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against any civil division thereof, and bills authorizing any civil division of the state to allow or pay any claim or account. It prohibited legislative auditing of private claims against localities and retained or added other minor restrictions. Publication of legislative debates and journals of proceedings was provided for. The legislative salary was to be increased from $1,500 to $2,500 per year; that of the governor from $10,000 to $20,000. The legislators were also to have as traveling expenses the railroad fare actually paid in going to and returning from their place of meeting on the most usual route, but not oftener than once each week during any session of the legislature. Such railroad fare was to be repaid only on the verified voucher of the member entitled thereto after audit by the comptroller?
(3) A careful regulation of and change in the method of making appropriations for the expenses of the state, by means of an annual executive budget. At the same time the practice of emergency messages which the governor has been accustomed to send to the legislature during the closing days of the session and which authorize appropriation bills without the usual consideration, was to be abolished. Instead of leaving the legislature to make appropriations without any comprehensive and systematic study of the needs of the various departments of the state government, and the sources of its revenue, leaving to the governor the power and duty after the adjournment of the leg. islature to go over the appropriation bills and cut out items which appear to him to be unnecessary or improper, the new constitution was to “restore the true American idea?!3 by requiring (1) the preparation by the heads of departments, in advance of each legislative session, of itemized estimates for appropriations to meet the financial needs of each department for the ensuing year, and (2) the preparation by the governor, after public hearing, for submission to the legislature, of a conplete budget or plan of proposed expenditures and estimated revenues. The right was to be given to the governor and the heads of departments to appear before the legislature and be heard respecting the budget and they would have to appear if
2ib., III, 19, 20, 12, 8; IV, 1.
At the beginning congress habitually sought the coöperation of the secretary of the treasury ; his advice was asked and taken in almost everything pertaining to finance.
requested to do so by either house. The legislature was to have power to reduce or eliminate but not to increase any item, and executive budget bills were not to be subject to the governor's veto. Appropriation bills for expenses of the legislature and judiciary were to remain subject to the governor's veto, as a whole or in particular items.
(4) Improvements in the method of contracting indebtedness for the purposes of the state, and the substitution of serial for sinking fund bonds. This method is more certain and economical. The coupons fall due so that equal amounts are paid each year until the time when all are paid—which was not to be beyond the estimated life of the thing for which the debt was contracted."
(5) The grant to cities of as large a control of their own municipal government and affairs as is consistent with state sovereignty. Every city was to have exclusive power to manage, regulate and control its own property, affairs and municipal government, including, among others, the right to organize and manage the departments of the city government, and to regulate the compensation and method of removal of all city officers and employes, thus enabling them to obtain what is just and fair, both for themselves and the taxpayers, without the necessity in the first instance of application to the legislature; but the legislature was to retain power to enact laws applicable to all cities of the state. New charters made by cities and fundamental amendments were to be submitted to the legislature and become law unless disapproved by it. The legislature was to be required to enact regulations governing municipal indebtedness, similar to the constitutional regulations for the state. Such indebtedness was in no event to be for a longer period than fifty years.
(6) Authority in the legislature to provide by general laus for optional forms of county government, to be adopted only by vote of the electors, and prohibiting the passage of local or special lavos relating to a county, crcept at the instance of its
*b., V; IV, 9. The full text of Art. V is given, infra, p. 254. 5ib., IX, 2, 4. Infra, p. 286, Gib., XV; XI, 12; IX, 4. Infra, pp. 322-4.
The New York constitution in force pro
local authorities, vides simply that
there shall be in each county, except in a county wholly included in a city, a board of supervisors, to be composed of such members and elected in such manner and for such period as is or may be provided by law.s
(7) Reform in civil procedure in the courts of the state, and provisions affecting the organization and jurisdiction of the courts, designed to prevent delays in the administration of justice and to simplify litigation and make it less prpensive. The legislature at its first ensuing session was to enact a short and simple civil practice act which it could not alter or amend except at intervals of five years, unless at the request of the judges empowered to frame civil practice rules, and then only after report by a commission appointed to consider the subject. Details of civil practice were to be left exclusively to the Court of Appeals. The idea was to substitute for the present statutory Code of Civil Procedure and rules regulating practice, a simple code and court-made practice rules.
A number of changes in the state judiciary were provided for. Some courts were to be consolidated and some additional justices provided. The court of claims was made a constitutional court to eliminate the constant partisan legislation concerning it. The number of justices of the Court of Appeals was to be increased and the court was to be divided into two parts each of seven judges, each part having equal jurisdiction to hear and dispose of the cases which should be distributed be. tween them by the chief judge. The accumulated cases had reached 600 and it commonly required two years after appeal to secure a hearing. The special double court was to last only till the number should have been reduced to 100 and in no event after the end of 1917. The legislature was to be empowered to confer upon any inferor local court power to try misdemeanor cases without a jury. Persons accused of offences pun. ishable by not more than five years imprisonment were to be authorized to waive trial by jury in the manner prescribed by law after examination or commitment by a magistrate.
7ib., III, 25. Certain exceptions.
The legislature, of its own motion, in such manner as should be provided by joint rule, was to be empowered to convene to take action upon the removal of a judge of the court of appeals or supreme court or for impeachments.?
(8) State control over the assessment of taxes on property. There were to be provisions under which the legislature, for the assessment of real property locally assessed, might, with the approval of the electors, establish tax districts embracing one county or any part thereof. The assessment roll for such district might by law be made to serve for all the lesser tax districts within its boundaries, thus providing a uniform rule of assessment for all purposes throughout the district. The power to prescribe rules for assessment and to provide for officers to assess personal property and the property of public service companies was also conferred upon the legislature.
(9) The protection of the natural resources of the state under a conservation commission. This commission was to be charged with the development and protection of the natural resources of the state, the encouragement of forestry and the suppression of forest fires throughout the state, with the exclusive care, maintenance and administration of the forest preserve, with the conservation, prevention of pollution and regulation of the waters of the state and with the protection and propagation of its fish, birds, game, shell-fish and crustacea, except migratory fish of the sea within the limits of the marine district. Annual appropriation for increasing state-owned forest lands, reforestation, and surveys was required of the legislature.4
(10) Provisions for the benefit of wage earners by creating a constitutional department of labor and industry, by extending the benefits of the workmen's compensation act to embrace occupational diseases, and by empowering the legislature to regulate or prohibit manufacturing in tenement houses. The workmen's compensation clauses were significantly included in the bill of rights, as was the amendment of 1913, which was merely enlarged upon by the 1915 convention.6
"ib., Art. III, sec. 10.
This by no means exhausts the work of the convention. Its proposed constitution contained eighteen articles and about 30,000 words of which perhaps 17,000 words remained unchanged from the existing constitution. The new instrument was variously assailed for alleged faults both of omission and commission, among the more reasonable of which, probably, were its complexity, making it, as one critic said, beyond human understanding, and the fact that it was the result of so many compromises and so much dickering as to fail genuinely to carry out any of the aims of the leading members of the convention. Distrust of change, the fears of office holders, the fact that partisan politics was dragged into the question from the very beginning and the widely-shared opinion that some of the changes were anti-democratic or even deliberate attempts at reactionaryism and favoritism to privileged interests, were doubtless among the causes contributing to its downfall.s
TENNESSEE NOTE.—Viewed as one among the great company of the constitutions of the states the Tennessee constitution presents nothing that is in any way striking. It is shorter than the average by some 8,000 words, but the progressive increase in length which it has undergone at the hands of each succeeding convention is typical of the growth of the constitutions generally. In the nature of its contents it is similar to other constitutions that stand intermediate between the very early and the modern types, though it has more in common with the former than with the latter. Unchanged since the convention of 1870 completed its labors, the Tennessee constitution has naturally been unaffected by any of the profound changes that recent years have wrought in constitutions. None of the distinctly modern provisions that characterize, for good or evil, the far western constitutions and have been to some extent copied in the East, are found in its brief—but not always clear or comprehensive-articles.
"This last accusation was strikingly expressed in a cartoon in the New York World of Aug. 14, 1915, paraphrasing the preamble so that it read, “We the Corporations of the State of New York, grateful to Corrupt Politics for our Privileges, In order to secure their blessings, Do establish This Constitution."
$For discussion of this constitution and the reasons for its rejection, see Benjamin, G. G., The Attempted Revision of the State Constitution of Nero York, American Political Science Review, X, 1, p. 20 (Feb., 1916).