Copyright
California. Legislature.

Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) online

. (page 3 of 83)
Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 3 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


be turned over to and adopted by the Federal Government as a
Branch Home for disabled soldiers and sailors, such Homes being at
the present time maintained by that Government in other States of
the Union. It is most fitting that such a Home should be so main-
tained on the Pacific Coast. The soldiers of the Mexican war, a rap-
idly diminishing band, whose forms are bowed with age and conflicts,
should be permitted to pass their declining years in this State and be
buried under the soil they helped to win. I therefore recommend
that your honorable body present such facts and suggestions to Con-
gress as will induce that body to adopt our Veterans' Home as a
Branch Asylum for disabled soldiers and sailors, similar in all
respects to such Homes as are now maintained by the Federal Gov-
ernment in various localities in the Eastern States.

CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS.

The condition of the Orphan Asylums is, generally speaking, satis-
factory. The amount expended during the thirty-fourth fiscal year
for the support of orphans, half orphans, and abandoned children
was $201,337 71. During the thirty-fifth fiscal year there was ex-
pended, on the same class, $205,511 49. The other expenditures for
charitable purposes comprise the sum of $7,475 92 paid for the sup-
port of Old People's Homes, and $2,112 60 expended upon the Veter-
ans' Home, making a total of $416,437 72 paid out by the State in
charity to persons in private institutions during the two fiscal years
mentioned.

INSANE ASYLUMS,

The new asylum building at Stockton, provided for by the last
Legislature, has been completed and will be occupied by insane
patients as soon as furnished. The appropriation made by the last
Legislature, at its regular session, provided only for the erection of
the building, making no allowance for the furnishing thereof. Of the
twelve hundred and fifty patients now in the institution, one hun-
dred and thirty-four are domiciled in an old wooden structure unfit
for the purpose, and one hundred and sixty others are compelled,
from lack of accommodations, to sleep on the corridor floors in wards
of the main building. I would, therefore, recommend that, from
simple humanity, this building be furnished at the earliest possible
moment, and that an appropriation for that purpose be early made
by your honorable body, in order that no time may be lost in provid-
ing those two hundred and ninety-four unfortunates with comfortable
quarters. The same asylum asks that certain alterations and repairs
be made in the main building, to place it in a good sanitary condition.
2"



18

Both institutions are filled to repletion. The report of the Superin-
tendent of the Napa Asylum for the fiscal j'ear ending June 30, 1884,
shows a net increase in the number of patients during that period of
one hundred and forty-seven. The report of the Superintendent of
the Stockton Asylum shows a net increase, during the same period, of
one hundred and twenty. The last named official, speaking of the
new building and the number now waiting to be accommodated
therein, says: "This number is nearly or quite equal to the full capa-
city, and tlie rate of increase will very soon again fill the asylum to
its present overcrowded condition, unless some provision for its relief
is made by the Legislature." The Superintendent of the Napa Asy-
lum says in his report: "The crowded condition of the asylum is a
growing evil of alarming magnitude, which cannot longer be toler-
ated without dishonor to the State." This is strong language, but it
is no doubt truthful. The necessity, therefore, forces itself upon us
for either additional buildings, or more stringent laws concerning the
admission of patients.

STATE PRISONS.

The report of the Directors of the State Prisons and those of the
officers of the prisons for the fiscal j^ear ending June 30, 1884, will be
found both interesting and instructive. Upon the removal of the
former Board of Directors, acting in accordance with what I consider
the spirit of our Constitution, I appointed a Board, whose members
belonged to both of the great political parties. I am pleased to be
able to state that that plan has proved very successful, and that the
affairs of the prisons have been well administered by the Board. At
the time the new Board entered upon the discharge of its duties, in
the month of October, 1883, it found that out of the appropriation of
S60,000 for the support of the State Prison at San Quentin for the
thirty-fifth fiscal year, only $16,371 60 remained at its disposal, with
bills payable amounting to $37,096 17, and a period of nine months
before them which must elapse before the prison could draw any
additional funds from the State. The Board therefore appealed to
the State Board of Examiners for authority to make an expenditure
exceeding the amount of the appropriation, in order to support the
prison during the remainder of the fiscal year. Acting under the
authority conferred by Section 5 of the General Appropriation Law
of 18S3, and being fully advised in the matter, the Board of Exam-
iners, including the Attorney-General, granted permission to the
Board of Directors to borrow the sum of $70,000 for the support of the
San Quentin Prison, and the sum of $10,000 for the.purchase of jute.
The money was borrowed at the rate of six per cent per annumx, and
the prison was thus supported during the remainder of the fiscal year.
The Attorney-General, in the latter portion of his report, is pleased
to "congratulate the administration upon its success in borrowing, at
a high rate of interest, from parties debtor to the State, money to sup-
port the State Prison, while more than enough coin to meet the obli-
gations of the State lies without interest and almost w^ithout security
in his office." He fails to explain, however, in what manner the
apparently fabulous wealth in his possession, even if paid into the
State Treasury, could be drawn out for the support of the prisons or
any other State institution, to an amount exceeding the appropriation
made by law. If the Treasury teemed with untold millions, no
authority except the Legislature could pay out or use or authorize the



19

payment or use of any amount greater than that specified in the
Appropriation Act, and no person should be more clearly aware of
this fact than the chief law officer of the State.

Owing to a larger number of commitments than was anticipated, a
deficiency in the sum of $14,000 was found to exist in the Support
Fund of the Folsom Prison during the thirty-fifth year. The State
Board of Examiners, including the Attorney-General, upon a like
representation from the Directors, authorized the expenditure of
that sum, for the purpose of supporting the prison during the
remainder of that fiscal year. The Prison Directors succeeded in
borrowing the amounts authorized; but whether or not from a party
debtor to the State, I am not informed. The necessity for borrowing
the money is clearly apparent. In the case of San Quentin it was
impossible to conduct the prison without money; and to convene the
Legislature, the only other means — except that followed by the Board
of Examiners — by which it could be provided, was too expensive a
plan. The plan adopted by the Board of Examiners was the most
wise and economical; and good faith demands that the moneys so
borrowed be repaid by the State, according to contract.

In the matter of the issuing of pardons and commutations to the
deserving inmates of the State Prisons, I determined, after some
experience, that the Board of State Prison Directors being directed
by law to report from time to time, to me, such prisoners as they
deemed worthy of executive clemencj^ and being in a position to
investigate and accurately determine the facts in the various cases,
could more closely and efficiently than myself canvass the claims of
the various petitioners; I have, therefore, except in cases having
apparent merit, and demanding immediate action, referred all peti-
tions for pardons to the Board of Prison Directors for investigation.
In nearly all cases their presentation of facts and the conclusions
therefrom, have been thorough and satisfactory, and they have been
of great assistance to the Executive in determining the delicate
problem presented of the necessity of doing justice to the prisoners,
and, at the same time, my duty to the State.

SECRETARY OF STATE.

The report of the Secretary of State is worthy of the careful atten-
tion of your honorable body, more especially since he recommends a
decrease in the annual appropriations disbursed under his care.
From it may be learned, by comparison with the similar reports of
former administrations, how wasteful an expenditure may be made
by an officer charged with the purchase of supplies, who is indiffer-
ent to the welfare of the State, and how large a saving may result
from an economical and business-like execution of the trust. In the
first six months of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883, the prede-
cessor of the present Secretary of State expended, out of the appro-
priation for stationery, fuel, and lights, the sum of $11,001 14, and
had created bills outstanding, against his department, on the first
day of January, 1883, of over $1,500, with only $1,498 86 remaining
in the appropriation to satisfy the same. His total expenditure dur-
ing the period named was, consequently, in round numbers, $12,500,
and did not include any extraordinary demands, such as are made
by the session of the Legislature. The present Secretary, during the
last six months of the same fiscal year, met the exigencies of the



20

legislative session and the wants of all the executive business of the
government with the sum of $7,000. It is gratifying to observe that
the same economy has been evident in the expenditure of all the
other appropriations committed to his discretion, a substantial
amount of the appropriations remaining unexpended in each of
the funds at the close of the fiscal year.

The report further shows that there is a difference between the
expenses for stationery for the Legislature of 1881 and the extra ses-
sion of that year (amounting to 85,984 08) and the expenses for sta-
tionery of the Legislature of 1883 and the extra session of 1884
(amounting to $3,701 36), of $2,282 72 in favor of the present Secre-
tary. There was paid into the State Treasury by the Secretary of
State, during the eighteen months preceding July 1, 1884, the sum of
$19,154 35. During the eighteen months preceding that period, the
outgoing Secretary paid in only $8,245. Under the present law the
outgoing Secretary of State may, if he so desires — there being no
check upon his expenditures save the auditing of his demands by
the Board of Examiners — expend all of the appropriation for the
last fiscal year of his term during the first six months of that fiscal
year which terminates his incumbency. This makes it possible for
him to leave his successor without the necessary monej^ to conduct
his department and supply the needs of the Government for the
remaining portion of the fiscal year. I recommend, therefore, that a
clause be inserted by your honorable body in the Appropriation Bill
limiting, not only the Secretary of State, but every other officer, to
the expenditure of not more than one half of the amount of the
j^early appropriation for his department during the last six months
of his official term.

STATE CAPITOL FENCE AND GROUNDS.

Of the sum of $27,500 appropriated for the permanent improve-
ment of the State Capitol grounds, there was on hand, when the
present Board of State Capitol Commissioners entered upon its
duties, the sum of $10,233. Since that time there has been expended
for the construction of the State Capitol fence the sum of $6,308 70,
leaving in the fund at this date the sum of $3,904 30, with bills
almost due in the sum of $1,116 24. When these are paid there will
remain in the fund the sum of $2,788 06. Should your honorable
body conclude that the fence should be completed, it is estimated
that an additional appropriation of about $5,000 will be required for
that purpose. Should the appropriation be made for. the completion
of the fence, it will doubtless be apparent to you that the harmony
of appearances, and a proper regard for the dignity of the Capitol
surroundings, demand that a substantial sidewalk, of desirable
materials, be placed outside the grounds, along the line of the com-
pleted fence. The estimates made at the last session placed the cost
of a stone sidewalk at the sum of $7,000, and I am assured that that
amount will suffice for the purpose.

ARCHIVES OP THE CALIFORNIA VOLUNTEERS.

The Adjutant-General, in his biennial report, indorses the recom-
mendation of his predecessors in office, that a small appropriation be
made to defray the expense of copying the records of the California



21

Volunteers, which are now, in many instances, so defaced and
mutilated, from age and use, as to be in danger of total loss to the
archives of his office. I would recommend that your Committee on
Military Affairs look into this matter, and that you take such action
as the necessities of the case require.

THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE STATE.

The National Guard of the State now comprises the full number of
companies allowed by law, and, including three Cadet Companies,
numbers more than three thousand men. I am pleased to be able to
inform your honorable body that the drill, discipline, arms, accouter-
ments, soldierly bearing, and morals, of this branch of our State
Government are all that can be desired, and well merit the encour-
agement of the Legislature. In conseciuence of the insufficiency of
the appropriation made for the State militia by the last Legislature,
it has been impossible to give to commands going into encampment,
or desiring to do so, the allowance provided for in section two thou-
sand and twenty-two of the Political Code. In every well regulated
State in the Union, the field training of the militia in military exer-
cises is made a distinguishing feature of their government, and for
that purpose liberal appropriations are made. As I consider the
camp the best school for the soldier, and one without which he can
never acquire a proper knowledge of his duties, I recommend \o yoxir
honorable body that a suitable appropriation, outside of that usually
made for armory rents and other purposes, be made for the expenses
of encampment, so that every company in the service of the State ^•
may enjoy the privilege and advantage of camp discipline.

Not one of the armories, now occupied by companies of the National
Guard, is owned by the State. More than half of the appropriation
at present allowed for the support of the militia, is expended in rents.
In most cases the halls and buildings used as armories are unsuited
for military purposes, and for such emergencies of offense and defense
as would arise if the militia were called into active service. This is
particularly true of the City of San Francisco, where the aggregate
amount now being paid for the rental of such unsuitable armories as
can be obtained, reaches such a percentage of the probable cost of
constructing suitable armories, as would in less than twenty years
equal the cost of such construction. Should such construction of
armories take place, the State, at the end of twenty years, would own
all the armories in use, be freed from the burden of paying heavy
rents, and enjoy these advantages at a cost no greater than will be
represented by the rent bills paid to outside parties during the same
period. From the standpoint of economy, to say nothing of other
considerations, this matter demands the careful consideration of your
honorable body.

SURVEYOR-GENERAL.

The report of the Surveyor-General shows that from August 1,
3882, to January 8, 1883, patents were issued for 52,381.81 acres of
State lands, and from January 8, 1883, to August 1, 1884, patents were
issued for 287,154.68 acres. The fees collected during the two years
ending August 1, 1884, by the Surveyor-General, as such officer and
in his ex officio capacity as Register of State Lands, aggregated S16,181.
In his report he suggests that Section 3498 of the Political Code should



22

be amended so that applications for the purchase of State lands shall
be approved, in cases wherein there is no conflict, at the expiration of
six months after the term of retention has expired, or eight months
after the filing of the application; and that all unapproved contested
applications which have been on file over six months, wherein no
demand for an order of reference to Court has been made during
that time, shall be canceled. These suggestions are respectfully sub-
mitted for the consideration of your honorable body.

TERMS OF NOTARIES PUBLIC.

About one thousand and fifty Notaries are allowed by law to the
different counties of the State. The term of such officers is two years;
and about five hundred and twenty-five appointments are conse-
quently required to be made in each year. Applications for Notary-
ships from more persons than can be appointed by law are constantly
on file from certain counties — Los Angeles, Alameda, San Francisco,
and others. It seems, therefore, that the demand for Notaries in
these counties exceeds the quota to which they are respectively
entitled.

Under the present law, owing to the shortness of the term, Notaries
hardly become proficient in their duties before they are compelled
to apply for a renewal of their commissions, where renewal, under
existing circumstances, is not always a certainty. I submit to you
whether it would not be for the best interest of the State to extend
the term of this office from two to four years. In order that the State
might not lose sniy revenue from such a change, the fee to be paid by
the appointee for his commission could be doubled. I also submit
whether it would not be good policy to increase the number of Nota-
ries to be allowed to the counties named.

THE HARBOR COMMISSION.

The report of the Harbor Commission shows that for the two fiscal
years ending June 30, 1884, the total current receipts were $937,273 79,
and the total disbursements from current receipts were $468,827 18,
leaving the sum of $468,446 61. This latter amount, less the sum of
$19,087 99, embezzled by the former Secretary, John S. Gray, has been
remitted to the State Treasury. The report further shows that the
total of collections for the last fiscal year exceeded by nearly $35,000
that of any former year, being $46,000 in excess of the total for the
year 1881-82, and more than $65,000 greater than that of the year
immediately preceding the incumbency of the present Board.

The Commissioners in their report make many suggestions con-
cerning amendments to the present law, which, if adopted by your
honorable body, will doubtless have a tendency to render the admin-
istration of harbor affairs still more economical and profitable to the
State.

VIOLATED CONTRACTS.

On the fourth day of April, 1864, an Act was approved, entitled
"An Act to aid in the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad,
and to secure the use of the same to this State for all military and
other purposes, and other matters relating thereto." It was provided
in the said Act that the State should pay the interest on fifteen hun-



23

dred bonds of said company, said bonds being of the value of one
thousand dollars each, at the rate of seven per cent per annum, for
the term of twenty years. It was further provided th^t the agree-
ment of the State to pay the interest on the said bonds, was "made
upon the express condition and consideration that said company
shall and do at all times, when required, from and after the passage
of this Act, transport and convey over their said railroad all public
messengers, convicts going to the State Prison, lunatics going to the
State Insane Asylum, materials for the construction of the State
Capitol building, articles intended for public exhibition at the fairs
of the State Agricultural Society, and, in case of war, invasion, or
insurrection, as well as at all other times, also transport and convey
over their said railroad all troops and munitions of war belonging to
the State of California, free of charge and without any other com-
pensation than as herein provided." Said company further agreed,
as a part of the consideration of said contract, that, " within ninety
days after the receipt of a patent therefor from the United States, it
would execute, acknowledge, and deliver to the State of California a
deed in fee simple for the conveyance of the south half of section
nineteen, in township eleven north, of range seven east, Mount Diablo
meridian." The State has, in good faith, performed its portion of the
above contract with the railroad company. It has paid the sum of
§2,100,000 as interest on the bonds as agreed. But the railroad com-
pany has performed no portion of its agreement to transport and
convey the persons or materials mentioned in section four of the Act;
nor has it conveyed nor offered to convey to the State the piece or
parcel of land described as above. The refusal of the railroad com-
pany is based, as I understand, upon the technical objection that
there is no machinerj^ provided by the law to require it to perform
and fulfill the contract; that the law provides that they shall do cer-
tain things when required, but that it has never been required to do
and perform them, and that as the law now stands there is no power
to require them to perform their contract. The company also claims
that it is only bound to perform the contract entered into b^ them
on the line of railroad from the City of Sacramento to the eastern
boundary line of the State. This matter deserves your serious atten-
tion. Some legislation is no doubt necessary, by way of amendment,
to the Act above cited, in order that the State may recover a portion
at least of the enormous amount of money paid the railroad com-
pany as interest on its bonds.

RAILROAD TAXATION.

This administration has endeavored to compel certain railroad
corporations, whose property has been assessed by the State Board of
Equalization, to assist in the support of a Government which enforces
their rights and protects their property just as it enforces the rights
and protects the propertj^ of all its other citizens and corporations.
I regret to say, however, that the legal proceedings against those cor-
porations, instituted for the collection of taxes, are in the same un-
settled and unsatisfactory condition that characterized them two
years ago. An appeal to the United States Supreme Court was taken,
in one case, a few months since, it being stated that the one case pre-
sented all the issues necessary to be determined in order to decide all
similar cases pending. I further understand that the United States



24

Supreme Court has declined to advance the case mentioned upon its
calendar, and the time at which it will be heard and determined
cannot be definitely stated.

There have been heavy deficiencies during the past five years, in
consequence of the non-payment of these taxes, in the receipts of the
General Fund, the School Fund, and the Interest and Sinking Fund.
The Controller's report shows the amount of such delinquencies for
the years 1880, 1881, 1882, and 1883, to be $631,807 06. The foregoing
represents only the face of the taxes, and omits the penalties, interest,
and costs. With penalties and interest added to the last Monday in
December, 1884, the amount is $1,041,229 74.

The fact that these taxes have been delinquent and uncollected for
such a length of time argues that something is at fault, either in the
laws relating to the assessment and collection of taxes, or in the
administration of those laws. Courts should not be permitted to
delay the hearing and determination of cases wherein the authority
and almost the life of a sovereign Government are at stake. I have
before recommended, and I now repeat with renewed force, that the
most stringent and effective laws should be enacted for the assessment
and collection of taxes from all taxpayers. By no other means can
our authority as a State be maintained ; for the persistent refusal of
any taxpayer who does not agree with the law in regard to the method
of assessment or the amount of the tax, to pay that tax after it has
been duly assessed by the proper authorities, is a blow at the very
existence of the Government. No more dangerous form of rebellious
doctrine could exist than that seemingly promulgated by the owners



Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 3 of 83)