« 上一頁繼續 »
extra session and lay before it the measures that demand immediate consideration.
(3) In many States the governor has the pardoning power which it is his duty to exercise when he thinks a person has been unjustly convicted of crime. His pardon may be absolute or he may commute the punishment. For good reason he may grant reprieves. In a few States the power of pardon, commutation and reprieve is not left to the governor, but is vested in a special body of officers known as the board of pardons.
(4) In every State it is the duty of the governor to appoint many officials whose selection is not otherwise provided for. When an elective official dies or resigns before his term ends the governor fills the vacancy by appointing some one to serve until another election is held. He also issues writs of election to fill vacancies when any occur in the representation of a State in the lower branch of Congress (12). In the case of a vacancy in the United States Senate the governor may issue a writ for a new election or if so authorized by the legislature may make a temporary appointment to last until the people fill the vacancy by election (162).
(5) It is the duty of the governor to check hasty or corrupt or unwise legislation by interposing his veto. Experience seems to prove that the possession of the veto power enables the governor to exercise a wholesome restraint upon the legislature, and accordingly the veto power is given to him in all the States but one.
(6) The governor performs numerous social duties. He opens fairs, dedicates public buildings, presents diplomas to the graduates of normal schools and colleges, and honors important celebrations and meetings with his presence.
The Lieutenant-governor. This officer serves when the governor is out of the State or is incapacitated for duty. He is ex officio president of the Senate, and when a vacancy occurs in the governorship he succeeds to the office. In those States where there is no lieutenant-governor the president of the Senate usually succeeds to the governorship in case of a vacancy
The Secretary of State records the official acts of the governor and files the laws passed by the legislature. He has charge of all State papers, of the journals of the legislature, and of the historical documents, statuary, paintings, relics, etc., owned by the State. This officer may properly be called the chief clerk of the executive department.
The State comptroller or auditor manages the financial business of the State. He prepares plans for the improvement and management of revenue, reports estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the State, and enforces the prompt collection of taxes. He keeps an account of all the money paid into the treasury and all drawn from it. Not a dollar can be taken from the treasury without his order. As a rule it is his duty to see that those charged with the collection of revenue of the State are responsible persons and are properly bonded. In a few States the comptroller serves on one or more State boards.
The State treasurer has in his keeping the money paid into the State treasury. His principal duties are to receive the State funds, place them where they will be safe, and pay them out as he is ordered by the comptroller. Like the comptroller, the treasurer sometimes serves upon State boards.
The Attorney-general is the law officer of the State. He appears in court for the State and when any executive officer needs legal advice he may be called upon for an opinion.
The superintendent of public instruction stands at the head of the public-school system of the State. He reports to the governor or to the legislature the condition of educational affairs throughout the State, visits teachers' institutes and other educational meetings, and delivers lectures upon educational topics, inspects schools, suggests methods of teaching and courses of instruction and promotes the cause of education in many ways. In some States he prescribes the qualifications of teachers and issues their certificates, and supervises the distribution of the school funds.
The above officers are found in almost every State. The governor and lieutenant-governor are always elected by the people, but the method of choosing the others varies; sometimes the people elect, sometimes the governor appoints and sometimes the legislature elects.
In addition to these principal officers we find in the different States such minor officers and boards as special conditions may require. The titles of these suggest the nature of their duties and may be mentioned without comment:
State insurance commissioner; State librarian; State commissioner of agriculture; State inspector of mines; State commissioner of immigration; State surveyor; State tax commissioner; State fire marshall; State factory inspector; State commissioner of fisheries; State dairy inspector; State inspector of steam boilers; adjutant-general; State vaccine physician; State board of health; State board of education; State board of medical examiners; State board of public works; State board of dentistry; State board of railroad commissioners; State highway commission; State board of charities; State board of pardons; State board of public utilities.
No State has all of the above officers, but every State has a few of them. Besides the major and minor officials that have been mentioned there are in the service of the State such assistants, secretaries, clerks and employees of various kinds as may be necessary for the efficient working of the several departments.
COUNTIES, TOWNS, AND TOWNSHIPS
ALTHOUGH county government differs as we go from State to State there is nevertheless a certain uniformity in the organization of counties throughout the Union. The official outfit of a typical county is as follows:
I. The Board of County Commissioners or Supervisors. This is the governing body of the county. It consists usually of three or more members who serve for a term varying from one to six years. It holds its sessions at the county-seat, where all the county officials have offices. Like most of the other county officers the commissioners are elected by the people. In New York, and in several of the western States the govern ig body of the county—the county board of superv sors—consists not of representatives of the people, as in most States, but of representatives of the townships. The county commissioners (or supervisors) usually do the following things:
(1) They fix the rate of taxation for the county.
(2) They appoint tax assessors, tax collectors, road supervisors, and other subordinate officials.
(3) They make contracts for repairing old roads and opening new ones, and also for building and repairing bridges.