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Mr. King offered the following:
Resolved, That 500 extra copies of the report of the State Commissioner in Lunacy be printed for the use of the Senate, and 500 for the use of the Commissioner.
Ordered, That said resolution be referred to the committee on public printing.
Messrs. Waehner and Vedder, a committee from the Assembly, appeared in the Senate, and announced that the Assembly was organized and ready to proceed to business.
A message from His Excellency the Governor was received and read in the words following:
To the Legislature:
At the advent of a new year, when the public bodies assemble, to consult in respect to the affairs, and to transact the business of the State, our first thought should be, to offer up devout thanksgiving to the Supreme Disposer of events, for the blessings which we have enjoyed during the year now closed. Our great Commonwealth comprises a population of more than four and a half millions- largely exceeding that of the whole United States at the formation of the Federal Government -and embracing vastly more extensive and diversified interests and activities. Our sense of duty ought to be commensurate with the magnitude of the trust conferred upon us by the people. Forming, as our State does, so important a part of the American Union, the benefits of an improved polity, of wise legislation, and of good administration, are not confined to our own citizens, but are felt directly and by their example, in our sister States, and in our national reputation throughout the world. Mindful, with you, of these considerations, I proceed to perform the duty enjoined by the constitution upon the governor, to "communicate, by message to the Legislature,' ""the condition of the State," and to "recommend such matters to them, as he shall deem expedient."
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES.
The receipts into and payments from the Treasury, on account of all the fuuds, except the Canal and Common School Funds, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1874, were as follows:
Balance in the Treasury September 30, 1874.. The available balance amounted to.....
$26, 465, 370 43
19, 636, 308 36
The difference being made up by the defalcation in the State Treasury in 1873, of $304,957.91, and the sum of $29,222.72, being an old balance due from the Bank of Sing Sing.
On the 30th of September, 1873, the total funded debt was $36,530,406.40, classified as follows:
During the months of August and September, 1873, stocks of the Bounty Loan were purchased to the amount of $306,000, but not canceled until after September 30, 1873. Deducting this sum, the bounty debt amounted to $20,815,000, and the total debt to $36,224,406.40.
On the 30th September, 1874, the total funded debt was $30,199,456.40, classified as follows:
$3, 988, 526 40
68, 000 00
10, 230, 430 00 15, 912, 500 00
$30, 199, 456 40
The actual reduction of the State debt during the fiscal year ending September 30, 1874, by cancellation of matured stocks, and by the purchase of $4,902,500 of Bounty Loan 7s of 1877, for the Bounty Debt Sinking Fund, is $6,024,950.
In addition to the $4,902,500. of Bounty Stock, purchased for the Bounty Debt Sinking Fund during the last fiscal year, and canceled, there have been investments for that sinking fund, since the date of the last report to the present time, in State Securities and Government Registered Bonds to the amount of $4,381,500, at a cost of $4,972,091.35; add $327,283.88 premium and $3,210 commissions on Bounty Loan Stock purchased and canceled, and $1,421,584, interest on Bounty Debt, makes a total of $11,626,667.23 paid on account of this Sinking Fund since the date of last report to the present time. The securities, now held in trust for this sinking fund, amount, at their par value, to $6,802,944.09, which could be disposed of, at the present market rates, at an average premium of over twelve per
The following statement shows the amount of the State debt on the 30th September, 1874, after deducting the unapplied balances of the sinking funds at that date:
The State debt on the 30th September, 1873, after deducting the unapplied balances of the sinking funds, amounted to....
On the 30th September, 1874, to.
Showing a reduction of....
$21,191,379 34 17,491,809 32
The State tax levy for the current year amounted to 7 mills. The total amount of the tax will be $15,727,482.08, about $900,000 in excess of the amount levied during the preceding fiscal
OTHER DEPARTMENTS OF THE STATE.
Summary statements in respect to the Banks, Savings Banks, Trust, Loan and Indemnity Companies, Insurance Companies, Quarantine, the Emigration Commission, Common Schools, Colleges and Acade mies, the State Library and Museum, the National Guard, the soldiers of the war of 1812, the war claims against the United States, the Salt Springs and the State Prisons, are appended. The full reports of the public officers and boards, charged with the special care of these subjects, will be transmitted as soon as their preparation is completed. Your attention is invited to them, and especially to the report of the Comptroller, which will be submitted at the opening of the session.
The Constitution provides that an enumeration of the inhabitants of the State shall be taken, under the direction of the Legislature, in the year 1855, and at the end of every ten years thereafter.
Chapters 64 and 181 of the Laws of 1855, and chapter 34 of the Laws of 1865, which remain in full force, prescribe the manner of taking the enumeration.
These acts require the Secretary of State to prepare uniform blank returns and abstracts, for the purpose of taking the enumeration and obtaining statistical information as to population and social statistics, the resources and interests of the State, individual and associated
* Deducting interest accrued to October 1, 1874, payable January 1, 1875.
industry, agriculture, the mechanic arts, commerce and manufactures, education, and other information of great value to the statistician and all classes of citizens, and will probably require little or no modification.
It will be necessary for the Legislature to make an appropriation to enable the Secretary of State to carry into effect the provisions of the Constitution and statutes above referred to. A sum equal to the amount appropriated in 1865 for that purpose, by chapter 598 of the Laws of that year, will probably be sufficient.
The Secretary of State has taken preliminary steps toward taking the enumeration, and looks to the Legislature for an early appropriation to enable him to go forward with the work.
The annual report of the State Board of Charities will be laid before the Legislature, and I commend it to your attention. It will contain the results of a special examination in respect to the condition of children in the poor-houses, and the subjects of out-door relief and alien paupers. The laws relating to pauperism need revision and amendment. The growth of the State in wealth and population has brought with it more complex relations between capital and labor, which should be carefully studied, in order that legislation may be adapted to their requirements. I suggest whether it is not advisable that a commission be appointed to investigate and report upon the management and relief of the poor, and to propose such legislation as will tend to relieve the industry of the State from the evils which result from poor laws, vicious or inadequate in conception, or defective in execution.
The celebration of the centennial anniversary of American Independence will occur in the year 1876. Under the auspices of the general government an international exhibition of arts, manufac tures and natural products will be held in the city of Philadelphia. Provision has already been made for the appointment of a board of five commissioners to represent this State, who are to serve without compensation. I recommend a moderate appropriation of money, which will be required to defray the necessary expenses of the commission, and enable this State to take such part in the exhibition as will testify our sense of the greatness of the event commemorated, and is suitable to the dignity of our Commonwealth.
The adoption of the recent amendments to the Constitution renders necessary some important legislation in order to carry them into full effect. The changes made in article 2 require corresponding changes in the election laws, with respect to challenges and the oaths thereupon, and the enactment at the present session of a law "excluding from the right of suffrage all persons convicted of bribery or of any infamous crime."
The amendment of section 4 of article 8 of the Constitution, requires the enactment of a "general law conforming all charters of savings banks, or institutions for savings, to a uniformity of powers, rights and liabilities."
The addition of article 15 necessitates the passage of an act prescribing the punishment for the offense of bribery created in sections 1 and 2. Some legislation may be necessary in consequence of the change in the mode of compensating members of the Legislature, and in some other matters which will readily occur to you.
The section added to article 3 as section 18 requires the passage of general laws, providing for the cases in which special legislation is prohibited by that section. Many of these cases are within existing general laws, and, with respect to several others, no immediate legislation seems to be required. Doubtless, however, some legislation is expedient, either in the way of enacting statutes providing for the cases to which the existing statutes do not apply, or in the way of amendments to existing statutes.
The provision prohibiting special legislation in the cases specified is the amendment, from which the largest benefits have been anticipated. In framing the general laws which are to provide for these cases, great caution will be necessary. The part I took in the Convention of 1846, and even before the enactment of the the general banking law of 1838, in advocating the principle of general laws in its application to the creation of corporate bodies which had been practical monopolies, and to other cases where it seemed to be safely applicable, may justify me in suggesting some qualification of the advantages to be derived from the change, unless it be accompanied by especial foresight and wisdom.
It will doubtless be an unavoidable necessity to modify existing general laws, and to shape new ones to be enacted with reference to special and peculiar cases. It is quite possible to give a general form to the phraseology of every enactment intended to apply to a special case, and to operate as a special grant of powers.
The benefit intended to be secured by the prohibition may thus be defeated. Even greater mischiefs than those which existed under the old system may be created.
The parties interested in promoting a law intended to obtain special powers for a particular case, cannot be relied on to guard against the possible operation of the general provision in the other cases to which it may be applied. The legislators, who could measure the whole consequences of an act limited in its terms to a special instance, cannot foresee the possible cases to which a general law adapted to the instance present to his mind, may be found capable of applying, or what operation it may have. There will, therefore, be great danger of vague, loose and hasty legislation in contemplation of one object, but capable of working in numerous cases results neither foreseen or intended.
The new legislation called for by this provision should be framed with more than ordinary care.