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Commissioners of Statutory Revision.
To the Legislature:
We have the honor to present a special report concerning the work of the Statutory Revision Commission since its creation in 1889.
The Commission has been accustomed to make its reports to the Legislature in the form of proposed bills embodying the results of its work on given subjects. The approaching completion of the revision affords an opportune occasion for an historical statement of the organization of the work of the Commission.
The Commission was created under chapter 289 of the Laws of 1889. Messrs. Charles A. Collin, Isaac H. Maynard and Eli C. Belknap were the first commissioners. Messrs. Maynard and Belknap were succeeded by Daniel Magone and John J. Linson, who, with Mr. Collin, thereafter constituted the Commission until the beginning of the year 1895, when they were succeeded by the present commissioners.
By chapter 1036 of the Laws of 1895 the present commissioners were also appointed commissioners to consider the question of the revision of the Code of Civil Procedure; since that time the Commission has included in its work code revision as well as the general revision of the statutes committed to it by the act of 1889.
By the Laws of 1889, chapter 289, the Governor was authorized to appoint three commissioners "to prepare and report to the Legislature bills for the consolidation and revision of the general statutes of the State relating to
1. Boards of supervisors and local authorities of towns and villages.
2. Corporations, except banks, banking and trust companies and municipal corporations.
3. Taxation. 4. The poor.”
By a later provision of the same statute, the commissioners were also authorized to prepare bills for the consolidation and revision of such other general statutes as they might consider most in need of consolidation and revision. The commissioners were directed to report to the Legislature of 1890. In their report submitted January 3, 1890 the commissioners recommended the enactment of 51 general laws as follows:
The Statutory Construction Law.
Public Lands Law.
Personal Property Law.
The Legislature at the same session passed an act (chapter 313) directing the commissioners to continue their work according to the foregoing plan, and to submit a further report at the opening of the Legislature of 1891; and they were required to "cause such work to be so far progressed by that time that it can be completed by January 1, 1892.”
The commissioners on February 11, 1891, submitted a further report, containing a list of fifty proposed general laws. The “Assignment Law” included in the plan of 1890 was omitted. The “ Dairy Law” included in the first report was changed to the "Agricultural Law;" the “ Charitable Corporations Law” to “Membership Corporations Law;" the “Miscellaneous Corporations Law" to "Mixed Corporations Law;" and the “Quasi-Corporations Law” to “ Joint Stock Law.” The list submitted in 1890 remained unchanged in other respects, except that some of the numbers were transposed.
The commissioners on January 12, 1892, submitted a further plan, including 50 proposed laws. The “Personal Property Law” included in the former plans was omitted, and the “General Municipal Law” added. The following changes were made:-“ Penal Institutions Law” to “Prison Law;" “ Public Instruction Law” to “Education Law;" “ Lunacy Law” to “Insanity Law.”
By the Laws of 1892, chapter 15, the commissioners were directed to complete their work by December 31, 1892, according to the plans submitted to the Legislature that year. The Legis. lature since that time has not suggested any date for the completion of the work, but has provided for its continuation by annual appropriations.
The present commissioners were appointed in January, 1895. At that time 27 general laws had been passed, as follows: