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palities, whose bonds have been thus issued, to recognize their obligations and provide for their payment;
And Whereas, Proposed Constitutional Amendments must first receive the sanction of the Legislature, and can only be submitted to the people at a general biennial November election, thus creating the necessity of convening the Legislature in Extra Session, or withholding from the electors, for the space of two years, the opportunity of enabling such municipalities to keep their honor and credit inviolate ;
Now, THEREFORE, I, Henry P. Baldwin, Governor of the State of Michigan, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby convene the Legislature of this State in Extraordinary Session; requiring the Senators and Representatives to assemble at the Capitol, in the City of Lansing, on Wednesday, the 27th day of July next, at 12 o'clock noon; then and there to consider and act upon such matters as may be submitted to them by special message.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my
hand, and caused to be affixed the Great [SEAL.] Seal of the State.
Done at Lansing, this eighth day of June, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy.
HENRY P. BALDWIN. By the Governor : 0. L. SPAULDING,
Secretary of State. The roll was called by the Clerk, and the following members answered to their names:
Messrs. Ashley, Avery, Barnaby, Baxter, Beall, G. G. Briggs, R. V. Briggs, Brownell, Cameron, 0. Clark, Cogshall, Crane, Crossman, Curry, Davis, Doty, Dusseau, Eaton, Eck, Elliott, Fenner, Fuller, Gay, Gifford, Goodrich, Grant, Harris, Holt, Horton, Hubbard, Hunt, Hurlbut, Huston, Hutchinson, Ingersoll, Jewell, F. G. Kendrick, Kingsley, Klein, Lane, Lee, Lovell,
Mandigo, Mason, Mead, Miles, Millington, Mitchell, Murray, Newman, Norton, Osborn, Plimpton, Putnam, Riford, Romeyn, Sanford, Seward, Shaw, Sheldon, Shier, Sickels, Slayton, Smith, Snell, Stannard, Stewart, Stockbridge, Ternes, Vowles, Wagner, Walker, Walton, Ward, Weier, Wendell, Westover, Wilcox, W. D. Williams, Speaker, 81.
The following members were absent:
Messrs. Blake, Bostwick, Boynton, B. Clark, L. Kendrick, McCowen, McKernan, Miller, Purcell, Riopelle, Rowlson, Swift, Thompson, White, H. G. Williams, J. A. Williams, Woodard, Yawkey, 18.
The Speaker announced that a quorum of the House was present.
The Speaker then addressed the House as follows:
GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE:-By the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor, just read in your hearing, we have been called together in extraordinary session, and for an extraordinary purpose. The Legislature of 1863 passed an act “to authorize the city of Jackson and the several townships of Jackson county to pledge their credit, and the county of Ingbam to raise by tax or borrow money, to aid in the construction of a railroad from Jackson to Lansing.” Also, an act “ to authorize the City of Saginaw to raise money to aid in the construction of the Amboy, Lansing and Traverse Bay State Road." These bills were approved by Governor Blair, and the policy inaugurated in this State of encouraging the building of railroads by taxing municipalities to aid in their construction. Governor Blair, by special message, called the attention of the Legislature of 1864, in extra session, to the subject, in which he uses these words: “The Legislature, by an act of the last session, sanctioned the policy of such laws, and there seems to be a very general disposition in the State to adopt that method of accomplishing objects deemed important.
“If the policy is to be generally adopted, it would seem to me
best that a general law should be enacted, applicable to all parts of the State alike." The Legislature at that session passed twelve enabling acts, all of which were approved by Governor Blair.
The Legislature of 1865 passed eleven similar bills, which were approved by Governor Crapo. All the bills authorizing municipal aid to railroads, passed by the Legislature of 1867, were vetoed by the Governor. Hence the whole subject was placed thoroughly before the people of the State, and became a subject of general discussion, not only in the Legislature and by the press, but in almost every household in the State. Accordingly, when this Legislature convened in 1869, the people numerously petitioned for the continuation of this policy, and “a law making it applicable to all parts of the State alike.” On the seventeenth day of the session, a bill prepared with great labor and unusual care, was reported to this House by the Committee on Internal Improvements. The bill was ordered printed, and copies of the same sent to every part of the State; was re-published in the local papers, and the people became fully acquainted with its provisions and general character.
More than sixty days intervened between the introduction of the bill and the final passage and approval of the act.
I have referred to the history of this railroad legislation to show that the passage of this general law was not the result of crude or hasty legislation.
Perhaps no great public measure was ever enacted by the Legislature of this State upon which was bestowed more time, which was more carefully framed, or thoroughly, candidly and critically discussed, or which was more universally called for, or better understood by the people, than this general railroad law. The question of its constitutionality was ably discussed, and all the legal advice accessible to the Legislature sought, and no member of this House who voted for that law, doubted its constitutionality. But the Supreme Court of the State, composed of able and impartial judges, have decided that
some of the provisions of this law, as well as all special railroad enabling acts heretofore passed, are in conflict with the fundamental law of the State, and consequently null and void.
To consider the financial condition caused by this railroad legislation, and preserve the credit and good name of the State, is the business before us. Trusting that all our deliberations may be harmonious, our conclusions wise, and the rights of the citizen, the best interests of the municipality and honor of the State preserved, we will at once enter upon the business before us.
The Sergeant-at-Arms pro tem. announced a committee from the Senate.
The committee informed the House that the Senate was organized and ready to proceed to business.
The Speaker announced that he had received official notification of the resignation of Hon. Harvey B. Rowlson, member of the House from the 2d Representative District of Hillsdale county, and Hon. George W. Swift, member of the House from the 4th District of Wayne county.
Mr. Osborn presented the credentials of Mr. John H. Armstrong, member elect from the 2d district of Hillsdale county, in place of Hon. H. B. Rowlson, resigned.
Mr. Armstrong came forward, took and subscribed to the constitutional oath of office, and took his seat.
Mr. Miles presented the credentials of Mr. T. C. Owen, elected a member of the House from the 1st district of St. Clair county, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the removal from the district of Hon. N. S. Boynton.
Mr. Miles moved that the oath of office be administered to Mr. Owen. Pending which,
Mr. Slayton moved that the credentials of Mr. Owen be referred to the Committee on Elections, inasmuch as the House had no official notice of the removal of Mr. Boynton from his district;
Which motion prevailed.
Mr. Ingersoll offered the following:
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to wait upon the Senate and inform that body that a quorum of the House is now present and ready to proceed to business;
Which was adopted.
The Speaker appointed Messrs. Ingersoll, Mandigo and Kingsley as such committee.
Mr. Romeyn offered the following:
Whereas, It is provided by the Constitution of this State, that no person holding any office under the United States is eligible to or shall have a seat in either House of the Legislature;
And Whereas, It is further provided that a removal from their (Senators and Représentatives) respective counties or districts shall be deemed a vacation of their office;
And Whereas, It is understood that the seats of several members of this Legislature have become vacated by reason of such removal, and that others elected at the last general election are not entitled to seats in this House by reason of their acceptance of office under the Government of the United States;
Resolved, That a select committee of five be appointed by the Speaker, with instructions to investigate without delay the matter under consideration, and to report the result of such investigation to this House, and that in the meantime and until such report be made, those members who have removed from the districts in which they were respectively elected, or who have accepted official appointments of whatever nature from or under the government of the United States, be refused the privilege of voting upon any measure before this House.
Mr. Slayton moved to lay the resolution on the table;
The committee appointed to wait on the Senate, and inform that body that the House was organized and ready to proceed to business, reported that they had performed that duty and asked to be discharged.