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Dqubtful Legislation

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For many ycars a legislative custom ïas prevailed in this State which is beiter honored in the breach than in the observance. We refer to the" practica of closing the work of logislation on á day lamed, but postponing tho actual, final idjournméat until some days thereaftcr. For instance : at the late session, by joint or concurrent resoliïtion, legislation oased on Friday the 25th day of April, but the final adjourninent did not take place until high noon of Thursday, May st. In dèclaring the House adjourned n the Friday nam ad, 'Speaker Croswell ftid : " It only remains for me to declare that thisHouse will do nofurther business other than for the Speaker of the House to sign enrolled bilis for the approval " of the Govcruor, and the entry of the "same on tho journal by the Clerk." In the Senate no special announcement was made, and the record simply reads " the Senate adjourned." Beforo us we have the journals for the five last days of the session : Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, r April 26th, 28th, 29th, and 30th, and May lst. Eaoh day the Senate journal reads : " ïtoll ealled- not a quorwn present." And each day foilows the report of Enroilir.g Comiiiitteo or the announconient of the Secretary that ho has presented cprtain bilis and resolutions, namcd, to the Governor, varied with Communications from the Governor aniiouncin;: his signature. Each day's House journal opens with the suinu entry, " no quorum," and discloses the sarne proceedinsrs. It is a cuestión in rmr min,} how muoh legislation perfo.cted during the absence of a quorum is worth. Sec. 8, Art. IV. of the Gonstitution rcads: " A majority ot ewh House sball constitute a quorum to do business ; but a smaller numbei may adjourn trom' day to day, and compel the attendance of absent membera, in such mxnner and under such penaltica as eacli House mav prescribe." Is the repoit of an Eiivollmeiit Committee business ? Is the signing of bilis by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House business? Is the transmission cf bilis by Seoretary or Coramittee to the Governor business? And are either or all of these acts steps in legislation ? If so does not the journal of the two Houses show fatal defects ? Suppose that the Governor shouldsend in a veto of some importfint bill for sorao easily curable defect, could two-thirds of "110 quorum" apply tho romedy or pass it over the veto? We think not. Yet if either House can do a single act of legislation without a quorum- save that especially perrnitted by the section quotcd - it can do any and all acts of legislation. A p;roat risk ia certainly run by suoh loose legislation (or rather pretense of legislation), and soine day some sharp lawyor with an important case will give the courts the job of deciding as to the legitimacy of laws hanging flre in committee when the provident legislators draw their pay for four or six days in advance and depart for their homes, leaviag " no quorum" to conclude the labors for whicli they take pay. Tho simple quostion is, when is the logislation upon a bilí eompletfcd : at the moment the yeas and nays have been called in the second er non-originating branck, or when it has been correctly engrossed and enrolled and presented to the Governor ? His nature, of course, rnay bo appencled after an adjournment. The Common Council did a good thiug on Monday cvening last, in olecting W. H. Fcxleb City Enginocr and Surveyor, and ordering the establishmnnt of a grade of the streeta. Eandoin work has been very expensive work these many yoars, piling up hero and eutting down there by one street Cominissioner with a reversal of the prooess by the next. Grades should be defmitely established by survey, ordinance or resolution, and the plats or maps filed in the Recorder's and Engineer's offices. Then let the work be done acoording to the foreordained plans if but a single block is worked a year. In making these surveys and establishing gradesitisnot necessarythat all the streets bo brought to the grade or level of Main street, or that no depressions or olevations be allowed. The water courses should govern ; let tho glitters carry water one way or tho other, and the roadbeds not dish in tho center. That ia all that is necessary to insude good, hard, dry streets. It is tho gutters which need cutting down md not tho streets piling up. This latter feat has been going on for years on Hurón and Main streets, to the injury of idjoining property ; and the same disposition to jrais-improvement has been sbservecl on other streets. Wo are glad, tiowever, that the Council is on thè right track at last. It is tho track we have tried to blaze out for a number of years. EX-CONGRESSMAW SïïEI.LABARGEIt, of Ohio, is a raodel civil-service reformer, a wortby succcessor of Geouge W. Cuiitis on the civil-sorvico board. Witness his eagerly grabbing and persistently holding on to tho $5,000 back-action snlary incrcase. With associatea holding the samo reform vmtwi the treasury will need to bo doubly iooked and guarded. Oakes Ames has liad a sevore stroko of paralysis, and North Bastón dispatches of Wedncsday evening announced that it was hardly possiblo for him to survivo through tha niglit.


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Michigan Argus