The Constitution of the State of Hawaii was originally framed during a constitutional convention authorized under Act 334 of the 1949 Session Laws of Hawaii. On November 7, 1950, the constitution was adopted in the Hawaii Constitution Ratification Vote. The Constitution defines the fundamental principles of authority and governance within its sphere of jurisdiction. The Hawaii Constitution includes a preamble, 18 articles, revision notes and an index.
On March 18, 1959, the U.S. Congress accepted Hawaii as a state and Congress suggested that the 1950 constitution be amended. In the Act of March 18, 1959, Congress accepted the new state constitution, as amended. Hawaii was admitted into the Union on August 21, 1959. The new Hawaii Constitution came into effect on the same day.
The two methods under Article XVII of the Hawaii Constitution by which the state’s constitution can be revised or amended are:
- A legislatively-referred constitutional amendment proposed by the Hawaii State Legislature.
- A constitutional convention