation.
Section 3. Oath of office. Members of the legislature and all executive, ministerial and judicial officers, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation, before they enter upon the duties of their offices: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Montana, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity (so help me God)." No other oath, declaration, or test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.
Section 4. Initiative.
(1) The people may enact laws by initiative on all matters except appropriations of money and local or special laws.
(2) Initiative petitions must contain the full text of the proposed measure, shall be signed by at least five percent of the qualified electors in each of at least one-half of the counties and the total number of signers must be at least five percent of the total qualified electors of the state. Petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state at least three months prior to the election at which the measure will be voted upon.
(3) The sufficiency of the initiative petition shall not be questioned after the election is held. History: Amd. Const. Amend. No. 38, approved Nov. 5, 2002.
Section 5. Referendum.
(1) The people may approve or reject by referendum any act of the legislature except an appropriation of money. A referendum shall be held either upon order by the legislature or upon petition signed by at least five percent of the qualified electors in each of at least one-third of the legislative representative districts. The total number of signers must be at least five percent of the qualified electors of the state. A referendum petition shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than six months after adjournment of the legislature which passed the act.
(2) An act referred to the people is in effect until suspended by petitions signed by at least 15 percent of the qualified electors in a majority of the legislative representative districts. If so suspended the act shall become operative only after it is approved at an election, the result of which has been determined and declared as provided by law.
Section 6. Elections. The people shall vote on initiative and referendum measures at the general election unless the legislature orders a special election.
Section 7. Number of electors.
(1) The number of qualified electors required in each legislative representative district and in the state shall be determined by the number of votes cast for the office of governor in the preceding general election.
(2) For the purposes of a constitutional amendment, the number of qualified electors in each county and in the state shall be determined by the number of votes cast for the office of governor in the preceding general election.
(3) For the purposes of a statutory initiative, the number of qualified electors required in each county and in the state shall be determined by the number of votes cast for the office of governor in the preceding general election. History: Amd. Const. Amend. No. 37, approved Nov. 5, 2002; amd. Const. Amend. No. 38, approved Nov. 5, 2002.
Section 8. Prohibition. The provisions of this Article do not apply to CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION, Article XIV.
Section 9. Gambling. All forms of gambling, lotteries, and gift enterprises are prohibited unless authorized by acts of the legislature or by the people through initiative or referendum.