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amendment by reference to title only. Sometimes the portion of the act as amended or even the old text that is to be changed must be set forth at length. A few states have similar rules

for bills reviving former enactments.

About one-third of the states expressly declare that an act containing subject-matter not embraced in its title shall be void only to the extent of the unembraced portion. Maryland* declares that no law shall be construed by reason of its title to grant powers or confer rights not expressly contained in the body of the act. Mississippi" provides that the committee to which a bill is referred shall express in writing its judgment of the sufficiency of the title, whether or not it recommends that the bill shall pass.


Some constitutions require that bills must be submitted to committees prior to passage. In Texas' no bill may be passed unless reported from its committee at least three days before final adjournment. Virginia provides that a committee may not be discharged from considering a bill save by a majority on a yea and nay vote, the names of the voters to be entered on the journal; at least two-fifths of the members of the house must vote affirmatively. Half a dozen states provide especially that each house may by vote, usually of a majority, accept the report of a committee of conference.


A large majority of the constitutions provide that bills must be read three times in each house, usually on three different days, though some states allow two readings on one day. There are various exceptions to the rule requiring readings, chiefly in cases of emergency or by vote of an extraordinary majority or both." A few of the constitutions specify that the readings shall be "at length," at least on final passage. A few others specify that one or more of the readings shall be by sections

4III, 29. IV, 71.

Ala., IV. 62; Colo. V, 20; Ky., 46; La., 39; Miss., IV, 74; Mo., IV, 27; Mont., V, 22; Pa., III, 2; Tex., III, 37; Va., IV, 50; Wyo., III, 23. 'III, 37.

8See, e. g., Ark., V, 22; N. D., II, 63.

See Ariz. IV, Pt. II, 12; Cal. IV, 15; Fla. III, 17; Ga. III, Sec. VII, 7; Ida. III, 15; Ind. IV, 18; Kan. II, 15; Md. III, 27; Miss. IV, 59; Nev. IV,, 18; O. II, 16; Ore. IV, 19; Tex. III, 32; Va. IV, 50; W. Va. VI, 29. Emergency measures are allowed exemption from a number of rules governing ordinary legislation.

126. Passage

of Bills.

or by title.1 An occasional provision is found for reading after passage, as that the title shall be publicly read.2

In Pennsylvania3 no bill may be considered unless printed for the use of members. In New York bills may not be passed or become laws unless printed and upon the desks of the members in final form at least three calendar legislative days prior to final passage. There are a number of other slightly variant provisions for printing.5

In more than half the states the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of each house is required for the passage of an act. Others say simply a majority of each house? or a majority of the members present. New Jersey requires that there shall be a majority "of all the members of each body personally present and agreeing thereto." In Mississippi2 appropriation and revenue bills are to have precedence over all others.3

A few constitutions place time limitations on the passage of bills for instance that they must not be passed on the day prescribed for adjournment or that appropriation bills must pass and receive the signatures of the presiding officers "five full days" before adjournment."

A number of states require the yeas and nays or the names of those voting" on final passage to be entered in the

1e. g., See Ala. IV, 63; Fla. III, 17; N. D. II, 63; S. C. III, 18.
2Mont. V, 27; other examples,-Ky. 56; Miss. IV, 59.

3III, 2.

4III, 15.

5Cal. IV, 15: Colo. V, 20; Ida. III, 15: Ill. IV, 13; Ky. 46; Md. III, 27; Mich. IV, 22; Mo. IV, 27; Mont. V, 22; Nebr. III, 11; N. M. IV, 15; N. Y. III, 15; Pa. III, 2; Va. IV, 50; Wyo. III, 23. For exceptions see N. M. and Va. clauses.

Be. g., N. Y. III, 15.

Te. g., Ala. IV, 63.

se. g., Fla. III, 17.

9IV, Sec. IV, 6.

1Special requirements are sometimes found concerning appropriation bills.e. g., Ark. V, 31; Ky. 46; Mich. V, 24; N. Y. III, 20; Va. IV, 50. For taxation bills,-e. g., Miss. IV, 70; N. C. II, 14; Ark. V, 31. For bills extending the credit of the state,-e. g., N. Y. III, 25; N. C. II, 14. For certain bills affecting public property,-e. g., Iowa III, 31; Miss. IV, 66; N. Y. III, 20. 2IV, 68.

3"Legislation by unanimity was

tried in the kingdom of Poland, where each member of the assembly had the right of liberum veto on any measure, and it prevented progress, fostered violence, and spelled failure."-Lowell, A. L., Public Opinion and Popular Government, p. 7.

4Minn. IV, 22.

5La. 57.

journal. Two constitutions make provision concerning the reconsideration of final votes."


of Acts.

The constitution of New Mexicos expressly provides that an 127. act must be enrolled or endorsed immediately after passage and Signing and interlineations or erasures are not to be effective unless certified thereto in express terms by the presiding officers of each house, quoting the words, and unless they are publicly announced in each house and entered on the journals. This state,9 furthermore, makes it a felony to tamper with bills pending or passed. In South Carolina' no bill can have the force of law until to it is affixed the great seal of the state.

In about two-thirds of the states the presiding officer of each house is required by the constitution to sign all bills, often in the presence of the house or in open session. In several states the signing must take place immediately after reading.2 In a number of states the fact of signing must be recorded on the journal.


Veto Power.

In every state except North Carolina bills before becoming law must be submitted to the governor for approval or rejec- Governor's tion. Several constitutions specify the promptness with which a bill must be presented-varying from "immediately" after signing to "within two days" after passage. In Indiana no bill may be presented within two days next previous to final adjournment. There are a few regulations concerning the signing of bills by the governor, for instance, that it must be done. in the presence of the presiding officer or chief clerk of each house or that, if signed, it must be deposited with the secretary of state."

Be. g., Minn. IV, 13; N. Y. III, 15; Ga. (III, Sec. VII, 21) requires the yeas and nays to be entered whenever the constitution requires a two-thirds vote for passage.

In Mo. (IV, 35) a motion to reconsider after the defeat of a bill must be taken immediately and the subject finally disposed of before proceeding to other business. In Miss. (IV, 65) all votes on final passage of any measure are subject to reconsideration for at least one whole legislative day and no motion to reconsider may be disposed of adversely on the day the original vote is taken, except on the last day of session.

SIV, 20.

IV, 21.

1III, 18. See also Md. II, 17, III, 30.

2e. g., Ala. IV, 66; Pa. III, 9; Ky. 56; Nebr. III, 11. Kan. (II, 14) allows two days after passage.

3e. g., Pa. III, 9. In Minn. (IV, 22) refusal to sign incapacitates the officer to hold a seat in either house and the legislature is authorized to provide other means of certification.

1e. g., Ky. 56, 88; Kan. II, 14.

"Md.. II, 17; III, 30.

"Conn. IV, 12. See also N. M. IV, 22; Minn. IV, 11; Mo. IV, 38.

In practically all the states if the governor fails to act upon the bill in three, five, six, or ten days-Sundays usually excepted-it becomes law without his signature."

In case of adjournment within the limits set for the governor's action about half of the constitutions allow the "pocket veto" or the bill's failure simply because the governor does nothing. In others the bill becomes law unless within a certain time he files objections with the Secretary of State. In a few states the Secretary of State must lay these objections before the next session of the legislature, to which provision Florida1 rather gratuitously adds that the legislature may then pass the bill over the governor's veto. Provisions regarding the disposition of bills by the governor show a great variety of slight differences.

If the governor disapproves the bill, in practically all of the states he must return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which objections must be entered at large upon the journal.


Nearly three-fourths of the states allow the governor to veto separate items of appropriation bills, and South Carolina and Washington extend this power to portions of all bills.* In Virginia if the governor

approves the general purpose of any bill, but disapproves any part or parts thereof, he may return it, with recommendations for its amendment, to the house in which it originated, whereupon the same proceedings shall be had in both houses upon the bill and his recommendations in relation to its amendment, as is above provided in relation to a bill which he shall have returned without his approval, and with his objections thereto; provided, that if, after such reconsideration, both houses, by a vote of a majority of the members present in each, shall agree to amend the bill in accordance with his recommendations in relation thereto, or either house by such vote shall fail or refuse to so amend it, then, and in either case, the bill shall be again sent to him, and he may act upon it as if it were then before him for the first time.

e. g., Ala. V, 125; Ind. V, 14; Mo. IV, 40, V, 12; Nebr. V, 15; Nev. IV, 35; Tex. IV, 14.

se. g., Ind. V, 14; Mich. V, 36.

9e. g., Nev. IV, 35; Wash. III, 12.

1III, 28.

2In Kan. to lower house, II, 14.

All save Conn., Ind., Ia., Me., Mass., Nev., N. H., N. C., Ore., R. I., Tenn., Vt., Wis.

4S. C. IV, 23; Wash. III, 2.

IV, 76.

See also Ala. V, 125.

Most of the states require a larger majority for passage over. the governor's veto than on original passage. Two-thirds of each house or of all the members elected to each house is the favorite, but several states specify three-fifths."


and Private

Local, special and private legislation has long assumed, 129. enormous proportions in American legislatures. Probably sixty Special per cent of their total output of laws should be so classed. Legislation. The manifest evils of legislative regulation of matters which do not clearly concern the entire state has led to numerous constitutional efforts to reduce it. Alabama' after defining a general law to be a law which "applies to the whole state," declares that

a local law is a law which applies to any political subdivision or sub-
divisions of the state less than the whole; a special or private law. .
is one which applies to an individual, association or corporation.

Like a number of other states, it enumerates a long list of subjects upon which local, special and private acts must not be passed.1

Many of the states declare simply that no local, special or private law of any kind shall be enacted. Many others contain variously worded and variously inclusive prohibitions.3 Notice is sometimes required by the state constitutions before a private or local bill may be passed. Thus in several states intention to apply for such a law must be published in the locality to be affected at least thirty days prior to the introduction of the bill, in a manner to be prescribed by law, and evidence of the publication must be exhibited to the legislature before passage.*

In Alabama the courts are required to pronounce void every special, private or local law which the journals do not affirma

"See Ga. V, Sec. 1, 16: N. Y. IV, 19; Md. II, 17. Many constitutions specify when acts shall go into effect, but exceptions are usually liberal.

Dealey, op. cit., 224.

9IV, 110.

1IV, 104. There are 31 prohibited classes.

2See Ariz. IV, 19; Ark. V, 25; Cal. IV, 25; Colo. V, 25; Ga. I, Sec. IV, 1; Ill. IV, 22; Ind. IV, 23; Iowa III, 30; Md. III, 33; Mont. V, 26; Nebr. III, 15; Nev. IV, 21; N. M. IV, 24; N. D. II, 70; Okla. V. 59; S. C. III, 34; S. D. III, 23; Tex. III, 56; Utah VI, 26; W. Va. VI, 39; Wis. III, 27; Wyo. III, 27. 3e. g., Ky., 60; Minn., II, 33; Miss., IV, 87; Mo., IV, 53; Pa., III, 7. 4Ark. V, 26; Ga. III, Sec. VII, 16; Pa. III, 8. Similar provisions,-Ala. IV, 106; Fla. III, 21; La. 50; Mo. IV, 54; N. J. IV, Sec. VII, 9; N. C. II, 12; Okla. V, 32; Tex. III, 57.

"IV, 106.

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