« PreviousContinue »
people.” This means that any state may exercise any of these unnamed, residuary powers; but that the American people, by amending the national Constitution, have the power to impose such restrictions as they may choose to impose. The legislature is the branch of the state government which exercises these residuary powers. Its powers, , therefore, could not be named; no list of them could be made. Subject to the provisions of the state constitution, it may exercise any power except those which are granted exclusively to the United States, and those which are expressly denied to the states by the national Constitution.
The provisions of our state constitution relative to the powers of the legislature may be thus indicated :
1. The legislature is commanded to do certain things. (See article II, section 23; article IV, sections 21, 33; article VI, sections II, 13, 16; article VIII, section 1; article IX, sections I, 5, 7, 9; article X, sections 5, 6; article XI, sections 4, 5, 6; article XII, section 24; article XIII, sections 8, 14, f; article XV, section 2; article XVII, section 1; article XIX, sections 1, 2, 4; article XX, sections 6, 11, 14, 15.) There is no power, except the power of public opinion, to compel the legislature to enact the laws thus required; but in most cases it has done so. (See $31.) 2. The legislature is required to do certain things in
(See article IV, sections 6, 24, 25, 27, 29, 1 See 16 Cal. 332 ; 35 Cal. 624; 73 Cal. 76; 117 Cal. 122; 117 Cal. 521; 145 Cal. 684.
2 The legislature is the only branch of a state government whose powers are thus undefined. The powers of the courts and of all executive officers and departments are granted to them by the state constitution and laws, and they may exercise no other powers. It is thus possible to make lists of such powers. See 6 Cal. 291.
3 See section 10, article I, and amendments 13, 14, and 15 of the national Constitution.
and 34; article XI, sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; article XII, sections 1 and 5.) It will be seen that most of the sections of the constitution here referred to either forbid the enactment of special laws, or command the enactment of general laws, and thus the only way in which the legislature can deal with the questions referred to is to pass general laws concerning them. Our present constitution differs widely from the constitution of 1849 in this respect, as the former constitution permitted special legislation almost without limit. Many acts of the legislature before 1879 relate to particular streets, parks, and public improvements in particular cities; and to the imposition of special duties and burdens on particular counties. Through this power to pass special laws, the legislature often meddled, with unfortunate results, in the internal affairs of cities and counties, and for this reason the power was taken away.
3. The legislature is forbidden to do many things. For example, the provisions of article I operate as prohibitions on the legislature, because no laws may be passed which infringe upon these rights of the people. Article III forbids the legislature to exercise any judicial or executive functions. Other prohibitions are found in article IV, sections 26, 29, 30, 31, and 32; article IX, Section 8; article XI, sections 12, and 13; article XII, sections 5, 7, and 10; and article XVI.
4. The legislature is subject to certain checks. Among these may be mentioned the governor's veto power; the initiative and referendum; and the fact that the legislature may meet in regular session only once in two years, and in special session only on the call of the governor to consider only such questions as the governor specifies in the call.
NOTE. — It should be pointed out that our entire scheme of state government is founded on the “check and balance plan. The governor holds the checks over the legislature above referred to, and he may set aside certain judgments of the courts by means of his pardoning power. All of our state courts, except the inferior courts, are established, and their jurisdiction is determined, by the constitution, rather than by state law. They are thus independent of the state legislature and of the governor. They may set aside such acts of the legislature as they deem unconstitutional; and may compel or enjoin the performance of special acts on the part of executive officers and boards. From these statements it may appear that the legislature is overshadowed by the other departments of the government; but such is not the case. The legislature appropriates all money used for the maintenance of every department of the government. It assigns to the governor and to all other executive officers and boards most of their powers and duties; and many of these officers and boards were created by it. Besides, all judges and all executive and administrative officers may exercise only such powers as are granted to them by the constitution and the law; but the legislature, 'subject to the commands, conditions, prohibitions, and checks above mentioned, may exercise any of the innumerable residuary powers of the state.
Name two ways in which a bill may become a law without the signature of the governor. (See section 16, article IV, of the constitution.)
3. What is a conference committee ?
4. What is meant by the statement that our state government is a government of “checks and balances ” ? Illustrate.
5. Why is it impossible to enumerate the powers of the legislature? 6. Why is the legislature forbidden to pass local and special laws ?
7. What limitation is imposed on the legislature in the formation of senatorial and assembly districts ? Congressional districts ? (See constitution, article IV, sections 6 and 7.)
8. Name the various ways in which the powers of the legislature are limited.
THE STATE EXECUTIVE - ELECTIVE OFFICERS AND BOARDS
Note. Before this chapter is read, articles V, VII, VIII, and XII of the state constitution should be studied.
124. Introductory. — We have seen that various public corporations, such as counties, cities, and school districts, have a large part in carrying into execution the laws of the state. We shall now consider the part played by the executive officers of the central state government. It will be observed that the constitution is very brief in respect to the duties of these officers. This means that the legislature must name their duties. Thus to find a complete statement of the duties of any officer, one must examine both the constitution and the state law, particularly that part of the law which is known as the Political Code.
125. Classification of State Executive Officers and Boards. - The executive officers and boards of the state may be classified as follows: I. Elective.
1. The Governor.
9. The Attorney-General. II. Appointive.
The most important appointive executive officers and boards will be considered in the next chapter, except the adjutant general and the state board of control, whose duties are given in this chapter.
126. Terms of Office, Official Bonds, and Vacancies. The term of office of each elective officer above mentioned is four years, beginning in January, 1911, 1915, etc. The terms of appointive officers vary, but in most cases they are four years. State officers, the same as county officers, must furnish official bonds. The amount in each case is determined by law, except that in the case of some appointive officers, the amount is determined by the appointing power. All official bonds, whose amounts are determined by law, must be approved by the governor, and must all be filed in the office of the secretary of state, except the bond of the secretary, which must be filed in the office of the state treasurer. The governor and lieutenant governor are not required to furnish bonds.
Vacancies in the case of elective officers are filled by the governor, except that a vacancy in either house of the legislature is filled by an election called by the governor in the senatorial or assembly district affected. Appointive offices, when vacant, are filled by the appointing power.
127. The Governor.? — The legislature meets on the first Monday after the first day of January following the gubernatorial election, and at once provides for the inauguration of the governor. The governor's duties may be briefly summed
up as follows: I. The Executive Duties of the Governor. I. He must see that all the state laws are enforced. To this end he is given power to supervise the official conduct of other exec
1 Political Code, $ 380 seq.