« AnteriorContinuar »
tains appropriations for the expenses of the several departments of the State, (Sec. 34.) No appropriation can be made to institutions or corporations not under the absolute control of the State. (Sec. 33.) No money can be paid out of the State Treasury except on appropriation by law and by warrant drawn by proper officers. All bills against the State and county must be verified by affidavit; they must be sworn to before some one duly authorized to administer oaths, (Art. XVI., Sec. 7.) The perpetual funds for school purposes cannot be spent, only the annual income or interest arising from them can be used. This fund includes all money received from the sale or lease of sections sixteen and thirtysix in each township of the State; the five per cent as granted by Congress on the sales of Government lands in the State ; proceeds which come to the State through forfeiture, or unclaimed shares of estates of deceased persons. The money arising from this source is called the common school fund. (Art. VII., Sec. 2.)* Fines imposed under the general laws go to the public school fund, (Sec. 5.) The income arising from these funds must be applied to the support of the free schools in every county, (Sec. 7.) The distribution of the same is according to the number of children of school age in each county. No appropriation can be made for a school which is taught less than three months in the year. Private schools can receive no aid from the State whatsoever, (Sec. 8.)
The public school monies must be securely invested and the income or interest from such investments must be used exclusively for the support and use of the free public schools, (Sec. 4.) These funds are considered as a trust fund in care of the State, and the greatest caution must be exercised in the investment of the money. The security given must
*The amount distributed in 1904 to the schools in the state amounted to $71,144.72. The apportionment to each county was based, not on the enrollment, but on the census of children of school age. The records give 21,315 school children in the state.
be in bonds of the school districts, or registered county bonds, State securities, or securities of the United States, (Sec. 6.) All moneys not invested must be placed or deposited in some national bank of this State, drawing interest which must go to the State rather than to the parties to whom the money was temporarily entrusted. The law prohibits any public officer from using money for purposes other than those authorized by law, (Art. XV., Secs. 7 and 8.)
1. What is the duty of the State Board of Equalization? Who compose the Board?
2. What are the limits of the tax levy for State, county and city?
3. Why is it difficult to tax personal property?
4. Is it more just to levy a tax according to a person's ability to pay or according to the benefits he receives from the State Government?
5. Why are the school funds so carefully guarded?
6. How does the State Treasurer obtain the public money and how does he pay it out?
7. How are the monies invested?
8. How are the revenues raised? Why can a bill to raise a revenue only originate in the House of Representatives?
Hart, Actual Government, Ch. I, (Taxation).
The Governor, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and members of the Legislature are State officers. The Constitution makes provision for other officers who are elected by the qualified voters of the State, at the time and place where the members of the Legislature are chosen. These officers are a Secretary of State, an Auditor, a Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Each of these four must be a citizen of the United States, qualified State elector and at least twenty-five years of age and each receives a salary of two thousand dollars a year. (Art IV., Sec. 13.) Their term of office is four years. All of the State officers are eligible for re-election after the expiration of their term of office, except the State Treasurer, who cannot succeed himself, but may be eligible for the position again when four years have expired from the time for which he was elected. (Art. IV., Sec. 11.) This provision is made to protect the State funds which come under his control. The frequent rotation of office necessitates the transfer of money from one treasurer to another and fraud or any irregularity is thus prevented, at least for any length of time.
The official oath of office, which must be taken before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, is as follows:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity; that I have not paid or contributed, or promised to pay or contribute, either directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing, to procure my nomination or election (or appointment) except for necessary and proper expenses authorized by law; that I have not, knowingly, violated any election law of the State, or procured it to be done in my behalf; that I will not, knowingly, receive, directly or indirectly any money or other valuable thing for the performance or non-performance of any act or duty pertaining to my office other than the compensation allowed by law.” (Art. VI., Elections, Sec. 8.)
Any person refusing to take this oath or affirmation forfeits the office to which he is elected or appointed, and anyone violating the oath of office is guilty of perjury and is disqualified forever from holding any office of trust in the State. These oaths can be taken before anyone authorized to administer oaths. The members of the Legislature must take the oath in the house to which they are elected before one of the Judges of the Supreme Court or a Justice of the Peace. (Art. VI., Elections, Sec. 9.) Uniformly these oaths have been administered by a Judge of the Supreme Court.
The Secretary of State must reside in the capital and keep his office in that place. He has the care of the great seal of the State. The imprint of this seal is placed on all documents and certificates coming from his office. He has the custody of all of the documents and papers connected with the Legislature of Wyoming. These are of extreme value as they are the laws as originally made, and in cases of controversy reference is made to the documents as the most accurate authority to settle the question. The Secretary attests or certifies to all of the official acts of the Governor under his “hand and seal,” and keeps a register of all the commissions issued by the Governor and of the Governor's official acts. (R. S., Sec. 55.) The Secretary must give a bond of ten thousand dollars that he will well and truly perform the duties of his office. He is the custodian of all the bonds of the other State officers. (R. S., Secs. 54 and 69.) If the position of Governor becomes vacant, he is then the acting Governor. He receives the salary of both offices when filling both places. The salary of the Governor is two thousand, five hundred dollars a year.
If the Secretary of State removes from the State or is impeached, the Governor has the power to appoint a Secretary of State. (R. S., Sec. 64.)
The Auditor gives a bond of fifteen thousand dollars. He is the accountant of the State and audits and settles all claims against the State except those required by law to be adjusted by the other officers; he is the keeper of the accounts, vouchers, documents and all papers relating to the accounts and contracts of the State. He is also ex-officio Insurance Commissioner whose duty it is to examine into the conditions and relations of any insurance company doing business in the State, (R. S. Secs. 70, 72, 82.)
The Treasurer of the State is obliged to give a bond of twenty-five thousand dollars. He receives and keeps all of the money of the State not required by law to be kept by some of the other officers. The Auditor makes out warrants for bills against the State and the Treasurer pays the bills as indicated by the warrants, (R. S. Secs. 85 and 86.) He invests all permanent funds arising from the sale of State lands, (S. L. 1903, Ch. 30.)
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction has the general supervision of the educational interests of the State and is an ex-officio member of the board of trustees of the university, (R. S. Sec. 488.) Each year he distributes the money received by the State Treasurer for public schools, including rents of unsold school lands, among the several counties of the State according to the number of children of school age in each. The money is paid by the Auditor's warrant to the county treasurers. The county superintendents have the money sent from the county treasurers to the several school districts in the county. No district having a school for less than three months receives any of this distribution, (R. S. Sec. 93.)