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receiving payments under the law to give to the state full release and acquittances, and a full and complete guaranty for the protection of the rights of any other claimants, should there be any.
EXPENDITURES AND REVENUES.
The secretary of state makes the following estimate of the expenses to be defrayed from the treasury during the year beginning January 1, 1884, and of the revenues of the state for that period: Expenditures
........ $1,041, 720 88
Licenses and fees..............
$706, 500 00 235, 220 88
Amount to be provided by the legislature to defray the
expenditures for the year commencing January 1, 1884
This estimate shows that it will be necessary for the legislature to provide the sum of $100,000 for the year 1884, which will be two-tenths of a mill on the assessed valuation.
The balance to the credit of the Governor's Contingent fund on January 8, 1883, was $1,835.27, and the expenditures therefrom during the year were $774.79. In view of the possible demands upon this fund the next two years, I recommend that the sum of $2,000 be appropriated therefor at the present session.
The account between the state of Wisconsin and the United States for the direct war tax, as shown by the statement of the First Comptroller of the United States Treasury, stands as follows: Amount due the United States September 30, 1881, $207,685.16. During the year there has been placed to the credit of the state, $156,539.59, leaving a balance due the United States of $51,145.57. There are now before the departments for adjustment, claims which will be allowed and credited to the state, amounting to $20,000.
The state claims as due from the United States a balance of $89,845.04 upon the claims presented by her for the equipment and payment of troops during the war. This balance has all been disallowed by the accounting officers, and consists of various items ranging from $10 to $300. Many of the items have been ruled out for want of proper vouchers and evidence, and it is probable that with considerable research
and labor many of the items may yet be allowed, but I do not feel at liberty to incur expense in that direction without first receiving legislative sanction.
PUBLIC LANDS. The sale of public lands during the fiscal year was 218,395.84 acres, at prices varying from fifty cents to three dollars per acre. The report of the commissioners shows that there is now on hand nearly 1,000,000 acres of public lands; that there are nearly 240,000 acres not yet put in the market and that there have been selected during the year 67,000 acres for which the state will soon receive patents. These selections were made by sending a competent man into the field to examine each tract, and I am satisfied that the work has been faithfully performed and that thereby the state has secured good lands. The commissioners in their report suggest cogent reasons for some changes in the laws regulating the sale of lands, to the end that the state may be enabled to obtain prices nearer the value of the land sold. I commend the subject, and the suggestions of the commissioners thereon,to your careful consideration. The commissioners also ask that section 258 of the revised statutes be amended, so as to give a wider field for the investment of the trust funds. This subject likewise demands serious attention.
The report of the state superintendent affords great cause for satisfaction as to the educational interests of the state, and for a full discussion of the special subjects that may require your attention I would refer you to his report. There seems to be no want of harmony in the various parts of our school system, and with the general development and progress we have every reason to be pleased.
The attendance at schools of pupils between the ages of seven and fifteen years, the time when all children ought to attend schools, is eighty-seven per cent. of the whole number in the state between those ages. This precentage proves Wisconsin to be fairly equal to the older eastern states in appreciation of school privileges. The total valuation of school property, including buildings, sites, libraries, etc., is $5,614,938. The total amount expended for public and private schools during the school year was $2,577,402. I need not impress upon you the importance of fostering our common school system and promoting in every way the cause of popular education,
The board of regents of the university report satisfactory progress in all departments; that the appropriation of last year has been judiciously expended, but that there are yet some repairs greatly needed in making the older buildings what they should be. The ambition of the young for a higher and advanced education cannot be too liberally encouraged, and I commend all the needs of this institution to your liberality.
The departments of agriculture and practical mechanics would seem to demand particular notice. The experiments of the Professor of Agriculture, made by virtue of special appropriations of the Legislature, upon Amber cane and the ensilage of fodders, have been in large measure completed. and Prof. Henry reports that beyond a doubt sugar and syrup can be profitably made from Amber cane in this State, and that the soil of the State is particularly well adapted to the growing of Amber cane. The Professor likewise reports that his experiments with ensilage of fodders demonstrate the fact that the food product for stock can be greatly increased at very little cost to the farmers. He also reports that there is still needed an appropriation of $600 to pay the Professor of Chemistry for six months' services, and I hope this will receive your early attention. The interests represented by the farmer and the mechanic are second in importance to none other, and any legislation which will stimulate the efforts of either, or which will open the door to more comprehensive and intelligent effort. will be profitable in the long run to the commonwealth. To this end I recommend that there be appropriated annually the sum of six thousand dollars for the establishment and maintenance of an experimental station on the University farm, and I also recommend that provision be made for the publication and distribution of reports of the experiments heretofore made, and of such as shall be hereafter made.
NORMAL SCHOOLS. There have been 948 students in attendance at the various Normal Schools during the year. There have been 31 graduated and 61 licensed, and there are now employed in the public schools of the State 330 graduates of the Normal Schools, and 1,053 undergraduates. Sixty institutes have been held in 51 counties, with a total attendance of 3,882, and at an expense of $6,433. The regents report the schools in a prosperous condition, and earnestly endeavoring to perform the work assigned to them.
STATE PRISON. At the close of the fiscal year there were confined in the state prison at Waupun 348 persons. The total cost of maintaining the prison for the past year has been $47,751.33, of which the prisoners' earnings have furnisned $31,129.30; receipts from visitors were $193.50 making the net cost to the state of supporting the institution $16,428.53. The broad distinction between the confirmed criminal and a man who has committed his first offense, and who by judicious training may be restored to self-sustaining and self-respecting citizenship, leads me to the belief that the legislature might, with
much propriety, devise some method by which the courts should determine whether the offense was the first or not, and that the sentences should be such that the public would be protected from the depredations of the habitual criminal. The board of control, in their report, have recommended a system of indeterminate sentences. While the matter should receive your earnest consideration, I am not prepared to say whether the criminal who makes crime a profession should be sentenced to police supervision when his term of imprisonment has expired, or the sentence of imprisonment should be indeterminate.
INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. The number of boys in attendance at the state industrial school at Waukesha on September 30th, last, was 299; average attendance during the year, 321. There have been admitted during the year 95 boys; discharged, 160. The gathering together of the wayward and incorrigible boys from every community, compelling them to attend school, teaching them habits of industry and obedience to just authority and endeavoring to impress their minds with just conceptions of the true dignity of manhood, is one of the most humane and profitable duties of the state. But the work requires a most studious and pains-taking watchfulness to avoid the liability of making the inmate more incorrigible or narrow and contracted in his usefulness by too long reliance upon the institution for advice and support. The boy is sentenced before the age of 14 and may be kept there until he is 18; and I have serious doubts as to whether the term of attendance is not too long; as to whether the institution should not be rather more a school and somewhat less a penal institution. There is some force in the view that if a boy cannot be reformed in two or three years so that he can properly conduct himself in the community, longer attendance in such an institution is not only useless to him, but is fraught with danger to his companions, and may, and probably always does, exert a very injurious influence upon the newer and younger inmates of the institution.
BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS. The whole number of patients who have received treatment at the State Hospital for the Insane at Mendota during the past fiscal year was 656. The number discharged recovered was 49; improved, 59; unimproved, 56. The total cost of this hospital for the year was $95,648.37, being a weekly cost per capita of $3.92. At the commencement of the past year the Northern Hospital for the Insane had under treatment 512 patients; admitted during the year, 225; total, 737. Of these there were discharged recovered, 64; improved, 26; unimproved, 30. The number present at the close of the year was 564; average for the year, 529. The cost of maintaining this hospital was $98,160.02, which is equal to a weekly cost per capita of $3.57.
I am constrained, by the great importance thereof, to again call your attention to the proper care of the insane. The laws of the state now provide a very mixed system for the care of the insane; a portion are cared for under a state system; a portion under a county system, and a portion under a combined state and county system. Whether all these different systems in operation at the same time throughout the state work advantageously to the unfortunates and to the state, or which one of the systems is the most humane and economical, are subjects to which you cannot give too much care and study. I cannot believe that it is conducive to the well-being of society or properly discharging the duty we owe to the insane, to care for them within the walls of county jails and almshouses. The insane are cared for, that society may be protected from dangerous lunatics being at large, and hnmanity dictates that we secure the welfare and comfort of those who are thus unable to care for themselves. It is not the full discharge of this duty, however, that we keep the insane from doing harm, or even that we make them happy; they have a right to be cured when possible, for they are thereby returned to society and take from the state a lifelong charge. That this care and attention, so much desired. can best be secured in state institutions and under state supervision, I am firmly convinced, and I have thus urgently brought the subject to your attention for the reason that, unless speedy action be taken upon it, large local expenditures under the present system will have been made, thereby precluding a change hereafter without serious loss.
INSTITUTE FOR DEAF AND DUMB. The whole number of pupils enrolled at the institution for the education of the deaf and dumb at Delavan, during the past year, was 244; of these there were present September 30, 1882, 182; average attendance during the year, 176. The total cost of supporting this institution for the year was $34,375.94, which amount represents a weekly cost per captia of $3.76.
At the institution for the education of the blind at Janesville, there have been enrolled during the year a total of 82 pupils, of whom there were present on the last day of the fiscal year, 57; average attendance for the year, 63. The total cost of supporting this institution was $16,726.17, equal to a weekly cost per captia of $5.11.
STATE BOARD OF SUPERVISION. Full details of the expenditures, work and needs of the charitable, reformatory and penal institutions of the state are contained in the annual report of the board of supervision, which will be submitted for your consideration. This board has performed its difficult duties in a laudable and satisfactory manner, with considerable saving to the state.