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What Are the Miscellaneous Provisions of the California Constitution?

Article 20 was adopted in 1879 as part of the California Constitution

By Chris Micheli, May 30, 2022 7:28 am

Did you know that the Constitution of the State of California actually has “miscellaneous” provisions? Article XX contains ten topics that are lumped together under “Miscellaneous Subjects.” So, what are those provisions?

First, Article 20 was adopted in 1879 as part of the California Constitution. This article contains the following 10 provisions:

Section 1 provides that the County of Sacramento and all or any of the cities within the County of Sacramento may be consolidated as a charter city and county as provided by statute, with the approval of a majority of the electors of the county voting.

Section 1.5 states that the Legislature must protect, by law, from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families.

Section 2 provides that the rights, powers, privileges, and confirmations conferred by Sections 10 and 15 of Article IX in effect on January 1, 1973, relating to Stanford University and the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, are continued in effect.

Section 3 states that the Members of the Legislature, and all public officers and employees, executive, legislative, and judicial, except inferior officers and employees as may be by law exempted, must take and subscribe to an oath set forth in the Constitution before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices. Also the term “public officer and employee” is defined in this section.

Section 4 states the Legislature cannot pass any laws permitting the leasing or alienation of any franchise, so as to relieve the franchise or property held from the liabilities of the lessor or grantor, lessee, or grantee, contracted or incurred in the operation, use, or enjoyment of the franchise, or any of its privileges.

Section 5 specifies that all laws now in force in this State concerning corporations and all laws that may be passed pursuant to this section may be altered from time to time or repealed.

Section 6 requires that any legislator whose term of office is reduced by operation of a constitutional provision adopted by the people in 1972 must be entitled to retirement benefits and compensation as if the term of office had not been reduced.

Section 7 provides that the limitations on the number of terms apply only to terms to which persons are elected or appointed on or after November 6, 1990, except that an incumbent senator whose office is not on the ballot for the general election on that date may serve only one additional term. Those limitations do not apply to any unexpired term to which a person is elected or appointed if the remainder of the term is less than half of the full term.

Section 22 specifies that the State of California, subject to the internal revenue laws of the United States, has the exclusive right and power to license and regulate the manufacture, sale, purchase, possession and transportation of alcoholic beverages within the State. In the exercise of these rights and powers, the Legislature is prohibited from constituting the State or any agency as a manufacturer or seller of alcoholic beverages.

In addition, all alcoholic beverages may be bought, sold, served, consumed and otherwise disposed of in premises which are to be licensed as provided by the Legislature. The sale, furnishing, giving, or causing to be sold, furnished, or giving away of any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years is prohibited. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has the exclusive power, with exceptions created by the Legislature, to license the manufacture, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages in this State, and to collect license fees or occupation taxes on account thereof.

Finally, the Legislature is required to provide for apportioning the amounts collected for license fees or occupation taxes under the provisions between the State and the cities and counties of the State, in a manner the Legislature may deem proper.

Section 23 provides that the Speaker of the Assembly is an ex officio member, having equal rights and duties with the non-legislative members, of any state agency created by the Legislature in the field of public higher education which is charged with the management, administration, and control of the State College System of California.

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