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from which each item was paid, and the balance in the treasury to the credit of each fund. On the fifteenth day of September of every even-numbered year, he must report to the governor “ the exact balance in the treasury to the credit of the state, with a summary of the receipts and payments of the treasury during the two preceding fiscal years.” Furthermore, at the request of either house of the legislature, or of a committee of either house, he must give information in writing as to the condition of the treasury.
135. The State Board of Control.1 — The state board of control consists of three members who are appointed by the governor to serve during his pleasure. It was created by an act of the legislature passed in 1911 to take the place of the state board of examiners, but its powers and duties are more extensive than those of the former board. It has its office in the state capitol, but its meetings may be held in any part of the state. The chairman of the board is designated by the governor. It appoints a secretary, three clerks, and two stenographers. Its most important powers and duties are as follows:
1. It has general control of the payment of claims against state funds and appropriations. The controller must not draw his warrant for the payment of any claim until it has been allowed by the board, unless it is a claim which is cially exempt by law from this requirement. The concurrence of two members constitutes a decision of the board. If a claim is allowed by the board and the controller does not consider it just, he may require the board to reconsider it, and it cannot again be presented to him except with the unanimous approval of the board.
speIn order that the board may be in a position to act intelligently on all claims that are presented to it, one or more of its members, as the board may decide, or at the request of the governor, must visit from time to time every public institution maintained in whole or in part by state appropriations, to ascertain the conditions of the same, and their wants and requirements, and also to visit public buildings in the course of construction to ascertain if all the provisions of the law in relation to such construction and of contracts therefor are being faithfully executed.” The board must also have the books of every state institution, commission, bureau, and officer examined by expert accountants once each year. It may compel witnesses to appear before it or any of its members.
1 Statutes of 1911, page 591 seq.
2. The board must examine and pass upon all claims against the state for which no appropriations have been made. This practically makes of the board a court of claims. When such claims are approved, the recommendation of the board, with the sanction of the governor, is reported to the legislature in order that money for their payment may be appropriated. 3.
The board must count the money in the state treasury at least once a month, and must report to the secretary of state after each count“ the amount of money or credit that ought to be in the state treasury,” and “the amount and kind of money or credit actually therein."
4. The board must invest in national or state bonds, or in the bonds of counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of California, the money derived from the sale of school lands and the money received from estates which have escheated to the state. The money from either source must be invested at any time when $10,000 has accumulated. All bonds thus purchased must be delivered to the treasurer in trust for the state school fund.
5. When absolutely necessary, the board, with the consent of the governor, may authorize the creation of deficiencies in any fund. Thus, if the regular appropriation for any state office, board, or institution, is not sufficient for the two-year term for which such appropriations are made, the board of control and the governor may authorize the office, board, or institution in question to go on with its work, with the understanding that the legislature at its next session will provide for the deficiency.
6. The board may authorize the sale of any property belonging to the state, except real estate.
7. All contracts for the purchase of supplies by any state officer, board, bureau, or institution must be approved by the board of control. No supplies may be purchased in the open market, — th
that is, without calling for bids, — without the consent of the board; except that, to meet an emergency, any officer, board, etc., may purchase supplies of a perishable nature, not to exceed $100 in value, without such consent.
8. The board has jurisdiction over the state department of accountancy. This department consists of a superintendent of accounts, two assistant superintendents, and such additional accountants as may be necessary. They are appointed by the board. The duty of the department is to “devise, install, and supervise a uniform system of accounting and reporting ” for all state officers and boards who keep public records and accounts, and handle public money. This is to facilitate the inspection of such records and accounts.
9. The board must biennially report to the legislature a history of its transactions and investigations.”
136. The Superintendent of Public Instruction. — The powers and duties of the superintendent of public instruction will be considered in Chapter XIV, in connection with our state school system.
137. The Surveyor-General.– The office of the surveyor-general is in the capitol in Sacramento. He may appoint two assistant surveyors-general and two clerks. His most important duties are as follows:
1. To survey the boundary lines of counties and other political subdivisions of the state when required to do so.
2. To have general control of two kinds of public lands: school lands which have been granted to the state by the United States; and all “swamp and overflowed, salt marsh, and tide lands belonging to the state.”
The school lands originally consisted of the sections numbered 16 and 36 in every congressional township of government land in the state, and 500,000 acres in addition which became state land according to a law passed by Congress in 1841. Much of this land has been disposed of. Some of it has been occupied by private individuals who pay interest (7 per cent) to the state, under contract, on the purchase price, with the privilege of paying the principal at any time. A great deal of it has been sold. No person may buy more than 640 acres, and if it is suitable for cultivation, 320 acres is the limit. Some difficulty has been experienced in disposing of this land owing to the fact that a large portion of it has been situated in United States Indian and forest reservations, and in Spanish and Mexican grants, and therefore, could not be sold directly; but the surveyor-general, working in conjunction with the United States land office, has been permitted to locate and sell equal portions of government land situated elsewhere. As these lands have been selected in lieu of state lands which could not be sold because of their location, they are known as “ lieu lands.” It is claimed by the department of the interior of the national government that the state has sold more lieu land ” than it was entitled to sell ; and the legislature of 1911, at its extra session, provided that such sales be discontinued, and that restitution be made to the United States if investigation proves that excess sales
1 Political Code, $ 483.
Section 16 became state land according to a law passed in 1785 and section 36 according to a law passed in 1848.
have been made. The matter is now (1913) being investigated by the state and national authorities looking toward an adjustment. The amount of school land still belonging to the state cannot be determined until this adjustment has been made; but the state conservation commission, which recently investigated the matter, places it at something over one million acres.
All tide lands became the property of the state by common law upon its admission to the Union.
All swamp and overflowed lands, -except mineral lands, lands reserved for naval and military purposes, and lands included in Indian reservations, towns, and Mexican or Spanish grants, — became the property of the state by virtue of an act of Congress passed in 1880. The tide and swamp lands are sold by the surveyor-general in tracts not to exceed 640 acres to any one person.
138. The Attorney-General.? — The office of the attorney-general is in the capitol. His most important duties are as follows:
have charge, as attorney, of all legal matters in which the state is in any wise interested, except the business of the regents of the University of California, and of the state harbor commissioners, and such other boards or officers as are now by law authorized to employ attorneys.”
2. To see that all judgments of the courts in favor of the state are executed.
3. To “exercise supervisory powers over district attorneys in all matters pertaining to the duties of their offices, and from time to time to require of them reports as to the condition of the public business intrusted to their charge.” He may at any time go to any county in the state to assist the district attorney in the discharge of his duties.
4. To give legal advice, without fee, on request, to the legislature, to any state officer or board, or to any district
1 See section 3, article XV of the constitution. 2 Political Code, $ 470 seq.