Слике страница

highways to one in a township will greatly lessen the aggregate of township expenses as compared with the old system of three commissioners.


The amended constitution declares railroads public highways, empowers the Legislature to regulate rates of freight and transportation, and forbids any combination among them to prevent just and fair competition. It requires an office to be kept in the State where a record of stock and of all transfers thereof shall be kept for the inspection of any creditor or stockholder, and prohibits the issue of any fictitious or watered stocks or bonds. It forbids officers and managers of railways from forming “rings'', to furnish supplies, and thus operating railroads in such a manner as to enrich or unequally benefit themselves at the expense of the stockholders. It places foreign corporations under the same restrictions and limitations as domestic corporations, and seeks in a liberal spirit equally to foster and protect the rights of the people and of the corporations.


By the present constitution all moneys received from fines are dedicated exclusively to library purposes. They have, however, in some cases been appropriated to the support of the poor, and suits have been brought by school officers against the authorities for their recovery. In many cases there are accumulations from fine moneys not needed for library purposes, which are lying idle and unproductive, involving local contentions and jealousies. This amended constitution opens a channel by which such moneys may be used in the interest of general education when not needed for library purposes, at the option of the proper authorities.


It makes women eligible to the office of register of deeds, of notary public, and of such other offices as the Legislature may designate.


To avoid the necessity of submitting amendments to the people, as required by the present constitution, at a general election, when party spirit usually runs high, and the attention of the elector is so engaged upon other questions that he is quite likely not to give a proposed amendment the careful and deliberate consideration that it should receive, the new constitution authorizes amendments to be submitted to the people at any time that the Leglature may designate, thus enabling the people to vote upon such propositions free from the heat and excitement incident to partizan strife.


The more important changes proposed by the amended constitution are briefly recapitulated, as follows:

It is much better arranged, and is free from the ambiguities of the present constitution;
It opens the way to needed reforms and economies in the jury system;
It provides a more liberal ratio of representation for the newer counties;
It places restrictions upon expensive and mischievous local and special legislation;

It extends the term of service of senators, thus ensuring legislative experience in the Senate ;

It removes the rigidity of the present provisions relating to senatorial and representative districts, by which a large proportion of the municipal divisions in the newer portions of the State, and many in the older, are invalidated, and their local relations liable at any time to be disturbed, damaged, or overturned ;

It places an additional safeguard upon the treasury by authorizing a veto by the Execu. tive of specific items in appropriation bills;

It provides for an additional judge of the Supreme Court, reduces the number of judicial circuits, and cuts off appeals in trivial cases;

It provides fair and reasonable salaries for State officers and judges, and requires a personal discharge of official duties by State officers; It restricts local taxation and the incurring of local indebtedness;

It imposes certain needed restrictions and obligations upon railroad and other corporations, both foreign and domestic, and affirms the right of legislative supervision and control over them;

It prohibits special charters, and the renewal, extension, or enlargement of existing corporate and special franchises;

It provides for local taxation of the property of corporations not used for the legitimate work of such corporations ;

It relaxes the rigid provision which dedicates all moneys received from fines to library purposes, while still securing them to educational uses;

It restricts the State in the incurring of indebtedness, and prohibits it from becoming a stockholder in any corporation, or aiding by gift, or loaning its credit to, persons or corporations;

It provides that interest received for the use of public moneys held by public officers shall go to the fund to which such moneys belong; sh It makes women eligible to offices of honor and trust;

It provides a better method as to time for voting on proposed amendments to the constitution.

The citizen, in examining the amended constitution as a whole, will doubtless find in it some provisions which he does not approve. Before making up his judgment adversely, however, the careful inquirer will examine and see whether the disapproved provisions are in the present constitution or nots for if they are, he neither gains nor loses by their re-adoption. The standard by which to judge is simply the merits of the changes. If, taken in the aggregate, these changes appear desirable to the voter, he will logically vote for the amended constitution, if not, against it.

[ocr errors]



JOINT RESOLUTION proposing amendments to the Constitution of the

State of Michigan. Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Michigan, That the Constitution of the State of Michigan be and the same is hereby amended so as to read as follows:


For the purpose of establishing, defining and limiting the powers and duties of the several departments of government, the People of the State of Michigan do ordain this Constitution.



SECTION 1. The State of Michigan is bounded as follows, to wit: Commencing at a point on the eastern boundary line of the State of Indiana, where a direct line drawn from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northerly cape of the Maumee Bay shall intersect the same, said point being the northwest corner of the State of Ohio, as established by an act of Congress, entitled “ An act to establish the northern boundary line of the State of Ohio, and to provide for the admission of the State of Michigan into the Union upon the conditions therein expressed,” approved June fifteenth, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six; thence with the said boundary line of the State of Ohio till it intersects the boundary line between the United States and Canada, in Lake Erie; thence with the said boundary line between the United States and Canada through the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, Lake Huron, the St. Mary's River and Lake Superior, to a point where the said line last touches Lake Superior; thence in a direct line through Lake Superior to the mouth of the Montreal River; thence through the middle of the main channel of the said Montreal River to the head waters thereof, as marked upon the survey made by Captain Cramm by authority of the United States; thence in a direct line to the center of the channel between Middle and South islands, in the Lake of the Desert; thence in a direct line to the southern shore of Lake Brule; thence along said southern shore and down the Brule river to the main channel of the Menominee river; thence down the center of the main channel of the same to the center of the most usual ship channel of the Green Bay of Lake Michigan; thence through the center of the most usual ship channel of the said bay to the middle of Lake Michigan; thence through the middle of Lake Michigan to the northern boundary of the State of Indiana, as that line was established by the act of Congress of the nineteenth of April, eighteen hundred and sixteen; thence due east with the north boundary line of the said State of Indiana to the northeast corner thereof; and thence south with the eastern boundary line of Indiana to the place of beginning.

SEC. 2. The seat of government shall remain at Lansing.

NOTE.-The first clause of the preamble is new; the last clause is the preamble to the present constitution.

The words, “Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair river," and the words, "as marked upon the survey made by Captain Cramm by authority of the United States," where they occur in section 1 of article I, are not in the present constitution. They make no age in the boundary, however, being only intended to make the description more specific.



SECTION 1. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security, and protection. They have the right to change or reform the same whenever the public good requires. No special privilege or immunity shall be granted that may not be revoked.

SEC. 2. Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. No person shall be compelled to attend, or, against his consent, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of religious worship, or to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates, for the support of any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion.

SEC. 3. The civil and political rights, privileges and capacities of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his religious belief, nor shall any person be incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions or belief concerning matters of religion, nor shall any witness be questioned touching his religious belief.

SEC. 4. Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all prosecutions for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the accused shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

Sec. 5. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed.

SEC. 6. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

SEC. 7. The right of trial by jury shall remain, but shall be deemed to be waived in criminal cases in courts other than courts of record, and in civil cases in all courts, unless demanded by one of the parties in such manner as shall be prescribed by law. The Legislature may authorize, in courts not of record, a trial by a jury of a less number than twelve; in all courts, in civil cases, a verdict by not less than two-thirds of the jury; and, in criminal cases,

« ПретходнаНастави »