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Gov. Luce's Message

Gov. Luce's Message image
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We give elsewhere all of Gov. Luce's message relating the University. After dwelling upon the amount of $20,000,000 annually collected from Michigan people for pablic purposes, he discusbes the question of a pure ballot. He says that whether the rumors of corrupt use of money at the polls in this state are true or not, they are weakening confidence in our system. The governor speaks like a true patriot when he says that these rumprs and charges are "painful to hear and alarming if true." He distinotly places himself on the side of a secret ballot, such as was nearly secured for Michigan two years sgo. On the question of prohibition, Gov Lnce is very clear and direct. It is the policy of all v ivilized countries to discourage intemperance. In 1887 the local option act was passed, under which 35 counties voted for prohibition. Un"ortunately the law was declared unconstitutional. We must not forget that the enforcement of any legislation is largely left to local sentiment. He deplores that many people once powerful in temperance work are now wasting their energy in building up a party. He believbs, however, that the sentiment of a large portion of the State is ripe for a local opüon law, but he enïertains sincere doubts as to whether ane can be devised that ia free from eonstitulional objtctions. He urges eareful attention to this question of eonstitutionality, and providing a sound local option law cannot be found, the governor plainly shows his defsire for a general law, in the following admirable passage: "The tvil to be confronted is a greal and powerful one. U stalks abroad at Tioonday.and at nightisdoing itsdeadh wovk. Many saloons of the lower order are rendezvous for crimínala. W nn a high hand it attempts to díctate measures and to elect its fnends to official position. It is so strong tnat rood men sometimes bow down and obey its demande. But in some way, somehow, it must be met and restraints applied. If our constitution prohinits us irom securing an efficiënt law for loCiilities, it does not piohibita general prohibitory law, and if we are denied óther doubt in the future this course will be resorted to. Some amendments to the tax law should be made increasing the tax and to render its enforcement more certain. Complaints agamst prosecuting attorneys for neglect in liquor cases are not infrequent. Possihly iheir duties may be more clearly defined." Gov. Luce says that the " passage of a law prohibiting the sale of intoxicating drinks within three miles of State cational institutions has been urgtd upon my attention, and while I ara not quite prepared to recominend the adoption of this measure, yet its consideration in connection with the whole question is submitted to your solution." The governor bas teken an admirable position on the question of dealing with the saloon. Unquestionably the state will come, in a few years, to a general prohibitory law, but a sound local option law for some counties and extremely high taxation of saioons in other counties, would be avuryusemi ineasure in the meantiine. On the question of taxation. Gov. Luce has the following: "The ajrgregate appropriation required at your hands for the maintenance of all existing State institudons and all current expenses for the next two yeare will be $600,000 less than amounts appropriated in 1887. If the direct tax. is refunded it will enable you to raake a still fartlier rednction of W28.00D. .„ , t . „ "ïhis information will be gratefnlly received by the people. The total amomit of taxation for all pnrposes, assessed and epecifie, in the State exclusive of any eontribution to the general government, is about $20,000,000. The limitsof this paper will not permit a classifu-ation of the expenditure of this vast eum. The total equalized valcation of the taxable property of the State is $945,000,000. And it will be seen that taxation amonnts to more than two per cent upon this valuation. The legal rate of interest is established at six per cent, and it is fair to presume that average investmenta do not earn agreater amount. And when we consider tliat taxation calis for 34 per cent of the net earnings ot property, it mubi be conceded tliat the loud protest aguinst an increase is sometlung more than whut is sometimes termed the ctironic grutubling of the taxpayer. The burden is not feit by men of wealth norby prosperous butsiness men, but it bears heavily upon agriculture. It al60 affects many whose names do not appear upon the tax rolls, by increasing renta and other expenses. It is true that the State tax forms only a email parts of the entire expenses, but by virtue of law, local expenses are provitled for. The insane and other unfortunates mutt be cared for, bat in doing this ecimomy must exereised. And the State ought not to assume paternal cares except in cases of necessity."


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