THE THREE BRANCHES OF STATE GOVERNMENT 481 More Recent Legislative Changes In 1914, a populist move to limit legislative power surfaced in the form of the state’s first “initiative and referendum” amendment to the constitution of 1890. Simply put, initiative and referendum was a two-fold power: it gave the general population the ability to bypass the legislature altogether and initiate legal reforms by petition (initiative), and it reserved to the people a means where legislative enactments could be submitted to a referendum vote to either concur or remove the law (referendum). The original initiative and referendum amendment was initially upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court, but it was later overturned in 1922. The push did not die, however. In 1992, the legislature presented to Mississippi voters a constitutional amendment, referred to as “Amendment 8,” allowing for the amendment of the state constitution by the general citizenry as well as by the Legislature itself. Amendment 8 did not allow the initiative process to be used to change the bill of rights, the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System, “Right-to-Work” provisions, or the initiative process itself. The amendment was approved in a popular vote. The initiative process, as approved by the electorate, requires petitioners to obtain qualified voter signatures from every congressional district inside a 12-month window. The initiative law allows the legislature to accept a popularly approved amendment, or to propose an alternative amendment on the same subject matter and let the voters accept or reject it. The voters are afforded the final choice. In 1983, the common practice of having legislators serve on the boards of departments, agencies, boards, and commissions in the executive branch was challenged in court. In the case of Alexander v. State of Mississippi, the Mississippi Supreme Court removed legislators from membership on executive boards and commissions, SENATE CHAMBERS The Senate chamber is located on the third floor of the new capitol and seats Mississippi’s fifty-two senators. The Senate chamber is art marble and the base is Belgium black marble. The columns are Breccia violet with Corinthian caps. The dome is stained Bohemian glass and is protected by another dome on top. The words printed in the center of the dome reads, “The people’s government was made for the people by the people and answerable to the people.”