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Revised Constitution Adopted by the People of
the State of New York, November, 1894.
IN FORCE FROM JANUARY 1, 1895.
We, the People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
ARTICLE I.— INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. SEQSION 1. Franchise.— No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured by any citizen 'thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
$ 2. Trial by jury.— The trial by jury in all cases in which it has been heretofore used, shall remain in violate forever; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
3. Religious liberty.— The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety, of this State.
$ 8. Free speech and press.—Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being respon• sible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.
$ 9. Petitions, divorces, lotteries.-- No law shall be passed abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof; nor shall any divorce be granted otherwise than by due judicial proceedings; nor shall any lottery or the sale of lottery tickets, pool-selling, bookmaking, or any other kind of gambling hereafter be authorized or allowed within this State; and the Legis. lature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offenses against any of the provisions of this section.
$ 16. Codification of laws.- Such parts of the common law, and of the acts of the Legislature of the Colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony, on the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventyfive, and the resolutions of the Congress of the said colony, and of the convention of the State of New York, in force on the twentieth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, which have not since expired, or been repealed or altered; and such acts of the Legislature of this State as are now in force, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations as the Legislature shall make concerning the same. But all such parts of the common law, and such of the said acts, or parts thereof, as are repugnant to this Constitution, are hereby abrogated.
ARTICLE VIII.- CORPORATIONS. SECTION 1 How created. — Corporations may be formed under general laws; but shall not be created by special act, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where, in the judgment of the Legislature, the objects of the corporation cannot be attained under general laws. All general laws and special acts passed pursuant to this section may be altered from time to time or repealed.
§ 2. Debts of.- Dues from corporations shall be secured by such individual liability of the corporators and other means as may be prescribed by law.
§ 3. Definition of.— The term corporations as used in this article, shall be construed to include all associations and joint stock companies having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships. And all corporations shall have the right to sue and shall be subject to be sued in all courts in like cases as natural persons.
$ 9. State aid of.— Neither the credit nor the money of the State shall be given or loaned to or in aid of any association, corporation or private undertaking. This section shall not, however, prevent the Legislature from making such provision for the education and support of the blind, the deaf and dumb, and juvenile delinquents, as to it may seem proper. Nor shall it apply to any fund or property now held, or which may here. after be held, by the State for educational purposes.
§ 10. Restrictions of.— No county, city, town or village shall hereafter give any money or property, or loan its money or credit to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation, or become directly or indirectly the owner of stock in, or bonds of, any association or corporation; nor shall any such county, city, town or village be allowed to incur any indebtedness except for county, city, town or village purposes. This section shall not prevent such county, city, town or village from making such provision for the aid or support of its poor as may be authorized by law. No county or city shall be allowed to become indebted for any purpose or in any manner to an amount which, including existing indebtedness, shall exceed ten per centum of the assessed valuation of the real estate of such county or city subject to taxation, as it appeared by the assessment rolls of said county or city on the last assessment for state or county taxes prior to the incurring of such indebted. ness; and all indebtedness in excess of such limitation, except such as may now exist, shall be absolutely void, except as herein otherwise provided. No county or city whose present indebtedness exceeds ten per centum of the assessed valuation of its real estate subject to taxation, shall be allowed to become indebted in any further amount until such indebtedness shall be reduced within such limit. This section shall not be construed to prevent the issuing of certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes for amounts actually contained, or to be contained in the taxes for the year when such certificates or revenue bonds are issued and payable out of such taxes. Nor shall this section be con strued to prevent the issue of bonds to provide for the supply of water; but the term of the bonds issued to provide the supply of water shall not exceed twenty years, and a sinking fund shall be created on the issuing of the said bonds for their redemption, by raising annually a sum which will produce an amount equal to the sum of the principal and interest of said bonds at their maturity. All certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonas issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes, which are not retired within five years after their date of issue, and bonds issued to provide for the supply of water, and any debt there. after incurred by any portion or part of a city, if there shail be any such debt, shall be included in ascertaining the power of the city to become otherwise indebted. Whenever hereafter the boundaries of any city shall become the same as those of a county, the power of the county to become indebted shall cease, but the debt of the county at that time existing shall