« PrejšnjaNaprej »
would produce the effect of nullifying the wishes of our constituents ? I shall certainly oppose this resolution. I do not know but I am favor of the amendment of the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Dent,) which goes still further than the re. port of the Committee.
Mr. Dext read his proposed amendment, as follows:
No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor (except at the first election) who has not the qualifications of an elector, and been a resident of this State two years next preceding the election, and attained the age of twenty-five years at the time of said election.
The question was then taken on the amendment, and it was rejected.
The question was then taken on Mr. McDougal's amendment, and it was rejected.
Mr. SHANNON moved to strike out all after the word election, being the words "and attained the age of twenty five years at the time of said election.”
The motion was decided in the negative.
4. The returns of every election for Governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of Government, directed to the Speaker of the Assembly, who shall, during the first week of the sessesion, open and publish them in the presence of both Houses of the Legislature. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor. But in case any two or more have an equal and the highest number of votes, the Legislature shall, by joint ballot, choose one of said persons 80 having an equal and the highest number of votes for Governor.
Mr. GILBERT said : If now in order, I would move the amendment which I have already referred to, and which I will now explain to the House, I would state that if the section be adopted as it stands in the report, the Legislature will commence on the first Monday in January, and the returns of the election of Go. vernor will have to go before the Legislature ; consequently there will be no Gov. ernor until the Speaker of the Assembly shall have declared who is Governor. There will be an interregnum between the meeting of the Legislature and the decision of the election. My substitute is designed to obviate this difficulty ; that the going out of office of the Governor and the assembling of the Legislature shall be consistent. I deemed some provision of the kind absolutely necessary. I am not tenacious that the Secretary of State should be the canvassing officer of the elec. tion; there may be a board consisting of all the State officers; but it is necessary that the Governor should go into office on the first day of January. He would then have eight days to prepare himself for the duties of his office, and to render to the Legislature a proper report or message ; under the proposed state of things the Legislature assembles on the 1st day of January, and you have the old Gov. ernor in office. He delivers a message to the Legislature, whereas, I think the new Governor should have that privilege, and nct be obliged to sit out a part of that Legislature without the right to present to it any exposition of his views. You might make a canvassing board consisting of the Attorney General, Surveyor General, Comptroller, or other State officers, if the remarks of the gentleman from Monterey (Mr. Botts) have frightened the House. You will find it you refer further to the report, that these officers are, in the first instance, to be elected by the Legis. lature, and thereafier by the people. I now move that section 4th be stricken out, and the following be substituted :
4. The returns of every election for Governor and other State officers shall be sealed up and transmitted as soon as practicable thereafter, to the seat of Government, directed to the Secretary of State, who shall, on or before the fifteenth day of December next ensuing, publish the same in one or more public newspapers. The person having the highest number of votes for Governor or other office, respectively, as the case may be, shall be declared duly elected; but in case any two or more persons have an equal and the highest number of votes for Governor or other office, respectively, the Legislature shall choose by joint ballot, at its first session thereafter, one of said persons so having an equal and the highest number of votes for Governor or other office, respectively, as the case may be.
Mr. Crosby. I hope this amendment will prevail, as it seems to be of the highest importance that the Governor and the Legislature should go into office at the same time. Almost always the same policy is agreed to by the Governor and the Legislature, and it is desirable there should be a co-relative agreement in the commencement of their operations. In addition to the persons named as canvasșing officers, perhaps it would be well to have the Supreme Chief Justices added, or have them alone, without the State officers.
Mr. GILBERT. I believe that in the State of New York all the State officers constitute the board.
Mr. Gwin. I hope this amendment will not be adopted. My colleague seems to think it of great importance that the new Governor should make a speech. There is no difficulty about that as the matter stands. The retiring Governor presents his valedictory--the new Governor his inaugural address.
Mr. SHERWOOD. After hearing the remarks of my friend from San Francisco on the right, (Mr. Gilbert,) I am decidedly in favor of the proposed substitute. I think the Governor and other State officers should be aware of the election pre. vious to the hour of their installation. It seems proper that any officer who has received the vote of the people of the State should know, previous to his installation, whether he is elected or not; and that we should not require officers to come to the seat of Government to inquire whether he has received a majority of the votes, and wait for the Legislature to tell him.
Mr. McDougal. I would suggest to my friend from San Francisco, (Mr. Gil. bert,) the propriety of an addition to his amendment. There is no provision, either in the amendment or in the original report, designating who shall seal up and transmit these election returns to the seat of government.
Mr. Gilkert. Thạt will be provided by law.
hereafter by the Committee.
Mr. Borts. I would simply inquire if it he designed in the resolution that this officer-the Secretary of State-is merely to count the votes as they are sent in, and declare the result
, or is a discretionary power left with him to decide whether they are legal or illegal?
Mr. Gilbert. The returns that come to him will come from the duly elected canvassers in the several districts, and of course he will take no returns unless they come under that authority. The Speaker of the Assembly must act upon the same returns; the Assembly and Legislature must act upon the same returns; they cannot act upon any others. If these returns are fulse the Legislature will make a mistake, and be placed just in the same position as the Secretary of State. The gentleman has conjured up a danger that has no existence in reality. As a further answer to the objections of the gentleman from Monterey, (Mr. Botts,)! would remind him that the substitute provides that the returns shall be published fifteen days before the meeting of the Legislature.
The question was then taken on the proposed substitute and decided in the negative.
The fourth section, as reported, was then 'adopted. The question being on the fifth section, viz: 5. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the militia, the army, and navy of this State.”
Mr. McDougal moved to amend by adding at the end of this section, "except when they shall be called into service by the United States.”
Mr. McCarver thought the gentleman's amendment was needless. Who would be commander.in.chief if the Governor was not? The Governor should be commander.in-chief. The Government of the United States, in case of neces. sity, makes a call upon him, and be furnishes the required forces.
th Mr. SHANNON read from the second article, section 2d, of the Constitution of
United States, as follows: “ The President shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States," &c.
Mr. McDoUGAL could see no necessity then for the section, unless it contained the exception which he had proposed.
Mr. NORTON remarked that it was usual to have such an article in the Consti. tutions of the States, and he considered the amendment entirely out of place.
The fifth section was then adopted, without amendment.
6. He shall transact all executive business with the officers of Government, civil and military, and may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
7. He shall see that the laws are faithfully executed. 8. When any office shall from any cause become vacant, and no mode is provided by the Constitution and laws for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have power to fill such vacancy, by granting a commission which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Legislature, or at the next election by the people.
9. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by proclamation, and shall state to both Houses, when assembled, the purposes for which they shall have been convened.
10. He shall communicate by message to the Legislature, at every session, the condition of the State, and recommend such matters as he shall deem expedient.
The question being on the 11th section, viz:
11. In case of a disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor shall have power to adjourn the Legislature to such time as he may think proper, provided it be not beyond the time fixed for the meeting of the next Legislature.
Mr. HASTINGS moved to strike it out. The motion was decided in the negative, and I he section was adopted.
Sections 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, of the report, were then adopted without debate, as follows:
12. No person shall, while holding any office under the United States or this State, exercise the office of Governor, except as hereinafter expressly provided.
13. The Governor shall have the power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, after conviction, for all offences except treason, and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions, and with such restrictions and limitations as he may think proper, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason, he shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the Legislature at its next meeting, when the Legislature shall either pardon or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve.
He shall communicate to the Legislature at the beginning of every session, every case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was.convicted, the sentence, and its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon and reprieve.
14. There shall be a seal of this State, which shall be kept by the Governor, and used by him officially, and shall be called the great seal of the State of California.
15. All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the people of the State of California, sealed with the great seal of the State, signed by the Governor, and countersigned by the Secretary of State.
16. A Lieutenant Governor shall be elected at the same time and places and in the same manner as the Governor; and his term of office and his qualifications of eligibility, shall also be the same. He shall be the President of the Senate, but shall only have a casting vote therein. If during a vacancy in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, die, or become incapable of performing the duties of his office, or be absent from the State, the President of the Senate shall act as Governor until the vacancy be filled, or the disability shall
17. In case of the impeachment of the Governor or his removal from office, death, inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, resignation or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor for the residue of the term, or until the disability shall cease. But when the Governor shall, with the consent of the Legislature, be out of the State in time of war at the head of any military force thereof, he shall continue Commander-in-chief of all the military force of the State. The 18th section of the report being under consideration, as follows:
18. A Secretary of State, a Comptroller, a Treasurer, an Attorney General, and Surveyor General, shall be chosen in the manner provided in this Constitution, and the terrn of office and eligibility of each shall be the same as are prescribed for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
Mr. GILBERT moved to strike out the words “a Comptroller.' He thought it absolutely necessary that we should have as few State officers as possible. He could see necessity for having a Comptroller. Such an officer was not required here where our public improvements and the amount of public funds would be so limited for several years.
Mr. SHERWOOD hoped the motion would not prevail. The Comptroller is audi. tor of public accounts, and is a very important officer in that light. As for public improvements, he trusted we would have some before long.
Mr. McCarver suggested that the Secretary of State be required to perform the duties of Comptroller.
Mr. GILBERT said that the business of the Comptroller was simply to audit the accounts of the State Treasurer. In some States there is a Committee of the Legislature to audit the accounts of the Treasurer. In the State of New York a Comptroller is absolutely necessary. The Treasurer in that State is a mere Cashier. The Comptroller is the principal officer. But in California for many years we shall not need an office of this kind. He hoped the House would strike it out and provide, if necessary, for a board of officers of both Houses of the Le. gislature.
Mr. McCARVER thought this matter should be left to the Legislature. It is usual in legislative bodies in the States to have frequent settlements with the au. ditor of public accounts, by a committee appointed for that purpose.
Mr. Borts hoped the motion would not prevail. He was in favor of retaining this officer, not only because the Constitution of New York has a Comptroller in it, but because his duties are extremely important. In some of the States they are so important as to be divided between two---a first and second Comptroller. A most wholesome and useful check is created by the union of the two officers; the one is a check upon the other. It is absolutely necessary to have some officer to keep a check upon the public accounts.
The question was taken on Mr. Gilbert's motion to strike out the words “a Comptroller,” and decided in the negative.
The 18th section was then adopted.
19. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. He shall keep a fair record of the official acts of the legislative and executive departments of the Government, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all matters relative thereto, before either branch of the Legislature, and shall perform such other duties as shall be assigned him by law.
Mr. Dent moved to strike out all of the first sentence after the word “be," and insert thereof the words “elected by the people.”
Mr. Halleck suggested that if this amendment was adopted, another should be passed also, providing that the Secretary of State shall not be required to keep the records of the Governor, if he is not to be a confidential officer, appointed un. der his authority.
The question was then taken on the amendment, and it was rejected.
The 20th and 21st sections of the report were adopted, without debate, as fol. lows :
20. The comptroller, treasurer, attorney general, and surveyor general, shall be chosen by jointballot of the two Houses of the Legislature, at their first session under this Constitution, and thereafter shall be elected, at the same time and places, and in the same manner as the governor andl ieutenant governor.
21. The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, attorney general, and surveyor general shall each, at stated times during their continuance in office, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be increased cr diminished during the term for which they shall have been elected, but neither of these officers shall receive for his own use any fees for the performance of his official duties.
The 22d section of the report being under consideration, as follows:
22. The governor may suspend from office the secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, surveyor general, and attorney general during the recess of the Legislature, until thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the Legislature, whenever it shall appear to him that such officer has in any particular violated his duty, and he shall appoint a competent person to discharge the duties of the office during such suspension, and within ten days after the meeting of the Legislature, or after such suspension ; if made during the session, the governor shall lay before that body his reasons for such suspension, and the Legislature shall determine by joint ballot whether the officer so suspended shall be removed or restored to office.
Mr. Borts gaid he thought he would vote for everything brought up to night; but he could not vote for this. It was putting into the hands of the Governor most extraordinary powers. Whilst he was not prepared to debate, he was certainly prepared to vote against it,
The question was then taken, and the 22d section was adopted. On motion, the Committee then rose, reported the 3d and 4th articles to the House, with sundry amendments, and had leave to sit again.
On motion, the House adjourned to 10 o'clock A. M. to-morrow,
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1849. The Convention met pursuant to adjournment. Prayer by Rev. S. H. Wiley. Journal of yesterday read and approved.
Mr. Gwin offered the following resolution : Resolved, That the proposition fJ. Ross Browne to print and publish, for the use of the State, 1,000 copies in English, and 250 copies in Spanish, of a stenographic report of the proceedings of this Convention, for $10,000, be and is hereby accepted; and the President of the Convention is hereby authorized to enter into the necessary arrangements with Mr. Browne for the security and payment of said appropriation.
Mr. Gwix remarked that it was a matter of importance to the reporter that this proposition should be acted upon without further delay. He regarded it as extremely important that a correct official record of the proceedings of this convention should be published, both in English and Spanish. He thought the proposition reasonable enough ; and, as it seemed to be the only feasible mode of accomplishing the object, he moved the adoption of the resolution.
Mr. Crosby stated that the Committee had taken a great deal of pains to ascertain whether this sum was as low as it could possibly be done for, and they were clearly of the opinion that the proposition was more favorable than any other that had been presented. Almost the entire expense of printing these Spanish copies is additional; or, in other words, after printing the English edition, it would cost the same to have it translated into Spanish and an edition of two hundred and fifty copies printed in that language.
Mr. LIPPITT called for the reading of Mr. Browne's proposition, which was ordered.
Mr. McCARVER would vote for the adoption of the resolution ; but, at the same time, he would greatly prefer that each member should have one copy of the Report instead of the number specified. It would not look so much like voting themselves books at the people's expense.
Mr. Botts had no great desire to see the debates of this Convention reported at all. He conceived that questions of the greatest magnitude had been diseussed under circumstances of hurry and haste; and that the debates, if correctly reported, would leave the members of the Convention in a very unenviable attitude be. fore the country:
He had no sort of fancy for having the debates laid before the country. He did not think, from the difficulties experienced by every gentleman who had spoken, owing to the want of books for reference, time for preparation, and a systematic order of things, that they were calculated to do credit to Califor. nia. But it was not to that point he wished to call the attention of the House. If this Convention adopted the resolution, the Reporter was, from that moment, entitled