Section 1. Legislative Power.
The legislative power of the people of Pohnpei is vested in the Pohnpei Legislature as prescribed by this Constitution. The legislative power extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with this Constitution.
Case annotations: A characteristic feature, and one of the cardinal and fundamental principles of the Pohnpei State Constitutional system, is that the governmental powers are divided among the three departments of this government, the legislative, executive, and judicial, and that each of these is separate from the others. People of Kapingamarangi v. Pohnpei Legislature, 3 FSM Intrm. 5, 9 (Pon. S. Ct. Tr. 11985).
Section 2. Apportionment.
Each local jurisdiction shall constitute an electoral district for the Legislature. The number of members of the Legislature shall be established by law at the time of reapportionment. Reapportionment shall take place at least every ten years and may take place after each official census. Reapportionment shall be on the basis of local citizenship. Each local government shall be represented by at least one member.
Section 3. Terms of Office.
Except for members chosen to fill vacancies the terms of the members shall commence on the second Monday of January following their election.
Section 4. Qualifications.
No person is eligible to serve as a member of the Legislature unless he is at least twenty-five years of age at the time his term of office commences; he has been a citizen of a local government of Pohnpei for at least twenty-five years at the time his term of offices commences; and he has been a citizen of the local government that he represents for at least three years. A person convicted of a felony is ineligible to serve as a member of the Legislature unless he has received a pardon restoring his civil rights at least sixty days before he is elected. The Legislature shall be the sole qualifications of its members.
Section 5. Conflict of Interest.
No member of the Legislature may hold another public office in, be employed by, or receive other compensation or remuneration from government, governmental instrumentality, or any organization whose income is derived principally from public moneys. A member of the Legislature may be a member of a constitutional convention.
Section 6. Taking New Office.
During the term for which he is elected or appointed, no member of the Legislature may be elected or appointed to any Pohnpei Government or local government office or employment which has been created or the compensation of which established or increased by statute at any time during such term. As to the taking of a Pohnpei government office, this prohibition shall not apply if the increase in compensation applies to all employees of the branch of government in which the office is located, and if the increase applies equally or in an equal proportion to all positions in the branch of government. This prohibition shall not apply to membership in a constitutional convention, or to taking an office whose compensation is otherwise increased if the member of the Legislature does not receive the increase in compensation.
Section 7. Immunities.
Members of the Legislature shall in all cases, except felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during and while going to or returning from sessions or committee meetings of the Legislature. A member is responsible only to the Legislature for his statements in the Legislature or a committee thereof.
Section 8. Proceedings.
The Legislature shall keep and publish a journal. All proceedings of the Legislature and its committees shall be open to the public, unless the Legislature or committee determines by unanimous vote that the public interest requires the proceedings to be closed. No vote of the Legislature may be secret by ballot, except for the election of its officers and confirmation of officials.
Section 9. Investigation.
As incidents of its authority, the Legislature and its duly authorized committees may conduct investigations, hold public hearings, subpoena witnesses and documents, and administer oaths. The rules of the Legislature shall provide for the enforcement of the contempt power and other incidents of legislative authority.
Section 10. Sessions.
(1) The Legislature shall convene in regular session on the second Monday of January each year, or as soon thereafter as is practical, for such period and at such other times as may be provided by law.
(2) A special session of the Legislature may be convened either by the presiding officer of the Legislature upon a petition of one-third of its members, without regard to vacancies, or by the Governor. When the Legislature is convened by the Governor, the Legislature shall only consider the subjects stated in the convening call.
Section 11. Quorum.
Three-fourths of the members of the Legislature, without regard to vacancies, shall constitute a quorum. A smaller number than a quorum may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as the Legislature may provide, including suspension of salaries and allowances.
Section 12. Bills and Resolutions.
(1) No law may be enacted except by bill. Each bill shall embrace only one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. A provision outside the subject expressed in the title is void.
(2) Each section of a law to be amended shall be set forth in the amending bill and reenacted at full length.
(3) The enacting clause of a bill shall be: "BE IT ENACTED BY THE POHNPEI LEGISLATURE."
(4) To become law, a bill shall pass two readings on separate days. The first reading may be on the day of introduction. Passage on second reading shall require the affirmative vote on roll call of a majority of the members of the Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
(5) A resolution shall be introduced as a proposal for a resolution and may be adopted on the day that it is introduced. It shall be adopted upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
Section 13. Action on Bills by the Governor.
(1) Every bill that has passed the Legislature shall be certified by the presiding officer and the Clerk and presented to the Governor.
(2) The Governor shall have ten days to consider bills presented to him ten or more days before a recess of at least a week's duration or before adjournment of the Legislature. For all other bills he has thirty calendar days after they are presented to him.
(3) If the Governor approves the bill, he shall sign it, and it becomes law.
(4) If the Governor does not approve the bill, he shall return it with his objections to the presiding officer of the Legislature. The Governor may disapprove any specific item or items of appropriation, in any bill that appropriates money for specific purposes, by striking out or reducing the item or items, but he may disapprove other bills only in their entirety.
(5) Any bill neither signed nor returned by the time specified shall become law as if the Governor signed it.
Section 14. Action by the Legislature on Disapproved Matters.
(1) After the Legislature has received a message of disapproval, the bill, item, or items disapproved shall become law on a single reading upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
(2) If the Legislature receives a message of disapproval within the last ten days of a session or after the adjournment of a session, the Legislature may reconsider the disapproved bill, item, or items, at the next session without regard to any limitations on the call.
Section 15. Confirmation of Appointments.
The confirmation of all appointments by the Governor of offices of the Government of Pohnpei shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Legislature, without regard to vacancies.
Section 16. Initial Appointment of the Legislature.
Until reapportionment, the members of the Legislature shall be apportioned among the local governments as follows: Kapingamarangi, one; Mwokil, one; Ngetik, one; Nukuoro, one; Pingelap, one; Kolonia Town, two; Net, two; Uh, two, Kitti, four; Madolenihmw, four; Sokehs, four. The first reapportionment shall be made within ten years of the effective date of this constitution and shall apply to subsequent general elections.