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declare that no provisions of general law, present or future, should apply to New York City unless this be expressly stipulated therein. It would then be necessary for the Legislature, in enacting any provisions of general application in the field of municipal affairs, to come directly to grips with the question of its application to New York City. The necessity would be wholesome. Indeed, in view of the perennial difficulties inherent in overlapping general and special law, it would be an advisable legislative policy to state expressly in every general act affecting city government the exact scope that such act is intended to have.
Simplification of the statutory sources of New York City government is not a static problem. It is a matter for continuing vigilance. Prevision at the time of charter reorganization cannot prevent, but it can lessen, the opportunity for confusion to reassert itself, as it did after the passage of the New York Consolidation Act of 1882. That act, as has been said, not only failed to demonstrate its intent regarding the repeal of prior legislation, but also, by its policy of disregarding laws deemed temporary in effect, partly invited a speedy disintegration through the enactment of special city laws that did not in terms amend it. It is the duty of charter revision to facilitate the development, in the field of municipal government, of the sound principle already applied to the public statutes of the state, so that in the future every act within the power of the Legislature to pass, however particular and however temporary in its affirmative effect, will at least be related in its terms to some recognized body of law.
Whatever the circumstances and the method, an end should be made of the confusion that characterizes the statutory sources of New York City government. Too long has it been tolerated by neglect, by caution (equally unfortunate in its effect), and by a sense of haste that has hitherto cost the loss of each opportunity to deal comprehensively and decisively with this fundamental feature of genuine charter simplification.
SOURCES: The data in this table have been partly collected and partly computed from the Legislative Inder and other records. It has been checked at most points by comparison with unpublished memoranda in the legislative bureau of the Law Department of New York City. The table is added for humble purpose and makes no claim of completeness nor of accuracy. The meaning of special city legislation is an uncertain factor which (to say nothing of other grounds of difference) is likely to bring discrepancies between any computations of the amount of city legislation.
LAWS PASSED WITHOUT ACCEPTANCE BY CITY: 1900, Ch. 283, amend. ing charter to restrict power of water commissioner to contract for supply with private persons or corporations; Ch. 461, regarding qualifications of engineers in N. Y. C.; Ch. 463, amending charter in relation to assessment of pumping stations in Nassau County; Ch. 465, authorizing appointment of commission to investigate N. Y. C. charter; Ch. 615, amending charter in relation to printing names of officials in City Record; Ch. 629, amending charter in relation to testing of gas meters; Ch. 647, altering Kings County Hall of Records to accommodate surrogate, etc.; Ch. 653, providing for Silver Lake Park in Richmond County; Ch. 663, amend. ing charter in relation to offensive trades in Brooklyn; Ch. 751, amending charter, in relation to school funds; Ch. 764, for opening, etc., of Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; Ch. 765, for opening of Remsen Ave., Brooklyn; Ch. 770, for relief of taxpayers of 32nd' ward, Brooklyn, in providing for field survey; Ch. 776, to establish exterior pier line on shores in Borough of Brooklyn. 1901, Ch. 33, reorganizing police department to provide single head; Ch. 297, for improvement of Atlantic Ave., Brook. İyn; Ch. 466, new charter; Ch. 551, relief to Engine Co. in Borough of Richmond: Ch. 590, for improvement of Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. 1905, Ch. 629, amending charter by taking franchise granting power' from Board of Aldermen; Ch. 631, amending Rapid Transit Act; Ch. 638, amending charter in regard to commitment of intoxicated persons; Ch. 758, for election of additional justices in Brooklyn. 1907, Ch. 91, changing location of cost for widening Livingston St., Brooklyn, as fixed by Board of Estimate; Ch. 429, Public Service Commissions established; Ch. 538, Ch. 558, recount of mayoralty vote in cities of first class; Ch. 600, to inquire into charter; Ch. 712, for accommodation of county clerk, etc., in Hall of Records; Ch. 748, removal of patients from hospitals restricted.' 1916, Ch. 601, right of Westchester communities to draw water from N. Y. C.'s supply. 1917, Ch. 719, removal of tracks on 11th Ave. 1919, Ch. 470, providing celebrations, etc., for returned soldiers in city containing one more counties, etc. 1921,' Ch. 167, for Extension of Southfield Blvd., Richmond; Ch. 518, amending charter, in relation to furnishing room and supplies to supreme court;' Ch. 670, amending charter, in relation to aldermanic districts.
CONSTITUTIONAL HOME RULE AMENDMENTS IN THE N. Y. LEGISLATURE
The bare legislative history of these proposals is summarized here because of the
fact that the possibility and the waxing and waning probability of a constitutional change have necessarily reacted on the consideration of charter revision and of the statutory devices discussed above.
*S. Int. 199, Pr. 203 (Grady);
Passed July 19, p. 2472 Passed July 21, p. 4213
1912 ts. Int. 1253 (Burd)
S. Int. 347 (Loomis)
ts. Int. 1060 (Pollock)
ITA. Int. 827, Pr. 1666 (Phillips);
S. Rec. 600
Passed Mar. 27. p. 2277
No proposals in Legislature;
Constitutional home rule pro-
*S. Int. 820, Pr. 1673 (Brown):
Passed Apr. 15, p. 1377
TA. Int. 1323, Pr. 1546 (Welsh) (Wagner's mo1916 IS. Int. 847, Pr. 928 (Wagner) tion to amend S. Int. 44 (Bennett)
defeated, A. Int. 810, Pr. 891 (Gilroy) 22:11) xS. Int. 53, Pr. 1730 (Brown); Passed Apr. 18, p. 1125 Passed May 8, p. 3051 A. Rec. 310
Passed May 2, p. 2825 1917 1S. Int. 428, Pr. 469 (Mills) (Motion to sub
by 78:37 is. Int. 691 (Foley)
stitute S. 691 A. Int. 1289, Pr. 1521 (Shipla- lost, 12:31; to coff)
substitute S. A. Int. 555, Pr. 593 (Goodman) 428 lost,
xS. Int. 866, Pr. 1315 (Brown);
Passed Mar. 27. p. 769 Apr. 13, laid p. 2363
aside while on Murphy)
(Motion to sub
order of 3rd TA. Int. 683, Pr. 757 (Welsh) stitute S. 560
Passed Apr. 24, p. 3150
TA. Int. 351, Pr. 2260 (Pellet);
S. Rec. 690. 1920 IS. Int. 407, Pr. 433 (Walker)
IA. Int. 455, Pr. 482 (Donohue)
S. Int. 159, Pr. 161 (Law)
IA. Int. 352, Pr. 353 (Stitt) 1921 IS. Int. 236, Pr. 243 (Walker)
IA. Int. 602, Pr. 636 (Donohue)
S. Int. 729, Pr. 806 (Duggan)
S. Int. 15 (Simpson)
Passed Mar. 17,
*Hardly a true "home rule" amendment, in sense of opening way for local chartermaking.
Sponsored by Conference of Mayors, and known after 1915 as "Mayors conference proposal''; before 1915 promoted especially by Municipal Government Association.
xFathered by Chairman of Joint Legislative Committee on Finances of New York City, in belief that without constitutional amendment city could not be given control over its prescribed administrative organization.
*Introduced by the Democratic Floor Leaders.