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Mr. SPEAKER : The undersigned, your Committee on Ways and Means, beg leave to report that they have had under consideration Senate Bill No. 220—An Act supplemental to an Act entitled an Act to provide for changing the location of the California Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, approved March thirty-first, eighteen bundred and sixty-six, and herewith report the same back and recommend its passage.
By reference to the original Act of which this bill is supplemental, we find that A. W. Saxe, I. P. Rankin, J. L. Downing, J. A. Benton and Wm. Sherman were constituted a Board of Commissioners of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institution, and certain powers delegated to them, among which were those of the selection of a location and the erection of suitable buildings thereon for the accommodation of the deaf, dumb and blind of the State. They also had full power to sell the buildings owned by the State and used for the Institute, and use the money obtained therefrom, with a donation of fifty thousand dollars, to purchase the location and erect the buildings thereon, making an entire sum of eighty-five thousand dollars, the Commissioners having received the sum of thirty-five thousand dollars for the old buildings.
The Commissioners went forward under the law, obtained a fine location near the City of Oakland, and in the erection of a building went much beyond the law, and entered into contracts involving an expenditure by the State of one bundred and fifty thousand dollars, instead of the sum of eighty-five thousand dollars, as originally comtemplated and authorized. This bill involves an appropriation of sixty-five thousand dollars, being the amount required by the Commissioners to complete the building. That the Commissioners, by the exercise of undue authority in this matter, deserve the censure of this House, your Committee do not doubt. No State agent should, in the execution of any public trust, transcend the powers delegated to him by the law.
While your Committee deem the conduct of the Commissioners reprehensible, they believe that it was more from an excess of zeal than from any wilful departure from the law. When completed, the building will be ample to supply the needs of the entire coast for a number of years to come, and tbe State will be in possession of a piece of property worth more tban it originally cost.