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fourth of the number of representatives. In their function, the two bodies differ in this, that the Senate, besides having the law-making power, has some degree of executive power as well as judicial power. It confirms or rejects appointments of the Governor and thereby assumes executive power; it tries all cases of impeachment and is therefore also judicial in its nature.
As stated in another chapter, the first constitution of Pennsylvania provided only for one house. Our fathers were jealous of popular rights and therefore they opposed every form of government in which the people could not be in close touch with their rulers. It was for this reason that they did not favor an upper house ; but time soon demonstrated that two houses are necessary, one to serve as a check on the other; and in the second constitution, two were created.
This theory of the division of the legislative power was almost unknown to the republics of ancient times; but now it is an axiom in the science of legislation.
The Duties of the General Assembly.-It is the duty of the General Assembly, or Legislature, to make such laws as are necessary for the welfare of the State; but it must make no laws that violate the constitution of the United States or that of Pennsylvania. It can legislate on almost any subject (See Constitution, Art. 3, Sec. 7); but there are a few things with which it is not allowed to meddle (See various Sections of Art. 3).
Other duties of the General Assembly are the election of two persons to represent the State in the United States Senate; the division of the State into representative and senatorial districts, as well as into judicial and congressional, once every ten years, immediately after each United States census; the fixing of the number, duties
and compensation of State, county and township officers; the appropriation of money, the raising of revenue and the submitting of amendments to the constitution.
How a Bill Becomes a Law.–(1) Bills may originate in either house (except revenue bills, which must come from the House). (2) No bill is considered unless it has been referred to a committee, returned therefrom, and printed for the use of members. (3) Every bill is read by the clerk on three different days, in each house, amendments to it being made on second reading and the same being printed for the use of the members before the final vote is taken on third reading. (4) After third reading the vote on final passage must be taken by yeas and nays and a majority of all the members elected to each house must be recorded as voting in its favor if it is to pass. (5) After having passed both houses, a bill, to become a law, must be signed by the Governor. If he vetoes it, he must return it to the house in which it originated and state his objections. If it then passes both houses by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of each house (yea and nay vote),
becomes a law over the Governor's veto. (6) If the Governor does not return the bill within ten days after it has been presented to him, it becomes a law without his signature. But if the Legislature adjourns before the ten days are up, the Governor has thirty days after such adjournment in which to sign or veto all bills in his hands.
Sessions of the General Assembly.—The General Assembly meets at 12 o'clock, noon, on the first Tuesday in January of every second year. The length of term is not fixed; it is generally about five months. Special sessions can be called only by the Governor. A special session of the Senate alone may be called, but not of the House
alone. Each house has its own chanıber in which to hold its sessions.
Compensation of the Members. The compensation of the Senators and that of the Representatives is the same, both receiving $1,500 for a regular session and $500 for a special session, regardless of the length of either. To this must be added $50 worth of stationery, $100 worth of postage stamps, and mileage at the rate of 20 cents per mile each way.
The Senate.-The Senate has fifty members, -one for each senatorial district,—who serve four years. One-half of them are elected every two years. A Senator must be twenty-five years old ; he must have been a citizen of the State four years and a resident of his district at least one year immediately before his election. (For Apportionment of the State into Senatorial Districts, see Constitution, Article 2, Section 16.)
The presiding officer of the Senate is the LieutenantGovernor. He is not a member, and therefore can vote only in case of a tie. The Senate elects one of its own number president pro tempore, who appoints the committees and presides in the absence of the Lieutenant-Gor
The House of Representatives.-According to the Constitution of the State, the House consists of about two hundred members, the exact number being determined by dividing the population of the State as given by the latest United States census, by 200. The quotient thus obtained is called the ratio of population." The number of Representatives to a county is determined by dividing the "ratio of population" into its population ; but each county is entitled to at least one Representative (Se Constitution, Article 2, Section 17).
The term of office of a Representative is two years. He must be twenty-one years old, while his other qualifications are the same as those of a Senator. The presiding officer, or speaker, is a member of the House of Representatives and he is chosen by them at the opening of the session. He appoints the committees and has a vote on all questions.
THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
The Constitution provides that the executive department shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Attorney-General, Auditor-General, Secretary of Internal Affairs, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Three of these—the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Attorney-General, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction-are appointed by the Governor; the others are elected by the people. Added to the eight executive officers required by the Constitution, are others created by acts of Assembly for the purpose of assisting the Governor and the other chief executive officers in administering the government. They are the AdjutantGeneral, the State Librarian, the Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds, the Superintendent of Public Printing and Binding, the Superintendent of Banking, the Factory Inspector, the Insurance Commissioner, the Secretary of Agriculture and his assistants—the Director of Farmers' Institutes, the Economic Zoologist, the Commissioner of Forestry, and the Dairy and Food Commissioner. Besides these administrative officers created by statute, there is also a number of State Boards, viz., of Agriculture, of Public Charities, of Health, of Pardons, of Mine Inspectors, of Medical Examiners, of
Pharmaceutical Examiners, of Dental Examiners, of Veterinary Examiners, the Live Stock Sanitary Board, and others of minor importance. Nearly all of these assistant State officers are appointed by the Governor, for a term of four years. The names of the various boards indicate the duties to be performed by them.
The Governor.-In the Governor is vested the supreme executive power of the State. His first and great duty is to study the wants of the State, lay them before the General Assembly and point out the means which in his opinion may be used to provide for them. He is also to guard the State against violent shocks and threatened dangers. When the laws of peace are violated in any part of the State to such an extent that the sheriffs can not keep order, he must call out the militia to quell the resistance and restore order. The Constitution makes him the commander-in-chief.
The chief powers incidental to the office of Governor are to approve or veto every bill passed by the General Assembly; to appoint certain officers and fill certain vacancies; to remit fines and forfeitures ; to grant reprieves; to grant commutations and pardons, on recommendation of the Board of Pardons; to call both houses or the Senate alone into extra session ; and to adjourn them both in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, to such a time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months.
The Governor's term of office is four years, and he cannot succeed himself. He must be thirty years old, a citizen of the United States, and must have been a citizen of the State for seven years next preceding his election. His salary is $10,000 a year and a free residence in the Executive Mansion at Harrisburg.