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EXCEED THE SUM OF THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, EXCEPT IN CASE OF WAR, TO REPEL INVASION, OR SUPPRESS INSURRECTION, UNLESS THE SAME SHALL BE AUTHORIZED BY SOME LAW FOR SOME SINGLE OBJECT OR WORK, TO BE DISTINCTLY SPECIFIED THEREIN, WHICH LAW SHALL PROVIDE WAYS AND MEANS, EXCLUSIVE OF LOANS, FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE INTEREST OF SUCH DEBT OR LIABILITY, AS IT FALLS DUE, AND, ALSO, PAY AND DISCHARGE THE PRINCIPAL OF SUCH DEBT OR LIABILITY WITHIN TWENTY YEARS FROM THE TIME OF THE CONTRACTING THEREOF, AND SHALL BE IRREPEALABLE UNTIL THE PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST THEREON SHALL BE PAID AND DISCHARGED; BUT NO SUCH LAW SHALL TAKE EFFECT UNTIL, AT A GENERAL ELECTION, IT SHALL HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE PEOPLE, AND HAVE RECEIVED A MAJORITY OF ALL THE VOTES CAST FOR AND AGAINST IT AT SUCH ELECTION; AND ALL MONEY RAISED BY AUTHORITY OF SUCH LAW SHALL BE APPLIED ONLY TO THE SPECIFIED OBJECT THEREIN STATED, OR TO THE PAYMENT OF THE DEBT THEREBY CREATED; AND SUCH LAW SHALL BE PUBLISHED IN AT LEAST ONE NEWSPAPER IN EACH JUDICIAL DISTRICT, IF ONE BE PUBLISHED THEREIN, THROUGHOUT THE STATE, FOR THREE MONTHS NEXT PRECEDING THE ELECTION AT WHICH IT IS SUBMITTED TO THE PEOPLE."
a. The meaning of this section is too plain to permit the Courts to resort to rules of construction to alter it. Hence, the Act of April 8, 1855, providing for the construction of a wagon road to the Sierra Nevada, and authorizing the Board of Commissioners to contract for the same at a price not exceeding three hundred thousand dollars, while the existing indebtedness of the State exceeded that sum (said Act containing no provision for submission of the question), was void. (People vs. Johnson, 6 Cal. 499.)
The Act of April 18, 1856, providing for the erection of a State Capitol at a cost not to exceed three hundred thousand dollars, held void. (Nougues vs. Douglass, 7 Cal. 65.).
This article is an express restriction upon the powers of the Legislature, and there is no power in the judiciary to set it aside, whatever inconvenience may result from a legitimate application of the provision. (Id.)
All debts contracted in violation of this article are void, and the Legislature has no power to levy a tax or appropriate money for the payment thereof. (Id.)
This article only applies to the State as a corporation, and does not prevent the State authorizing counties or municipal corporations to create debts, when the debt of the State itself is up to the constitutional limits. (Pattison vs. Yuba County, 13 Cal. 175.)
The Act of March 21, 1856, creating a Board of State Prison Commissioners, and defining their duties, does not violate this article. It does not create a debt or liability against the State. Though under the contract with Estill provided for the payment to him of ten thousand dollars per month, there could be no debt on the part of the State until the services were rendered. (California vs. McCauley, 15 Cal. 429.)
Taxes are not "debts" within the meaning of this article. (Perry vs. Washburn, 20 Cal. 318.)
The evident intention was to impose limitations upon the general power of the Legislature to create debts, leaving it free, however, from such restrictions in great emergencies caused by war, invasion, or insurrection. (Franklin vs. State Board of Examiners, 23 Cal. 173.)
A law which appropriates a sum of money for the future, and directs certain payments to be made out of the same at designated periods from year to year thereafter, and, also, imposes a special tar, and sets apart the proceeds thereof as a fund to meet the sums to be paid as they become payable, does not create a debt within the meaning of the prohibitory clause of the Constitution. (People vs. Pacheco, 27 Cal. 175.)
Superintendent of Public Instruction.
SECTION 1. A Superintendent of Public Instruction shall, at the special election for judicial officers to be held in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and every four years thereafter at such special elections, be elected by the qualified voters of the State, and shall enter upon the duties of his office on the first day of December next after his election. (Amendment, proposed 1861; ratified 3d September, 1862.)
Duties of Legislature-School Fund.
SEC. 2. The Legislature shall encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement. The proceeds of all land that may be granted by the United States to this State for the support of schools, which may be sold or disposed of, and the five hundred thousand acres of land granted to the new States, under an Act of Congress distributing the proceeds of the public lands among the several States of the Union, approved A. D. eighteen hundred and forty-one; and all estates of deceased persons who may have died without leaving a will, or heir, and also such per cent. as may be granted by Congress on the sale of lands in this State, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together with all the rents of the unsold lands, and such other means as the Legislature may provide, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of common schools throughout the State.“
Sec. 3. The Legislature shall provide for a system of common schools, by which a school shall be kept up and supported in each district at least three months in every year; and any school district neglecting to keep and support such a school may be deprived of its proportion of the interest of the public fund during such neglect.
a. The provision of the Act of April 22, 1861, requiring that the proceeds of sales of the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections shall constitute a State fund instead of being applied for the benefit of the townships in which the bonds are situated, is constitutional and valid. (Wyman vs. Banvard, 22 Cal. 524.)
The School Land Act of April 26, 1858, is not a grant of the interest-money to the several townships, but merely a provision as to the manner in which a certain fund shall be appropriated, and subject, therefore, to the future control of the Legislature. (Id.)
This clause includes, as “means," any fund arising from taxation for school purposes, levied under general laws passed for that purpose; so that an Act diverting such fund to any other than school purposes is unconstitutional. (Crosby vs. Lyon, 37 Cal. 242.)
SEC. 4. The Legislature shall take measures for the protection, improvement, or other disposition of such lands as may have been or may hereafter be reserved or granted by the United States, or any person or persons, to the State for the use of a University; and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such lands, or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid, shall be and remain a permanent fund, the interest of which shall be applied to the support of said University, with such branches as the public convenience may demand, for the promotion of literature, the arts and sciences, as may be authorized by the terms of such grant. And it shall be the duty of the Legislature, as soon as may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and permanent security of the funds of said University.
MODE OF AMENDING AND REVISING THE CONSTITUTION.
Proposal of amendments—Submission to people.
SECTION 1. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or Assembly; and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two Houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their Journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the Legislature then next to be chosen, and shall be published for three months next preceding the time of making such choice. And if, in the Legislature next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each House, then it shall be the duty of the Legislature to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, in such manner and at such time as the Legislature shall prescribe; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the Legislature voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the Constitution.
SEC. 2. And if, at any time, two-thirds of the Senate and Assembly shall think it necessary to revise or change this entire Constitution, they shall recommend to the electors, at the next election for members of the Legislature, to vote for or against a Convention; and if it shall appear that a majority of the electors, voting at such election, have voted in favor of calling a Convention, the Legislature shall, at its next session, provide, by law, for calling a Convention, to be holden within six months after the passage of such law; and such Convention shall consist of a number of members not less than that of both branches of the Legislature. The Constitution that may have been agreed upon and adopted by such Convention shall be submitted to the people at a special election, to be provided for by law, for their ratification or rejection; each voter shall express his opinion by depositing in the ballot-box a ticket, whereon shall be written or printed the words, “For the new Constitution," or "Against the new Constitution.” The returns of such election shall, in such manner as the Convention shall direct, be certified to the Executive of the State, who shall call to his assistance the Controller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, and compare the votes so certified to him. If, by such examination, it be ascertained that a majority of the whole number of votes cast at such election be in favor of such new Constitution, the Executive of this State shall, by his proclamation, declare such new Constitution to be the Constitution of the State of California. (Amendment, proposed 1855; ratified 4th November, 1856.)
PROMISCUOUS PROVISIONS. Seat of government.
SECTION 1. The first session of the Legislature shall be held at the Pueblo de San José; which place shall be the permanent seat of government until removed by law; provided, however, that two-thirds of all the members elected to each House of the Legislature shall concur in the passage of such law."
SEC. 2. Any citizen of this state who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within this State or out of it, or who shall act as second, or knowingly aid or assist in any manner those thus offending, shall not be allowed to hold any office of profit, or to enjoy the right of suffrage under this Constitution.
a. After the first removal, a majority of the Legislature might at any time remove the Capital; consequently the Act of February 4, 1851, removing it to Vallejo, was constitutional. (Vermule vs. Bigler, 5 Cal. 23.)
Sec. 3. Members of the Legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of -, according to the best of my ability.”
And no other oath, declaration, or test shall be required as qualification for any office or public trust.“
County and town government.
Sec. 4. The Legislature shall establish a system of county and town governments, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable throughout the State.
SEC. 5. The Legislature shall have power to provide for the election of a Board of Supervisors in each county; and these Supervisors shall jointly and individually perform such duties as may be prescribed by law.
New offices and officers.
SEC. 6. All officers whose election or appointment is not provided for by this Constitution, and all officers whose offices may hereafter be created by law, shall be elected by the people, or appointed as the Legislature may direct.
Terms of office.
Sec. 7. When the duration of any office is not provided for by
a. An attorney at law is not a person holding an office of public trust," and may be required to file an affidavit of allegiance as prescribed by the Act of April 25, 1863, as a condition to practicing before the Courts. (Cohen vs. Wright, 22 Cal. 293.)
The terms "office" and "public trust” have relation only to those persons and duties that are of a public nature, and do not apply to the case of an attorney at law. (Ex parte Yale, 24 Cal. 241.)
b. This provision is to be considered directory, and the authority to determine what measure of uniformity is practicable must be left to the Legislature. (People vs. Lake County, 33 Cal. 487.)
c. This section must be regarded as a limitation on the third article of the Constitution. From the necessity of the case, Supervisors exercise judicial, legislative, and executive powers in matters relating to the police and fiscal regulations of counties. (People vs. El Dorado County, 8 Cal. 58.)
d. The Constitution does not prohibit the Legislature from conferring on a voluntary association of persons, who are not citizens, such as the Board of Fire Underwriters of San Francisco, the power of electing a person to fill an office created by the Legislature. (In re Bulger, 45 Cal. 553.)
When the Constitution declares an office to be elective, it cannot be filled in any other mode; but when the office has been filled by election, the Legislature may extend the term of the incumbent, provided the whole term does not exceed the constitutional limit. (Christy vs. Supervisors of Sacramento County, 39 Cal. 3.)