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Section 1. The credit of the State shall not in any manner be given or loaned to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation.
§2. The State may, to meet casual deficits or failures in revenues, or for expenses not provided for, contract debts; but such debts, direct or contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed one million of dollars; and the moneys arising from the loans creating such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which they were obtained, or to repay the debt so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.
§3. In addition to the above limited power to contract debts, the State may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the State in war; but the money arising from the contracting of such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which it was raised, or repay such debts, and to no other purpose whatever.
§4. Except the debts specified in sections two and three of this. article, no debt shall be hereafter contracted by or on behalf of this State, unless such debt shall be authorized by a law, for some single work or object, to be distinctly specified therein; and such law shall impose and provide for the collection of a direct annual tax to pay, and sufficient to pay, the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt within eighteen years from the time of the contracting thereof. No such law shall take effect until it shall, at a general election, have been submitted to the people, and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at such election. On the final passage of such bill in either house of the Legislature, the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, to be duly entered on the journals thereof, and shall be: "Shall this bill pass, and ought the same to receive the sanction of the people?"
The Legislature may at any time, after the approval of such law by the people, if no debt shall have been contracted in pursuance thereof, repeal the same; and may at any time, by law, forbid the contracting of any further debt or liability under such law; but the tax imposed by such act, in proportion to the debt and liability which may have been contracted, in pursuance of such law, shall remain in force and be irrepealable, and be annually collected, until the proceeds thereof shall have made the provision hereinbefore specified to pay and discharge the interest and principal of such debt and liability. The money arising from any loan or stock creating such debt or liability shall be applied to the work or object specified in the act authorizing such debt or lia
bility, or for the repayment of such debt or liability, and for no other purpose whatever. No such law shall be submitted to be voted on, within three months after its passage, or at any general election when any other law, or any bill, or any amendment to the Constitution, shall be submitted to be voted for or against.
§5. The sinking funds provided for the payment of interest and the extinguishment of the principal of the debts of the State shall be separately kept and safely invested, and neither of them shall be appropriated or used in any manner other than for the specific purpose for which it shall have been provided.
§ 3. Neither the Legislature, canal board, nor any person or persons acting in behalf of the State, shall audit, allow, or pay any claim which, as between citizens of the State, would be barred by a lapse of time. This provision shall not be construed to repeal any statute fixing the time within which claims shall be presented or allowed, nor shall it extend to any claims duly presented within the time allowed by law, and prosecuted with due diligence from the time of such presentment. But if the claimant shall be under legal disability, the claim may be presented within two years after such disability is removed.
§ 7. The lands of the State, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.
§8. The Legislature shall not sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the Erie canal, the Oswego canal, the Champlain canal, the Cayuga and Seneca canal, or the Black river canal; but they shall remain the property of the State and under its management forever. The prohibition of lease, sale or other disposition herein contained, shall not apply to the canal known as the Main and Hamburg street canal, situated in the city of Buffalo, and which extends easterly from the westerly line of Main street to the westerly line of Hamburg street. All funds that may be derived from any lease, sale or other disposition of any canal shall be applied to the improvement, superintendence or repair of the remaining portion of the canals.
89. No tolls shall hereafter be imposed on persons or property transported on the canals, but all boats navigating the canals, and the owners and masters thereof, shall be subject to such laws and regulations as have been or may hereafter be enacted concerning the navigation of the canals. The Legislature shall annually, by equitable taxes, make provisions for the expenses of the superintendence and repairs of the canals.
All contracts for work or materials on any canal shall be made with the persons who shall offer to do or provide the same at the lowest price, with adequate security for their performance. No extra compensation shall be made to any contractor; but if, from any unforeseen cause, the terms of any contract shall prove to be unjust and oppressive, the canal board may, upon the application of the contractor, cancel such contract.
§ 10. The canals may be improved in such manner as the Legislature shall provide by law. A debt may be authorized for that purpose in the mode prescribed by section four of this article, or the cost of such improvements may be defrayed by the appropriation of funds from the state treasury, or by equitable annual tax.
Section 1. Corporations may be formed under general laws; but shall not be created by special act, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where, in the judgment of the Legislature, the objects of the corporation cannot be attained under general laws. All general laws and special acts passed pursuant to this section may be altered from time to time or repealed.
§2. Dues from corporations shall be secured by such individual liability of the corporators and other means as may be prescribed by law.
§3. The term corporations as used in this article shall be construed to include all associations and joint-stock companies having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships. And all corporations shall have the right to sue and shall be subject to be sued in all courts in like cases as natural persons.
§4. The Legislature shall, by general law, conform all charters of savings banks, or institutions for savings, to a uniformity of powers, rights and liabilities, and all charters hereafter granted for such corporations shall be made to conform to such general law, and to such amendments as may be made thereto. And no such corporation shall have any capital stock, nor shall the trustees thereof, or any of them, have any interest whatever, direct or indirect, in the profits of such corporation; and no director or trustee of any such bank or institution shall be interested in any loan or use of any money or property of such bank or institution for savings. The Legislature shall have no power to pass any act granting any special charter for banking purposes; but cor
porations or associations may be formed for such purposes under general laws.
§5. The Legislature shall have no power to pass any law sanctioning in any manner, directly or indirectly, the suspension of specie payments, by any person, association or corporation, issuing bank notes of any description.
§6. The Legislature shall provide by law for the registry of all bills or notes, issued or put in circulation as money, and shall require ample security for the redemption of the same in specie.
§7. The stockholders of every corporation and joint-stock association for banking purposes, shall be individually responsible, to the amount of their respective share or shares of stock in any such corporation or association, for all its debts and liabilities of every kind.
§8. In case of the insolvency of any bank or banking association, the billholders thereof shall be entitled to preference in payment, over all other creditors of such bank or association.
§9. Neither the credit nor the money of the State shall be given or loaned to or in aid of any association, corporation or private undertaking. This section shall not, however, prevent the Legislature from making such provision for the education and support of the blind, the deaf and dumb, the juvenile delinquents, as to it may seem proper. Nor shall it apply to any fund or property now held, or which may hereafter be held, by the State for educational purposes.
§ 10. No county, city, town or village shall hereafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation, or become directly or indirectly the owner of stock in, or bonds of, any association or corporation; nor shall any such county, city, town or village be allowed to incur any indebtedness except for county, city, town or village purposes. This section shall not prevent such county, city, town or village from making such provision for the aid or support of its poor as may be authorized by law. No county or city shall be allowed to become indebted for any purpose or in any manner to an amount which, including existing indebtedness, shall exceed ten per centum of the assessed valuation of the real estate of such county or city subject to taxation, as it appeared by the assessment-rolls of said county or city on the last assessment for state or county taxes prior to the incurring of such indebtedness; and all indebtedness in excess of such limitation, except such as may now exist, shall be absolutely void, except as herein otherwise provided. No county or city whose present indebtedness exceeds ten per centum of the assessed valuation of its real estate subject to taxation, shall be
allowed to become indebted in any further amount until such indebtedness shall be reduced within such limit. This section shall not be construed to prevent the issuing of certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes for amounts actually contained, or to be contained in the taxes for the year when such certificates or revenue bonds are issued and payable out of such taxes. Nor shall this section be construed to prevent the issue of bonds to provide for the supply of water; but the term of the bonds issued to provide the supply of water shall not exceed twenty years and a sinking fund shall be created on the issuing of the said bonds for their redemption, by raising annually a sum which will produce an amount equal to the sum of the principal and interest of said bonds at their maturity. All certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes, which are not retired within five years after their date of issue, and bonds issued to provide for the supply of water, and any debt hereafter incurred by any portion or part of a city, if there shall be any such debt, shall be included in ascertaining the power of the city to become otherwise indebted. Whenever the boundaries of any city are the same as those of a county, or when any city shall include within its boundaries more than one county, the power of any county wholly included within such city to become indebted shall cease, but the debt of the county, heretofore existing shall not, for the purposes of this section, be reckoned as a part of the city debt. The amount hereafter to be raised by tax for county or city purposes, in any county containing a city of over one hundred thousand inhabitants, or any such city of this State, in addition to providing for the principal and interest of existing debt, shall not in the aggregate exceed in any one year two per centum of the assessed valuation of the real and personal estate of such county or city, to be ascertained as prescribed in this section in respect to county or city debt.
§11. The Legislature shall provide for a state board of charities, which shall visit and inspect all institutions, whether state, county, municipal, incorporated or not incorporated, which are of a charitable, eleemosynary, correctional or reformatory character, excepting only such institutions as are hereby made subject to the visitation and inspection of either of the commissions hereinafter mentioned, but including all reformatories except those in which adult males convicted of felony shall be confined; a state commission in lunacy which shall visit and inspect all institutions, either public or private, used for the care and treatment of the insane (not including institutions for epileptics or idiots); a state commission of prisons which shall visit