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On motion of Mr. BROWN, the rules were suspended, and the resolution adopted.
Mr. BROWN, of Davidson, offered the following:
That Section 26 of the Bill of Rights be so amended as to read as follows: “That all citizens of this State have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.”
That Section 1 of Article IV. be so amended as to read as follows, viz.: Every man of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the County wherein he may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election, shall be entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly and other civil officers for the County or District in which he resides; and there shall be no qualification attached to the right of suffrage except that each voter shall exhibit to the Judges of Election where he offers to vote, satisfactory evidence that he has paid his poll-tax then due by him, without which his vote cannot be received. And all male citizens of the State shall be subject to the payment of polltax and to performance of military duty, within such ages as may
be prescribed by law. Which was ordered to be referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Mr. BROWN, of Davidson, offered the following amendment to
the Constitution of the State: To Section 29, Article II., add : “But the General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the issuance of bonds of the State for any purpose, or to increase the indebtedness of the State, in any form, beyond the ordinary expenditures, without the concurrence of three-fourths of the members elect of both Houses. Nor shall the General Assembly have power to pass what is commonly called omnibus bills, or bills proposing to appropriate the credit of the State in the form of bonds or otherwise, to different objects, and combined in one bill. All laws passed in that form, by whatever vote, shall be utterly void. Nor shall the General Assembly, after the present session, have power to prolong its sessions, at any time, beyond the space of sixty days from its organization.” Section 28, Article II. Strike out the word “white” in the 11th line, and add to the end of the Section : “And all revenue derived from the tax on polls, peddlers, and privileges, shall be set apart and devoted exclusively to the payment of the interest on the public debt of the State, and of the debt itself, and when this is accomplished, such revenue shall be then applied to the use of common schools for ever, and for no other purpose.”
Mr. ARLEDGE offered the following resolution :
Resolved, That no bill shall pass the Legislature of this State except upon its own merits, and not connected with any other bill.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK offered the following resolutions:
1st. Resolved, That the credit of this State shall never be given or loaned in aid of any person, association, municipality or corporation. 2nd. That the members of the Legislature shall receive for their services a sum not exceeding four dollars a day from the commencement of the session, but such pay shall not exceed in the aggregate, two hundred and forty dollars for per diem allowance, except in proceedings for impeachment. The limitation as to the aggregate compensation shall not take effect until after the first Monday of October, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one. When convened in extra session by the Governor they shall receive four dollars per day. They shall also receive one dollar for every ten miles they shall travel going and returning from their place of meeting on the most usual route. The Speakers of the Assembly shall, in virtue of their office, receive an additional compensation equal to one-third of their per diem allowance as members.
Mr. KIRRPATRick introduced the following resolutions:
1st. Resolved, That the General Assembly shall pass no special act conferring corporate powers.
2nd. Corporations may be formed under general laws, but all such laws may from time to time be altered or repealed.
3rd. That dues from corporations shall be secured by such individual liability of the stockholders and other means as may be prescribed by law, but in all cases each stockholder shall be liable over and above the stock owned by him or her, and any amount unpaid thereon to a further sum at least equal in amount to such stock.
Mr. House, of Davidson, Robertson and Montgomery, introduced the following resolutions:
1st. Resolved, That the credit of the State shall never be given or loaned in aid of any person, association, municipality or corporation. 2nd. That the Legislature may contract debts to meet casual deficits or failures in the revenues, but such debts, direct or contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed six hundred thousand dollars, and the monies arising from loans creating such debt shall be applied to the purposes for which they were obtained or to pay such debts. 3rd. No act of the Legislature shall authorize any debt to be contracted on behalf of the State except for purposes mentioned in the foregoing section unless provision be made therein to lay and collect an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest stipulated, and to discharge the debt in thirty years; nor shall such act take effect until it shall have been submitted to the people at a general election, and shall have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it; Provided, that the Legislature may contract debts by borrowing money to pay any part of the debt of the State, without submitting the question to the people, and without making provision in the act authorizing the same for a tax to discharge the debt so contracted, or the interest thereon. 4th. No one who does not own at least two hundred and fifty dollars worth of taxable property shall be entitled to vote in any election in which the question is submitted to a vote of the people, of contracting debts, or raising money on behalf of the State, any association or municipality, or corporation whatsoever.
Mr. BAXTER submitted the following amendments to the Constitution:
In lieu of the 4th and 5th Sections of the Bill of Rights, insert the following: Sec. 4. That no religious or political test, other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of this State, shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State. Sec. 5. That elections shall be free and equal, and the right of suffrage, as hereinafter declared, shall never be denied to any person entitled thereto, except upon conviction by a jury of some infamous crime, previously ascertained and declared by law, and the judgment thereon by a court of competent jurisdiction.” Strike out the 31st section of the Bill of Rights, and insert the following: Sec. 31. The erection of safe and comfortable prisons, the inspection of prisons, and the humane treatment of prisoners, shall be provided for by law. Sec. 32. That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are forever prohibited in this State. Sec. 33. The General Assembly shall make no law recognizing the right of property in man. “Every free man of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the County where he may offer his vote, six months next preceding the day of election, and who shall have paid one month before the day of election all poll taxes legally due from him for the preceding year, shall be entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly and other civil officers for the County or District in which he resides.”
Mr. PORTER, of Haywood, offered the following amendment to the Constitution of the State:
“Resolved, That Section 4, of Article II, shall be so amended as to read as follows: The Governor shall hold his office for four years, and until a successor shall be elected and qualified. He shall not be eligible more than eight years in a term of twelve.” Resolved, That it be referred to the proper Committee to enquire into and report upon the expediency of the abolition of the office of County Trustee, as provided in Article VII, Section 1, of the Constitution. Mr. HEISKELL offered the following amendments to the Constitution : • . Resolved, Article I, Section 4, ought to be so amended that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under this State or to the exercise of voting. Nor shall any political test, or any oath relating to past time or conduct, except the oath to prevent dueling. That Article VI, Section 11, of the Constitution, requires to be amended so as to provide that the Legislature may provide by law for the appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court, in the event any Judge shall be unable for any cause to attend or sit. Resolved, That so much of Article II, Section 28, as excepts “merchants, peddlers and privileges’’ from the rule of equal taxation, is against the theory and principle of constitutional law, as it excepts a minority from the protection of the Constitution, and the same ought to be amended.
Mr. JoWEs, of Giles, offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Committee on the Legislative Department be instructed to inquire and report whether it is expedient and proper to limit the duration of the sessions of the Legislature to one hundred days.
Mr. KENNEDY offered the following resolution :
Resolved, That the members of the General Assembly shall not receive per diem for a longer period than ninety days for a regular session, and thirty days for a called session of the same.
Mr. TURNER offered the following amendments to the Constitu
Resolved, That Article II, Section 8, of the present Constitution, be so amended, commencing at the last word of said Section so as to read as follows:
“And their sessions shall not continue for more than one hundred days during its term of office, unless it shall be convened in extraordinary session by the Executive, and its deliberations shall then be confined to the subjects embraced in the message of the Executive.”
Resolved, That Article IV, Section 1, of the present Constitutution be so amended as to strike out the last sentence of said Section.
Mr. WARNER offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Legislature shall not make the State debt exceed 5 per cent. on the taxable property of the State after the adoption of this Constitution; but this has no reference to the debt already created.
Mr. BROWN, of Henry, Carroll, Gibson and Madison, offered the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the General Assembly shall never authorize any county, city or town by vote of its citizens, or otherwise, to become a stockholder in any joint stock company, corporation or association whatever, or to raise money for or loan its credit to or in aid of any such company, corporation or association. Resolved, That the bonds of the State shall never be issued for any purpose whatever except in renewal of existing liabilities.
Mr. GARDNER offered the following resolution :
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judicial Department inquire as to the expediency of providing that in case of the incompetency of any Judge to try a cause pending in his Court the practicing Attorneys present may elect a special Judge to try such cause. Also, when from sickness, or other cause, the regular Judge is unable or fails to attend to hold a term of his Court, the licensed lawyers present may elect a special Judge to hold such term, who shall be paid out of the salary of the regular Judge.
On motion of Mr. BROWN, of Davidson, it was ordered that the foregoing resolutions and proposed amendments be referred to the respective Committees hereafter to be appointed by the President.
Mr. GARNER offered the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the Committee on Elections and Right of Suffrage be instructed to inquire into and report what change, if any, should be made in the Constitution so as to require all voters to vote in all elections in the Civil District of their residence.
Resolved, That the Standing Committee on the Legislative Department be instructed to inquire into and report as to the expediency of so changing the Constitution as to limit the sessions Go the Legislature and the per diem of the members and officers thereof to sixty days, at their regular biennial sessions; and also as to the propriety of limiting the number of Representatives in the General Assembly to fifty.