« AnteriorContinuar »
shall be numbered in regular series, and the Senators chosen by the odd-numbered districts shall go out of office at the expiration of the second year; and the Senators chosen by the even-numbered districts shall go out of office at the expiration of the fourth year; and thereafter the Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years.
Representatives shall hold their office for the term of two years. In all elections of Representatives, after such division, each qualified elector may cast as many votes for one candidate as there are Representatives to be elected in the district, or he may distribute the same, or equal parts thereof, among the candidates, as he shall see fit; and the candidates highest in votes shall be elected. But the legislature may at any time after the year 1890, adopt the system known as the preferential system, in the election of Representatives, and enact such laws as will be necessary to carry it into effect. The terms of office of Senators and Representatives, elected at any time subsequent to the first election, shall commence at the end of the term of those in office at the time.
Sec. 8. Each member of the legislature, as a compensation for his services, shall receive four dollars for each day's attendance, and ten cents for each mile necessarily traveled in going to or returning from the seat of government, and shall not receive any other compensation, perquiste, or allowance whatsoever. No session of the Legislature, except the first, shall exceed forty days. The legislature shall never grant any extra compensation to any public officer, agent, servant or contractor, after the service shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into; nor shall the compensation or mileage of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office.
Sec. 9. There shall be biennial sessions of the legislature. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may prescribe.
Sec. 10. Each House shall have power to determine its rules of proceeding, and punish its members or other persons, for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence; to enforce obedience to its process; to protect its members against violence, or offers of bribes, or private solicitations, and—with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected—to expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for a corordinate branch of the legislature. A member expelled for corruption, shall not thereafter be eligible to either branch of the same legislature; and punishment for contempt or disorderly behavior shall not bar a criminal prosecution for the same offense.
Sec. 11. The Senate shall, at the beginning and close of each regular session, and at such other times as may be necessary, elect one of its members as President.
Sec. 12. Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings; and may, in its discretion, from time to time, publish the same. The doors of each House shall be kept open, except when the public welfare shall require secrecy. Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Sec. 13. Members of the legislature shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, violation of their oath of office, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during their attendance at any session of the legislature, and in going to and returning from the same; and no member shall be liable in any criminal action or criminal prosecution whatever for words spoken in debate.
Sec. 14. No act of the legislautre shall take effect until ninety days after its passage, unless in case of emergency (which shall be expressed in the preamble of the act) the legislature shall, by a vote of two-thirds of the members elected, otherwise direct. No bill, except the general appropriation bill, for the expenses of the government, introduced in either House after the expiration of the first thirty days of the session, shall become a law, unless the same shall have been recommended by the Governor by special message; and no bill except one so recommended, shall be considered or become a law, unless referred to a committee, returned therefrom, and printed for the use of the members.
Sec. 15. No bill, except for general appropriations, shall be passed, containing more than one subject, which shall be expressed in the title; but if any subject shall be embraced in any act, which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be so expressed.
Sec. 16. Every bill (except one recommended by the Governor as aforesaid, and except a general revision of the statutes) shall be read at length at least once in each House; all substantial amendments thereto shall be printed for the use of the members before final vote on the bill; and no bill shall become a law unless a majority of all the members elected to each House shall vote in its favor, nor unless, on its final passage, the vote be taken by ayes and noes, and entered on the journal.
Sec. 17. No law shall be revised or amended by reference to its
title alone, but as much thereof as is revised or extended shall be reenacted and published at length as amended. The legislature shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following cases, viz: for laying out, opening, altering, or working roads or highways; vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys and public grounds; regulating county or precinct affairs; regulating the practice in courts of justice; regulating the jurisdictions of Justices of the Peace, police magis trates and constables; changing the rules of evidence in any trial or inquiry; providing for change of venue in civil or criminal causes; declaring any person of age; the protection of game or shell-fish; limitation of civil actions, or giving effect to informal or invalid deeds; summoning or empaneling jurors; providing for the management of common schools; regulating the rate of interest on money; the opening or conducting of any election, or designating the place of voting; the sale or mortage of real estate belonging to minors or others under disability; chartering or licensing ferries or tollbridges; remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures; creating, increasing or decreasing fees, percentage or allowance of public officers; changing the law of descent; granting to any corporation, association or individual, any special or exclusive privilege, immunity or franchise whatever; allowing the redemption of real estate sold for taxes or under the final process of any court.
Sec. 18. The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the House over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature, the title of which shall be publicly read immediately before signing; and the fact of signing shall be entered on the journal.
Sec. 19. The legislature shall prescribe by law the number, duties and compensation of the officers and employees of each House, and no payment shall be made to any officer or employee, who does not discharge his duties in person.
Sec. 20. The legislature shall provide by law that all stationery required for the use of the State; and all printing and binding authorized and required by them to be done for their use or for the State, shall be let by contract to the lowest bidder; but the legislature may establish a maximum price. No member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any way interested in any such contract.
Sec. 21. Any bill may originate in either House of the legislature, and a bill passed by one House may be amended by the other.
[To be continued]
The Life and Dairy of John Floyd, Governor of Virginia, an Apostle
of Secession, and the Father of the Oregon Country. By CHARLES H. AMBLER, PH.D. (Richmond, Va. Richmond Press, Inc. 1918. Pp. 248. $2.00.)
John Floyd was by birth and ancestry a child of the frontier. His ancestors were among the pioneer settlers who pushed the westward advancing fringe of settlement in rapid succession from the Tidewater Section of Old Virginia, into the Piedmont, across the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Alleghenies, and into Kentucky where Floyd was born. Near Louisville, on April 24, 1873, twelve days before his birth the father had fallen a victim to the savage foe that resisted the advancing frontiersmen. Young Floyd managed to acquire something of a college education, read medicine with a Dr. Ferguson, of Louisville, and finally graduated from the course in medicine in the University of Pennsylvania and settled down to practice in Virginia. When the war of 1812 broke out Floyd entered the regular army as surgeon, with the rank of major, and continued his service in that capacity until he was elected, in 1814, to the general assembly of Virginia.
Three years later he was sent to Congress from the famous Abingdon district which he continued to represent for twelve years. With Floyd's attitude on political issues in general we are not concerned here, but his early interest and activity connected with Oregon entitles him unquestionably to "the credit of first proposing in Congress the actual occupation of the Columbia River country by the United States Government, of promoting its settlement and organizing it as a territory with the name Oregon.”
Floyd's family knew George Rogers Clark and William Clark intimately, a first cousin, Charles Floyd, was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, so that it is not hard to understand Floyd's interest in Oregon. In December 1820 he introduced a resolution asking for the appointment of a committee to "inquire into the situation of the settlements on the Pacific Ocean and the expediency of occupying the Columbia River.” The resolution passed and Floyd as chairman of the committee presented a report which was accompanied by a bill authorizing our occupation of the Columbia River. Floyd's information regarding Oregon was largely supplied by others and his argument for our claims to Oregon rested largely on our rights under the Louisiana Purchase. Nothing came of the report,
the subject being not even discussed in Congress, but Floyd had opened the way to a discussion which came later. When Floyd's report was handed by the President to John Quincy Adams for his consideration, Adams recorded his opinion that it "was a tissue of errors in fact and abortive reasoning, of individual reflections and rude invectives. There was nothing,” he added, "could purify it but the fire.”
Floyd continued his efforts at the next session. First he introduced his resolution, then called for an estimate of the expenses involved in a survey of the harbors of the United States on the Pacific Ocean and finally introduced a bill authorizing and requiring the President to occupy the "territory of the United States” on the waters of the Columbia River. The bill also made provision for the extinguihsment of the Indian titles and for the making of land grants to settlers. Floyd's efforts were again without result so far as Congress was concerned but President Monroe in his annual message of 1822 referred to Oregon and the question was definitely before the country. Again he introduced his bill and this time it led to perhaps the most animated and enlightening debate of the session. Floyd's remarks showed very clearly that he had used the intervening years in gathering a vast amount of material on the Oregon question.
Finally, in the session of 1823-4 Floyd succeeded in getting his bill through the House but the mighty efforts of Benton, of Missouri, and Barbour, of Virginia, failed to get a respectful hearing for it in the Senate. Floyd, with the aid of able lieutenants, continued his efforts, however, during his congressional career. In 1838 Senator Linn, of Missouri, took up the work Floyd left unfinished and the Oregon question was eventually pushed into the broader stream of national politics where it became a national issue in 1844.
Floyd became Governor of Virginia in 1830, less than a year after he closed his congressional career, and retired to private life in 1884. The three remaining years of his life were years spent largely in political opposition to Jackson, years in which Floyd became "an apostle of discontent.” He died Aug. 16, 1837. The latter half of Dr. Ambler's book reprints the diary of Floyd written between March 1891 and February 1834 and is replete with illuminating comments on the political situation of the time. Prof. Ambler's work is exceedingly well done and every student of the History of the Pacific Northwest will welcome his chapters on Oregon and gratefully enroll him among the contributors to the history of Old Oregon.