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and maintain an executive mansion for the governor, and some also provide a contingent expense fund to defray his expenses incurred in the discharge of public duty.
The powers and duties of the governor are varied, but the most important are those connected with administration and legislation. Those connected with the administrative system of the state can be more conveniently discussed in the following chapter on State Administration. Those connected with legislation are of three kinds.
(1) Power to Call Extra Sessions. Practically all states give the governor the power to convene the legislature in extraordinary session. This power is frequently very effective to secure specific legislation. It is used to secure the enactment of legislation promised in the party platform but not redeemed during the regular session, or to enact laws upon special subjects, or to meet great emergencies. Thus the flood at Galveston and the earthquake at San Francisco were occasions for special sessions of the legislature. One of the most spectacular special sessions of the last few years was that called by Governor Hughes of New York in 1908 to pass a law against race-track gambling, which the legislature had promised but failed to enact during the regular session. As a result of the prestige of the governor and the close scrutiny of an intensely interested public, the recalcitric legislature was compelled to pass the desired legislation. As a rule, only
those subjects which are mentioned in the governor's call can be acted upon at the special session. This prevents the legislature from wasting its time on measures not needed, and by focusing public attention upon the purpose for which the session was called, acts as a club over the heads of the legislators. Such a power in the hands of a strong executive is a very effective weapon.
(2) The Governor's Message. It is a duty of the governor at the beginning of each session to inform the legislature upon the condition of the commonwealth and to make recommendations in regard to needed legislation. As the governor of the state is regarded as the leader of the dominant political party in the state, his message is usually looked upon as the legislative program for the session. “This right,” as has been pointed out, “like that enjoyed by the president, may become a powerful instrument in presenting issues to the people and in forcing the legislature to act. Special messages on special subjects are frequently sent to the legislature from time to time during the session. In the hands of governors like La Follette of Wisconsin, Roosevelt and Hughes of New York, and Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey, the message and its recommendations bear great weight, especially when backed by popular opinion.
(3) The Governor's Veto. Through the power to send messages to the legislature and to convene it in extra session, the governor has a positive influence on legislation; through the power to veto bills passed by the legislature, he has an effective negative influence. In all states except North Carolina the governor is now given the power to veto bills which in his judgment are objectionable. The veto consists in returning the bills to the legislature without his signature and stating why it is withheld. This power is not limited merely to bills which the governor may think unconstitutional, but to those which he may deem inexpedient or out of harmony with his policy. In no state, however, is the veto power absolute. That would be too great a power to place in the hands of one man. All states therefore provide for the repassage of the bills over the governor's veto. In most states this takes a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature, although in a few states only a three-fifths vote, and in fewer still a bare majority vote, is required. As a rule, if the veto is made in good faith, and the reasons for it effectively stated, a sufficient. number of members who voted for the bill the first time, vote against it the second time to sustain the veto. On the other hand, if the veto is used as a political weapon to promote partisan interests, it is not difficult to secure the necessary majority to override it. In some states the governor is given the power to veto particular items in appropriation bills without vetoing the entire bill. This is effective in preventing the passage of measures attached to appropriation bills as riders, as well as to eliminate individual items of appropriation.'
Formerly the power of the governor was much less important than now. Profiting by experience with royal colonial governors, the early state constitutions curtailed the powers of the executive. But the fear of a tyrannical executive having been shown to be groundless, and the necessity of having a responsible head to the government demonstrated, the office of governor has constantly grown in power and influence until at the present time a strong personality can virtually dominate the situation, as plainly demonstrated by Woodrow Wilson in his brief term as governor of New Jersey. And various plans are now being advanced to still further strengthen the influence of the governor. One of these suggestions is to have the executive prepare administration bills and submit them to the legislature for passage in the same way that the cabinet does in England. In many states this is virtually done already. The governor has his lieutenants in both houses and it is frequently known that the bills these men introduce bear the backing of the administration. “As governmental relations become more complicated,” observes Professor Reinsch, “and such intricate economic pursuits as banking, transportation, and insurance have to be dealt with by the legislatures, they more and more feel the need of expert guidance, and are willing to listen to the governor, the state officials, and the various boards and commissions, in matters of legislative policy and detail.”2
II. The State Legislature
The state legislature in all states now consists of two houses, a senate and a house of representatives, chamber of delegates, or assembly as the lower house is called in the various states. The members of both houses are elected by the people from districts according to population. The lower house is always the most numerous branch and in a few states is nearly as large as the National House of Representatives. New Hampshire, for instance, has a house of representatives of over 400 members. Connecticut has 255, Vermont 246, and Massachusetts 240. Arizona has only 35, but the average number for most of the states is around 100. The number of senators, on the other hand seldom exceeds 35 or 40. New York has 51, and Massachusetts has 40, and Minnesota 63, but most states have about 35. In all states the members are paid. New York and Pennsylvania pay $1,500 per year or per session, and Illinois, Ohio, and a few other states pay $1,000 per year. In most states, however, the compensation does not exceed $500 per session. Some states have adopted the per diem basis and pay so much per day during the session, averaging $4.00 or $5.00. In addition to the fixed compensation most states also allow mileage ranging from ten to twentyfive cents per mile. The term of the senator is usually longer than that of the representative. In most of the states it is four years, but in New Jersey it is three,