Slike strani

30. Process of Law-making.-A "bill," that is, a draft of a proposed law, may be introduced into either house by any one of its members. It is then referred for consideration to the appropriate committee. This committee, if favorable to the bill, reports it back to the house-the Senate or Assembly, as the case may be― recommending its passage. It must then be printed and read three times on separate days. But the house may, by a two-thirds vote, order the three readings on one and the same day. The bill may, by vote of the house, be "amended" by adding to, striking out, or altering any of its provisions. After the third reading, the bill, printed, together with all amendments, for the ready use of the members of the house, may be "passed" if a majority of the members elected vote "yea." After a bill has passed one house it is sent to the other and goes through a like process.1

After having passed both houses of the Legislature, the bill must be sent to the Governor. He is allowed ten days during which he may consider the bill. During this period, if he approves and signs it, it becomes a "law." But if he disapproves it and refuses to sign it, he must return it, with a statement of his objections, to the house in which it originated. This disapproval is called a "veto." The bill thus vetoed is then reconsidered by the house to which it has been returned, and if it passes by a two-thirds vote of the members elected it is sent to the other house, and if it receives a like vote there, it becomes a law, notwithstanding the Governor's veto. If it fails to receive a two-thirds vote, in either house, it does not become a law.

Again, if a bill, having passed both houses and having been duly sent to the Governor, shall not, during the session, be either signed by him or returned to the Legislature with his objections within ten days after having 1 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 15.

been presented to him (Sundays excepted), it shall become a law without his signature.

But if, perchance, the Legislature shall adjourn within these ten days and thereby prevent the Governor from returning the bill after the full time allowed him for deliberation, the Governor may decline to sign the bill, and the bill then fails to become a law. This is called a "pocket veto." If, however, during the ten days allowed him and after the adjournment of the Legislature, he does sign it, the bill thus signed becomes a law.'

31. Meetings of the Legislature.-The Constitution requires the Legislature to meet every two years, namely, on the first Monday in January. And with a view to restricting the length of the session, it provides that the members shall not receive pay for a longer period than sixty days. The Governor may, on extraordinary occasions, call special meetings of the Legislature.'

Questions on the State Legislature.

1. What are the two "houses" of the Legislature called, respectively?

2. How many members are there in the Senate?

3. Who may be elected Senators?

4. For how long are they elected?

5. When are they elected?

6. What compensation do they receive for their services?

7. Who vote for Senators?

8. In what senatorial district do you live? Draw a map of it.

9. What is the name of the Senator now in office from your senatorial district and where does he live? With what political party is he connected?

10. How many members are there in the Assembly?

11. Who may be elected Assemblymen?

12. For how long are they elected?

13. When are they elected?

14. What compensation do they receive for their services? 15. Who vote for Assemblymen?

1 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 16. 2 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 2.

16. In what assembly district do you live? Draw a map of it. 17. What is the name of the Assemblyman now in office from your assembly district and where does he live? With what political party is he connected?

18. Describe the organization of the Senate.

19. Describe the organization of the Assembly.

20. What position has the Lieutenant-Governor in the Senate? 21. What position has the Speaker in the Assembly? What do

you mean by "chairman?"

22. What are the duties of the Standing Committees? How are they elected or appointed?

23. How are vacancies in either house filled?

24. What are the privileges of members of the Legislature-In criminal cases? In civil cases? What do you mean by the terms "criminal" and "civil"? Are members privileged from arrest when they commit treason, felony, or breach of the peace? What do you mean by these terms? For what time are members privileged?

25. What is meant by a quorum? What constitutes a quorum in the Senate or Assembly? Mention any cases in which a larger number than a majority must be present and vote. What powers has a less number than a majority?

26. Describe the way laws are made.

27. What is meant by "veto?" Who has the power of veto? What is a "pocket veto?"

28. When and how often does the Legislature meet?

29. Where does it meet?

30. How long is its regular session?

31. When and by whom may "special" sessions be called?

32. Why should a legislative district be formed of contiguous territory?

33. What is meant by a "standing committee?"

34. What is the difference between a standing and a special com


35. What is the difference between a bill and a law?



32. Officers Composing the Executive Department. The chief administrative officers, constituting what is commonly called the executive department of the State, are the Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney-General, Surveyor-General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. All of these officers are elected by all the voters of the State, and hold office for four years, their terms beginning on the first day of January subsequent to their election.'

33. Character of the Executive Department.The chief executive officer of the State is the Governor.2 He is the most conspicuous of the State's officials; he represents the unity of the State. His duties, however, are rather those of general information, advice, and superintendence than of execution. The real carrying out of the laws depends more on the officials of the counties, cities, and towns, elected severally by the people of such local divisions, than on any State officials.

34. The Governor.-The qualifications established by the Constitution of California for the Governor are that he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and shall have been a citizen of the United States and a resident of California for five years.3

35. Powers and Duties of the Governor.-The powers and duties of the Governor may be placed under five heads: (1) As chief executive, it is his duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed. He performs all the executive business that has to be transacted with the

1 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 2, 17. 2 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 1.

3 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 3. 4 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 7.

officers of government, both civil and military. He may call for information in writing, respecting the conduct of their offices, from the officers of the executive department. Upon the request of a Governor of another State he issues his order for the return of any criminal who may have fled from justice. This is called an order of extradition.

(2) He is to a certain extent associated with the Legislature. His assent is necessary for giving legal force to an Act of the Legislature, and his veto prevents such legal force unless the Legislature is able to command a two-thirds majority in overriding his veto. He is empowered to convene the Legislature in special session when in his opinion there is an occasion demanding their attention. In case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of their adjournment, he may adjourn the Legislature to such time as he thinks proper, provided that such time is not beyond the date fixed for the meeting of the next Legislature. It is, moreover, his duty to communicate by "message" with the Legislature at every session the condition of the State and to recommend such measures as he may deem expedient.


(3) He is commander-in-chief of the militia, the army and navy of the State. This duty may be called into activity in case of foreign invasion or of serious internal disorder.

(4) It is the duty of the Governor to keep the Great Seal of the State, and with it to seal, afterwards signing, all commissions issued in the name of the people of the State. It is also his duty, when any office may become vacant and no mode of filling it is provided by

1 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 6.
2 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 16.
3 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 9.
4 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 11.

5 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 10. 6 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 5.

7 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 13, 14.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »