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yet the provisions as to the two counties are very dissimilar. In the twenty-sixth class (and others), the reporter is not provided for. The difference in population in the three counties is one thousand and ten, between the lowest and the highest. Does the difference in duties call for this peculiar legislation ? The court refused the writ in the case mentioned because the provision under consideration was local and special legislation. I am informed that other superior court decisions have been rendered in other counties indicating that the new law has other and various provisions obnoxious to the provisions of the constitution, and all apparently of the same character that the supreme court has been construing and condemning for the past seventeen years.
While I have in some instances expressed an opinion or offered a suggestion as to the validity or wisdom of some of the provisions of the laws here collected, I have omitted such expressions as to many other provisions which I have no doubt will come before the courts for construction and interpretation, and I prefer now to dismiss that subject with the further suggestions that no one will ever be able to successfully defend the classification of fiftyseven counties into fifty-seven classes for the purpose of fixing the compensation of officers according to duties, nor the classification of townships within some of the counties for the purpose of fixing the compensation of township officers. The fixing of compensation as accomplished in the present act illustrates
only the particular wishes of the individuals at whose instance they were fixed for the respective counties, and the number of classes indicates only the political necessity of gratifying the personal desires of as many individuals as possible. And the declarations in this county government act of the population of the respective counties, appears to be as voiil of fact or reason as does their classification.
I believe the most common excuse for defective legislation is that there is insufficient time for work and deliberation within the constitutional limit of sixty days, and several attempts have been made to remedy this by constitutional amendment. Three propositions germane to this subject are to be submitted to the people at the next general election. One is known as Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 10 [Stats. 1897, p. 641], to provide for local county government. The next is Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 34 [Stat. 1897, p. 649], providing for an interregnum in the sessions of the legislature of from thirty to sixty days, and allowing pay to members for seventy-five days; and the third is Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 [Stats. 1897, p. 650), recommending a contitutional convention.
There is an old maxim, at least as old as the days of Lord Coke, to the effect that the making and unmaking of laws is a most dangerous custom, and it may be fairly inferred that something like our present condition gave rise to the maxim, and this may be regarded as an argument on the side of thos who contend that we have not advance greatly in moral, intellectual and politica worth since olden times.
We are now confronted with the propositioi whether to continue the effort to obtain uni formity in laws, and compensation according to duties, or whether we shall go back to the condition referred to in People v. Lake, 33 Cal. 494, when special legislation had proceeded to such an extent that scarcely any two counties had governments similar in all particulars. Public sentiment is very strong in favor of greater uniformity of laws among the several states on various subjects, and I believe it is equally as strong in this state for uniformity in county government, except where selfish ends predominate, and I believe public interest demands such uniformity, but I propose no remedy for selfishness, and if it ultimately overcomes the present constitutional bulwark, the event will but signalize another of its many victories.
I have referred in one or two instances in the volume to the “ Clark Road Law” as being thereafter inserted, supposing at the time that it would be important to insert that act, but as it is held by the supreme court to have been repealed by the county government act, it has been omitted. August 20, 1897.
W. F. HENNING.