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STATE OF ILLINOIS,
November 1, 1876.
The Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities has the honor to make to you its Fifth Biennial, or Tenth Annual Report, as required by law. We are, with respect, Your obedient servants,
GEORGE S. ROBINSON, President.
FRED. H. WINES, Secretary.
To provide for the appointment of a Board of Commissioners of Public
Charities, and defining their duties and powers.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That within ten days after the passage of this act, the governor, by and with the consent of the senate, shall appoint five persons, to be called and known as “The Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities.” One of the persons so appointed, shall hold his office for one year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, and one for five years, as indicated by the governor in making the appointments, and the appointments thereafter, except to fill vacancies, shall be for five years. In case of any vacancy occasioned by the removal from the state by any such person pointed, or death or resignation, or non-acceptance of the office, or removal from office by the governor, by any such person so appointed, the governor shall immediately fill such vacancy; and all appointments made by the governor when the senate is not in session, shall be valid, until the next session of the senate.
$ 2 Before entering upon their duties, the said commissioners shall, respectively, take and subscribe the constitutional oath required of other state officers, which shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state, who is hereby authorized and directed to administer such oath. The said commissioners shall have power to elect a president out of their number, and such other officers and agents as they may deem proper, and to adopt such by-laws and regulations, for the transaction of their business, as they may consider expedient.
§ 3. The said commissioners shall have full power, at all times, to look into and examine the condition of the several institutions, which they may be authorized by this act to visit, financially, and otherwise; to inquire and examine into their methods of instruction, and the government and management of their inmates, the official conduct of trustees, directors, and other officers and employes of the same; the condition of the buildings, grounds, and other property connected therewith, and into all other matters pertaining to their usefulness and good management; and for these purposes they shall have free access to the grounds, buildings, and all books and papers relating to said institutions; and all persons now or hereafter connected with the same are hereby directed and required to give such information and afford such facilities for inspection as the said commissioners may require.
4. The said commissioners, or some one of them, are hereby authorized and required, at least twice in each year, and as much oftener as they may deem necessary, to visit all the charitable and correctional institutions of the state, excepting prisons receiving state aid, and as
certain whether the moneys appropriated for their aid are or have been economically and judiciously expended; whether the objects of the several institutions are accomplished; whether the laws in relation to them are fully complied with; whether all parts of the state equally benefited by said institutions, and the various other matters referred to in the third section of this act; and report in writing to the governor, by the fifteenth of December, annually, the result of their investigations, together with such other information and recommendations as they may deem proper; and the said board of public charities, or one of them, shall make any special investigation into alleged abuses in any of said institutions, whenever the governor shall direct, and report the result of the same to the governor.
$ 5. The said commissioners, or one of them, shall also, at least once each year, visit and examine into the condition of each of the city and county alms or poor houses, or other places where the insane may be confined, and shall possess all the powers relative thereto, as mentioned in the third section of this act; and shall report to the legislature, in writing, the result of their examination, in connection with the annual report above mentioned.
$ 6. Whenever any charitable or correctional institutions, subject to the inspection herein provided for, require state aid for any purpose other than their usual expenses, the said commissioners, or some, or one of them, shall inquire carefully and fully into the ground of such want, the purpose or purposes for which it is proposed to use the same, the amount which will be required to accomplish the desired object, and into any other matters connected therewith; and in the annual report of each year, they shall give the result of such inquiries, together with their own opinions and conclusions relating to the whole subject.
§ 7. The said commissioners, or any one of them, are hereby au, thorized to administer oaths, and examine any person or persons in relation to any matters connected with the inquiries authorized by this act.
§ 8. The said board of commissioners shall have power, and they are hereby authorized to appoint a clerk, who shall hold his office during their pleasure, with a salary not exceeding annum, who shall, when required, act as an accountant, from time to time, as they may have occasion to investigate the financial or other affairs of any of the institutions affected by this act, or the accounts or official conduct of any of their officers; and when acting as such accountant, he shall, in addition, be allowed his actual traveling expenses.
§ 9. The number of the board of trustees of the “Hospital for the Insane,” the board of directors of the “Illinois Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb,” the board of directors for the "Institution for Educating the Blind,” and the board of trustees of the “Soldiers' Orphans' Home," respectively, shall, immediately after the passage of this act, be, by the governor, reduced to three.
$ 10. The said commissioners, or some, or any one of them, shall attend upon the session of the legislature whenever any committee of either house shall require their attendance.
§ 11. Said board of commissioners shall be furnished by the secretary of state with the necessary blank books, blanks and stationery.