other cases general laws be enacted whenever they may be made applicable, but expressly leaves it to the legislative discretion as to when special laws are needed, and is therefore not really a limitation upon legislative power. Oklahoma has a provision similar to that of Virginia, but does not expressly provide that the legislature shall have discretion to determine whether to act by special or general law. Alabama forbids the enactment of a special, private, or local law in any case already provided for by a general law, and makes the determination of this matter a judicial rather than a legislative question. The constitutional provision that "in all cases where a general law can be made applicable no special law shall be enacted" was held in Kansas to mean that the legislature was vested with discretion to determine when a general law could not be made applicable; it thus rested with the good faith of the legislature as to whether this constitutional provision should be observed; an amendment to the Kansas constitution in 1906 leaves to the courts the question whether a general law may be made applicable. The Michigan constitution of 1908 does not enumerate in detail the subjects upon which special laws may not be passed, but provides that the legislature shall pass no local or special act where a general act may be made applicable, and the question whether a general act could have been made applicable is made a question not for the legislative determination, but for the decision of the courts. In Michigan local and special acts do not take effect until after they have been approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in the district to be affected by such acts.

In concluding the discussion of state constitutional development during the past eight years, the most important tendencies may be summarized as follows: (1) The disappearance of the distinction in form of enactment between statutes and constitutional amendments in the states which have adopted the initiative and referendum. (2) The increase of popular control over state legislation through the spread of the initiative and referendum, and through the enactment of statutory matter by constitutional amendment. (3) The increase of

popular control in towns and cities through the granting to cities of power to frame their own charters, and through restrictions placed upon state legislatures as to local and special legislation; and through the introduction of the local initiative, referendum, and recall. (4) The slight increase in the power of the governor over the state administration, and the great increase of the governor's power over legislation. (5) The continued diminution of the power of state legislatures, through the adoption of methods of popular legislation, through express prohibitions upon legislatures with reference to special and local legislation, and through the increased power granted to the governor over legislation. (6) The efforts to subject public service corporations to more adequate control.


Recent changes in State Constitutions have considerably enlarged the duties and powers of the governor. What the position of the governor was twenty years ago before these changes took place, and still is to a large degree in many States, is described by Mr. James Bryce in the following extract:

Compare the Federal President with the State Governor. The former has foreign policy to deal with, the latter has none. The former has a vast patronage, the latter has scarcely any. The former has the command of the army and navy, the latter has only the militia, insignificant in ordinary times. The former has a postoffice, but there is no State postal-service. Little remains to the Governor except his veto, which is not so much an executive as a legislative function; the duty of maintaining order, which becomes important only when insurrection or riot breaks out; and the almost mechanical function of representing the State for various matters of routine, such as demanding from other States the extradition of offenders, issuing writs for the election of congressmen or of the State legislature, receiving the reports of the various State officials.

These officials, even the highest of them who correspond to the cabinet ministers in the National government, are either mere clerks, performing work, such as that of receiving and paying out State moneys, strictly defined by statute, and usually checked by other officials, or else are in the nature of commissioners. of inquiry, who may inspect and report, but can take no independent action of importance. Policy does not lie within their province; even in executive details their discretion is confined within narrow limits. They have, no doubt, from the governor downwards, opportunities for jobbing and malversation; but even the less scrupulous are restrained from using these opportunities by the fear of some investigating committee of the legislature, with possible impeachment or criminal prosecution as a consequence of its report. Holding for terms which seldom exceed two or three years, they feel the insecurity of their position; but the desire to earn re-election by the able and conscientious discharge of their functions, is a less effective motive than it would be if the practice of re-electing competent men were more frequent. Unfortunately here, as in Congress, the tradition of many States is, that when a man has enjoyed an office, however well he may have served the public, some one else ought to have the next turn.

The reason, therefore, why the system I have sketched rubs along in the several States is, that the executive has little to do, and comparatively small sums to handle. The further reason why it has so little to do is two-fold. Local government is so fully developed that many functions, which in Europe would devolve on a central authority, are in all American States left to the county, or the city, or the township, or the school district. These minor divisions narrow the province of the State, just as the State narrows the province of the central government. And the other reason is, that legislation has in the several States pushed itself to the farthest limits, and so encroached on subjects which European legislatures would leave to the executive, that executive discretion is extinct, and the officers are the mere hands of the legislative brain, which

directs them by statutes drawn with extreme minuteness, carefully specifies the purposes to which each money grant is to be applied, and supervises them by inquisitorial committees.

It is a natural consequence of these arrangements that State office carries little either of dignity or of power. A place is valued chiefly for its salary, or for such opportunities of obliging friends or securing commissions on contracts as it may present though in the greatest States the post of attorneygeneral or comptroller is often sought by able men. A State Governor, however, is not yet a nonentity. In more than one State a sort of perfume from the old days lingers round the office, as in Massachusetts, where the traditions of last century were renewed by the eminent man who occupied the chair of the commonwealth during the War of Secession and did much to stimulate and direct the patriotism of its citizens. Though no one would nowadays, like Mr. Jay in 1795, exchange the chief justiceship of the United States for the governorship of his State, a Cabinet minister will sometimes, as Mr. Folger did a few years ago, seek to quit his post in order to obtain the governorship of a great State like New York. In all States, the Governor, as the highest official and the depositary of State authority, may at any moment become the pivot on whose action public order turns. In the Pennsylvania riots of 1877 it was the accidental absence of the Governor on a tour in the West which enabled the forces of sedition to gather strength. During the more recent disturbances. which large strikes, especially among railway employés, have caused in the West, the prompt action of a Governor has preserved or restored tranquillity in more than one State; while the indecision of the Governor of an adjoining one has emboldened strikers to stop traffic, or to molest workmen who had been hired to replace them. So in a commercial crisis, like that which swept over the Union in 1837, when the citizens are panic-stricken and the legislature hesitates, much may depend on the initiative of the Governor, to whom the eyes of the people naturally turn. His right of suggesting legislative remedies, usually neglected, then becomes significant, and

may abridge or increase the difficulties of the community. It is not, however, as an executive magistrate that a State Governor usually makes or mars a reputation, but in his quasilegislative capacity of agreeing to or vetoing bills passed by the legislature. The merit of a Governor is usually tested by the number and the boldness of his vetoes; and a European enjoys, as I did in the State of New York in 1870, the odd spectacle of a Governor appealing to the people for re-election on the ground that he had defeated in many and important instances the will of their representatives solemnly expressed in the votes of both Houses. That such appeals should be made and often made successfully, is due not only to the distrust which the people entertain of their legislatures, but also, to their honour be it said, to the respect of the people for courage. They like above all things a strong man; just as English constituencies prefer a candidate who refuses to swallow pledges or be dictated to by cliques.

This view of the Governor as a check on the legislature explains why the Americans think it rather a gain than an injury to the State that he should belong to the party which is for the time being in a minority in the legislature. How the phenomenon occurs may be seen by noting the different methods of choice employed. The Governor is chosen by a mass vote of all citizens over the State. The representatives are chosen by the same voters, but in districts. Thus one party may have a majority on a gross poll of the whole State, but may find itself in a minority in the larger number of electoral districts. This happens in New York State, on an average, in two years out of every three. The mass vote shows a democratic majority, because the Democrats are overwhelmingly strong in New York City, and some other great centres of population. But in the rural districts and most of the smaller towns the Republican party commands a majority sufficient to enable them to carry most districts. Hence, while the Governor is usually a Democrat, the legislature is often Republican. Little trouble need be feared from the opposition of the two powers, because such issues as divide the national parties

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