State of Michigan ) Execïttive Office, [ Lansing, May 10, 1881. To the Senate: Senate bill Xo. 48, file No. 20, entitlfid a bill "To provide for a supply of the general laws of the state" lias been the subject of long conversation by thetwo houses of legislatura. The object sougbt to be accomplished by the bill under consideratiou is of general interest to the public, and in consequence of sueh general interest has elicted a very widé discussion through the press of tlte state. In discussing this important question as to the better mode of prsviding fof a supply of the general laws of the state an idea has become quite common that two propositions have been distinctly kent before the law nmkimr department, and that the real question at issue was siniply, Wliichis tlie best? ïhe one to follow the mode prescribed by the constitution and as heretofore practiced under similar circumstances, the other to avoid delays incident to the old way, and instead thereof buy a work or book complete. If it were only a question of choice between the two modes I should assent to the conclusión reached by ti.e legislature, but tlie real question now under consideration is, "YVhatdoes the bill provide? It covers eight seclions. Sectiou one provides: First. For the purchase and distiibution by the state of "ïhe general statutes of tlie state of Michigan, in f orce, with notes and digests of the decisions of the supreme court relating thereto," compiled and annotated by Andrew Howell, as may be required for the use of the state, etc, etc. Provided that such compilation shall include all the general laws of the state in foree, and all amendments thereto, and all general acts that shall be passed at the present session of the legislature. Seeond. Provisión is made that such compilation of the laws before publication thereof shall be examined, approved and certified by two suitable persons, to be appointed by the governor for that purpose, to be a correct compilatioa of all general laws in force. Section two (2) provides for the manner in wliicu such work shall be done. Section three provides for the eliaracter of the work, how it shall be done, including the kind of type to be used in printing the same, the quality of paper to be used. and for the material and binding of the volumes. Section four proyides for the time when the work sliall be delivered to the state, naming one year from the close of the present seasion of the legislature for a part and further time for the remainder. Section live provides as to how paynient is to be made, the priee to be Pjiid, and for keeping the books on sale with restrictions on the price to be charged citizens of Michigan for copies of said compilation sold to individuals by the publishers. Section six provides for giving security for the due publication of said compilation and for the fulflllment of the other undertakings on the part of the contractors. Section seven providès that "said compilation, when approved and published as herein provided, shall be received and considered in all courts, and proceedings as containing the laws of the state and with the same forcé and effect as the laws of the state published by .uithority thereof." Also that the purchase by the state OÍ said compiLition, as in this act provided, shall be upon condition that the copyright of said compilation shall be vested in and bclong to the state of Michigan, providlng speciflcally for the delivery to the state of the stereotype platee used in printing the same. Section 8, Provides ttiat after the expiration of seven years the state may use the coinpiler's notes, references and annotations without restrictions. The provisión for a compilation to include not only the laws now in force but the future enactments of the present session; the naniing a compiler, the provisión for two commissioners to examine and verify the matter to be incorporated into the proposed work; the full directions given as to the manner, style and material to be used; the remote time narned for the delivery of the same, the security to be given for the f ullilinent of the contract; the retention of the ownership in the state of the copyright ana the possession of the stereotype plates are not the ordinary modes of purchasing a book, but are the metliods employed to procure a compilation and reprint of the laws, and [ understand this bilí to provide' for a compilation and repiint of the laws within the iníent and meaning of tlie constitution. Ilaving reached this conclusión my next examination leads me to campare its provisions with the constitutional rules that guide the manner of providing such compüation and reprint. I flnd the foilowing constitutioHal provisión: Art. XVIII., sec. 5. "No general revisión of the laws shall hereafter be made. AVlien a reprint thereof becomes necessary the legislatura, in joint convention, shall appoint asuitableperson to collect together such acts and parta of acts as are in forcé, and, without alteration, arrange them under appropriate heads and titles. The law so arranged sliall be submitted to two commissioners appointed by the governor, for examiruition, and if certiiied by them tobe a correct compilation oL all general laws in f orce, shall bepriiited in such manner as sliall be prescribed by law." From the foregoing it will be seen that when a reprint becomes neeessary as at present, the compiler must be appointed by the two houses of the legislature in joint convention This has not been done. Again, were the compiler properly appointed the next important question to be considered ia, how shall the printing be done ? Thé constitutional provisión above quoted directs that it shall be "in such mantiPT as shall be prescribed by law." The law must of course, be in harmony with the constitution. Art. IV. sec. 22 of the constitution provides among other tliings, that " The printing and binding the laws and all other printing ordered by the legislature shall be let by contract to the lowest bidder or bidders." This important provisión has not been followed in the bilí. Holding the above views, I respectfully return the bill without my signature to the house in which it originated for such further consideration as the constitution provides.