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I believe it is not customary on an occasion like this to make any di elaborate recommendations to your honorable bodies as to the legis po lation most necessary to be considered at the session just commencing wi Many of the subjects to be dealt with by you, being in some measure iss new to me, I shall at this time content myself with presenting to you an a brief outline of the general policy intended to be pursued by mean together with a few recommendations which I consider most pert of nent to the occasion. I shall, however, during your present session take the liberty of communicating with you, from time to time, on Sta such special subjects as may, in my opinion, require your attention ро By the decisions of the Courts, our State Board of Equalization ham been shorn of much of the power intended to be conferred upon it by las the Constitution. I recommend that you take such steps, as in your ho judgment may seem proper, to give force and efficacy to the busines eq and orders of that department. In this connection, I desire to call us your special attention to the fact that several of the great corporations th created by and under existing laws, have not proven obedient to the th laws, and have refused, and still refuse, to bear the just burden placed th upon them for their own protection. These interests receive the ful sir benefits of our Courts, the services of our officers-in a word, the ful Ex› protection and advantages of all our laws--yet refuse, except in a few of instances, where compelled, at the end of tedious and vexatious lit of gation, to contribute anything for the protection and advantage of received by them. The present attitude of these corporations is sud in as to demand, in the interest of common justice to other taxpayer du that laws be passed to bring them within the spirit of the obviousne intent of the organic Act of the State. The whole power of the State th within lawful limits, should be exercised to compel them to bear the Cc just proportion of the burdens of government. Powers created by the of State cannot, and shall not with my consent, be permitted to becom independent of or greater than the State. In the majesty of the tes sovereign power, the people, through their fundamental law, formum: lated a system of taxation satisfactory to them, under which it was ca hoped that railroad corporations, heretofore evading the paymensli of their proper share of taxation, should find no further methods du escape. Every department of government dependent upon revenu th for its support is suffering from this wrong. To permit it to contince is to admit that the State has fostered a servant who has grown in op an insolent and tyrannical master. The offended power looks to th wl proper tribunal-the Legislature-for measures of relief.
Three years have now elapsed since the people solemnly express of their views upon the subject of the regulation of fares and freight and delegated to a Commission, chosen under the new organic lat the authority to execute their expressed will. For years the deman for the regulation of fares and freights, and the prevention of discri ination, has been universal; but every movement looking toward t accomplishment of such a wish has been attended by defeat. It is be deeply regretted that the retiring Railroad Commission has entire neglected and refused, during the term for which its members we elected, to take any positive steps toward enforcing the powers co ferred upon it by the Constitution and the laws. All hope of reli from the Commission has, thus far, been deferred. It is to be ear estly hoped that the incoming Commission will prove to be compos of men of sufficient courage and sagacity to meet this issue in a sp of fairness; to deal justly by the transportation companies and c
didly by the people. I wish it to be distinctly understood that all the and influence of the Executive Department of the Government power will be cheerfully exercised on behalf of the Commission, to bring the issue between the people and the transportation companies to a final and satisfactory termination. The question of the regulation of fares and freights is the great living issue of the day, and no postponement of its solution to a future time will prove satisfactory either to the people of this State or the Union. The question of the power of the State to fix and regulate the charges for fares and freights upon transportation lines, within the State, has passed beyond the limit of legitimate argument; though even now, after the decisions of the Court of last resort, there are those-managers of transportation lines-who hold and publicly avow, as their convictions, that railroads, built and equipped at the public expense, by public authority, for the public use, are the exclusive property of the managers and stockholders; and they still acknowledge no right in the public which conflicts withi h their alleged right of sole ownership. As to the policy of enforcing ethe power of the State to regulate fares and freights, there cannot, since the result of the late election, be further doubt. While the Executive has no desire or intention to interfere with the functions e of any other department, except such power as is given to and required tof him, to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and that the duties of each office are properly performed, yet it may not be out of place chin this connection to state that, in my opinion, it is the imperative duty of the rightful authority to immediately take all proper and necessary steps toward the accomplishment of the mission for which at they were placed in power, and ascertain, once for all, whether the Le Constitution and laws are to be obeyed by all, or whether the creatures the of the law are superior to it.
Sumptuary laws are, and ever have been, opposed to Democratic e teachings, and find no support among liberal minded people. For numany years Sections 299, 300, and 301 of the Penal Code, commonly w called the "Sunday Law," have been on our statute books. Under e slightly varying forms this law has been in existence in this State s during the major portion of the past quarter of a century. Now and then spasmodic efforts have been made to enforce it, but without sucnucess. In every contest before the Courts the condition of public in opinion has been shown by the fact that the law has been practically thplaced on trial, and not the particular defendant at the bar. In cases where the testimony adduced has been conclusive that the alleged offense has been committed, juries have almost uniformly refused to hconvict a state of facts never before observed with reference to any laother portion of our criminal jurisprudence. Such is the condition of the sections above cited. It is unwise to cumber the statute books with an enactment which experience has proven cannot be enforced. The result at the late election is an emphatic indorsement of the attitude of the now dominant party on this important subject, and our duty in the premises is perfectly clear. We all concede that those sections of our Codes which provide for certain holidays and nonudicial days are essential to happiness and health. The repeal of the "Sunday Law" will in nowise interfere with the permanency or effect of our civil legislation in the mer of a day of rest; nor is here any disposition to disturb those penal enactments which are intended to protect religious assemblages from all unseemly inter
ference. The right to worship, free from hindrance or molestation sh should always be carefully guarded.
One of the most important duties devolving upon the Legislatu su at the present session is the apportionment of the State into Co W gressional, Senatorial, and Assembly Districts. For reasons which so is unnecessary to discuss, the last Legislature failed to comply wit bu the constitutional mandate in this respect. That the people of the ar State have a right to, and do expect, a fair apportionment, cannot h denied. Section 6, of Article IV, of the Constitution, ordains the pe "for the purpose of choosing members of the Legislature, the Sta sa shall be divided into forty Senatorial and eighty Assembly Districts W In Section 27 of the same Article is found the organic rule relativ fir to the creation of Congressional Districts. The passage of a law ca rying out the provisions of these sections, in a fair and impart in manner, is one of the matters which should engage your early atte Pr tion. Instances are not infrequent in which the party in powe tu anxious to perpetuate its authority, has enacted an apportionme law for purely partisan purposes. In these cases little or no regar has been had for local desires or the general welfare. The massi of opposition majorities, and a study of how the vote of the partyi di power should be distributed, so as best to subserve party ends, ha generally been the only objects considered. It is to be doubts whether any real and ultimate party advantage has ever be attained by such an unpatriotic procedure. Honest effort is the only unerring guide to lasting success. But apart from their polit cal effect, the methods which I have criticised are intrinsical ch wrong. The constitutional mandate is clear and positive. phraseology evinces an unmistakable desire, in the minds of G framers and those by whom it was ratified, to prevent anything an impartial apportionment. I am fully satisfied that the presede Legislature is in accord with me on this subject, and the views Q1
have expressed are identical with theirs.
Within the past year Congress has granted to the people of th of coast partial relief from the much deplored evil of Chinese imm fo gration. For such relief as has been obtained, and for legislatib which, while it might justly and properly have extended muab farther, the people are to be congratulated, and our Senators a Representatives in Congress are entitled to the thanks of the pub su There are some who affect to believe this important question fina settled by the statute referred to. There are those who evince a desi to nullify its effect by a loose construction of its terms and an ine de cient execution of its provisions. The law had hardly taken effede when another bill was introduced into the Senate of the United Stath and I believe is now pending in that body, under which many thul sands of Chinese, now serving under labor contracts in the West Indon Islands, might be permitted to cross the territory of the United Statha to their homes in the Chinese Empire. Considering that we have ex power to deport the Chinese if they were once permitted to land ou this country, they might remain here permanently. Against this pr danger the people of this coast will depend upon their Represenm tives in Congress to guard.
Other matters of somewhat perplexing natures upon which ha will be called to legislate are: a general road law, general laws ea viding for the incorporation for municipal purposes of cities towns, and laws establishing a system of county governments, wh
shall be uniform throughout the State, classifying the counties thereunder, fixing the salaries of officers, etc. Prompt legislation on these subjects is much needed. From the variety of local interests, as well as the peculiar topography of our State, you will experience some difficulty in agreeing upon satisfactory laws on these subjects, but by exercising a spirit of mutual concession you will doubtless arrive at just conclusions.
The congregate system of imprisonment, which, owing to the peculiar construction and want of cell-room in our prisons, is necessarily in vogue therein, is, in my opinion, not conducive to the moral well-being of the prisoner. The most important object of penal confinement ought to be to effect a reformation, either partial or total, of the prisoner, so that when his sentence expires, he may go forth into society a better man. I would respectfully recommend that, if practicable, a system of isolation and solitary confinement be instituted among those of the most vicious character. In the absence of such a system of isolation, San Quentin Prison, from its geographical position, might be made a distributing prison. All convicts should be sentenced to that institution, in order that they may be registered and graded by the Prison Directors-selecting those for distribution to Folsom, and any other branch prison hereafter established. After careful study, and an examination of past records, the comparatively good should be retained, and the vicious and incorrigible confined at another prison, so far as the interests of the State may permit. To carry out this system, all commitments should be retained at San Quentin, and a list each month, with the date of discharge, forwarded to the branch prison, of those transferred and discharged. All pardons and commitments should be forwarded by the Governor to San Quentin, and if the prisoner be at the branch prison, the order for his discharge should follow him there. All deaths and escapes at the branch prison should be reported to San Quentin, to be there entered of record. This system, strictly carried out, would form a perfect record of the antecedents and disposition of all convicts within the State. This system is not only essential for the good of the prisoner, and for the guidance of the Directors, but would enable the District Attorneys of each county to be always able to procure a complete record, to embody in their informations, or indictments, the number of convictions of each defendant, if any such there be, as they are now compelled by law to do, under what is 1a known as the "Prior Conviction Act.”
In a large portion of the State agricultural interests are being developed by the aid of irrigation. The history of all countries dependent upon irrigation shows that this practice has necessitated the enactment of laws specially designed for the protection and regulation of irrigation; the maintenance of order, equity, and econnomy, in the appropriation and use of waters; and that the subject ta has been one most difficult to deal with in legislation. Our own e experience, limited though it be, is sufficient to establish this fact, as 10 our Courts are crowded with litigation growing out of irrigation practices, which constitutes a serious drawback to our prosperity. I en mention this subject, perhaps to the exclusion of others equally deserving of attention, because the de cts of the present system have fallen directly under my own observation, and I invite your earnest consideration of it, believing that careful action is necessary
to establish confidence for the present and to guard against emba rassing complications in the future.
It is one of our cardinal doctrines that "it is the duty of the Sta to provide for every child within its limits the advantages of a com mon school education," and it is to be hoped that in the future, as the past, this principle will be strictly adhered to.
There are many other matters in which the State is directly inte ested, and which it would be proper to discuss, but, as stated, I ha confined myself to those which are deemed most important at th time.
It will be the province of the Legislature to examine and inqui into the conduct of the affairs of the State Insane Asylums, the Sta Normal Schools, the State University, the Asylum for the De Dumb, and Blind, and into the management of those orphan asylu receiving State aid. I believe you will enter upon the discharge your responsible duties with an honest desire to advance the b interests of the State. It shall be my constant aim and endeav during my term of office, to make economy in the expenditure the public moneys and in maintaining the public institutions t principal features of this administration, and I request your cord cooperation to that end. Every bill containing an appropriation money will be closely scanned, and unless the necessity of the appr priation is apparent, it will not receive the Executive approval. Another matter, against which it would be well to guard, is t creation of new offices and commissions, and the perpetuation useless ones now in existence, if any such there should be. lighten the burdens of taxation, to reduce the expenses to the low possible standard, to allow the largest personal liberty consistent wi the general welfare, not to govern except where government is n essary, to administer the law evenly and impartially on all clas and interests-these are my ideas of the requirements of the da and of the true theory of our form of government; and whatever ability I may possess shall be devoted to the administration of t government on these principles.