We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.
The senate shall consist of the lieutenant governor and fifty (50) members from the senatorial districts in the state, provided, however, that commencing in 2003 the senate shall consist of thirty-eight (38) members from the senatorial districts in the state. The senate shall be constituted on the basis of population and the senatorial districts shall be as nearly equal in population and as compact in territory as possible. The general assembly shall, after any new census taken by authority of the United States, reapportion the representation to conform to the Constitution of the state and the Constitution of the United States.
The lieutenant governor shall preside in the senate and in grand committee until 2003. Commencing in 2003, the senate shall elect its president, who shall preside in the senate and in grand committee, as well as its secretary and other officers from among its members and shall elect its clerks. The senior member from the city of Newport, if any be present, shall preside in the organization of the senate.
Section 4. Repealed.