« PreviousContinue »
it to a member shall have one anyway and that districts must contain a whole number of counties. Provisions of this kind are usually lengthy and complex and they vary considerably from state to state.?
The federal census is largely relied upon for the enumeration of the inhabitants, though many of the states provide other or additional means. Usually the legislature is specifically authorized to make the apportionment, though a number of constitutions leave this agency undetermined. New York' especially provides that the legislature's apportionment shall be subject to judicial review, at suit of any citizen, under such reasonable regulation as the legislature may prescribe. Oklahoma' makes it subject to the approval of the governor as bills are approved, and subject to review by the supreme court at the suit of any citizen, under such rules and regulations as the leg. islature may prescribe; furthermore, apportionment cases are to have precedence. In Missouri,” if the legislature should fail to district the state for senators, the governor, secretary of state and attorney-general must perform the duties of apportionment within thirty days after the adjournment of the legislature. The governor is entrusted with this very delicate task in Maryland and in Ohiof the governor, auditor and secretary of state, or any two of them. Usually reapportionment is to be made de cennially.
?For example, in New York, the members of the lower house are apportioned among counties as nearly as may be according to number of inhabitants exclud. ing aliens, each county (except Hamilton) to be entitled to one member. Ratio to be obtained by dividing whole number of inbabitants excluding aliens by number of members of lower house. Each county containing less than ratio and one-half over to elect one member and every other county to elect two members ; remaining members to be apportioned to counties having more than two ratios ; members apportioned on remainders to be apportioned to counties having highest remainders in order thereof respectively; no county to have more members than county having greater number of inhabitants, excluding aliens.
In any county entitled to more than one member, the board of supervisors (or common council in city embracing entire county and having no board of supervisors) to divide county into districts, according to number of inhabitants excluding aliens, of contiguous territory, each district to be wholly within senate district formed under same apportionment: number of districts to equal number of members to be elected. Description of such districts to be filed in office of secretary of state and clerk of county. Members to be apportioned to counties as prescribed in constitution until new apportionment made. (III, 5.)
Ala. IX, 199, 200: Ark. VIII, 4; Fla. VII, 3; Ind. IV, 5: Ky. 33: LA. 18; Mass. Amend. XXI, XXII: Mich. V, 4; Mont. VI. 2; X. H. II, 9, 25 ; N. J. IV, Sec. III; N. M. IV, 41; N. (. II, 5; N. D. II, 35; R. I. Amend. XIII, 1 ; S. C. III, 3 ; S. D. III, 5 ; Tex. III, 28 ; L'tah IX, 2; Vt. II, 18 (senate); Va. IV, 55 ; W. Va. VI, 4; Wyo. III, Apportionment 2.
"III, 4, 5.
Twenty-one constitutions specify that members of the lower house must be twenty-one years of age, three, twenty-four years? and four, twenty-five years.* The requirement for senators varies from twenty-one' to thirtyl years.Residence require. ments vary from one to six years in the state and from "during ... term of office" to two years in the district represented. They are most often one year preceding election, and may be differ ent for the two houses. Only two states—Iowa and Missouri -specify that legislators must be of the male sex, but that they shall be electors is a frequent requirement and, of course, carries with it the qualifications for electors. In some of the equal
. suffrage states women have occasionally been elected to the legislature.
Holders of other public office are usually ineligible to the legislature. Often failure to account for public funds disqualifies. In Arizona legislators must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language sufficiently well to perform their duties without the aid of an interpreter. In Missouri they must be taxpayers. Conviction of crime frequently disqualifies; as does also expulsion from the legislature on account of corruption. Ministers of the gospel are ineligible in Maryland and Tennessee; salaried railroad officers in West Virginia; interest in a contract with, or an unadjusted claim against, the state in Nebraska; and concernment with any army or navy contract in Delaware. Each house invariably determines whether its members fulfill the required qualifications and whether the persons presenting themselves are its duly elected members.
In cases of vacancy the governor usually must issue writs of election, but the speaker of the house in which the vacancy occurs sometimes performs this function, and in other states the matter is left to the legislature or to the house in which there
Ala., Ark., Ga., ill., Ind., Ia., Me., Md., Miss., Mont., N. J., N. M., N. D., Okla., Ore., Pa., S. C., Tenn., Tex., W. Va., Wyo. A requirement that the representative must be an elector would accomplish the same thing.
?Del., Ky., Mo.
2 In Ala., Ariz., Ark., Colo., Ga., ill., Ind., Ia., La., Me., Md., Miss., N. M., N. C., N. D., Okla., Pa., s. C., S. D., Utah, W. Va., Wyo., 25 ; in Mont., 24; in Tex., 26; in Del., 27.
121. Privileges, Remuneration and Conduct of Legislators.
is a vacancy. Invariably vacancies are filled by electionthough not always until the next regular election.
During session and for certain periods before and afterward legislators are usually privileged from arrest, except in case of treason, felony and breach of the peace, and frequently they are exempt from the service of civil process. In more than threefourths of the states they cannot be questioned elsewhere for words spoken at a legislative meeting—as West Virginia expresses it "For words spoken in debate, or any report, motion or proposition made in either house.” In New Mexico no member may be questioned elsewhere for any vote cast in either house.
In every state except Massachusetts: the constitution provides that the legislators shall receive compensation for their services. In Vermont this is effected by the blanket clause, “if any man is called into public service to the prejudice of his private affairs, he has a right to a reasonable compensation.”:4 Twenty-four constitutions provide that legislators must receive a per diem. In several of them an upward limit is fixed varying from four dollars in Georgia to six in Florida in the others the amount is prescribed, varying from three dollars in Oregon to seven in Arizona. In these states there is always a numerical limit upon the days for which the compensation is allowed, after the expiration of which it may be lessened or cut off. Thus after one hundred and twenty days of a revising session or seventy days of an ordinary session, Missouri members receive only one dollar per day instead of five. In eight states a salary must be paid-varying from two hundred dollars for each member seasonably attending a regular session and not departing without license in New Hampshire to $1,500 per annum in New York."
3 In Mass. compensation is fixed by law.
4“As every freeman," however, “to preserve his independence (if without a sufficient estate) ought to have some profession, calling, irade, or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no necessity for, nor use in, establishing offices of profit, the usual effects of which are dependence and servility, unbecoming freemen, in the possessors or expectants, and faction, contention and discord among the people." Consequently. “whenever an office through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profit ought to be lessened by the Legislature." (II, 57.)
"The highest remuneration paid in any state is in Illinois by legislative act -$2,000 per year-Dealey, 188. The proposed N. Y. Const. of 1915 made the salary of legislators $2,500 per annum. In Connecticut the salary must not exceed $300 for the term for which the member is elected. The other five states prescribing the salary : Wis. ($500 for regular session); N. J. ($500 annually); Neb. ($600 for each regular session) ; Cal. ($1,000 for each regular session) ; Mich. ($800 for each regular session) ; ('olo. ($1,000 per biennium).
The remaining states leave the amount to be determined by the legislature. Remembering the amount of work which is turned out by the legislative bodies which these gentlemen compose, one must confess that laws in the United States come pretty cheap.
Over against the privileges of legislators there are fixed certain requirements as to conduct. In every state except Arizona, New Mexico and Washington they must take oath? of office to support the constitutions of the United States and of the state and faithfully to discharge their duties. Occasionally they are, while in office, disqualified from certain rights, for instance, to prosecute a claim against the state. Vermont provides that they must not receive a fee or reward to introduce or advocate any bill, petition or other business to be transacted in legislature or advocate any clause as counsel in either house, except when employed on behalf of the state. They are frequently made liable to severe punishment in cases of bribery, as are also those who have bribed or attempted to bribe them. In most of the states two-thirds of either house may expel a member, but in some of them not a second time for the same offence. In Vermont the reason for the expulsion must not have been known to the member's constituents antecedent to his election. Usually each house may punish its members for disorderly behavior. The frequency of regular meetings varies from each year in
Legislative New York and a number of other stateso to once in four years in Alabama. Three-fourths of the states specify that regular sessions shall be biennial. Other states specify annual or biennial elections and provide that the session shall take place the following year. Nearly half the states limit the length of a session to from forty: to ninety days. One or two states provide that it must end before a specific time. In some states an
Deductions for non-attendance are sometimes prescribed ; see, e. I., Md. III, 15 ; Ky. 235; Tenn. II, 23.
extraordinary majority of the members may extend the session."
California requires its legislature, after the biennial session has continued for a period not exceeding thirty days, to take a recess for not less than thirty days. The purpose of the bifurcated legislative session is the opportunity it affords during the recess for study and investigation.
In every state the governor may convene the legislature in extraordinary session. As a rule only such business as the governor specifices in calling the extraordinary session may be transacted.'
For a quorum about two-thirds of the states require simply a majority of each house. 10 Tennessee is the most extreme state, requiring two-thirds of all the members to which each house is entitled, but three other states require two-thirds of each house--a difference of little practical import.? Usually less than a quorum may meet and compel the attendance of the others. Penalties for refusal to attend may as a rule be provided by each house.
Preliminary to performing its function of law-making, the legislature must, of course, formally organize. The person who shall call the houses to order is usually determined by legislative rules, but several constitutions provide that the oldest member present, the secretary of state or in the Senate, the lieutenant governor," shall perform this function. Officers are
123. Legislative Organization.
"The place of meeting is, of course, at the seat of government, but by no means all of the constitutions take pains to say so. and numerous exceptions are allowed, as in case of special emergency, safety disease and hostile invasion. The time when the session shall begin is usually fixed in the constitution and varies widely among the states; most of them, however, have fixed some day in January
IV, 2, Amend 1911.
?After reassembling no member may introduce more than two bills and the consent of three-fourths of the house is required.
*N. H. (II. 49) requires consent of council : also (II, 3) permits the senate and house, besides the regular biennial session, to meet "at such other times as they may judge necessary." Mass, has similar provisions. In some states the governor may also convene the senate alone (e. 9., N. Y.).
There are exceptions, however; for instance, in Fla. (IV, 8), by a twothirds vote, other measures may be passed ; in Miss. appropriation and revenue bills need not be specified by the governor and in Ark., after the business specl. fied in the governor's proclamation is disposed of, by vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to both houses, the legislature may remain in session fifteen days.
10. 9., Ala. Others, majority of members elected to each house. Ind., Ore., Tex. Vt. requires two-thirds for consideration of state tax bills. 2N. II., II, 36, 19, requires in senate a fixed number instead of a ratio. SW. Va. *Lower house, Ili., Neb., N. M. 57. M., R. I.