Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Not content with this broad proposition, the decision added: that, "the limitation of legislative enactment of the rate of charge for services rendered in a public employment for the use of property in which the public has an interest establishes no new principle in the law, but only gives a new effect to an old one." It is precisely a "new effect" to an old principle which is needed to round out the duty, as respects railways, laid upon the General Assembly by the Constitution of 1870.

It is a low estimate to say that where one person rides in the steam cars within the entire border of the State there are 100 persons who ride in the street cars of the city of Chicago alone, and there are thirty or more other cities in the State that enjoy street railway facilities. Going a journey by steam, however short, is a rare experience with most people in every state, but almost everybody who lives in a city depend upon the street cars for the means of getting about in the daily affairs of life. The proportion of the population in a great city who live within walking distance of their places of labor or business is insignificant and the keeping of carriages is confined to the wealthy few. Nearly every wage worker-from children who run errands to high-salaried heads of departments-is dependent upon the street cars and patronizes them at least twice a day, six days a week. Most of these people are obliged to practice close economy to make both ends meet. In thousands of Chicago households several members of the family are obliged to pool their earnings to keep the wolf from the family door and more is paid for street. car fare than for the rent of the house in which the family lives.

The general policy of highway robbery of the common people for the benefit of the rich, in the presentation of which resort has been had to the most unscrupulous and virulent vilification, must not be allowed to prevail. It is as abhorrent to common justice as to the spirit of our constitution. The railroad and street railway properties. of this State should pay their full share of taxes according to value, and their patrons should enjoy the benefits of protection from extortionate charges, as contemplated in the constitution of 1870. But why should those people who ride in street cars be barred out from the benefits of street car economies to lessen the taxes of those who ride in carriages? They should have their fair share of those economies precisely as the purchaser of a barrel of flour or a pound of sugar gets his fair share of the economies introduced into the production and manufacture of wheat and the production and refining of sugar. Why single out the riders on street cars as the victims of special taxation? Street cars are little patronized by the rich; they are the poor man's family wagon. Because the municipality owns the roadbed is no reason for this oppression of the poor for the benefit of the rich. it were, then toll gates should be set up all over the State, alike in city and country, and everybody charged for driving or walking along the highway. The streets do not belong to the tax payers of the city nor to the abutting property owners, but they belong to the whole public, the same as the public highway in the country, and because the abutting property owner is taxed for keeping up the street. gives him no vested right in the street any more than the farmer who

A

If

owns a section of land upon the highway and pays heavy road and bridge taxes for keeping up the road owns a special interest in the higways. These streets, like the public roads of the country, are public highways and belong to the public, the whole people.

If the plan of levying toll on the patrons of street cars. through the exaction of a percentage of gross receipts for the benefit of the tax-payers-thus making travel, instead of property, sustain the burdens of taxation-had been applied to all the steam railroads of the State, the revenues of the State from that one source alone would have exceeded long ago the total legitimate expenses of the State government, and that not only for governmental purposes, but also for charitable, reformatory and penal institutions, and an appalling and dangerous surplus be left in the State treasury; and if Chicago should be allowed to levy tribute upon every man, woman and child who pay fare on a street car, within its limits, its city hall would be a rogue's paradise indeed.

The vituperation and virulent vilification resorted to in the discussion of this great question should have no influence with your honorable body, nor should there be any demagogical unfairness shown toward vested rights. The railroad properties in Illinois, city or country. steam or electric, should pay their fair share of taxes, according to value, upon the same basis of valuation as other property, and the patrons of them all, and all alike, should be transported at rates as low as possible consistent with a fair return on the money invested and the risks run. The holder of railroad bonds of every kind is entitled to all the interest his bonds call for and the shareholder to a reasonable dividend. Interest and dividends, like operating expenses, should be all adequately provided for out of the revenues of the business. What there is over really belongs to the patrons of the roads. Herein there should be no distinction between general and city railroads, but as the custom with city railroad companies in this country is to charge a uniform rate for long and short hauls, the problem in that kind of railroads is greatly simplified. Nor is there anything new in the plan suggested of leaving single fares at the five cent rate and selling a certain number of rides at a reduction. It has been found to work well and the principle involved has been applied to steam railroads. It can not be necessary to plead precedent. Illinois was, in the early seventies, the pioneer State in railway reform in the interest of the "plain people," to use Mr. Lincoln's term. Every citizen of this State has reason to be proud of the fact that where Illinois led, nearly every state has since followed. In the early stages of the "Granger movement" the representatives of railroad properties were greatly alarmed. They were afraid that the rights of property would be sacrificed to appease popular clamor. But that fear was wholly groundless. Although it was impracticable for the Legislature to prescribe an exact charge, and it was necessary, therefore, to vest great discretion and power in a board of three men, the Railroad and Warehouse Commission, there has never been any charge of an improper use of the power conferred brought against that board during all these years in the discharge of its railway obligations. But under the simple and

direct plan recommended, there can be no possible danger of any abuse of delegated authority.

The agitation of this subject has served to bring out latent socialism, in the form of a proposition to take street car service out of the hands of private enterprise and vest the ownership of the lines now built, or hereafter to be built, in the municipality itself. Municipal management and business enterprise do not harmonize. One covers up the mistakes of the other. There are now about 12,000 persons employed in operating the street cars of Chicago alone, and there are about thirty other cities in the State which have street car service. Municipal ownership would mean that these large armies. of industry should be turned into vast political forces, subject to the dictation in politics of whomsoever happened to be mayor of the city. It can not be necessary to make any argument before so intelligent a body as this Legislature against a proposition so abhorrent to common sense.

JOHN R. TANNER, Governor.

The foregoing message was read, and on motion of Mr. Berry the different subjects therein were ordered referred to the appropriate. committees, and 5,000 copies were ordered printed for the use of the Senate.

Mr. May offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

SENATE RESOLUTION No. 11.

Resolved, That the Senate proceed to assign seats to the Senators; that in making such assignment the Secretary shall place in a hat the numbers of the Senatorial districts, and when such numbers shall be drawn by a page the Senator representing such district shall select his seat, and previous to such drawing the seats shall be vacated, the Senators withdrawing from the floor of the Senate.

On motion of Mr. Mahoney, it was unanimously ordered that the two oldest members of the Senate be allowed to select their seats in advance of the drawing.

Whereupon, Senators Landrigan and Dressor selected their seats. In accordance with the foregoing resolution the Senators proceeded to draw their seats, at the conclusion of which the Senate resumed the transaction of business.

Mr. Berry offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted:

SENATE RESOLUTION No. 12.

WHEREAS, It is necessary that every Senator should be conversant with the business transacted by the Senate each day, in order that he may act understandingly on all matters; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate shall prepare each day an exact transcript of the journal and furnish the same to the State Printer, who shall print 200 copies of the proceedings of the day previous and 300 copies of the proceedings after the same shall have been corrected, so that a copy may be placed on the desk of each Senator every morning by 9:30 o'clock. The form of the copies furnished the Senators shall be precisely the same as those published in accordance with the law relating to State contracts.

Resolved, That it shall be the duty of the State Printer to deliver the copies above provided for to the State Binder in time so that he may be able to bind and deliver the same to the Secretary of the Senate each morning by 9:30 o'clock.

Resolved, That in order that this work may be expeditiously and properly done, the Secretary of the Senate is hereby authorized to appoint an expert stenographer and typewriter at a compensation of $4 per day.

A message from the House, by Mr. McCann, First Assistant Clerk: Mr. President:-I am directed to inform the Senate that the House of Representatives has met and organized by the election of the following officers, and is ready for the transaction of business:

Speaker-L. Y. Sherman.
Clerk-John A. Reeve.

First Assistant Clerk-B. H. McCann.
Second Assistant Clerk-George K. Adams.
Third Assistant Clerk-Charles P. Cooper.
Doorkeeper-Thomas L. Spellman.

First Assistant Doorkeeper-George Caughlan.
Second Assistant Doorkeeper-Edward Craig.

Third Assistant Doorkeeper-W. L. Thompson.

Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk-Thomas Williamson.

First Assistant Enrolling and Engrosssing Clerk-M. W. Porter.
Second Assistant Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk-B. M. Davison.
Postmistress-Mrs. Millie Jackson.

Assistant Postmistress-Miss Mayme Cowan.

JOHN A. REEVE,

Clerk of the House.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS.

Mr. Berry introduced a bill, Senate Bill No. 1, for "An act entitled an act in regard to street railroads,'

[ocr errors]

Which was read at large a first time, ordered printed, and,

On motion of Mr. Berry, was referred to the Committee on Municipalities, when formed.

Mr. Campbell introduced a bill, Senate Bill No. 2. for "An act entitled an act in regard to street railroads,"

Which was read at large a first time, ordered printed, and,

On motion of Mr. Campbell, was referred to the Committee on Municipalities, when formed.

Mr. Busse introduced a bill, Senate Bill No. 3, for "An act in regard to street railways,

[ocr errors]

Which was read at large a first time, ordered printed, and,

On motion of Mr. Busse, was referred to the Committee on Municipalities, when formed.

At 1:15 o'clock p. m., on motion of Mr. Aspinwall, the Senate adjourned until tomorrow at 10 o'clock a. m.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 1899-10 O'CLOCK A. M.

Senate met pursuant to adjournment,

Hon. William A. Northcott, President of the Senate, presiding. Prayer by the chaplain.

The journal of yesterday was being read, when, on motion of Mr. Aspinwall, the further reading of the same was dispensed with and it was ordered to stand approved.

A message from the House by Mr. Reeve, Clerk:

Mr. President:-I am directed to inform the Senate that the House has adopted the following resolution, in the adoption of which I am instructed to ask the concurrence of the Senate, to-wit:

Resolved, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring herein, That the two houses shall meet in joint session in the hall of the House of Representatives on Thursday, the fifth day of January, 1899, at the hour of 10 o'clock a. m., for the purpose of canvassing the returns of the election for State officers held on the 8th day of November, 1898, as required by the Constitution of this State.

Adopted by the House January 4, 1899.

By unanimous consent, on motion of Mr. resolution was taken up for consideration.

JNO. A. REEVE,

Clerk of the House. Aspinwall, the foregoing

And the question being, "Shall the Senate concur with the House. of Representatives in the adoption of the resolution?" it was decided in the affirmative.

The President of the Senate laid before the Senate the following communication:

To the Honorable, the President of the Senate:

STATE OF ILLINOIS, SPRINGFIELD, January 4, 1899.

I have the honor to transmit you herewith, in pursuance of law, notices of contests of election of Senators in the 41st General Assembly of the State of Illinois, which have been filed in my office as follows, to-wit:

First Senatorial District-John C. Sterchie v. Daniel J. May.

Thirteenth Senatorial District-William J. Cooke vs. Joseph P. Mahoney. Together with depositions in the contest of Sterchie vs. May.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. ROSE,

Secretary of State.

On motion of Mr. Berry, the communication and accompanying notices of contests and depositions were ordered referred to the

Committee on Elections, when formed.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »