North Carolina - Proposed Constitution of 1933

The General Assembly of 1931 created a Constitutional Commission to draft a revised State Constitution. In 1933, the General Assembly approved this new constitution. Blocked by a technicality raised by the NC Supreme Court, the proposed 1933 Constitution never reached the voters for approval. This proposed Constitution would have:

- Given the governor veto power
- Given the power to make all rules of practice and procedure in the courts inferior to the NC Supreme Court to a Judicial Council composed of all the Judges of the Supreme Court and the Superior Courts
- Required the creation of inferior coourts by general laws only
- Removed most of the limitations on the taxing powers of the General Assembly
- Required the General Assembly to provide for the organization and powers of local governments by general law only
- Established an appointive State Board of Education with general supervision over the public school system
- Established an enlightened policy of state responsibility for the maintenance of educational, charitable, and reformatory institutions and programs

Special provisions of the proposed Constitution of 1933 were later incorporated into the Constitution by individual amendments. To a certain extent, the proposed Constitution of 1933 served as a model for the work of the 1957-58 Constitutional Commission.

Between 1930 and 1970, greater receptiveness to Constitutional change resulted in many new Amendments:

- Authorizing the classification of property for taxation
- Strengthening the limitaitons upon public debt
- Authorizing the General Assembly to enlarge the NC Supreme Court, divide the State into Judicial Divisions, increase the number of Superior Court Judges, and create the Department of Justicve under the State's Attorney General
- Enlarging the Council of State by three (3) members
- Creating a new, appointive State Board of Education with general supervision of the schools
- Permitting women to serve a jurors
- Transferring the Governor's powers to assign Judges to the Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Coourt and the Governor's parole power to a Board of Paroles
- Permitting the waiver of indictment in non-capital cases
- Raising the compensation of General Assembly members and authorizing legislative expense allowances
- Increasing the general purpose property tax levy limitation and maximum income tax rate
- Authorizing the closing of public schools on local option basis and payment of educational expense grants in certain cases

The increased legislative and public willingness to accept Constitutional change between 1930 and 1970 resulted in thirty-two (32) new Amendments being ratified by the voters, while only six (6) were rejected.



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