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These include jails and penitentiaries (but not state prisons). The Commission is also empowered to devise a system for the proper employment of prisoners, and to provide for the disposition of articles manufactured by them. The president of the Board, only, receives compensation—an annual salary of $2,500. Any commissioner may be removed by the Governor, for cause, after hearing.
Public Service Commissions. These are two in number consisting of five members each, one Commission for a district composed of New York, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties and the other for the rest of the State. Within its District each Commission has power to regulate the conduct and management of steam and other railroads, to establish rates of passenger and freight charges, to fix the standard of electric and gas illumination plants, to investigate accidents caused by railroads and enforce the laws governing quasi public corporations. The term of each Commissioner is five years and he receives an annual compensation of $15,000.
Tax Commission, consisting of three members, whose terms are three years. It is their duty to visit each county once in two years, to inquire into the assessment of property, and ascertain such facts as to values as will aid the Board for the Equalization of Assessments, of which the Commissioners are ex-officio members, in the discharge of its duties. Each Commissioner receives an annual salary of $5,000 and $500 for expenses.
Quarantine Commission, consisting of three members, whose terms are three years. In connection with the Health Officer of the Port of New York (appointed by the Governor for four years with an annual salary of
$12,500) the Commission has control of the quarantine establishment of the port of New York, and may inspect incoming vessels, detain persons suffering with contagious diseases, and make and enforce regulations to prevent the introduction of diseases into that port. Each Commissioner receives an annual salary of $2,500.
Civil Service Commission, consisting of three members, who serve until their successors are appointed. . It is the duty of the Commissioners to assist the Governor in carrying out the provisions of the Constitution requiring that:
Appointments and promotions in the civil service of the State, and all the civil divisions thereof, including cities and villages, shall be made according to merit and fitness to be ascertained, so far as practicable, by examinations, which, so far as practicable, shall be competitive; provided, however, that honorably discharged soldiers and sailors from the army and navy of the United States in the late Civil War, who are citizens and residents of this State, shall be entitled to preference in appointment and promotion, without regard to their standing on any list from which such appointment or promotion may be made. Laws shall be made to provide for the enforcement of this section. (Art. V., Sec. 9.)
In the "Civil Service" are included all state employees other than those in the militia. The powers and duties of the Commission are similar to those of the United States Civil Service Commission (see Book I., page 130), with the additional duty of supervising local civil service boards and compelling them to perform their duties. Each Commissioner receives an annual salary of $3,000 and expenses, and the Chief Examiner appointed by the Commission, an annual salary of $3,600,
4. EX-OFFICIO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS. Commissioners of the Land Office, consisting of the Lieutenant-Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney-General and State Engineer and Surveyor. They have power to make grants of waste and unappropriated state lands, other than those included in state forests, or "the Forest Preserve," as they are called.
Commissioners of the Canal Fund, consisting of the Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, State Treasurer and Attorney-General. They are charged with the management of the Canal Fund-direct payments for repairs and borrow money for canal purposes when authorized by law.
Canal Board, consisting of the Commissioners of the Canal Fund with the State Engineer and Surveyor and Superintendent of Public Works. It has general supervision of canals, the examination of the plans of the State Engineer for their improvement, the sale and abandonment of canal lands, and the investigation of charges against canal officials.
Board of State Canvassers, consisting of the Secretary of State, Comptroller, Attorney-General, Treasurer, and State Engineer and Surveyor, and in case there is not a majority at a meeting, of the Mayor and Recorder of the City of Albany. Its duties will be considered under the subject of Election (see page 145).
Board of Equalization of Assessments, consisting of the Tax Commissioners and the Commissioners of the Land Office. Its duties will be considered under the subject of Taxation (see page 125).
THE JUDICIAL BRANCH.
THE STATE JUDICIARY.
The Courts. The judicial power of the State is exer cised by the following courts: 1. The Court of Impeachment. 2. The Court of Appeals. 3. The Supreme Court. 4. County Courts. 5. Surrogates' Courts. 6. Justices' Courts and Inferior Local Courts. 7. Coroners' Courts; and 8. The Court of Claims.* In all these Courts except the Court of Claims and some minor city courts the judicial officers are elected by the people. In this respect the judiciary of the State differs from that of the United States, for the latter are all appointed. Another difference is that the state judges hold office for a fixed number of years, while the federal judges' terms are during good behavior" (i.e., for life). The principle of making the judiciary independent of political influence is, however, recognized by granting them terms of office much longer than other state officials.
General Provisions. In order to preserve the efficiency of the courts the Constitution provides:
COMPENSATION LIMIT OF SERVICE.-The Judges and Justices herein before mentioned shall receive for their services a compensation established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their official terms, No person shall hold the office of Judge or Justice of any court longer than until and
*The Court of Appeals, Supreme Court, County Courts and Surrogates' Courts are termed "Courts of Record"; Justices' Courts and other minor Courts are "Courts not of Record."
including the last day of December next after he shall be seventy years of age. (Art. VI., Sec. 12.)
QUALIFICATIONS. FEES. LIMITATIONS.-No judicial officer, except Justices of the Peace, shall receive to his own use any fees or perquisites of office; nor shall any Judge of the Court of Appeals, or Justice of the Supreme Court, or any County Judge or Surrogate hereafter elected in a county having a population exceeding one hundred and twenty thousand, practice as an attorney or counselor in any court of record in this State,
No one shall be eligible to the office of Judge of the Court of Appeals, Justice of the Supreme Court, or, except in the County of Hamilton, to the office of County Judge or Surrogate, who is not an attorney and counselor of this State. (Art. IV., Sec. 20.) JUDGES NOT TO HOLD OTHER OFFICE.-The Judges of the Court of Appeals and the Justices of the Supreme Court shall not hold any other office or public trust. All votes for any of them, for any other than a judicial office, given by the Legislature or the people, shall be void. (Art. IV., Sec. 10.)
WHEN JUDGES NOT TO SIT.-No Judge or Justice shall sit in the Appellate Division or in the Court of Appeals in review of a decision made by him or by any court of which he was at the time a sitting member. (Art. IV., Sec. 3.)
REMOVAL OF JUDGES.-Judges of the Court of Appeals and Justices of the Supreme Court may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein. All other judicial officers, except Justices of the Peace and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, may be removed by the Senate, on the recommendation of the Governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the Senate concur therein. But no officer shall be removed by virtue of this section except for cause, which shall be entered on the journals, nor unless he shall have been served with a statement of the cause alleged, and shall have an opportunity to be heard. On the question of removal, the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journal. (Art. VI., Sec. 11.)