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and many woulde rints, and if their
Branch and other gentlemen is en would have made that fact known. It questions arisen as to the construction titled to great weight. I think the is true that I have not, as my colleague of our Constitution ? Is it not because common people would remain in has, on my return home, consulted my we have not legislated enough upon ignorance of our laws to a much constituents in reference to this ques. the subject, because we have not laid greater extent than now, if we had tion. But if there had been any great the foundation broad upon which to annual sessions...
anxiety on their part in reference to build the superstructure thereof, so as: One word in reference to the argu- this matter, I think I should have not to permit of any misinterpretation ment of my colleague, (Mr. WILLARD,) heard from them about it. I may not in regard to'what was meant? I think as to the necessity of frequent meet-express their feelings and wishes, but it is our duty fully to consider every
ings of the Legislature, in order to I represent my own feelings, and do subject that demands our attention, : pass laws legalizing the acts of differ- not think I do violence to what they and to pass upon it coolly, dispassion
ent municipalities. I think that the desire, in opposing annual sessions. ately and deliberately. As my friend reason for so much legislation of that At least they have not asked me to do from Kalamazoo (Mr. GIDDINGS) said kind during the session of last winter, differently.
the other day, “we should make haste and the session prior to that, and per-1 Mr. VAN VALKENBURGH. I hope slowly," and deliberate fully upon all haps for all the sessions since 1861, the amendment of the gentleman from questions that come before us. I have was because of the revolution through Berrien, (Mr. COOLIDGE,) Will prevail. not found that the people arë fearful which this country has just passed, I am decidedly in favor of annual ses- that too much time will be spent here and the necessities under which our sions. I think the growing interests of in framing the Constitution, and that municipalities have acted in reference our State demând it. Gentlemen on too much expense will be incurred: to räising men and money for the this floor, who were here in 1850, will I have not found the people of Michii benefit of the government, and which bear me witness that I, at that time, I gan 80 penurious that they would have been such as to make it neces- opposed the introduction of this pro- | hurry us in this work. Many gentle
m to take action which, vision in our Constitution. I have not men upon this floor make daily, sacriunder ordinary circumstances, would altered my opinion since then. I was ficos, by their attendance here, of their not have been required, and I hope then in favor of annual sessions; I am own personal interests, and all of us will not be hereafter required.
still in favor of annual sessions. | certainly would desire to leave here It is true that in the past the devel. Some gentlemen upon this floor seem and return home as soon as may be. opment of the material resources of to have a holy horror of legislation. Il Some of us make no sacrifices. As this State have been retarded for want have no feeling of that kind. I believe for myself, I am very much in of legislation. But that has not been, legislation is necessary. My colleague, the condition of my friend from however, in my opinion, because wÓ (Mr. P. D. WARNER,) tells us that wo Sanilac, (Mr. DIVINE;) my time is have not been able to convene our pass a bill at one session and repeal it as useful hero as it would be else Legislature every year, büt because at the next. Well, sir, if we pass bad where. But I am not here for the pitthe time has been limited for the in-1 laws at one session, the sooner they are Itance I receive for my services. If my troduction of bills each session. And repealed the better. I do not think State demanded my services, I should there has been another very prominent that is any argument at all against an- | be here although I should receive no reason, which has given rise to the nual sessions, Bad laws should be re- remuneration for them, except the necessity for this Convention to con- pealed; and if we pass bad laws the pleasuro of serving my State. I say vene here, and that is the necessity for sooner they are repealed the better. I then let us deliberate upon this subject, amending the Constitution. I hope The argument that annual sessions of and upon all others that are brought that reason will govern us in our future the Legislature will increase the expen-before us, coolly and dispassionately. action more than it has in the past. ses, of our State, I think ought not I hope that the motion of the gentleOne great difficulty has been what may I to influence this Convention at all. I man from Berrien, (Mr. COOLIDGE,) be stýled the great amount of legisla- do not think it is an argument to array will prevail, and that we will hereafter tion in the Constitution. That has against the correctness of a principle, I have annual sessions. been the difficulty; those restrictions and against the justice of annual ses- Mr. BURTCH. It is a matter of have been found to prevent the legisla- sions. If they are necessary we ought some wonder to me that the gentletion necessary in order to secure the to have them, notwithstanding the ex- man from Branch, (Mr. LUCE;) who has uninterrupted development of our pense. The expense should not deter occupied seats in both Houses of the material resources. Those gentlemen us from annual sessions.
Legislature, had not made a motion who have been here in the Legislature It has been well remarked by the that the Legislature should not meet know that every day, and upon almost gentleman from Calhoun, (Mr. WIL- again for twenty years; he seems to every bill, some member would rise LARD,) that the diversified interests of be so much opposed to the meeting of in his seat and say that the bill under our State, and the growing population the Legislature. One of the strongest consideration was in conflict with some and wealth of our State, demand the arguments that I have heard in favor provision of the Constitution. This vigilence and care of annual legislation. of an annual session of the Legislature difficulty, together with the fact that I say, then, I am decidedly in favor of is the fact stated by the gentleman the time has been limited for the in- annual sessions; and hope the amend- from Oakland (Mr. P. D. WARNER) On troduction of bills, I apprehend, has ment of the gentleman from Berrien my right. He said that you could been the great stumbling block in the will prevail.
continue the session of the Legislature way of proper legislation.
There are many reasons which have for two years by abjuring the moral This is a matter to which I have not been urged upon this floor which obligation of an oath to support the given much thought, because there was should have weight with the commit- Constitution.' no call for it. If there had been any tee of the whole, in deciding this ques- Mr. P. D. WARNER. I did not say call for a change of our practice in tion. I have none of that fear of leg- that. nl this respect, I would have heard some-islation which is entertained by some Mr. BURTCH. The gentleman did thing of it from my constituents. Had members on this floor. They seem to not use that language, but that was the they felt that they labored under any think that we legislate too much in the idea. : difficulty in regard to this matter, they | Convention. Why, sir, have so many) Mr. MORTON. I am in favor of
has been crubtained any existence in centilor
annual sessions, but not of the unlim- the Legislature for many years, yet State request anything of the kind, as : : ited time which the gentleman from judging from my experience when I a matter of course he will not hesitate Wayne, (Mr. LOTHROP,) seems to favor. was there, and from the experience I a moment to convene the Legislature I think annual sessions are necessary have since had, I believe that the great in extra session, for the purpose of in a growing State like ours. I think difficulty in the legislation of this State, taking into consideration those great if we were to have annual sessions, so far as time is concerned, is that the interests of the State of which gentleand limit the time for the introduction time is consumed to a considerable ex- men have spoken here. In New York of business to thirty or forty days, we tent by matters in which the people they have meetings of the Legislature would give the Legislature full time to are not at all interested. Look at your annually. Is there any less haste, any consider and mature all bills which statutes now. This volume which I less crude legislation, any less .corrupmight come before them. If we have hold in my hand contains, as I under- tion there than there is here? Not at annual sessions, we should not have stand, the public laws of the State, all. So far as report goes, the same such frequent changes of the laws. those laws in which the whole people charges are made against the legislaThey could be published almost imme- of the State are interested. I am in- tion there that are made against our diately after the adjournment of the formed that the volume that is to con- legislation... Legislature, and we would not be oblig- tain the private acts, interesting alone I say to you that when the Legislaed to wait, as we now do, for nearly a to private individuals and corpora- ture of the State of Michigan met year before those laws are published. tions, will be a volume twice the size annually, their action was but very I think that annual sessions limited in of this. :
little better, as a general thing, in retime, will be beneficial to the people of Mr. P. D. WARNER. It will be a gard to the general interests of the this State. I think they are necessary. volume of thirteen hundred pages. State, than it is now. Some as bad I think we can see that from the many Mr. M.CLELLAND. The gentle- laws, those that affect the people of extra sessions that have been called; I man says it will be & volume of thir- this State as injuriously as any, were do not remember but one that was use- teen hundred pages. I differ with my passed in the year 1840, as ever were lessly called, and that was the last one friend from Oakland, (Mr. VAN VAL- passed subsequently. Yet the sessions that we had which passed the soldiers' KENBURGH,) who was in the Convention of the Legislature at that time were voting law. Public opinion did not of 1850. I think that the people of annual. demand that law, but it was demanded this State have had too much legisla- I do not intend to extend my reby certain political necessities. We all tion; and that that legislation, from marks, because I do not want to take know how that matter ended. I be- some cause or other, not from the up the time of this body. But I will lieve that a Legislature unnecessarily cause which has been suggested here, make reference to an allusion made by called together will always end in ca has been crude, and such as never the gentleman from Oakland, (Mr. lamity rather than in good... . should have obtained any existence in VAN VALKENBURGH,) and some other But when we remember that, our this State.
I gentlemen, in reference to the expense northern counties are growing counties, I believe, with my colleague, (Mr. this will be to the State. This is a and are asking almost every year that LOTHROP,) after an experience of so subject upon which I have bestowed the executive should call an extra ses- many years, and after, as has been some little attention. We are now, sion, we can see that the public pres- alleged here, the disregard which has and have been for several years past, sure is in favor of annual sessions. been paid to the obligations imposed in a state of prosperity. We are apI do not know how my constituents upon members of the Legislature by parently advancing very rapidly in feel upon this subject. I think the the Constitution, there is no longer everything that can make us a great, a majority of them are rather in favor of any propriety in retaining the restric- happy, and a prosperous people. But annual sessions. But that has nothing tion upon the length of the session of the day of reckoning may come. Ina. to do with my voting here. When I the Legislature. At one time I thought my judgment, financial difficulties are think the public business requires an- there was a propriety in that restric- ahead of us; it is merely a question of nual sessions, I will vote for it, whether tion; and if the Legislature had ad- time when those difficulties will beset my constituents want it or not.. hered to the provisions of the Consti- us. Now, sir, this is not the time, as
Mr. MCCLELLAND. I am opposed tution, as they were bound by their 1850 was not the time, to fix upon a · to the amendment of the gentleman oaths to do, the restriction would have great many things that should be left
from Berrien. I am not like the gen- been a salutary one. But as was by the Constitution to the Legislature; tleman from Monroe, (Mr. MORTON;) I alleged yesterday in regard to the in- for instance, such as salaries and came here to represent the wishes of eligibility to office of certain officers of everything of that kind...? my constituents, and I do care what this State, I say in regard to this par- I said to the Convention of 1850, “You the people of my district would say to ticular restriction it is better for us to are now laboring under a pressure; me. I apprehend that many of the give way to what the gentleman from the people are very much involved, and arguments that have been advanced by Monroe, (Mr. MORTON,) would call the the State also is involved, and taxes are the gentleman from Branch, Mr. incorruptibility of the Legislature, heavy. Therefore, I beseech you not to LUCE,) and other gentlemen here, are rather than their independence of all put into the Constitution an article on correct; I think they will be found to law and everything else, and not com- salaries. Leave that matter to the be correct, if you pass this, amend-pel them to perjure themselves by re- Legislature; let them regulate salaries ment and have annual sessions.
taining this restriction.
. so as to conform to the necessities of I have had a great deal of expe- Suppose there should be a necessity the time, the ability of the State to pay, rience in this regard; and I do not be- for legislation intervening between the and the duties that are to be discharglieve that annual sessions will obviate regular biennial sessions; has not the ed by the officers to be appointed or any of the difficulties suggested by Governor the power to convene the elected." My advice was disregarded gentlemen here in favor of this amend- Legislature for the purpose of passing then; and from the indications here ment. Hasty legislation will take place upon everything that is contained in to-day, and the indications we have just as much when you have annual his message? If the people of the heretofore had, in all probability my: sessions as when you have biennial ses- State desire it, or if any large portion adrice will be disregarded now. But ::: sions. Although I have not been in of the people in any section of the I say to you that you had better beware
and just combine have everything. manis bag en
ferent what I the Constitut it to be pere the best At the opted, Instrument tibas. " I must be
how you impose upon the people of ture met every year, that there would something for his constituents, and, this State obligations that it will be not be as many applications for delay therefore he applies for a charter for difficult for them to redeem. The item in collection of taxes ? That matter his village. I think the better policy is of sixty thousand or one hundred takes up, in my judgment, a consider- to have general laws whenever they can thousand dollars a year is not to be able portion of the time of the Legis- be made applicable; not to have so disregarded by us, when we take into lature, and of the book of session laws much local legislation, taking up the consideration the burdens that have also.
time of the Legislature in passing such already been cast upon us by the war, Mr. LONGYEAR. I will say right acts, and also in passing acts for the which has ended so gloriously for us, here, in answer to the gentleman, that extension of the time for the collection : and from other causes. We should by this very article, it is proposed to of taxes. study strict economy in everything, and take from the Legislature that power, I hope, as the gentleman from Ingat the same time have in view the full and to confer it, I suppose, upon the ham, (Mr. LONGYEAR,) says, that the and just compensation of every person board of supervisors. I suppose that provision of this article relating to the employed in the public service. Do question will be settled by this Consti- collection of taxes will be adopted. not, however, permit yourselves to be tution.
Now, to show that much of the legislaactuated only by the motives that are Mr. MUSSEY. That does not ap- tion on local matters is not necessary, actuating us at the present time as in- ply to the past; laws may have a ret- I will state a fact known to every one; dividual citizens; but let us act as roactive effect, but the Constitution that every alternate year the people are statesmen should, with a view to the does not. I say that the experience of able to pay their taxes, and we hear no past and a view to the future also the past shows that much of the time complaints from them on that score.
Mr. MUSSEY. I can say with the of our Legislature has been occupied The board of supervisors are authorized gentleman from Wayne, (Mr. LOTH- by local legislation, and legislation re- to extend the time for the collection of ROP,) that I formerly entertained dif- quired for the extension of the time for taxes; and yet the people in many cases :: ferent views in regard to this matter the collection of taxes, and this has in- see fit to apply to the Legislature for
from what I do at the present time. creased the volume of the session laws that purpose. I make that particular : At the time the Constitution of 1850 very much. Take for instance, the ses- matter prominent, because it accounts was adopted, I conceived it to be an sion laws of 1859, which is, I think, for very much of the time of the Legiserror of that instrument that we were the largest one we have, or ever had, lature that is taken up by this local: to have only biennial sessions. I must or ever ought to have. By examining legislation. say that my experience has convinced that volume, it will be found that very I do not believe that the State suffers me that that was a wise provision. much of it is taken up with local laws, for the want of general legislation, The provision limiting the session to and laws for the extension of time for neither do I believe that localities suffer forty days I then deemed, as I now the collection of taxes.. . for the want of local legislation, bedeem it, an unwise provision. I think Now, it may be said that local laws cause our Legislature does not conthat a great many errors that have are as necessary as other laws. But vene but once in two years. I think arisen in our legislation have arisen this is a remarkable fact in that con- that once in two years is often enough; ; . from the fact that the session was lim- nection; that the parts of the State that with biennial sessions of the Leg- . ited, and not because the Legislature which ask the most legislation, ask it islature we will experience no incon-' . did not convene oftener. It will be very frequently. There were local laws venience and suffer no damage. There
recollected that the session was limited in 1859, which the same parties who fore, I hope that the amendment of the : to forty days, until the session of 1861. obtained their passage, asked should gentleman from Berrien, (Mr. CoolNecessarily much legislation was done be changed and amended in 1861. So IDGE,) will not prevail. I regret very hastily during the time that provision it has been with regard to the local much that the committee on the légisremained in force. At the time the laws passed in 1861, and so with the lative department were not unanimous amendment of the Constitution was laws since that time. How was it with on this subject, and that we have not proposed by the Legislature, it was a regard to the local laws of last winter? the able services of the chairman of question whether we should remove We have been told by the gentleman that committee, (Mr. CONGER,) to susthe restriction as to the length of the from Oakland, -(Mr. P. D. WARNER,) tain this portion of their report. session, or change the Constitution so who was a member of that Legislature, Mr. DANIELLS. I want to say a.. as to provide for annual sessions. The that the local laws pässed the last ses- word or two on the economical quesLegislature deemed that it would be sion will make a volume some three or tion that we have heard so much better to remove the restriction, so as to four times as large as the volume of about. I want to know what per cent. have unlimited biennial sessions and the laws of a general character. Now, of the present State tax is required for not to have annual sessions. The limit are all these local laws essential and the expenses of the Legislature. · I in regard to the introduction of bills necessary? I apprehend not
know that my tax last year was five was still retained; and was made to It has been the policy of this State per cent. on the assessed valuation of extend to fifty days, which I think is for the last seventeen years to adopt my property, and that one-sixteenth an unwise provision.
::* the system of general laws, in all cases part of that was for the State. OneThe gentleman from Ingham (Mr. where they can be made applicable. sixteenth part of our taxes, or about LONGYEAR) tells us that we must and Provision is made by general law for that amount, is for the expenses of the will have about so much legislation the organization of villages. And yet State. ! anyhow, whether we have annual or at every biennial session of the Legisla- Mr. P. D. WARNER. I will state biennial sessions. I apprehend, if any ture there are applications for special my opinion in regard to the expenses gentleman will examine our session acts to organize certain villages. Do of a session of the Legislature; they laws for the last seventeen years, and the people interested in these acts de- are about eighty thousand dollars for look at the character of the laws there sire them, because they think they can a session of ninety days. contained, he will find that that rule obtain a better charter than under the Mr. DANIELLS. That does not will not hold good. But he shakes his general law? I apprehend not; it is to answer my question, unless the gentlehead, as much as to say "no." I ask secure some special legislation. Some man can state the per cent. of the tax. him if he supposes that if the Legisla- member of the Legislature desires to do The amount of eighty thousand dol
bat table ether lahocal lame for
July 11, 1867. - DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS.
41 ..lars for this State is about as much as would have had the almost unan- fractions made upon the statute laws ia pipe of tobacco would be for me. imous support of the Legislature. of the State, than will be the case if
Mr. COOLIDGE. It is about eight Now, for fear that he may mislead this we have biennial sessions. cents à person.
committee on the matter of economy, Furthermore, I look upon this matMr. DANIELLS. Yes, sir, about I want to read a resolution which he tèr in another light. I think it is eight cents each for the people of this introduced here some time since, and highly necessary for the people to get State. The argument of the gentle- which I find on page 321 of the de- together to elect their members of the man from Oakland, (Mr. P. D. WARNER,) bates; it was an amendment to a prop- Legislature, and enact their laws annuif carried to its full extent, would do osition which I offered. . ally; because by so doing we will conaway with the Legislature entirely. I The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman tinually arouse the masses of the peosuppose this State has yet a great deal must proceed in order and confine his ple to the importance of the laws that of business to perform, in settling and discussion to the question under con- are being enacted. When they have developing the interests of the various sideration. The committee cannot to wait two years for the enactment of portions of the State. I suppose that allow anything personal. . . laws, the people become dull, and for we want to call the Legislature to- Mr. DANIELLS. The question I the want of a proper knowledge of the gether, as the law-making power of suppose is on the amendment of laws which should be passed, they ..
the State, once in a while. What the gentleman from Berrien, (Mr. become careless about those : laws. . Would you think of a railroad company COOLIDGE.)
Hence the difficulties which originated that did not have their directors Mr. P. D. WARNER. I hope the at the last session, of which the genmeet more than once. in two or gentleman will be permitted to proceed. tleman from Oakland spoke, (Mr. P. D. five years? Is there a railroad any- Mr. DANIELLS. The gentleman WARNER.) A portion of the thirteen where in active business, which does from Oakland, argued that we should hundred pages of laws which were not call its directors together more than have biennial sessions. I think we passed at the last session of the Legisonce in two years? Do you think that ought to have annual sessions. Now lature, interefere with the statutory they would raise the economic ques- I want to show what is the consistency laws and compiled laws which were tion, and say that it was too expensive of the gentleman from Oakland in that good enough before. . . to call the directors together? So far regard; but if the Chair rules that this I am not advocating annual sessions as the economy of the thing is concern- is out of order I will waive it. . ed, I do not know but my friend from The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will more infractions upon the statutory Oakland, (Mr. P. D. WARNER,) thinks not rule the gentleman out of order if laws of the State. It is very well that in that word the people will hear he is proceeding to discuss the ques- known by every person with whom I what they will conceive to be the growl|tion before the committee. But the have conversed, that I have always been of the watch-dog of the treasury. But gentleman knows that there is an argu-laverse to making unnecessary changes to me it sounds, as I think it will sound ment which is termed "argumentum in the laws. Instability in the laws is to the people, more like the bray of ad hominem."
la curse, not only to the legal element some very different annimal. [Laugh- Mr. DANIELLS. I am a member of the State, but also to the people at . . "ter. .
of the committee on phraseology, but large. The better, the more compreThe gentleman from Oakland has I must confess that I do not under- bensive and just the laws are, the more very curious ideas of economy. " Al- stand Latin. - [Great laughter.] 1 stable they are, the better it is for the though he has been a member of the therefore will take my seat.
people, for the judges of our courts, Legislature, and à Speaker of the Mr. SHEARER. I will say a very and for all concerned in administering House of Representatives, if he wants few words on this subject. I will say the laws for the benefit of the people. me to follow him he must not get up in the outset that I am in favor of an- I believe that biennial sessions and here and tell me that bills have been nual sessions. I have become in favor restrictions upon the length of the pitched through the Legislature in of them from the history of the past. session never will accomplish this great mass, and then the journal falsified in When we refer back to the history of end of passing just and equal laws. order to make the action of the Legis- the past, we find that in 1842, the cost We have evidence enough from the lature appear legal and constitutional. of the session was $15,000; in 1843, past to convince us that such will I do not think that is a very good $20,000; and in 1844 it was some $40,- not be the case. We have no evidence exhibition.....
000. Since 1850 we have had biennial that biennial sessions for the last ..Mr. FERRIS. I call the gentleman sessions. It appears that there has seventeen years have given the people from Clinton, (Mr. DANIELLS,) to order. been no tendency to curtail the expen- all the advantages which are claimed With all due respect to him, I think he ditures or lessen the enactment of the for them. If we had any evidence that is becoming personal.
laws. I am more convinced in my this practice has given us any remarkMr. DANIELLS. I mean the gentle- opinion since it was stated by my friend able improvement in the character of man from Oakland, (Mr. P. D. from Oakland, (Mr. P. D. WARNER,) our laws, then we might continue the WARNER.)
that the laws of last winter, will make biennial sessions. But I believe that Mr. P. D. WARNER. I desire to some thirteen hundred pages; the before we had biennial sessions, our : state for the information of the gen- probability is that if we had had an- laws were fully equal to those we have
tleman from Clinton, (Mr. DANIELLS,) nual sessions they would not have had since, and did not contain half the that to my knowledge no bills were made more than three or four hundred infractions upon the just laws which passed in that manner. I think every pages. Therefore, if we go on and were in existence before..! bill that passed through the Leg-adopt the principle laid down in this Furthermore, calling the people toislature was voted upon.
section, of biennial sessions, I see nogether annually will lead them to look Mr. DANIELLS. Then I misun-probability that there will be any cur- to the interests of the State, and to its ...derstood the gentleman. I understood tailment of the expenditures, or any financial condition, in order to see that
him in his explanation, or in his re- lessening of the laws that will be en- these things are right. Since we have marks, to say that they were passed acted. So far as that is concerned, I had biennial sessions we have lost väst upon in mass; and that he believed if believe we will have no more laws en- amounts of money, in consequence of they had been passed separately they acted in annual sessions, no more in- I not having the attention of the people
Vol. 2-No. 6.
called to the way in which affairs were Though there may be some objections of the Legislature. - I have never had administered.
to it, I am very favorable to the opinion any experience in legislative bodies. I I think the cost of the sessions of expressed by my friend from Oakland, have had some little experience in the Legislature is very trifling, in com-|(Mr. VAN VALKENBURGH.) I think he handling over the statutes, and I find parison with the benefit they will be to did justice to the subject. His argu- a great many of them. Most every the State. Let the Legislature be un- ment is founded in wisdom; I corrobo- little justice in the State has a large restricted in these matters, and they rate his ideas perfectly. I am, with amount of the Sessions Laws to exwill work better. I hold that biennial other gentlemen who have spoken, in amine. The laws which are operating sessions were a restriction, as much as favor of annual sessions. I hope that upon us are scattered through these : the length of the session. Two years so far as this amendment is concerned various yolumes. I think the great is a restriction upon the interests of it will pass. I hope the gentlemen of trouble with us is that we have too the State, as much as forty days or this Convention will vote for the much legislation. Less legislation, and ninety days, or any other restriction. amendment. ...
more consideration bestowed on what Let the sessions of the Legislature be So far as the financial question is we have, would be far better. Thereannual; let the people come together concerned, I believe it will cost as much fore, I hope that this amendment to through their representatives every for unlimited, or even limited biennial strike out every second year will not year, and let the result of their action sessions, taking everything into con- prevail; or, if it does, I hope that anbe scattered broadcast over the State, sideration, as it will for annual ses- other amendment will be adopted to so that the people will be posted in sions. The great point is to select make it every fourth year, instead of regard to the laws they are to live men of sense and wisdom, who are every second year... under. Not only so, but the people I willing to stay here just so long as they Mr. COOLIDGE. When I offered have conversed with since last winter can do some good and then go home. this amendment I did not know what are very much in favor of annual ses- If such men are selected for the Legis- would be the views of this committee sions. They say these biennial sessions lature, regardless of politics, their of the whole. But I thought it proper make no improvement in the laws of principal object will be to pass good that this committee should have an opthe State. And we have evidence from laws, and we shall have good and just portunity to give an expression of its the Speaker of the House of Repre- legislation. If we have the reverse, opinion upon this subject. The quessentatives, that there is no improve- they will do evil, just as much in bi- tion of annual sessions of the Legislament in the legislation; that there was ennial sessions as in annual sessions. ture has been agitated in this State, to an enormous amount of matter col- If we have men here who do not fol- what extent I do not know. For mylected together in the laws of last low up the principles of justice, we self I can say that those with whom I winter. .
. cannot correct them by annual sessions, have conversed have been in favor of I have talked with people in differ- or by biennial sessions, or by limiting annual sessions of the Legislature, and ent portions of the State since last fall, | their time. :.
expect that such will be the action of and the sound practical men, the far- I think it is the most simple thing this Convention. The subject is cermers, the mechanics and lawyers, and in the world to arrange this matter. tainly of that importance which should judges all say that annual sessions are We send men here to legislate upon the secure careful consideration. The better for the interests of this young and most important interests of the State. change is not one of a trifling character. growing State than biennial sessions. I think it is wrong that they should be I have listened with very great inI have not heard a man speak for the limited to a certain number of days, or terest to the remarks of gentlemen last year in favor of biennial sessions. that they should be limited to meet upon this subject. By some it is said So far as my acquaintance extends, and only once in two years. I believe that that the diversified and ever changing I have traveled several hundred miles annual sessions have been the practice interests of this State demand that the in this State, and talked with some mostly throughout the United States. Legislature who are entrusted with the very sensible men, every man is in fa-|I am in favor of annual sessions in this oversight of these interests more than vor of annual sessions of the Legisla-State, and for this reason: In the far any other persons, should be called toture. I am loth sometimes to disagree north of this State they require annual gether for the purpose of examining the with some of my friends, Republicans, sessions to carry out the great interests necessities and exigencies of the State Whigs and Democrats, but I stand involved there. In the older portions oftener than once in two years. To my here to carry out the will of my small of this State we certainly have an in-| mind that is an argument entitled to constituency, and of my friends who terest in having annual sessions, in much weight. It commends itself to have spoken to me in relation to this having the Legislature meet every year, every business man in this body. We subject. I cannot help disagreeing and letting the members send back would suppose that the Legislature with others; disagreement is no crime. their doings to the people. It keeps having the custody and control of the If I disagree with a gentleman it proves the people alive; it keeps them awake interests of this State, as they have and nothing more nor less than that he dis-/ to what is going on in this State. I must have, ought to be called together agrees with me. It is no crime. I do not wish to take up any more time at least once a year. . think in this Constitutional Convention on this question, but I hope this amend- Then, again, it is said that if the we have a right to disagree. I am ment will prevail...
Legislature are called together once a always happy to hear men arise and Mr. SHELDON. I do not wish to year, there will be less liability to express different sentiments upon va-trespass upon the patience of this Con- loose, frivolous and erroneous legislarious subjects. ..
vention. I think I do not trouble tion. I take it that that argument has I may digress from the rules; I hope them very often. I do not think there great weight also. I think so from the not; I hope to keep within the rules is any great danger of the people of remarks of a gentleman whose exper- .. of this Convention; I hope I am speak- Michigan getting asleep; or, if they do ience in this matter is not limited-I ing to the question now, when I say get asleep, they will not sleep long, mean the gentleman from Oakland, that I am in favor of the amendment because the tax collector will wake (Mr. P:D. WARNER,) who says that afof the gentleman from Berrien, (Mr. them up. It may be a very fine thing, ter the Legislature has been in session : COOLIDGE.) I think it is called for uni- and, for ought I know, it may be a very forty, or fifty, or sixty days, there is an versally by the people of this state. Igood thing, to have annual sessions anxiety to leave here and attend to