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for work already completed, the State retaining as a guaranty for the fulfillment of the contract, 15 per cent, of the estimated cost of the work done.
AGRICULTURE. This is the foremost interest in our state and merits your most considerate attention. The societies which have been organized for the advancement of the various branches of agriculture should be liberally sustained. The time has arrived when means should be provided for gathering accurate monthly crop and live stock reports during the growing season, and complete labor statistics, and their prompt circulation among the people. For this purpose I would recommend that you provide for a state bureau of agricultural and labor statistics.
THE STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY has been of material value to the farmers of the state, yet its influence for good could be largely increased if it received that encouragement which its importance demands. The society is now embarrassed by indebtedness amounting to some $1,000, caused in a measure by a clause in the act of last winter, appropriating two thousand dollars upon certain conditions which the society failed to comply with. I recommend that the conditions imposed by the acts appropriating aid to the state and northern agricultural society be removed, and a sufficient amount appropriated to pay the indebtedness of the former.
DAIRYING. The dairy interest of our state has grown with such wonderful rapidity that it stands to-day second to none in the Union. Our dairy products have now a national reputation and are eagerly sought in the markets. The Wisconsin dairymen's association is accomplishing great good in educating farmers to better methods and improved appliances, and should be encouraged by a liberal appropriation.
AMENDMENTS. The people, at the last election, ratified the constitutional amendments submitted by the last legislature, and which amendments have now become a part of the constitution of the state. There will be no general election until 1884, and this is the first of the biennial sessions of the legislature. This makes it necessary that the appropriations for state purposes should be for two years instead of one as heretofore.
The Board of Pharmacy was organized under the act of the last legislature by the selection, from the ten names submitupon
ted by the Pharmaceutical Society, of T. H. Spence, A. H. Hollister, F. Robinson, A. Conrath and E. B. Heimstreet, and they have entered upon their work, and I believe the law has operated very satisfactorily to the druggists throughout the state.
SPECIAL LEGISLATION. Since the adoption of the amendment which stands as article # of the constitution, prohibiting special legislation in the cases therein enumerated, there has been a persistent and quite successful effort to evade it. The method most popular is to make grants of powers and privileges to individuals, their associates and assigns. A great many such grants of very valuable and important franchises and privileges have been made, and made in a manner which, in my judgment, is dangerous to the public interests.
These grants were, before the adoption of the constitutional amendment, usually conferred upon corporations; when so conferred they were subject to repeal or alteration under the “ reserved power" contained in the constitution. Very many of those which have been granted to individuals, and which the legislature will doubtless be called to grant to individuals. could be obtained by the organization of corporations under the general laws, and if so obtained, would be taken and held subject to the right of the state to revoke or modify. These franchises granted to individuals become, when accepted, property. They generally involve the expenditure of more or less money, and there is great danger that they would be held by the courts to be irrepealeable contracts, and beyond the power of legislative revocation or control. It is palpably unwise to make any grant of powers, franchises or privileges, which may affect the public interests, without reserving to the legislature the right to repeal or alter the same, whenever in its judgment the public interest shall so demand.
I recommend that no such grants be made by special act in cases where the object can be attained under general laws now existing, or which can be properly enacted, and that in all cases where a special grant seems to be necessary, there be inserted in it a clause reserving the right to at any time revoke or modify it.
I also suggest to you the utility of considering whether a general law may not be framed under which cities may be organized as efficiently and well as by special act. If this can be done it will diminish materially special legislation, and will save a considerable amount to the people.
I have thus sought to communicate to you briefly but intelligibly “the condition of the state," with such recommodations in the premises as I deem expedient.
I assure you of my cordial and dilligent co-operation in
every proper effort to meet the wants of the people, and to secure to them, what they are entitled to demand, an honest, economical and efficient government.
JEREMIAH M. RUSK. EXECUTIVE CHAMBER,
Madison, Wis., January 11, 1883.
MESSAGE FROM THE ASSEMBLY.
By I. T. CARR, chief clerk thereof: MR. PRESIDENT
I am directed to inform you that the assembly has concurred in,
Jt. Res. No. 2, S.,
Adopting, joint rules of last session for government of this.
Jt. Res. No. 3, S.,
For the appointment of a committee to wait-upon the governor.
By Senator Meffert:
Resolved, That the resident clergy of the city of Madison be and they are hereby respectfully requested to open the sessions of the senate with prayer.
The ayes and noes being demanded, it was decided in the affirmative; ayes, 21; noes, 11.
The vote was as follows:
Ayes - Senators Ackley, Adams, Blake, Chase, Colman, Erwin, Flint, Hill, Kingston, Lord, Meffert, Miner, Palmetier, Parry, Reed, Ryland, Smith, Stanley, Warner, Webb and Wiley - 21.
Noes — Senators Bennett, Cary, Comstock, Cottrill, Hudd. Jonas, McDonald, Pingel, Randall, Ringle and Sherman
On motion of Senator Hudd,
11:30 A. M. The senate called to order by the president pro tem.
MESSAGE FROM THE ASSEMBLY.
I am directed to inform you that the assembly has concurred in
Jt. Res. No. 4, S.,
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES.
The select committee consisting of the senators from Milwaukee county, to whom was referred,
No. 1, S.,
A bill to amend chapter 308 of the laws of 1882, entitled an act to amend the charter of the city of Milwaukee, being chapter 184 of the laws of 1874, and the several acts amendatory thereof,
Have had the same under consideration, and report the same back with a recommendation that it do pass.
On motion of Senator Adams,
The senate adjourned until Tuesday, January, 16th, 1883, at 3, P. M.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 1883.
3 o'clock, P. M. The senate met. The president in the chair.
The roll was called and the following senators answered to their names:
Senators Adams, Blake, Carey, Chase, Colman, Comstock, Cottrill, Hill, Hudd, Jonas, Kingston, Lord, McDonald, Meffert, Minor, Parry, Pingel, Randall, Reed, Ringle, Ryland, Sherman, Stanley, Warner, Webb and Wiley.
The journal of yesterday was approved.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE.
Indefinite leave of absence was granted to Senator Bennett. To Senators Flint and Palmetier until Wednesday morning.
COMMUNICATIONS TO THE LEGISLATURE.
STATE OF WISCONSIN,
MADISON, January 16, 1883. To the Hon. S. S. Fifield, President of the Senate:
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith to the legislature my annual report, as required by law...
State Librarian. See appendix for report.
By Senator Ryland:
Jt. Res. No. 5, S.,
Resolved by the Senate the Assembly concurring, That one thousand copies of the report of the state librarian for 1882 .