« PreviousContinue »
And the Senate proceeded to elect a teller, and the vote being taken was as follows, viz: Messrs. Berkelbach, Budke, Crawford, Drury, Edmiston, Emery, Fisher, Flinn, Focht, Fox, Grady, Gransback, Hardenbergh, Heidelbaugh, Henry, McKee, Martin, Matson, Muehlbronner, Osbourn, Quail, Rice, Scott, Snyder, Stewart, Stineman, Stober, Vare, Vaughn, Washburn, Weller, Wentz, Williams and Woods, 34, voted for Hon. H. H. Cumings.
Messrs. Boyd, Cochran, Cumings, Haines, Heinle, Herbst, Higgins, Lee, Miller, Neely and Stiles, 11, voted for Hon. J. A. Wentz.
Hon. H. H. Cumings having received a majority of all the votes cast, was duly declared elected teller on the part of the Senate.
Ordered, That the Clerk inform the House of Representatives accordingly.
On motion of Mr. Focht, The following resolution was twice read, considered and agreed to, viz:
Resolved (if the House of Representatives concur), That the Senate and House of Representatives will meet in joint convention Thursday, January 17th, inst., at twelve o'clock M., for the purpose of witnessing the opening and counting the votes for Auditor General.
Ordered, That the Clerk present the same to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
The Private Secretary of the Governor being introduced, presented several communications in writing from His Excellency, which were read as follows, viz:
Office of the Governor,
Harrisburg, Pa., January 1, 1901. To the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives of the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania: Gentlemen: In compliance with the law, I have the honor to submit at the beginning of your labors information of the state of the Commonwealth and to lay before you recommendations for your consideration.
The two years just closed have perhaps been the most prosperous two years in succession that the State has ever experienced. Our people have prospered individually, and that prosperity has resulted in a large increase in the revenues of the State. Your attention is called to the reports from the different departments, which will be published and submitted for your inspection. It is not my purpose in this message to repeat at length extracts from these various reports, nor to emphasize the recommendations made by the various State oflicials. They are all entitled to your careful reading and thoughtful consideration. I submit only such information and recommendations as have impressed themselves upon me as being most important for your early consideration.
On the first of January, 1899, there was a deficit in the State Treasury of about $3,000,000. I am happy to state that owing to the unexpected increase in the revenues this deficit has been entirely liquidated, there is sufficient money to pay all unpaid appropriations as they mature, and there will be on the first of January, 1901, a balance, over and above the amount necessary to liquidate all demands, of about $1.500,000.
The report of the State Treasurer, which will be shortly submitted to you, will show the total receipts of the Treasury Department from all sources for the fiscal year ending November 30th, 1900, to be $17,494,211.78. Deduct the interest received on the securities in the sinking fund and the securities maturing and paid into the sinking fund and you have a balance of receipts available for general disbursement of $17,192,817.91. Taking out the $341,371.50 transferred to the sinking fund, there was a balance of $16.818,413.41 available for general disbursement. From this amount is deducted threefourths of the tax on personal property returned to the counties, tax on premiums on foreign fire insurance, personal fees, annuities for right of way, oleomargarine licenses returned to the Agricultural Department, fertilizer licenses returned to the Agricultural Department, oleomargarine, impure food and other fines returned to the Agricultural Department, and fines for violation of the game laws returned to the Game Commission, amounting in the aggregate to $2.558,613.26, which leaves a balance available for the payment of appropriations of $14,289,820.1.5, which is the amount of revenue for the past fiscal year available to meet appropriations made by the Legislature, and from which, together with the revenue for the year 1899, the appropriations made by the last Legislature have been paid and the deficit liquidated, resulting in the balance aforesaid.
If you shall appropriate the million dollars to the public schools eliminated from the appropriation made by the last Legislature, there will then be a balance of $500,000.
The estimate of revenues made by the proper departments for the coming year available for appropriations will be about $13,200,000, which is much less than that which has been received during the past fiscal year. There is no reason to expect that the revenue received by the State during the two years ensuing will equal the revenue received by the State during the past two years. Many large corporations have been chartered resulting in the payment of large bonus to the Commonwealth. Unusual activity in the Auditor General's and Attorney General's Departments resulting in the collection of back taxes, will exclude all reasonable presumption of revenue beyond the estimate made by the Auditor General and State Treasurer. If the Legislature shall appropriate for the coming two years $11,000,000 for the common schools, as I presume it will, and if it shall make appropriations for the completion of the Capitol, as in my judgment it ought to do, it will not be safe to increase the balance of the appropriations beyond those made by the last Legislature, if the credit of the State is to be preserved, and we are to avoid another deficit in the Treasury. My attention has been called to various charitable institutions and departments that will demand increased appropriations over and above those made by the last Legislature. While there is much merit in these demands, and there is scarcely any one of them but what should have more money than it receives, yet if the State shall preserve its financial credit and be able to meet the appropriations that are made, there should be no material increase in appropriations to the various departments and institutions.
The estimate for the coming year will, if anything, be more than the amount that will be received for the next succeeding year, and as the appropriations are made for two years, the amount available for appropriations for the two coming fiscal years should not be considered as amounting to more than $25,500,000; and as there is no power to borrow money, the Constitution expressly prohibiting it, all these appropriations must be paid from the current revenue, including what the Legislature may appropriate for the completion of the new Capitol Building.
Under the first section of the Act of Assembly, approved March 24, 1891, and its supplement, approved May 29, 1891, providing for the annual assignment to the Sinking Fund of certain moneys out of the General Fund, there is set apart the sum of $100,000 annually for the liquidation of the Funded Debt of the State by the creation of a Sinking Fund to pay obligations not yet matured. The Sinking Fund now amounts to $6,021,402.12, while the Public Debt on December 1, 1900, amounted to $6.815,299.02, leaving a balance of Funded State Debt of only $783,896.90.
Under the said Act of Assembly and its supplement, the State Treasurer has set apart each year $100,000 for the liquidation of the State Funded Debt. In addition to that the interest accruing on the obligations in the Sinking Fund is also used in liquidation of the State Debt, while the interest accruing on the State Funded Debt is paid out of the General Fund. Inasmuch as the Sinking Fund is within $783,896.90 of the State Funded Debt, and inasmuch as this debt will not mature until 1912, it will be perfectly safe for this Legislature to repeal the first section of said Act of Assembly and its supplement, requiring the transfer of $100,000 annually to the Sinking Fund. As the interest on the State Debt is paid out of the General Fund, the interest received on obligations in the Sinking Fund will be quite a sufficient addition to the Sinking Fund and result in its becoming equal to the State Funded Debt by the time that debt matures. This would add $100,000 annually to the revenues available for the payment of appropriations.
I, therefore, recommend to this Legislature that it pass a bill repeal. ing the first section of said Act of Assembly and its supplement.
When the Legislature convened in January, 1899, there was deficit in the Treasury of about three millions of dollars. The revenue for the coming two years estimated by the Auditor General and State Treasurer was entirely appropriated by the Legislature. I felt constrained to follow the precedent set by my predecessors and reduce the appropriations sufficient to permit the reduction of a portion of the deficit during the coming two years.
The Legislature appropriated $11,000,000 for the support of the common schools for the two years beginning June 1, 1899. Anxious only for the preservation of the credit of the State, and to enable the payment in part of the deficit then existing, I found myself unable to approve the whole of this item and withheld my approval from one million dollars of the eleven millions appropriated for the support of the public schools. But an unusual and unexpected in. crease in the revenues of the State during the past two years has enabled the State Treasurer to liquidate the deficit which existed on the first of January, 1899, and I am assured that there is a balance in the State Treasury of available cash over and above all liabilities which will justify the payment of the one million of dollars witbheld.
I, therefore, respectfully recommend the passage of a bill appropriating one million of dollars to the common schools of the State to be distributed proportionately under existing laws for the two years ending June 1, 1901. Inasmuch as the appropriation to the common schools in 1899 was in a lump sum for the two years ending June 1, 1901, and payments of money of said appropriation have been made and are being made by instalments, this appropriation will not work any inconvenience, and the money can be paid in the same manner that it would bave been paid if the one million of dollars had not been eliminated from the appropriation in 1899.
On the twenty-first of September last a very serious affray occurred in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, growing out of an extensive strike then existing in the anthracite coal fields. Two thousand or more men were reported to be marching the streets of Shenandoah, firing revolvers and resisting all attempts of the civil authorities to have them disperse. Two persons were killed and seventeen wounded by gun or revolver shots on the afternoon and evening of the twenty-first. The sheriff of Schuylkill county asserted these facts and his inability to suppress the disturbance, and asked that a sufficient number of the National Guard be sent there for the protection of the public peace. This call of the sheriff was endorsed by a resolution of the Councils of Shenandoah and the personal requests of a large number of prominent citizens in that place. It reached me about 7 or 8 o'clock on the evening of September 21. I immediately summoned Major General Miller, Commander of the Division, Brigadier General Gobin, Commander of the Third Brigade, and Adjutant General Stewart for a conference, which was held between 11 and 12 o'clock on the evening of September 21. At 12.30 o'clock on the morning of September 22 the order was issued for the movement of the Fourth, Eighth and Twelfth Regiments, Battery C, and the Governor's Troop to Shenandoah. About 7 o'clock that morning, six hundred men with their officers were patroling the streets of Shenandoah, and by noon of that day nearly two thousand troops were there. No further serious disturbance occurred. The people were civil to the officers and soldiers who remained in that vicinity until all necessity for their presence was over. By the 31st of October the strike was adjusted and the last of the National Guard with: drawn.
The rapid mobilization of the State troops was highly commended by military experts and the judgment and discretion shown by General Gobin and his officers, and the good behavior and soldierly bear ing of the men was so satisfactory as not only to win the approval of the people of the State, but the praise and commendation of many persons in military circles outside of the State. It demonstrated the fact that the National Guard of Pennsylvania is a well disci.