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Judiciary—Messrs. Mason, Stewart, Collier, Marquette and Steele. Agriculture-Messrs. Seymour, Cassel, Cooper, Shields and Noel. Militia--Messrs. Doom, Mason, Clark, Wattles and Steinberger. Accounts and Expenditures-Messrs. Hall, Wattles, Wasson, Steele
, and Ramsay
Public Building's and Grounds-Messrs. Clayes, Rankin, Dean, Shields and Doom.
Engrossed and Enrolled Bills-Messrs. Noel and Lee.
Federal Relations—Messrs. Fleming, Gwyer, Marquette, Young and Dean.
Corporations—Messrs. Stewart, Davis of Cass, Ramsay, Kline and Bramble.
Banks and Currency-Messrs. De Puy, Stewart, Clayes, Kline and Norwood.
County Seats and County Boundaries—Messrs. Davis of Washington, Daily, De Puy, Taffe and Bramble.
Library-Messrs. Gwyer, Norwood, Cooper, Lee and Steele.
Internal Improvements—Messrs. Taffe, Fleming, Briggs, Davis of Cass, and Dean.
Mr. Rankin offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That it shall not be in order to discuss in this House, or take any action whatever, except by reference to appropriate committees; or attempt to enact any local or special laws, until after the passage or other disposal by this House of a Civil Code or act to regulate the practice and proceedings in Courts of Justice-a Criminal Code—an act for the better regulation of Common Schools, and until after the disposal by passage, rejection or otherwise of any other laws of a general nature which may come before it.
Laid over, under rule.
The following joint resolution, from the Council was now taken up and adopted:
Resolved, By the Council and House of Representatives, That a Joint Committee of Two, on the part of the Council, and Three on the part of the House of Representatives, be appointed, to prepare and report Joint Rules for the government of the two bodies.
Committee Messrs. Collier, Briggs and Steele.
By Mr. Mason,
By Mr. Steele,
By Mr. Collier, Of a bill to regulate the appointment and define the powers and duties of Notaries Public.
Also, Of a bill to authorize certain officers to administer oaths and affirmations, and take acknowledgments.
Mr. Rankin moved to suspend the rules, in order to take up the resolution in relation to excluding all local or private bills until certain laws had been acted upon.
On which the ayes and nays were called, with the following result:
Ayes-Messrs. Briggs, Clark, Clayes, Collier, Cooper, Davis of Cass, Davis of Washington, Daily, Dean, Doom, Fleming, Gwyer, Hall, Kline, Lee, Mason, Noel, Rankin, Roeder, Shields, Steele, Taffe, Young.-23.
Nays-Messrs. Bramble, Cassell, De Puy, Marquette, Seymour, Stewart, Wattles.-7.
Resolved, That it shall not be in order to introduce in this House any acts of a local or private character, until after the introduction of a Criminal Code, a Civil Code, Revenue Bill, School Bill and Homestead Bill.
Mr. Davis of Washington moved to lay both resolution and substitute on the table.
The ayes and nays being demanded, a call of the House was ordered.
Absent-Messrs. Clayes, Norwood and Steinberger.
Ayes-Messrs. Bramble, Davis of Cass, Davis of Washington, Daily, Dean, Doom, De Puy, Marquette, Roeder, Seymour, Stewart, Wattles, Young.-13.
Nays-Messrs. Briggs, Cassell, Clark, Clayes, Collier, Cooper, Fleming, Gwyer, Hall, Kline, Lee, Mason, Noel, Rankin, Shields, Taffe.-16.
Mr. Steele moved to amend substitute as follows: After the words “Homestead Bill ” add, or any other laws of a general nature.”
Ayes—Messrs. Bramble, Briggs, Cassell, Clark, Clayes, Collier, Cooper, Dean, Fleming, Gwyer, Hall, Kline, Lee, Mason, Noel, Rankin, Roeder, Seymour, Shields, Steele, Taffe.—21.
Nays-Messrs. Davis of Cass, Davis of Washington, Daily, Doom, De Puy, Marquette, Stewart, Wattles, Young.–9.
The following communication from Hon. J. Sterling Morton, Secretary of the Territory, was received:
Omaha City, Sept. 23, 1858. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :
In compliance with a resolution that was passed by your Honorable Body on yesterday, asking for information relative to the disbursements of moneys for public printing, newspapers for members, and postage, I have the honor to submit the following information:
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE,
August 20, 1858. * *
In making your disbursements, I have to prescribe, as your guides, the 12th section of the Organic Act of Nebraska (vol. 10, Statutes at Large, p. 282); the 117th paragraph of the Act of May, 18, 1842, particularly the last proviso (vol. 5, Stats., p. 480), and the second section, Act August 29, 1842 (vol. 5, Stats., p. 541).
Proper attention to these enactments must make a right course certain. There may occur, however, under the incidental head, items of expense of doubtful propriety. Before paying any of these you should consult the accounting officers.
I am, respectfully, your ob’t serv't,
W. MEDILL, Comptroller. That part of the Organic Act referred to, i. e., the twelfth section, reads as follows:
“The members of the Legislative Assembly shall be entitled to receive three dollars each per day during their attendance at the sessions thereof, and three dollars each for every twenty miles travel in going to and returning from the said sessions, estimating according to the nearest usually traveled route; and an additional allowance of three dollars shall be paid to the presiding officer of each House for each day he shall so preside. And a Chief Clerk, and Assistant Clerk, a Ser
geant-at-Arms, and Doorkeeper, may be chosen for each House; and the Chief Clerk shall receive four dollars per day, and the said other officers three dollars per day during the session of the Legislative Assembly; but no other officer shall be paid by the United States: Provided, that there shall be but one session of the Legislature annually, unless, on an extraordinary occasion, the Governor shall think proper to call the Legislature together. There shall be appropriated, annually, the usual
, sum, to be expended by the Governor, to defray the contingent expenses of the Territory, including the salary of a Clerk of the Executive Department; and there shall also be appropriated, annually, a sufficient sum, to be expended by the Secretary of the Territory, and upon an estimate to be made by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, to defray the expenses of Legislative Assembly, the printing of the laws, and other incidental expenses, and the Governor and Secretary shall, in the disbursement of all moneys intrusted to them, be governed solely by the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and shall, semi-annually, account to the said Secretary for the manner in which the aforesaid money shall have been expended; and no expenditure shall be made by said Legislative Assembly for objects not specially authorized by the acts of Congress, making the appropriations; nor beyond the sums thus appropriated for such objects."
Passing from the Organic Act to the last provision of the 117th paragraph of the Act of May 18, 1842, the following language may be found:
STATUTES AT LARGE, VOL. V., P. 480.
“And provided, further: That the Legislative Assembly of no Territory shall hereafter, in any instance or under any pretext whatever, exceed the amount appropriated by Congress for it's annual expenses."
The next reference to the Statutes at Large, i. e., the second section, Act, August 27, 1842, volume 5, Statutes, page 542, informs me of my duties in this wise:
STATUTES AT LARGE, VOL. V., P. 541. “ And be it further enacted, That all accounts for disbursements in the Territories of the United States, of money appropriated by Congress for the support of government therein, shall be settled and adjusted at the Treasury Department; and no act, resolution, or order of the Legislature of any Territory, directing the expenditure of the sum, shall be deemed sufficient for such disbursement, but sufficient vouchers and proof for the same shall be required by said accounting officers. And no payment shall be made or allowed unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall have estimated therefor, and the object been approved by Congress. No session of the Legislature of a Territory shall be held until the appropriation for its expenses shall have been made.”
In relation to the subscribing for newspapers by members of the Legislative Assembly, I have the honor to transmit the following letter. The sum named as the maximum expenditure for newspapers, one hundred and fifty dollars, will, when divided among the forty-eight members and two Chief Clerks of the Legislative Assembly, give three dollars to each person, and for that amount only shall I be responsible to publishers:
J. Sterling Morton, Esq., Secretary of the Territory,
Omaha City, Nebraska. Sir-In your letter of the 24th ultimo, you inquire as to the propriety of furnishing newspapers, at the expense of the government, to the members of the Legislative Assembly. There appears to be but one reason why such an expense should be borne by the United States, in common with the other expenses attending the Legislative Assembly, and it is this: The representatives of the people should be kept advised of public opinion in the Territory as to their acts, and this is effected through the medium of the newspapers. An economical expenditure on this account has always been recognized by the accounting officers, and will be in the case of your Legislature. An expenditure to the extent of from $125 to $150, has in general covered this item; at any rate, you are instructed not to go beyond that limit.
I am, respectfully, your ob't serv't,
W. MEDILL, Comptroller. Relative to the present session, I submit the following letter:
September 6, 1858 J. Sterling Morton:
Sir-You inquire in substance, in your letter of the 24th ult., whether, in the event the Legislative Assembly is convened on the day fixed by law, namely, the first Monday in January, notwithstanding the session called to begin on the 24th inst., the expenses attending it can be paid by the United States.
The twelfth section of the Organic Act of Nebraska, provides among other things: " That there shall be but one session of the Legislature annually, unless on an extraordinary occasion, the Governor shall think proper to call the Legislature together." There can, therefore, be no question as to the liability of the United States to pay the expenses attending an extra session of the Legislative Assembly, when made necessary by some “extraordinary occasion.”
In the present case, the local laws of the Territory enacted heretofore, having been found insufficient to effect the purposes intended in their enactment, the Governor finds it necessary to call into requisition that power whose function it is to supply the deficiency. This he has done in his proclamation convening the Legislative Assembly on the 21st inst. But while the “occasion” prompting such action on his