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standing committees, because they have charge of a given
class of subjects during the entire session. The commit-
tees are formed early in the session, by election in the
Senate and by appointment by the speaker in the House.

A committee of conference is appointed in each house
when differences arise between the two houses. The bus-
iness of a committee of conference is to endeavor to har-
monize these differences.

There are also special committees appointed when neces-
sary, which have particular subjects' or bills referred to
them for a special report.

The committees exercise a guiding influence in legis-
lation by deciding what bills are worthy of serious con-
sideration by the members. The work of the various com-
mittees in examining, and either approving, modifying
or rejecting the different bills, greatly facilitates the trans-
action of business by the General Assembly, which usu-
ally acquiesces in the conclusions of its committees.'

39. How Laws are Made. — The method of making
laws by the General Assembly of Colorado is essentially
the same as by the Congress of the United States.^

All proposed laws, except for raising revenue, may orig-
inate in either house in the form of bills. No bill may
be amended or changed during its passage so as to alter
its original purpose. A bill on being introduced into either

' Should either house desire that any matter should be considered by
the whole house rather than by a committee, the house sits as a '' com-
mittee of the whole." When so sitting the discussion is more informal
than in the regular sessions of the house and is not restricted by the
rules which apply to the regular sessions. When sitting as the com-
mittee of the whole, the house is presided over by a chairman ap-
pointed by the regular presiding officer, to serve for that occasion only,
and matters are considered as they would be by a committee, rather
than as they would be considered in a regular session of the house.
The committee of the whole hears and considers bills on their second

2 See Art. V. Sects. 17-S3.


house must be read by title and referred to the appropriate
committee ; after its return from the committee it is printed,
and must be read at length on two different days. If a
bill is materially amended it is ordered reprinted. When
any changes or amendments to a bill are made in the other
house the bill must be returned for approval to the house
in which it originated. Before a bill is declared passed, it
must have a majority vote of all the members of each
house; the final vote on the bill must be taken by the
ayes and noes, and "the names of those voting, and how
they voted, be entered on the journal.

Every bill passed by both houses is signed by the speaker
of the House, and by the president of the Senate in the
presence of the members, and is then sent to the governor.
If he signs the bilj., it becomes a law, and is filed with the
secretary of State for safe-keeping. If the governor does
not approve of the bill he vetoes it, that is, he returns it
to the house in which it originated with his reasons for
objecting to it. If both houses re-pass the bill by a two-
thirds vote of all the members, it becomes a law without
the approval of the governor. If the governor fails either
to sign or to return the bill within ten days after it has
been presented to him, it becomes a law unless the Gen-
eral Assembly, by adjourning, prevent its return, in which
case it becomes a law unless the governor files the bill,
with his objections, in the office of the secretary of State
within thirty days after the adjournment of the General

The Constitution provides that the governor may veto
any item or items of a bill making appropriations of
money, when the bill embraces distinct items ; the items
disapproved are void unless reconsidered and passed in
the manner of passing bills over the executive veto.

A law does not go into effect until ninety days after its

» See Art. V. Sects. 17-23, Art. IV. Sect. 11. and Art. V. Sect. 39.


passage, unless there is an " emergency clause," which
must be voted on separately, and be approved by a two-
thirds vote.' Authority is given the secretary of State to
collect and have the statutes published. State, district,
county and precinct officers are provided with these
printed laws gratuitously.

40. Restrictions on Law-making. — There is a con-
stantly increasing tendency on the part of General As-
semblies to legislate on a multiplicity of subjects. This dis-
position on the part of a legislature prompted the framers
of our Constitution to hedge the General Assembly with
many limitations. These limitations supplement the re-
strictions on State legislation found in the Constitution
of the United States. The " Bill of Rights " prohibits the
General Assembly from disturbing the individual in the
right of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.""
Probably the chief reason for so many restrictions being
placed around the General Assembly is because responsi-
bility for vicious or special legislation is not easily fastened
upon individual members.' These restrictions, together
with the check which each house exercises upon the other,
and the executive veto, materially restrain and circum-
scribe the legislative power.

1 See Art. V. Sect. 19.

= See Art. IL The " Bill of Eights " enumerated in the United States
Constitution (the first ten amendments) is repeated in most of the State
Constitutions, since it is held that the limitations in these matters in
the Federal Constitution apply only to the Federal government and not
to the State governments.

' Great pressure is brought to bear upon members of the legislature
to pass bills favorable to certain localities, individuals or special interests ;
hence, constitutional limitations prohibiting such legislation are a pro-
tection to members against undue solicitation in behalf of selfish or
local ends. For the specific restrictions on legislative action, see Art. V.



The Executive Department.

41. The Executive Department consists of seven offi-
cers : the governor, the lieutenant-governor, the secretary
of State, the State auditor, the State treasurer, the attorney-
general and the superintendent of public instruction/ All
these officers are elected by popular vote at the general
State election, held in even-numbered years. They hold
their offices for two years from the second Tuesday in Jan-
uary after their election ; ^ their compensation is fixed by
law and cannot be increased or diminished during the
term for which they are elected. The scope and author-
itj' of each of the State officers are carefully defined. The
executive officers, witli the exception of the lieutenant-
governor, are required to reside at the State capital.

42. The Governor is the supreme executive officer. As
chief e3?ecutive, it is his duty to see that the laws are
faithfully executed and to preserve peace and order. He
is commander-in-chief of the militia of the State except
when it is engaged in the service of the United States;
with the consent of the Senate, he appoints the principal
officers of the State that are not elected by the people,
and the members of the boards of the various State
institutions^ except the regents of the State University.
He has power to remove any person whom he appoints
"for incompetency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in
office." He is empowered, under certain restrictions, to
fill vacancies that may occur in office.* When occasion
requires he issues writs for special elections. He may de-
mand fugitives from justice in this State from the exec-
utive of any other State, and upon the requisition of the
governor of another State may issue warrants for the arrest

• For the qualifications of State officers see Art. IV. Sect. 4.
' See Art. IV. Sect. 1. For salaries of State officers see Appendix,
page 150.

' See page 44. * See Art. IV. Sect. 6.


of fugitives found in this State. On the recommendation
of the board of pardons' he may grant pardons, reprieves,
and commutations for crimes except in cases of treason
and impeachment. The board of pardons is simply an
advisory board.

In legislation it is the duty of the governor to transmit
to the General Assembly, by message, information con-
cerning the condition of the State, and to indicate a gen-
eral policy of legislation by recommending such measures
as he may deem expedient ; he convenes extra sessions of
the General Assembly when necessary and has the power
to adjourn the General Assembly if the two houses can-
not agree as to the time of adjournment; he examines
all bills submitted to him by the legislature, signs those
which he approves and either allows the others to become
laws without his signature or vetoes and returns them to
the house in which they originated.

The power which the governor holds in relation to the
legislative and judicial departments of the government be-
longs to him peculiarly as chief executive of the State.^

43. The Lieutenant-Governor. — The Constitution pro-
vides that in case the governor, for any cause or disabil-
ity shall be removed, the duties of the office shall devolve
upon the lieutenant-governor. In case of the disability
of the lieutenant-governor, the duties of the office devolve
upon the president pro tempore of the Senate, and after
him, upon the speaker of the House. The lieutenant-
governor is ex officio the president of the Senate.' He is
not a member of the Senate and votes only in case of a tie.

44. The Secretary of State. — Chief among the duties
of the secretary of State is the preservation of State
records. All public records, reports, laws and resolutions
are enrolled in his office. He publishes the laws and jour-

>■ See ? 6, page 44. ^ See Art. IV. Sects. 5-lS.

' See Art. IV. Sects. 13-15.


nals of the General Assembly, proposed amendments to
the Constitution, and the reports of State officers and
boards ; he gives notice to the county clerks of State and
National elections, of the offices to be filled, and the names
of the various nominees certified to him ; he receives the
election returns for all offices higher than the county ; the
returns for executive State officers he transmits to the
General Assembly and the others to the State board of
canvassers ; at the direction of the State canvassing board
issues certificates of election ; he submits to the decision
of the electors all proposed amendments to the Constitu-
tion ; he attests all proclamations, commissions and other
documents issued by the governor, and as evidence of
their authority, stamps them with the great seaP of the
State, of which he is the custodian ; he is the purchasing
agent and custodian of all stationery and supplies for the
General Assembly and State officials; he has charge of
the Capitol building ; he issues and keeps a record of the
charters of corporations, such as railroad, telegraph, tele-
phone, manufacturing and banking companies, colleges,
and of private corporations organized for business or for
charitable or social purposes ; and he conducts all official
communications with other States and with the United

45. The State Auditor issues warrants or orders on
the State treasurer for the payment of salaries of State
officers, members of the General Assembly, clerks and
other employes in State offices, and for all moneys au-
thorized by law to be paid by the State treasurer; he
makes a semi-annual report to the superintendent of
public instruction of the amount of the State school
fund, and after this has been apportioned by the super-
intendent of public instruction among the various coun-
ties of the State, the State auditor issues warrants on the

1 See page 28.


State treasurer for the payment of the same to the various
county treasurers ; he issues certificates to insurance com-
panies authorizing them to transact business in the State
and has general supervision of their business; he may
revoke the certificate should a company violate any of the
insurance laws of the State. No person may serve as
State auditor for two consecutive terms.

46. The State Treasurer receives and keeps in charge
all money belonging to the State not otherwise provided
for, and pays out the same upon warrants issued by the
State auditor; he countersigns and keeps a record of all
warrants issued by the State auditor ; he makes daily and
monthly reports to the State auditor of the money received
and paid out, and the warrants registered by him ; he is
required by law to publish a quarterly report of all moneys
received by him, of the places wherein the money is de-
posited and the number and amount of every warrant
paid by him during the preceding three months; he
keeps a separate account of each fund in his charge.
His books are subject to examination by a committee
appointed by the governor; he is authorized to loan the
money of the State, for the benefit of the State, at the
highest rate of interest he can obtain with satisfactory
security. No person may serve as State treasurer for
two consecutive terms.

47. The Attorney-General is the law ofiicer of the
State. It is his duty to defend the State in all suits that
may be brought against it, and to prosecute in the proper
court any claims made by the State against any person,
corporation, other State, or the government of the United
States ; he is also required to give official opinions upon
legal questions submitted by the governor, the heads of
the State departments and various other officers through-
out the State on matters relating to their respective offices.

48. The Superintendent of Public Instruction has
general supervision of the public schools of the State ; he


counsels with county superintendents and other school
officers and persons in matters involving the welfare of
the schools ; his decisions touching the school laws are
final until set aside by legal authority or by legislation ;
he furnishes county superintendents with lists of ques-
tions to be used in examining persons who desire to
become teachers in the public schools, and prescribes
regulations concerning their use, in order to make the
examinations uniform throughout the State ; he appor-
tions the public school income fund among the various
counties ; he furnishes blanks and forms for the use of
subordinate officers and teachers ; he compiles and dis-
tributes the State school laws ; he makes a biennial report
setting forth the condition of the schools, with suggestions
concerning their improvement ; he is ex officio a member
of the State land board. State librarian, a trustee of the
State normal school and one of the examiners of its can-
didates for graduation.

49. Administrative Boards and Appointed Officers.
— A number of State boards have been created from time
to time, for the performance of particular duties. These
boards and officers are as follows :

Ex-oFFicio Boards.

1. The State Board of Canvassers (governor, secretary of
State, treasurer, auditor and attorney-general) canvasses the elec-
tion returns for the election of all National officers voted for in
the State, also the vote for all officers above the county excepting
the executive officers of the State.^

2. The State Board of Education (superintendent of pub-
lic instruction, secretary of State, and attorney-general) makes
regulations for the government of the public schools, grants State
diplomas which are good for life, to all persons recommended by
the State board of examiners, and hears appeals from the decis-

' The General Assembly canvasses the election returns for the execu-
tive officers of the State.


ions of county superintendents. There is no appeal from the
decision of this board.

3. The State Board of Equalization (governor, secretary
of State, treasurer, auditor and attorney-general) equalizes assess-
ment of property made in the several counties of the State, by
adding to or subtracting from the assessment in each county such
a percentage as may be necessary to secure a uniform rate of
assessment throughout the State, but it has no power to increase
or decrease the total valuation for the State as returned by the

It is also the duty of this board to assess the telephone, tele-
graph and railroad lines of the State for the purpose of taxation,
and to make a report of the same to the county clerks of the
various counties of the State.

4. The State Board of Land Commissioners (governor,
secretary of State, superintendent of public instruction and the at-
torney-general) has charge of all thejands belonging to the State, se-
lects and surveys lands granted by the United States, prepares maps
of the same, and has power to lease and sell the school-lands.

5. The State Board of Examiners (composed of such per-
sons as the superintendent of public instruction, the presidents of
the State University, the State School of Mines, the Agricultural
College, and the State Normal School may appoint) prepares ex-
amination questions, conducts State examinations of teachers and
recommends to the State board of education applicants worthy to
receive State diplomas.

Other State Boards.'

1. The State Veterinary Sanitary Board. — The duty of
this board is to make and enforce such measures as will prevent
the introduction and spread of infectious and contagious diseases
among stock.

■ 2. The State Board of Inspection. — In order to prevent
the illegal slaughtering or shipping of cattle, this board appoints
and locates cattle inspectors and furnishes them with lists of the
various brands registered with the secretary of State.

' The members of the various State boards and bureaus are appointed
by the governor with the approval of the Senate, except when other-
wise indicated.


3. The State Board of Agriculture. — This board is com-
posed of the governor of the State, the president of the Agricul-
tural College and eight other persons.

The purpose of this board is to promote the general interests
of agriculture in the State. This work is done in connection with
that of the Agricultural College.

4. Tlie State Board of Horticulture consists of six mem-
bers appointed by the governor. It has for its object the promo-
tion of horticulture, pom.ology, arboriculture and floriculture.'

5. The Board of Charities and Corrections consists of
the governor and six other members appointed by him. It has
power to investigate and make suggestions concerning jails, pen-
itentiaries, reformatories, reform schools, infirmaries, hoispitals and
asylums, wholly or in part supported by the State or its subdi-

.6. The State Board of Pardons is composed of the gov-
ernor and five other members appointed by him. It is the duty of
this board to investigate all applications for executive clemency,
and to lay the facts before the governor with its recommendation
as to what action should be taken.

7. The Colorado Historical Society is an organization
semi-official in character, which has a room assigned to it in the
Capitol building, and part of its expenses paid by the State.
It has for its object the collection of papers and documents
which bear on the history of the West in general and of Colo-
rado in particular.

8. Other State Boards.— The duties of the State board of
medical examiners, the State board of health, the State board of
pharmacy, the bureau of mines, the coal mine inspector, the State
board of arbitration, and the State board of dental examiners are
indicated by their titles.

The Boards op State Institutions.

1. The public institutions of the State are the University of Colo-
rado at Boulder, the State Agricultural College at Fort Collins, the
State School of Mines at Golden, the State Normal School at Gree-
ley, the School for the Deaf and the Blin d at Colorado Springs, the

1 On the petition of fifteen owners of orchards the county commis-
sioners of any county may appoint a county board of horticulture ; this
board consists of three persons and is auxiliary to the State board.'


State Industrial School at Golden, the State Home and Industrial
School for Girls and the State Home for Dependent and Neglected
Children at Denver, the State Penitentiary at Cafion City, the Colo-
rado State Reformatory at Buena Vista, the Soldiers' and Sailors'
Home at Monte Vista, and the Asylum for the Insane at Pueblo.

For the management of each of these institutions a board of
trustees is appointed by the governor, usually with the consent of
the Senate, except in the case of the State university, which ia
under the supervision of "The Regents of the University of
Colorado," a board of six members, elected by the voters of the

The State Capitol is located at Denver. Its erection is under
the direction of a board of Capitol managers.

Administrative Officers.

1. The State veterinary surgeon, the State geologist, the State
game and fish warden and the dairy commissioner are appointed
by the governor. The State measurer of printing and the deputy
commissioner of labor statistics are appointed by the secretary of
State; the deputy State librarian by the superintendent of public

■ instruction ; and the deputy superintendent of insurance by the
State auditor. The duties of these officers are indicated by their

2. The State Engineer and His Subordinates. — There
are six water divisions ^ in the State, for each of which a super-
intendent of irrigation is appointed at the request of the county
commissioners of any county in the division. He sees that the
laws relating to the distribution of water are complied with, and
he receives and transmits the reports of water commissioners to
the State engineer.

The water divisions for irrigating purposes are subdivided into
water districts, and the governor appoints a water commissioner
tor each district. The commissioner divides the water among the
ditches according to priority of right. The laws are very strin-
gent in regard to the use of water. The commissioner has power
to arrest any person violating his regulations.

The State engineer has supervision of the water commission-

' These divisions are : 1. South Platte division. 2. Arkansas division.
3. Rio Grande division. 4. San Juan division. 5. Grand River division
6. Green River division.


ers and superintendents of irrigation, and prescribes regulations
governing their duties. He surveys and locates State roads,
bridges, ditches and reservoirs.

Notaries Public.
The governor may appoint as many notaries as he thinks neces-
sary. A notary is empowered to administer oaths, attest signatures
and take depositions and acknowledgments of documents. All
such papers, when attested by a notary, are admitted by the courts
as legal evidence.

60. The Militia. — All able-bodied male citizens of the
State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years,
who are not exempted by law, belong to the enrolled mili-
tia, but they are not called upon to perform military duty
unless when in case of war, rebellion, or invasion, a suSi-
cient number of volunteers cannot be had. The organized
militia is known as the National Guard of the State, and
is composed of volunteers from the enrolled militia ; the
National Guard is uniformed, armed, and equipped at the
expense of the State, and is drilled in conformity with
the system employed in the United States army.'

It is the duty of the National Guard to respond to any
call from the governor to aid in suppressing riots, mobs
and tumults.' The National Guard at such times is the
preserver of peace and good order.^

' See Art. XVII " See § 69, page 03.

° In 1S95 the National Guard consisted of one brigade numbering 833
men, including officers. The authorized strength of the national guard
is 2861 men, including officers. There are 85,000 persons in the State
liable to military duty.


The Judicial Department.

51. The Judicial Power of the State is vested in the
supreme court and in the court of appeals in the State ; in
the district courts in the judicial districts ; in the probate
or county courts in the counties ; in the police or munici-

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Online LibraryJohn Sylvester YoungThe government of the people of the state of Colorado → online text (page 3 of 12)