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Convention Fails to Pass Proposed Constitution

May 14, 2009 — With their deadline looming and no money left in the account for another meeting, constitutional convention delegates vowed they would only leave Wednesday's plenary session if they had a final document in hand.
But after an attempt to adopt the language they had spent about 10 hours amending failed to get the required two-thirds vote, calls for consensus and compromise fell to the wayside, leaving the delegation with only one option — to petition the Senate for more time and money to finish up the job.
Senators will be asked to give the delegation four more months — until the end of September — and $500,000 to pay for "promotional and education" costs. After making their presentation to the Legislature, delegates will then release their working document to the public and discuss it in town meetings to be held in each district.
The working document — a combination of revised language put together by convention attorney Lloyd Jordan and amendments tacked on by the delegates — is what ultimately emerged from Wednesday's session.
A little after 9 p.m., delegate Stedman Hodge moved that the convention adopt the document as its constitution. Fourteen delegates voted in favor of the motion — six short of the votes required by law.
Voting in favor of adopting the document were delegates Adelbert Bryan, Gerard Emanuel, Mario Francis, Lois Hassell-Habtes, Hodge, Myron Jackson, Gerard Luz James II, Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Mary Moorhead, Kendall Petersen, Claire Roker, Lawrence "Larry" Sewer, Elsie V. Thomas-Trotman and Alecia Wells.
Delegates Violet Anne Golden, Francis Jackson, Eugene Petersen, Richard Schrader, Robert Schuster and Charles W. Turnbull voted against adopting the document, raising objections over sections ranging from class size requirements for public schools to qualifications for the governor and lieutenant governor.

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