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Ensign v. Barse, 107 N. Y. 329. But where assessment is void and sales thereunder conveyed no title act cannot be passed validating such assessment and sales. Cromwell v. MacLean, 123 N. Y. 474.
Private and local bills.- Art. III, § 16: "No private or local bill, which may be passed by the legislature, shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.
The design of this section was that no portion of the State or its people should be made the subject of legislative action without notice. People v. Supervisors of Chautauqua, 43 N. Y. 10, 15; People v. Hills, 35 id. 449. No definite rule can be laid down as to what constitutes a local act. Each case must be decided upon its own circumstances. People ex rel. v. Newburgh Plankroad Co., 86 N. Y. 1, 7.
A general provision in a local act is valid, although not expressed in the title, and though the local provisions are void because not expressed in the title. Ferguson v. Ross, 126 N. Y. 459; People v. Supervisors of Chautauqua, 43 id. 10; People v. McCann, 16 id. 58; Williams v. People, 24 id. 405. The local provisions are void, if by containing general law, the act embraces more than one subject though but one local or private subject. People v. Supervisors of Chautauqua, 43 N. Y. 10, 23.
An act embracing all the cities of the State, or all things of a certain class, is general, although by some limitation of population or otherwise, only a particular city or the inhabitants of a single locality receive its benefit. Ferguson v. Ross, 126 N. Y. 459, 464; People ex rel. v. Squire, 107 id. 593; Matter of Church, 92 id. 4; Matter of Elevated R. R., 70 id. 327; Treanor v. Eichhorn, 74 Hun, 58; Burnham v. Acton, 7 Rob. 95.
An act is local which in its subjects relates but to a portion of the people of the State, or to their property, and may not, either in its subject, operation or immediate and necessary results, affect the people of the State or their property in general. People v. Supervisors, 43 N. Y. 21; Kerrigan v. Force, 68 id. 383.
A statute, local in one sense, may in some cases be general. Burnham V. Acton, 7 Rob. 95.
An act may be public and still local. Thus the following acts though pablic are local and require the subject to be expressed in the title: Defining jurisdiction of local courts, amending municipal charters, regulating elections of city officers in particular city, providing for laying out streets or highways or constructing bridges in a particular locality, taxing to pay expense of the work, regulating fees of officers in a particular county or the expenses of judicial sales therein. Ferguson v. Ross, 126 N. Y. 459, 464, and cases cited.
A statute, general in form, is not private or local, because every application must be local or private. Matter of New York Elevated R. R. Co., 70 N. Y. 327; Matter of Gilbert Elevated R. R. Co., id. 361.
The legislature may make local exceptions in general laws. Matter of New York Elevated R. R. Co., 70 N. Y. 327.
It is necessary that the title be such as to fairly suggest or give a clue to the subject, but when that is expressed, all matters fairly and reasonably connected with it, and all measures which will or may facilitate its accomplishment, are proper to be incorporated in the act. Astor v. Arcade R. R. Co., 113 N. X. 93, 110; Sweet v. City of Syracuse, 129 id. 316, 331; Van Brunt v. Town of Flatbush, 128 id. 50.
Any means provided by an act for accomplishing the purpose as expressed in the title, not clearly incongruous and foreign, will not render it invalid. People ex rel, etc., v. Briggs, 50 N. Y. 553; Kerrigan v. Force, 68 N. Y. 384.
The intention was to require sufficient notice of the subject of proposed legislation of a private or local character to be so expressed in the title as to put all persons concerned in proposed legislation upon their guard. Johnston v. Spicer, 107 N. Y. 185; Astor v. Arcade R. R. Co., 113 id. 93.
It is not sufficient to state in the title of a local bill merely that it amends a chapter of a previous year (People v. Hills, 35 N. Y. 449); but it is not necessary that the most expressive title should be adopted, nor should the courts criticise too rigidly the details of a bill to find extraneous matter. People ex rel. Rochester v. Briggs, 50 N. Y. 558. "An act to amend the several acts in relation to the city of Rochester," was held sufficient. Id.
Local bills, when not to be passed.-Art. III, § 18: "The legis lature shall not pass a private or local bill in any of the following cases: Creating, increasing or decreasing fees, percentage or allowances of public officers, during the term for which said officers are elected or appointed.
Granting to any private corporation, association or individual any exclusive privilege, immunity or franchise whatever."
An act increasing fees of sheriff of Kings county, which did not in terms apply to the sheriff in office, held constitutional. Kerrigan v. Force, 68 N. Y. 381. Does not apply to officers having fixed salaries (Mangam v. Brooklyn, 98 id. 585); nor to an act relating to the compensation of certain county treasurers, which does not in terms apply to county treasurers in office at the time of its passage. Supervisors of Seneca v. Allen, 99 id. 532. See, also, Cole v. State, 102 id. 48; People ex rel. Lynch v. Luffy, 49 Hun, 276; Ricketts v. Mayor, 67 How. Pr. 320.
The last paragraph is designed to prohibit original and independent grants. An act restricting and regulating an existing right is not within this prohibition. Matter of Gilbert Elevated R. R., 70 N. Y. 361. See Matter of Application of Union Ferry Co., 98 id. 139; Syracuse Water Co. v. Syracuse, 116 id. 167, 186; Trustees of Firemen's Fund v. Roome, 93 id. 314; Moran v. Long Island City, 101 id. 439.
Two-thirds bills.-Art. III, § 20: "The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the legislature shall be requisite to every bill appropriating the public moneys or property for local or private purposes."
For law requiring certificate of presiding officer, see Legislative L., § 40. Where the appropriation is for State purposes, though the expenditure is confined to a locality, it does not require a two-thirds vote. Money may be appropriated to pay individuals for property purchased for the State or for salaries or wages without a two-thirds vote. Sweet v. Syracuse, 129 N. Y. 316, 347.
The courts may inquire whether an appropriation is public, and if private or local, whether it received the assent of two-thirds of the members of each house. W. W. M. Co. v. Shanahan, 128 N. Y. 345, 358.
The law must show on its face the requisite vote. People ex rel. Purdy v. Commissioners, 54 N. Y. 276. Resort may be had to the original law to determine whether it received the requisite two-thirds vote. Rumsey v. N. Y. & N. E. R. R. Co., 130 id. 88. Or if the certificate is defective and does not state by what vote the bill was passed, to the journal of the house. Id.
A certificate in due form, free from defects and clerical errors, would doubtless be conclusive. Id.; People v. Devlin, 33 N. Y. 269.
An appropriation is local when money is to be expended in a particular locality and the people of that locality are to be directly and mainly benefited, although the public are remotely and incidentally benefited also. People v. Allen, 42 N. Y. 378, 383.
An act (Laws 1868, chap. 776) vesting in a certain town real estate of the State required a two-thirds vote. People ex rel. Purdy v. Commissioners, 54 N. Y. 276.
An act authorizing the treasurers of certain counties to retain commissions allowed on the collection of State taxes is not within the section. Board of Supervisors of Seneca v. Allen, 99 N. Y. 532.
This section is no limitation on the power of the legislature to assess or tax the cost of a local improvement upon a locality. People ex rel. N. Y. & H. R. R. Co. v. Havemeyer, 47 How. Pr. 494, 513; Town of Guilford v. Cornell, 18 Barb. 615.
The "public moneys or property" of the State means property belonging to the State strictly, such as the collected revenues of the State, the buildings owned by the State, etc. Matter of the Taxpayers of Kingston (Co. Ct.), 40 How. Pr. 444. See, also, Trustees of Exempt Firemen's Fund v. Roome, 93 N. Y. 313.
Tax bills to state tax distinctly. Art. III, § 24: "Every law which imposes, continues or revives a tax shall distinctly state the tax and object to which it is to be applied, and it shall
not be sufficient to refer to any other law to fix such tax or object."
Applies only to a general tax upon all the property of the State, and was not intended to apply to a local tax. Jones v. Chamberlain, 109 N. Y. 109; Harlem R. R. Co. v. Havemeyer, 4 T. & C. 65.
Applies only to the annual recurring taxes known at the time of the adoption of the provision imposed generally on all the property of the State, and not to a special tax (inheritance tax). Matter of McPherson, 104 N. Y. 306.
Does not apply to an act directing the application of railroad taxes. Matter of Clark v. Sheldon, 106 N. Y. 104.
44 or so A tax law imposing a tax of three and a half mills per dollar, much thereof as may be necessary," held void. People ex rel. Hopkins v. Supervisors of Kings, 52 N. Y. 556.
A law imposing a tax otherwise valid is not impaired by vetoes of items in appropriation bills whereby such bills do not appropriate all the money which will probably be received under such tax. Matter of Attorney-General, 58 Hun, 218.
An act requiring insurance companies of another State to pay an amount equal to that imposed by the State of their origin on companies of this State is in the nature of a license fee and not prohibited by this section. People v. Fire Association of Philadelphia, 92 N. Y. 311.
The statement that a tax imposed by the legislature is for the general fund of the city "and for those claims and demands which shall constitute a lawful charge on that fund during the fiscal year," held, a sufficient statement of the object of the tax under section 20, article 3, of the Constitution. Matter of Attorney-General, 58 Hun, 218; S. C., 34 State Repr. 284; S. C., 12 N. Y. Supp. 754 (1890).
Ayes and noes, three-fifths quorum.- Art. III, § 25: "On the final passage, in either house of the legislature, of any act which imposes, continues or revives a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or revives any appropriation of public or trust money or property, or releases, discharges or commutes any claim or demand of the State, the question shall be taken by yeas and nays, which shall be duly entered upon the journals, and three fifths of all the members elected to either house shall, in all such cases, be necessary to constitute a quorum therein."
The provision requiring the presence of three-fifths has no reference to the assage of a military law by which a commutation tax is imposed. People v. The Supervisors of Chenango, 8 N. Y. 317.
Laws 1855, chapter 428, "An act for compensating parties whose property may be destroyed in consequence of mobs and riots," did not re
quire three-fifths to constitute a quorum, although it might result in creating a local charge. Darlington v. Mayor, etc., of New York, 31 N. Y. 164, 185. See, also, Trustees of Exempt Firemen's Fund v. Roome, 93 id. 313; Fumpelly v. Owego, 45 How. Pr. 219.
Limitation of debts.-Art. VII, § 4: "Except the debts specified in sections two and three of this article, no debts shall be hereafter contracted by or on behalf of this State, unless such debt shall be authorized by a law, for some single work or object, to be distinctly specified therein; and such law shall impose and provide for the collection of a direct annual tax to pay, and sufficient to pay, the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt within eighteen years from the time of the contracting thereof. No such law shall take effect until it shall, at a general election, have been submitted to the people, and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at such election. On the final passage of such bill in either house of the legislature, the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, to be duly entered on the journals thereof, and shall be: Shall this bill pass, and ought the same to receive the sanction of the people?'
"The legislature may at any time, after the approval of such law by the people, if no debt shall have been contracted in pur suance thereof, repeal the same; and may at any time, by law, forbid the contracting of any further debt or liability under such law; but the tax imposed by such act, in proportion to the debt and liability which may have been contracted, in pursuance of such law, shall remain in force and be irrepealable, and be annually collected, until the proceeds thereof shall have made the provision herein before specified to pay and discharge the interest and principal of such debt and liability. The money arising from any loan or stock creating such debt or liability shall be applied to the work or object specified in the act authorizing such debt or liability, or for the repayment of such debt or liability, and for no other purpose whatever. No such law shall be submitted to be voted on, within three months after its passage or at any general election when any other law, or any bill, or any amendment to the Constitution, shall be submitted to be voted for or against."