WITH INTRODUCTORY CHAPTERS
ON GENERAL CIVICS AND
SSUPPLEMENT CONTAINING THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE.
R. A. GRAY
R. A. GRAY, Publisher,
Copyrighted, 9a1 !
By R. A. Gray
E. O. PAINTER PRINTING (
D0 LAND. PLA.
F ') s -
QT 7 1 c
Several years experience in school room contact with pu-
pils and teachers, followed by more than ten years in the serv-
ice of the State and National Government have deeply im-
pressed me with the need of a more comprehensive text book
on the Civil Government of Florida for use in the schools of
our State. After discussing the subject with a number of
our teachers and others vitally interested in the work of public
Education in Florida, and receiving from them much kindly
encouragement to undertake the work of preparing a text em-
phasizing the civil government of our own State, this volume
has been written. It is published with full realization that it
will be subject to much improvement; and constructive criti-
cism from the educators of the State is invited. With the aid
o of criticisms and suggestions from the teachers who may use
it future editions should be improved, and it will be revised
from time to time that it may be made of more value in the
) schools and that it may be kept up to date with changes in
administrative laws and governmental ideas as they develop.
S For the benefit of any teacher of civics who may use
this text a word may be permitted as to the plan followed in
its preparation. It is assumed that the pupil will have had
Previous instruction in general civics, particularly in the out-
line of the government of the United States. Therefore, the
" discussion of civil government in its broader scope has been
largely limited to the introductory chapters wherein an effort
- was made to lead up to the main body of the text with such
subject matter as would form a fitting introduction to the
(o work, and would give to the student added interest in the sub-
Et ject. To arouse a spirit of inquiry and research, to cause the
t student to take a keener interest in the governmental affairs
of his own State, and better fit him or her for the responsi-
bilities of citizenship have been the main purposes in preparing
the volume. If any measure of success in developing these
ideas and carrying out these purposes is attained it must, of
course, be with the aid and co-operation of the teacher of civ-
ics into whose hands it may come.
The plan of the text contemplates that after finishing
the introductory chapters dealing with civil government some-
what in the abstract, the student will take up the study of the
government of Florida immediately following the chapter de-
signed to bring out a proper perspective of the relationship of
the State to the Nation.
In dealing with the subject of our own State government
no effort has been made to draw particular distinction be-
tween the generalization of the Constitution and the particu-
larizing of the statutes, but care has been taken to mention
the source of certain powers and requirements and thus enable
the student to differentiate between what is a constitutional
provision or requirement and what is provided by legislative
The aim has been to give a picture of the State govern-
ment, divided into the three co-ordinate branches, and the main
purposes and functions of these departments. By analyzing
the framework of the State government as it exists and study-
ing its operation, it is hoped the student will acquire such
added interest that will lead him on to further inquiry, and
cause him to begin thinking for himself in terms of govern-
mental relationship and the duties and privileges of citizen-
Acknowledgment is here made of the helpful suggestions
from many friends among the educators of the State, and
'from public officials. Valuable aid has been received through
references to many works on civil government and the history
of government and English law. Particular mention should
be made of the following: A Sketch of English Legal His-
tory; Maitland and Montague, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New
York; Smith's Elementary Law; Walter Denton Smith, West
Publishing Co.; State Government in the United States; Ar-
thur N. Holcombe, The McMillan Company.
Grateful acknowledgment is also made of the inspiration
received from the faculty of the Georgetown University Law
School where keener interest and deeper insight into history
and functions of government came to me as a student in that
R. A. GRAY.
Tallahassee, Florida, 1921.
Vbet amtritan' Creetb
By WM. TYLER PAGE
I believe in the United States of America as a government
of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers
are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in
a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a per-
fect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those princi-
ples of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which
American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it;
to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag;
and to defend it against all enemies.
Publishers Note.-"THa AMEICAN'S CRE"E was selected as the best
expression of Americanism, by competent judges, from a large number of
offerings in a nation-wide contest. Its author-Hon. Wm. Tyler Page,
Chief Clerk of The National House of Representatives-has kindly given
his permission for its use in this volume.
I. Origin and Purpose of Government.
II. Forms of Government.
III. The United States: A Republic Formed by a Union
IV. Federal Jurisdiction and States' Rights.
V. Florida: Its Boundaries, Divisions and Government.&-
VI. The Three Divisjons of the Government. v
VII. The Legislative Department. ^
VIII. How the Laws Are Made. /
IX. The Executive or Administrative Department.
X. The Administrative Boards.
XI. The Public Service Commissions.
XII. Other Administrative Officers.
XIII. The Educational System of the State.
XIV. The Military Establishment.
XV. The Prison System.
XVI. The County Government.
XVII. Cities and Towns. --
XVIII. The Judicial Department.
XIX. Court Procedure; Respect for the Courts and the
Law; Mob Law; The "Hue and Cry."
XX. The Statutes and the Common Law; Trial by Jury;
The Right of Appeal.
XXI. Elections and the Duty of Electors.
XXII. Our Representation in the National Congress; Pres-
XXIII. Land Surveys and Land Titles.
XXV. Safeguarding the Health of the Citizens.
Gray's Civil Government
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT
The Natural Origin of Civil Government.-Man in his
primitive state was confronted almost solely with the problem
of gaining food to sustain life and securing safety from fero-
cious beasts. His needs were primal and his government was
his own inclination. But man is by nature a social creature,
that is, his natural tendency is to associate with his fellows
rather than isolate himself. So with his increase in numbers
in the earth he lived in groups or tribes.
After the population of the inhabited places of the earth
grew to the extent that groups or tribes of one locality were
wont to attack those of another, some kind of organization or
banding together for common defense was essential. At this
stage in the growth of the human race organization was nec-
essary also to maintain, and protect in a crude way it was true,
the rights of the individuals who composed ttfM0p or tribe,
and to maintain some degree of order in tleprimitive com-
As the habitat of mankind became more populous the ne-
cessity for a banding together of individuals for common de-
fense against outside foes and for defending the individual
against individual or group aggression became more urgent.
10 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
Also, man in his natural development began to discover that
certain conveniences as well as protection could best be ob-
tained and maintained by concerted action, or by the group
powers rather than by individual efforts. One author has il-
lustrated the origin of government by supposing an individual
shipwrecked on a lonely island, and his freedom of action
while thus alone; then the coming of other persons to the
island and how conditions would at once be changed. We see
that government among men originated from the necessity of
defending themselves against outside foes and protecting their
persons and possessions from individual aggression, and pre-
serving order in their group. It has gradually grown from
this origin to where now its purposes are many and complex
in their nature. But throughout the whole fabric of our gov-
ernmental systems as they exist today, run the main motives
of common defense, preserving order, and protecting the
individual in his rights; with the secondary ideas, yet now
much emphasized, of adding to the comforts and conveniences
of man and to his physical, mental, moral and ethical develop-
The Prime Purpose of All Governments Among Men..
-The main purpose or object of civil government may be set
forth in three short phrases which the student can easily mem-
orize. They are as follows: The common defense, justice
between man and man, and the common welfare. On these
rests the who1k&ame-work of modern governmental systems.
The common defense is provided by the government because
our highest civilization has not yet reached the point where
any nation or people are sure of not being the object of attack
by some other nation. Though we have progressed so far that
such a condition is being hoped for, even anticipated; a condi-
tion to be attained by a banding together in a league or society
for that purpose of all the principal nations of the world; yet
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT
its actual accomplishment may be far in the future. Justice
between man and man must be established because men cannot
agree among themselves as to their individual rights in all cir-
cumstances and the weak would fall as a prey to the strong.
Promoting the common welfare is a fundamental idea of gov-
ernment, for the nation, government or group is after all only
the individuals composing it, and it will be only as strong in
the aggregate as the combined strength of its individual mem-
bers; it will be only as strong financially as the combined in-
dividual wealth in the group. Reason readily shows us that
since the government of any nation is for all the people of that
nation or country, the welfare of each citizen is in some meas-
ure a concern of all.
The members of society come in such close touch that the
individual safety, health and prosperity merges to a great de-
gree into the common safety, the public health and the pros-
perity of the whole people.
A statesman of not many years ago expressed in words
full of meaning the modern idea of government and its func-
tions when he gave utterance to the phrases, now quite famil-
iar: "A government of the people, by the people and for the
Wherever and whenever human beings live in groups their
actions or conduct one toward another become a matter affect-
ing their peace, happiness and prosperity. It is therefore es-
sential that some rule of action governing their conduct one
toward another, the individual toward the group and the
-group toward the individual, should be adopted. Such rules
of conduct must have sanction and must be enforcible that in-
dividuals may be protected in their persons and their property;
and that their rights-in the language of the Declaration of
Independence-"to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
Z1 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
may be fully maintained. For this purpose governments such
as ours are instituted.
The Development of Government.-The study of the
development of governmental ideas is indeed an interesting
one. Just as civilizations in ages past have reached high states
of development and culture so has governmental forms and
ideas, for after all the government of a nation is only a reflec-
tion of the civilization which the people of that nation have
up to that time worked out for themselves. The development
of government has not been one steady growth along one set
channel or plan. Just as civilizations of the past have reached
a high state of development, flourished for a time and then
passed, so also have governmental systems existed, withstood
for a time, in many cases worked wonderfully well and then
have vanished leaving only their history and traditions to in-
fluence the nations of the present time.
So far as we can learn from history the types of the gov-
ernmental systems of the past varied greatly. From Biblical
history we learn of a number of types that existed. The gov-
ernments of Egypt, ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and
those existing in past ages in eastern Asia of which we only
get historical glimpses, all differed in their forms, in their es-
sential elements and purposes. We shall not attempt in this
volume to delve deeply into those questions but they are men-
tioned that we muay have in mind in these introductory chap-
ters that experiments in governmental systems have been go-
ing on throughout all recorded history and future generations
may develop entirely different ideas of government from those
we have today.
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER ONE
I. What were the problems which confronted man in his primitive
2. What governed his conduct then?
3. Name one of the characteristics of mankind with reference to his
fellows. Do lower animals also have this natural tendency?
4. Why was organization probably first found to be necessary? Did
organization become more needful or less so as population increased?
5. Suppose a man shipwrecked and finding himself alone on an
island, what problems would confront him?
6. Suppose later he is joined by others; what changes would this
develop in his conduct?
7. What may be said to be the main three purposes of government?
Name two secondary ideas.
8. Discuss the reasons why the three prime purposes of government
mentioned are important.
9. Do you think the time near at hand when one nation or people
will no longer make war upon another? Why?
Io. What three individual rights did the Declaration of Independence
ii. Discuss the development of governmental ideas in the past.
12. What can you say of the forms or types of government that were
in use in ancient civilizations?
QUESTION FOR DEBATE
Resolved; That the League of Nations (as proposed in the treaty of
Versailles) was the best plan yet advanced for world peace.
14 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
The Patriarchal Form.-One of the earliest forms of
government of which we have a record was the patriarchal or
family. So far as we know this form was not extensive nor is
it notable because of the numbers of peoples who lived under
it. But it is of interest to show the origin of our governmental
ideas and because some of its essentials exist in our moral
codes today and is reflected in parts of our laws touching our
It rested on the reverence of the children for the father and
the patriarch or head of the family exercised his government
not only over his own sons but over their families and over all
his direct descendants so long as he lived. An example of this
form is given in the Bible in the records of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob. One author* in discussing this early form of gov-
ernment says: "The governing authority was exercised,
therefore, by the oldest living male from whom all the other
members of the family were descended. When he died, his
descendants would divide into as many families as he had
sons." So long as the families dwelt together after the death
of the father the eldest son, by right of birth, exercised control
over the group.
The Tribal Form.-Government by clans or tribes was
an easy transition from the patriarchal, as large families and
family groups-related by blood kinship-naturally collected
together or near each other. Where the occupation was chiefly
pastoral the tribes were more or less nomadic, moving about
from place to place according to where the best pasturages for
their herds and flocks were found.
*Prof. Walter Denton Smith in his work on Elementary Law.
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
Feudalism.-Feudalism, to be exact, was not a form
of government but contained many of the essentials, .and it is
mentioned here because of its influence on many English and
American laws. It flourished in the middle ages and existed
mainly in Central Europe. Under it all the lands were owned
by the King, he claiming by right of conquest. The main
characteristic feature of feudalism was the fief or a piece
of land held, rent free, by the tenant; but in exchange for
the usage'of the land and the protection given him by his
over-lord the tenant was to render some service when called
upon. Sometimes this service was fighting, in the wars
that were almost constantly being waged. As the fight-
ing was done principally by knights this service was called
"knight service." Feudalism was a system in which ex-
isted a number of grades or ranks. A section of the country
might be ruled by a baron under whom were many knights
and other tenants, and this baron with a number of others
would owe allegiance to and be vassals of some higher over-
lord, duke, prince or king. Some authors do not mention
feudalism as a system of government, but treat it merely as a
system of holding or owning lands. But it was a system which
in its own peculiar way provided the framework for the ex-
ercise of the powers of government. It was introduced into
England by the Norman Conquest and became so firmly rooted
that it existed, there for many years. Some of its character-
istics are reflected even until this present time in parts of our
The Monarchy.-Monarchies are divided into absolute
and limited according to whether the reigning monarch or sov-
ereign has unlimited or limited powers. The absolute or un-
limited monarchy is sometimes called a despotism, as the ruler
has despotic power. Constitutional monarchies are those in
which there has been a limitation of the sovereign's powers by
16 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
granting to the people a constitution, either written or unwrit-
ten, by which they have some measure of participation in ad-
ministering the government. As a form of government mon-
archies have existed in Europe and Asia for centuries but there
has been a gradual changing from the absolute to the limited
The history of government in those countries has witnessed
some notable uprisings and struggles of the people to wrest
from the tyrants redress of their wrongs, for it is quite evi-
dent that unlimited governmental powers in the hands of one
person would oft times be used for selfish aggrandizement, the
satisfaction of whims of his own or of his favorites and the
cruel punishment of offenders, all tending to the oppression of
the people. Standing out as landmarks of this kind are Runny-
mede (where in 1215 the English people forced King John to
grant them certain privileges and concessions called Magna
Charta), the French Revolution, and the American Revolu-
tion. Other evidences of changes in more recent years are the
revolution of the people of Russia, overthrowing an absolute
monarchy and establishing or attempting to establish a govern-
ment by the people, the change in China from monarchy to re-
public and the "Young Turk" uprising in Turkey.
Among the civilized nations of the world absolute or un-
limited monarchies are passing out of existence and the trend
of government in those countries still styled monarchies is to-
ward constitutional monarchies in which the people enjoy
great liberty and freedom, or to republics in which the govern-
mental authority is vested inherently in the people.
The monarchies of the world are mostly hereditary, that is,
the monarch or king being succeeded by his own son (or
daughter, in some instances, if he has no son). Some mon-
archs claim they rule by Divine right and are responsible only
to God. This idea was accepted in times past without ques-
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
tion by the people but in these modern times they are not will-
ing to believe that the conduct of kings is, any more than
others, sanctioned by the Ruler of the Universe.
Before passing from the subject of monarchies another
form of government should be mentioned and that is the
Aristocracy, "a rule of the best." This form has existed in
different countries at various times and was one in which the
governmental authority was vested in a ruling class, limited
in number, known as the Aristocrats. It does not exist today
as a separate form of government but it is reflected in most of
the monarchies of the world.
Republics and Democracies.-A pure democracy would
be a government administered by the people themselves, where
all the citizens took direct part in making the laws; but mani-
festly such would be impractical where any considerable num-
ber of citizens form the groups or State. A democracy, as the
term is generally used, means a government in which the power
lies inherent in the people, and in which the general plan of
government is established by them. The power to provide the
details and work out the laws to be enforced is delegated to
representatives of the people as a practical matter of con-
venience. Such a democracy is called a republic.
Most of the countries in the Western Hemisphere are re-
publics. Canada, which is a part of the British Empire, is the
most notable exception and the people of Canada enjoy almost
as much liberty in the exercise of governmental affairs as do
the people of the United States. The representative democracy
or republic is essentially the modern idea in government,
though democracy is no new experiment. As early as 500
B. C. it was manifesting itself in governmental ideas by the
acceptance in Athens of the laws and reforms advanced by
Solon and also by the effort of the Romans when they banished
their kings; and the common people, after considerable strug-
18 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
gles and contests with the aristocratic forces, gained privileges
and rights to a marked degree. For some time following this
a portion of the populace, the Cives Romani or Roman citizens
enjoyed rights and privileges equal to those in the most mod-
In concluding this chapter on the forms of government it
is considered advisable to call to the attention of the student
that not in every instance do we find the name" or nominal
form corresponding to the actual experience of the people in
their progress in government. For example we have only to
cite the case of England and Mexico. The English people,
though living under a monarchial form of government, enjoy
greater privileges and more directly influence affairs of state
than do the people of some of the republics in the Western
QUEsnTONS ON CHAPTER Two
1. Name five forms of government that have or do now exist.
2. What were the characteristics of the Patriarchical form?
3. Do you think its general idea was good or bad?
4. What was the main characteristic of Feudalism?
5. Did the people own the lands they cultivated?
6. Into what two general classes are monarchies divided?
7. Which one of these now practically no longer exists?
8 In the changes from despotic forms of government what three
great landmarks of history do we note?
9. What is meant by an hereditary monarchy? An aristocracy?
Divine right of Kings?
xo. What would be a pure democracy? Is a pure democracy practi-
ii. What form of government have most of the countries of North
America and South America? Give a notable exception.
1. Who was Solon? Where and when did he live?
13. Do governments sometime differ more in name than in sub-
stance? Give an example.
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT 19
FoR RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION
Find out what peculiar privileges or rights were held by a Roman
citizen about the beginning of the Christian era.
Discuss the government of the Israelites under the leadership of
Moses, bringing out its main characteristic as to form, its effectiveness,
and in what way after passing to the leadership of Joshua did it function
in some respects similar to modern governments.
20 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE UNITED STATES: A REPUBLIC FORMED BY A UNION
How the Union was Formed.-A brief review of the
formation of the Union between the original American Col-
onies, giving the main causes, the dominant idea of govern-
ment existing in these colonies, and the difficulties met by them
in sufficiently harmonizing their variances in the final consum-
mation of the compact, will aid the student of government to
get a more comprehensive viewpoint in the study of the gov-
ernment of the United States as a national entity, and the gov-
ernment of any of the several states as a sovereign common-
wealth. It will also cause the student more readily to appre-
ciate the extent to which the National Government functions
and the scope in which the powers of the state are sovereign.
It is assumed that the student is already familiar with the
history of the settlements of the thirteen original colonies. It
will be recalled that there were marked differences in opinion
as to matters of religion, customs and laws as held in some of
the.New England colonies and in some of those further south.
The Puritan of Massachusetts and the Cavalier of Virginia
and Maryland had each left his impress on the public opinion
of his section.
Had it not been for that elemental cause, providing for the
common defense, which had been thrust upon them by Indian
depredations and the Revolutionary war, these colonies prob-
ably would not have formed their compact and launched the
new nation as a united federal republic until many years later.
The First Attempt at a Centralized Government.-The
first step in forming a Union or a confederation of the col-
onies, after their independence was won, was the Articles of
THE UNITED STATES
Confederation; but this plan failed from its own weakness. It
provided a theory and plan of national government without
providing for the necessary power to enforce it. However,
considered as a first effort at establishing a centralized repub-
lican form of government with specific powers and means to
enforce its mandates the Articles of Confederation, after all,
was a document of which its framers might feel proud, for
it must be remembered that though the people of England were
even at that time enjoying a considerable measure of constitu-
tional liberties, yet England did not have and has never had a
written constitution. So when the American colonies through
their leading statesmen and their representatives in the Conti-
nental Congress undertook to formulate some sort of a writ-
ten constitution they had but little in the way of precedent to
follow, except such documents as colonial charters and state
constitutions framed for the most part after the independence
of the colonies.*
But the statesmen of that day saw the main defects in the
Articles of Confederation and set about framing an instrument
which when put into effect, would confer upon the central gov-
ernment the powers essential to its own existence and provid-
ing means for raising revenue and enforcing its laws when
they should be enacted.
The Constitution of the United States.--The result
was, our National Constitution was framed in 1787 and in the
convention which prepared it were the leading statesmen of
the time. A prominent figure in the convention and one whose
wisdom, philosophy and broad experience was of great value
to the work in hand, was Benjamin Franklin. George Wash-
ington was also a member and was the presiding officer of the
*It must not be understood however, that the members of the Continental Con-
gres had no guides or aids. They studied a number of available books on the his-
tory and government of nations.
22 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
convention. A problem in the convention was agreeing on a
basis of representation, or just how many representatives each
of the thirteen colonies should have in the law making part of
the new government. The delegates from small states ob-
jected to a representation based wholly on population and the
larger states advocated the idea that the new government was
to be one of the people and not of the states, and that each
state should be represented by a number of representatives in
accordance with the population of the state. The Constitution,
as will be seen, was a compromise between these two conten-
tions. The national House of Representatives is based upon
population and the representation in the Senate is by States.
There were other differences of opinion which had to be com-
promised but the above covers the most important one and it
is still in evidence in the present form of the National Consti-
While the entity and integrity of the new national govern-
ment was provided for, and direct participation by the people
established, in that representatives to the more numerous
branch of Congress should be elected directly by the people,
yet there was a preservation of state sovereignty in all func-
tions not expressly delegated to the Federal Government. So
we find the United States, as the name so clearly implies, a
union of states forming a Federal Republic. The American
people believe our government is the most advanced and best
developed form of government yet devised by man, and under
its beneficent provisions the people enjoy the greatest possible
measure of liberty, protection of life and property and oppor-
tunity for happiness, peace and prosperity. The Constitution
became effective when ratified by the requisite number of
states (9) in June i788, but it was not until April 30, 1789,
that all preliminary measures were completed, the first presi-
THE UNITED STATES
dent inaugurated and the new government set in actual op-
Few Changes. The Constitution itself has been
amended in but few particulars. The great development in our
transportation facilities and the wonderful growth of the coun-
try has served to unify the nation as it expanded, and there is
a national spirit as well as the construction by the courts of the
Constitution and laws which tend to cement the people into a
national whole. Then, too, the right of a state to secede from
the Union has been denied and tested out in the arbitrament
of war, so that the question has been forever settled that the
Union is an indissoluble one.
There are certain state rights, however, which have never
been denied the states and with these matters the state deals as
a sovereign and its decisions are final. Some of these will
be discussed in the succeeding chapters in this volume.
QuzsnoNs ON CHAFTER TBEE
I. How many American Colonies united in forming the United
States of America? Name these colonies. Were there many differences
among them in customs, laws and religious beliefs?
2. What prime need brought the colonies together at first?
3. What was the first agreement for a united government called?
Why did it fail?
4. Name two prominent members of the Constitutional Convention.
5. What was one of the first problems faced in framing the Con-
6. Which of the two conflicting ideas was favored by the smaller
S7. What was the compromise agreed upon?
& How many states were required to ratify the Constitution before
it was to go into effect? When did this occur? When did the new gov-
ernment actually begin to operate?
9. What has aided in unifying our nation notwithstanding its rapid
expansion over a large area?
24 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
xo. Can the United States be dissolved? Have the individual states
any sovereign rights or powers?
Fox DISCUSSION BY CLASS
Can any evidences be pointed out that the Constitution of the United
States has proven a successful framework for our government?
Find out who suggested that the sessions of the Constitutional Con-
vention be opened with prayer. He was the same member who in the
closing hours pointed to a carved representation of the sun on the chair
of the president and remarked: "Who can foretell whether that is sig-
nificant of the rising or the setting sun of American Liberty?"
FEDERAL JURISDICTION AND STATES RIGHTS
FEDERAL JURISDICTION AND STATES RIGHTS
Powers Granted the Federal Government.-Certain
specific powers were granted to the Federal Government under
the Constitution, and the courts have from time to time so
construed the Constitution as to imply the granting of other
powers necessary to carry out the functions of a central or
federal government. Some of its specific powers are:
To levy and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises; but
the same must be uniform throughout the United States.
To borrow money on the credit of the United States.
To regulate foreign commerce and interstate commerce.
To regulate the naturalization laws.
To coin money and fix standards of weights and measures.
To establish postoffices and post roads.
To declare war, raise and support armies and provide and
maintain a navy.
To make treaties with other nations.
Some powers expressly denied to the Federal Government
The passage of any bill of attainder1 or ex post fact2
The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus (except
in times of invasion or rebellion when the public safety may
The levy of any tax or duty on articles exported from any
2A bill of attainder would be a law which would permit the penalties of con-
iction for crime to apply to the posterity of the criminal or effect their right of
sAn ax post fact law would be one which would make an act a crime after
the act had been committed.
aThe writ of habeas corp s used to live a person immediate or speedy
hearg as to the causes of imprionment, or to see if he is legally held.
GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
The granting of any title of nobility.
Some powers expressly denied to the states are:
The making of any treaty or alliance with any foreign
state; coining money, emitting bills of credit or passing any
bill of attainder, ex post facto law or law impairing the obliga-
tion of contracts or granting any title of nobility.
It will be seen that some of the powers denied the states
were also denied the Federal Government while others ex-
pressly denied the states were expressly granted the Federal
The Rights of the States.-The States' rights are su-
preme in all matters within their own borders over which the
Federal Government has not jurisdiction, or which has not
been expressly denied the states. For example, the Federal
Government was granted the power to regulate interstate com-
merce, that is commerce between one state and another, but
intrastate commerce, or commerce wholly within the state's
borders, is under the state's jurisdiction and Congress has no
powers over it.
It is contended by some writers on civil government that
the states have no sovereign powers because the people of the
United States could, by amending the United States Constitu-
tion, force any kind of law on any of the states. This inter-
pretation of the spirit of our government is also adhered to by
some of our statesmen who favor a strong centralized govern-
ment; but other statesmen, particularly Democratic lead-
ers, hold to the view that the states' rights are sovereign in all
matters not expressly denied to them or expressly granted the
Federal Government by the provisions of the Constitution of
the United States, to which of course all the states of the
Union have assented. There is a fine field for study and re-
search on this particular question for the student of civil gov-
FEDERAL JURISDICTION -AND STATES RIGHTS
Some of the states have developed problems which they
very strongly desired to settle entirely alone and without any
interference from the Federal Government. Such was the
case with the Southern States on the question of slavery prior
to the Civil war. Such is the case with California in her
troubles with the Japanese who have settled within her borders
in considerable numbers.
The Sovereignty of the States.-The development in
our own American government demonstrates, of course, that
in the powers reserved to the states and in the exercise of
which we like to speak of the state as sovereign, that the state
is a sovereign in those particulars until some portion of those
powers are taken away. This seems contradictory on first
thought for we may say how can a state be sovereign and yet
have part of its power take from it? The answer is that our
Federal Constitution, though much stronger than the Articles
of Confederation, was realized to have possible weaknesses
and should be subject to amendment. So in framing the Con-
stitution the representatives of. the original colonies provided
a plan for changes to be made. These changes could include
the granting of further powers to the Federal Government at
the expense of curtailing the powers of the states; but it also
must be kept in mind that through the same methods of amend-
ment provided the Constitution might be so changed as to cur-
tail the powers of the Federal Government and increase the
powers of the states. Though no such amendment has been
adopted yet it is entirely possible-by the regular means pro-
vided in the Constitution itself-for an amendment to be pro-
posed, submitted and adopted which would strip the Federal
Government of practically all of its powers and reconvey those
powers to the states. Therefore the argument that a state is
not a sovereign in any sense because any of its powers may
be taken from it and given over to the Federal GoVernment,
28 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
may well be answered that by the same token the Federal Gov-
ernment is in no wise sovereign for any of its powers may be
taken from it when three-fourths of the states determine to
A sensible viewpoint to take of the question of states'
rights and Federal Government powers, it would seem, would
be as follows: First, the states formed a union or compact for
reasons then existing; second, certain powers were surrendered
to or delegated to the central government in order that it might
carry out the purposes of the union or compact; third, the in-
strument evidencing the compact or union (the Constitution)
provided for changes to be made-by the states-which might
increase or lessen the powers so granted; fourth, though the
question of arbitrary withdrawal or secession from the union
has been effectively denied, the original theory of a national
government drawing its powers from grants of authority by
the states remains unchanged.
We must keep in mind, however, that while the theory of
our governmental system has not changed, the development of
our great country, the cementing of our people together by ties
of commercial relations, rapid transit and rapid communica-
tion, makes us now more a united people as a nation than were
the people in any one of the colonies at the time the union was
QUESTIoNs ON CHAPTER FOUR
z. Can you name five of the specific powers granted to the Federal
Government by the Constitution?
2. Name three powers expressly denied the Federal Government,
3. Name one power expressly denied both Federal and State Gov-
ernments. Name one power granted to the Federal Government and ex-
pressly denied to the states.
4. What would be an ex post facto law? A bill of attainder?
What is the function or use of the writ of habeas corpus
FEDERAL JURISDICTION AND STATES RIGHTS
6. Why do some writers on civil government contend that the states
have no real sovereign powers?
7. A sovereign right or power is one exercised by a person or a
state which has not been successfully disputed as a matter of right or
taken from them by a superior force. With this definition as a guide can
you name some power in which the states are sovereign?
8. Which of the two larger political parties appear to favor em-
phasizing State's rights?
9. Can you give any reasons why the national government should be
more strongly centralized during war than in times of peace?
o1. Was the original Constitution of the United States finally rati-
fied and agreed to by all of the thirteen original colonies? Were the
amendments added since approved by all the existing states before be-
coming a part of the Constitution?
Ii. Can you analyze the construction of the Constitution of the
United States briefly as to the grant of powers and how these may be in-
creased or withdrawn?
FOR RESEARCH AND DIscussIoN
Find out the leading Statesman who favored a strong central gov-
ernment and one who was an ardent advocate of States' rights about the
close of the eighteenth century.
30 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
Influence of Early Settlers.-Florida's early settle-
ments were Spanish and the territory was owned by Spain
when purchased by the United States in 1819, some years after
the establishment of the United States Government. Though
the Spanish settlements left their impress in some few parts of
the State and Spanish types and customs are still reflected to
some extent in these communities, yet it is remarkable how any
evidence of governmental influence of these Spanish settle-
ments seem to be almost entirely missing from the'present con-
stitutional and legislative enactments of Florida. The influ-
ence of the English speaking settlers, who early came to Flor-
ida from the other states with their English customs and tra-
ditions and new American ideas, were the dominant influences
in shaping the government of Florida even from before the
time it became a state in 1845.
The Constitution of Florida.-The present Constitu-
tion of Florida was adopted August 3, I885, by a Constitu-
tional Convention which assembled in Tallahassee, the capital.
It was ratified by the people at the general election held in No-
vember, 1886, and went into effect January I, 1887. It is re-
ferred to as the Constitution of 1885.
Like nearly all written constitutions ours has a preamble
setting forth the salient reasons for its adoption. It is similar
in form to the preamble of the United States Constitution,,but
it will be noted that the phrase "provide for the common de-
fense" is not included, this function being one assumed by the
Federal Government. The phrase "grateful to Almighty God
for our constitutional liberty," appearing in the State Con-
THE GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
stitution's preamble is a feature which does not appear in the
United States Constitution.
Also, like most written constitutions it is prefaced with a
"Bill of Rights" or a declaration of certain inalienable rights
of the people within its jurisdiction. These rights are in part
broad declarations of principles such as the opening sentence:
"All men are equal before the law-," and "Al political power
is inherent in the people." Some are specific enumerations of
privileges as "The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all,
and remain inviolate forever." Other provisions of this dec-
laration take the form of express denials of powers to the gov-
Standing out prominently in this Bill of Rights are the
provisions referring to religious liberty, separation of church
and state, preserving the writ of habeas corpus, preventing un-
usual punishments, trial by jury, freedom of speech and of the
press, preventing any bill of attainder or ex post facto law or
law impairing the obligation of contracts, and the subordina-
tion of the military to the civil power.
The Declaration of Rights.-The Declaration of Rights
is such an important part of our Constitution that it is wise
for us to pause to examine somewhat in detail some of its pro-
visions. The first great principle it enunciates is that "all men
are equal before the law." This means that the protection of
government is to be enjoyed equally by all and neither wealth,
position nor distinctions of any kind entitle a person to more
or less of the protection of his government or rights of enjoy-
ments under it. It was no doubt this principle of government
which the author of the Declaration of Independence had in
mind when he wrote into that immortal document "---all
men are created equal." In some countries one person may by
right of birth be entitled to distinction or privileges in the
government not enjoyed by others. It is not so in ours.
32 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
Inalienable rights are those which cannot be taken away
from us. Among those enumerated are defending life and
liberty and acquiring, possessing and protecting property. We
may defend our lives to any necessary extent, provided we take
reasonable precaution to avoid the danger and avert the neces-
sity. We may defend our liberty with reasonable force or in-
voke the aid of the law to gain it. Of course the right to life
or liberty may be forfeited by the commission of crime. The
same may be said of the right of property.
All Political Power Is Inherent in the People.-This
principle in the bill of rights means that the powers of govern-
ment are vested in the citizens. They may alter their govern-
ment whenever they desire. There are orderly processes pro-
vided for making changes and for ascertaining and recording
the will of the people.
The Right of Trial by Jury.-This is a right which is
guaranteed to all but it does not mean that a jury trial can be
demanded for every minor question which might be necessary
to determine by some agency of the government. Violations of
city or town ordinances are usually tried by the mayor or city
judge, without the aid of a jury. The cases in which a trial
by jury might be had at the time our Constitution was written
is the class of cases in which this right was guaranteed and
made inviolate by the Constitution.
The courts are open to all, and for every injury done to
one's person, lands, goods or reputation he shall have remedy,
by due course of law.
Religious Freedom.-The Constitution grants free ex-
ercise of religious worship. One may have whatever religious
belief he may choose, so far as the government is concerned,
but this does not permit immoral or licentious conduct under
the guise of religious belief. For example, a man might claim
THE GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
his religion included polygamy, or having more than one wife,
but our laws would not permit him to exercise that portion of
his creed. While the greatest religious freedom is permitted
and great respect for the churches and religion is everywhere
evidenced in our laws, the government must be absolutely im-
partial between churches or creeds. So the government is pro-
hibited from giving preference or money to any church, sect
or religious denomination or institution.
The Writ of Habeas Corpus.-This is one of our most
valuable rights for without it a person might be thrown in jail
and kept there indefinitely on frivolous or trumped up charges.
In simple language this right is to "have the body" of the per-
son imprisoned brought, without delay, before a proper court
to determine if he is held without probable cause. Excessive
bail is prohibited, otherwise the right of habeas corpus might
be made of no effect. There are some crimes for which a per-
son on trial is not entitled to bail. These are crimes of which
a person found guilty might be punished by death.
Rights of the Accused.-When on trial for crime the
accused has the rights guaranteed to him of a public trial, an
impartial jury, to be fully informed of the charge against him,
to be heard by counsel, and to meet the witnesses face to face.
He can not be tried twice for the same offense. This is to
prevent a person being harassed by again and again facing the
same charges. We frequently hear of a person convicted
having a "new trial," but this is when some mistake has been
made, and the first trial is for a reason set aside as though it
had never occurred. No man can be forced to testify against
himself in a criminal trial.
Freedom of Speech.-Freedom of speech, spoken or
written is one of the liberties specifically guaranteed to us.
We may freely speak and write our views or sentiments on all
34 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
subjects but this is a right which must not be abused. We
must not in exercising the right do injury to others.
We are also given immunity from imprisonment for debt.
Ex Post Facto Laws and Bill of Attainder.-The bill
of rights expressly forbids the passing of any ex post facto
law. This would be a law making an act a crime after the act
was committed. No law the violation of which would be pun-
ishable or which would effect the vested rights of individuals
can be made retroactive in its effect. Neither can any bill of
attainder be passed. Such a law would be one that would
transmit the punishment for crime to the decendents of the
criminal, for example abridging the rights of the children to
No law can be passed to impair the obligation of a contract.
The right to contract and have contracts sacredly kept and
faithfully observed is one of ancient origin, and the govern-
ment may not intervene by any law to relieve a person from
performing his contract. It must not be understood, however,
that persons may contract with each other to do anything they
please and be protected in the doing of the thing merely because
they considered it a contract. A person could not enter into a
valid contract to commit a crime or to do that which public
policy would prohibit.
Boundaries and Divisions.-The boundaries of the
State as outlined in the Constitution are as follows: From
the mouth of the Perdido river up the middle of the river to
where it intersects the Alabama boundary and the thirty-first
degree of north latitude; thence east to the Chattahoochee
river; thence down the middle of said river to its confluence
with the Flint river, thence straight to the head of the St.
Mary's river; thence down the middle of said river to the At-
lantic ocean; thence southeastwardly along the coast to the
THE GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
edge of the Gulf stream; thence southwestwardly along the
edge of the Gulf stream and Florida reefs to and including the
Tortugas Islands; thence northeastwardly to a point three
leagues from the mainland; thence northwestwardly three
leagues from the land to a point west of the mouth of the Per-
dido river; thence to the place of beginning.
The boundary lines between the State and the States of
Georgia and Alabama are established by markers, of fairly per-
manent character, and are easily determined by citizens who
own the lands along the border lines. The river borders are,
too, easily determined as it is simply the middle of the streams.
The borders on the Atlantic and Gulf are not quite so def-
inite but since the conduct of men on the "high seas" is regu-
lated by maritime laws and comes generally under the juris-
diction of the Federal Government, there are but few questions
that ever arise as to just how far out from land the State's
The political divisions of the State are the counties. At the
time the Constitution of 1885 was adopted there were forty-
one counties but the Constitution provided for the creation of
new counties by the Legislature and twenty new ones have
been created, making sixty-one at this time (1921). New ones
may be created at any session of the Legislature.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER FIVE
I. What people were the early settlers of Florida? When did the
United States acquire Florida? Does our present State Constitution and
laws seem to reflect much of the laws and customs of our early settlers?
When did Florida become a State?
2. When was our present Constitution adopted? When ratified?
When did it go into effect?
3. What is the "preamble" to the Constitution? What difference do
you note in the preamble to the United States Constitution and that of
36 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
4. Does the Florida Constitution contain a "Declaration of Rights?"
Name two broad general principles it enunciates.
5. Name some of the rights specifically enumerated.
6. What do you understand by the declaration that "all men are
equal before the law?"
7. What is meant by the statement that all political power is inherent
in the people?
& Can you mention some good reasons for trials by juries? Sup-
pose a man is arrested for driving a car faster than the city ordinance
permits, can he demand a trial by a jury?
9. Discuss the rights of religious freedom as guaranteed in the Con-
stitution. Could the Legislature appropriate money to keep up a church
school or denominational college?
Io. What is the purpose of a writ of habeas corpus? Do you think
this right a valuable one? Why is excessive bail prohibited? What
crimes are not bailable? Can you give a good reason for these excep-
11. Name some particular rights of a person on trial charged with a
12. What limitation is there on our right to freedom of speech?
13. Can you have a person arrested and sent to prison merely be-
cause he owes you a debt?
i4. What is an ex post fact lawf A bill of attainder?
I5. Should a person carry out a contract he has made although he
finds he will lose money? Could the Legislature pass a law to release a
man from a contract with another person? Could two persons make a
legal contract to commit robbery?
16. Give the boundaries of Florida.
17. What are the political subdivisions called and how many art
THE THREE DIVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT
THE THREE DIVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT
The Constitution as a General Plan or Pattern.-A
constitution is the general plan of government and provides for
the enactment of laws to make the plan operative and to put
its principles in force and effect. There must be a body for
making the laws and such is known as the Legislature. Then
the laws must be enforced and applied: This is the function
of the Executive or Administrative Department. And when
questions arise as to what is the law and how it shall be inter-
preted a third department of government, known as the Judi-
cial Department performs that function. So we have the three
distinct departments: The Legislative or law-making, the Ex-
ecutive or law-enforcing and the Judicial or law-interpreting.
This theory of a division of powers of government was the
result of the experiences of our forefathers through centuries
of oppression by kings or governing agencies. These experi-
ences clearly pointed out the danger of concentrated govern-
mental powers; to avoid this danger a system based upon a
division of powers between co-ordinate branches was worked
We shall proceed to the study of these three departments
of the government, taking them in their logical order, first the
Legislative, second the Executive or administrative and third
The Three Divisions of Government--The govern-
mental powers we see then, are divided into three distinct and
co-ordinate branches, each branch having its own peculiar
function. These branches, with their main sub-divisions are
given in the following outline:
38 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
) LEGISLATIVE Senate
(i) LEGISLATIVE House of Representatives
Secretary of State
(2) EXECUTIVE Comptroller
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Commissioner of Agriculture
SAnd'other administrative officers and boards
(3) JUDICIAL Criminal Courts
County Judges' Courts
Justice Peace Courts
The Legislature is the law-making branch. The Consti-
tution is an instrument or document, the purpose of which is to
give a general plan of government. It is the function of the
Legislature to enact all needful laws to govern the affairs of
the State and the conduct of those within its borders. These
laws, however, if merely enacted would be impotent and use-
less without some means of enforcing them and the most
beneficent laws would be unfruitful without being adminis-
tered. The function of law enforcement and administration
belongs to the Executive Department.
Often times there is a doubt or question raised as to just
what the law means, or what is the proper interpretation of the
law. This function is peculiar to the judiciary or the courts
which form the Judicial Department of the government.
The three branches are correlated but co-ordinate. That
is, they are related and necessary each to the whole, but each is
independent of the other as to inherent powers and duties.
Our System of Checks and Balances.-The framers of
the Constitution of the United States were quite evidently
afraid of delegating too much power to some one official or
THE THREE DIVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT
group of officers. The throwing off of tyrannical government
was a fight too dearly won to make the mistake of setting up a
new form of government which would permit those abuses
again to creep in. So the question of how best to check one
official or department from becoming too powerful, and the
problem of properly balancing the departments so that one
would check or offset the other in any effort to usurp powers
not delegated to it, was given much thought by our early states-
men. As our State Constitution reflects or copies the solutions
adopted in the National Constitution and the early State Con-
stitutions, what is said of them will likewise apply largely to
our own. Jefferson, Madison, Locke and Paine were noted
statesmen and students of government and their writings as-
sist us in catching a glimpse of the problem as it presented it-
self to those and other statesmen of their day, a time which
might be referred to as the period in which our plan of a con-
stitutional republican form of government was undergoing its
most severe trials. In drafting his model of a constitution for
Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote in his comments on the ex-
ecutive powers, "We give him those powers only, which are
necessary to execute the laws (and administer the government)
and which are not in their nature either legislative or judicial."
James Madison wrote in The Federalist: "The accumulation
of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same
hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hered-
itary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the
very definition of tyranny."
Early State Constitutions.-The first state constitu-
tions adopted by the original colonies after gaining their inde-
pendence do not all show a successful distribution of the powers
or an effective protection of one department against the en-
croachments of another. In Massachusetts the intention was
very clearly expressed in their declaration of rights in these
40 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
words: "In the government of this commonwealth the legisla-
tive department shall never exercise the executive and judicial
powers or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the
legislative and judicial powers or either of them; the judicial
shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers or
either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and
not of men." New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York
effectively worked out the principle in their Constitutions.
These Principles Now Effective.-In studying our own
Constitution we find these checks and balances worked out in
general as follows: The Legislature elected solely by the people
-not even a vacancy can be filled by appointment-is granted
sole powers to make the laws, limited only by the Constitution.
The executive has no power to make laws but recommends to
the Legislature the enactment of any laws he deems proper and
can check to an extent the passage of laws he deems unwise.
The Legislature, however, by a two-thirds vote of both houses
may pass the legislation over the executive veto. The judicial
can neither legislate nor enforce legislation, but interprets the
law. It also defines that which is not in accordance with the
Constitution. The Legislature, the executive, and the judi-
ciary are independent one of the other in that each and all are
elected by the people.* Each department is a check against the
other and exercises powers tending to prevent the others from
the exercise of arbitrary or unconstitutional powers.
The exercise of powers in either of the three branches of
the State government must not conflict with limitations im-
posed by the Constitution of the United States, which is the
supreme law of the land.
*Circuit Judges are appointed by the Governor but usually following a nomination
in the party primaries.
THE THREE DIVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER SIX
i. What is a constitution and what does it provide?
2. Give the name of the law-making body provided by the consti-
3. What is the function of the executive department?
4. What part in the general plan of government does the judicial
5. Name the three distinct and co-ordinate branches of the govern-
6. Of what is the legislative branch composed?
7. Name the principal officers in the executive branch. Who is the
8. What is the highest court in the State called? Name five other
classes of courts.
9. What is meant by the three branches of government being cor-
related but co-ordinate?
o1. Why were the framers of the United States Constitution careful
to work out a system of checks and balances in the plan of government?
11. What do you understand by our system of checks and balances?
12. How was the principle expressed in the early Constitution of
13. Suppose a vacancy occurred in the membership of the Legisla-
ture could it be filled by appointment of the Governor?
14. What part can the Governor take in legislative matters?
15. What check on legislation does the judiciary exercise?
42 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE
The Legislature.-The law making body is called the
Legislature and is composed of the Senate and the House of
Representatives. When our present Constitution was adopted
(1885) it provided that the Legislature should consist of ioo
members: 32 Senators and 68 Representatives, but it also pro-
vided that every county should have at least one member of the
House of Representatives; therefore, there has been one new
member added to the number of Representatives each time a
new county has been created. There having been sixteen new
counties* created since any reapportionment, we now have 84
members of the House of Representatives and 32 Senators,
thus giving 116 members of the Legislature.
A State Senator is elected to represent a Senatorial district
and his term of office is four years. A Senatorial district may
include only one county or several counties. Each county has
at least one Representative and some counties have two.
How the Senators and Representatives Are Chosen.-
The Senators hold office for four years but one-half the Sen-
ators are elected every two years so that in each regular session
of the Senate at least one-half-of its members have had previ-
ous experience as Senators.
The Representatives are elected for only two years. The
Senators and Representatives are elected by the votes of the
qualified electors at the general election held on Tuesday
after the first Monday in November of even numbered years
(I9Io-1912-1914, etc.) and the Legislature meets in regular
*The new counties areportionmt and the dae there e~ ed
are: St. I1a.0 I* p ind.; 1911; ay. I ;
ad., iji; iMotte, 219*; d, --t; '&Wxe, 11; Uno'u. 1i9< "an m
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE 43
session on Tuesday after the first Monday in April of odd
numbered years (1911-1913-1915, etc.). If a vacancy should
occur by reason of the death, resignation or removal of a Rep-
resentative or Senator the vacancy is filled by a special election
called to be held in the county or district in which the vacancy
Sessions of the Legislature.-A regular session is lim-
ited to sixty days-Sundays included. Should the Governor
deem it necessary, because of some emergency or extraor-
dinary need for the same, he may call the Legislature in special
session which may continue for only twenty days and no busi-
ness may then be transacted except pertaining to the purposes
for which the special session was called unless two-thirds of
the membership of both branches of the Legislature shall vote
to take it up.
Special sessions of the Legislature are very rarely called.
Only three have been called within the past thirty years. The
first called on account of the necessity for meeting an urgent
health situation; the second in 1912, which was called for pass-
ing a special law concerning local affairs in the city of Jack-
sonville. The session called in 1912 remained in session but
three days and the expense was met by the city of Jacksonville.
The third, in 1918, was called to enact prohibition legislation.
How the Senate and House of Representatives Are
Organized.-On the day for the session to begin the mem-
bers of both branches meet in their respective halls* in the Cap-
itol at Tallahassee at noon and proceed to organize. The Sen-
ate is called to order by the president of the preceding Senate,
the roll of the "hold over" Senators is called, then the roll of
newly elected Senators is called and the newly elected Senators
sworn in. A quorum being present, they proceed to organize
fMR Senate Chkber sol the Reprewaetle Hal situated on the third
floor of the CapitaL
44 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
by electing one of their number president to preside over the
body for the session, and a president pro tempore who is also
a Senator. A secretary is then chosen, together with other of-
ficers and attaches.
While the Senate has been thus engaged the House of Rep-
resentatives is also being organized. It is usually called to
order by the chief clerk of the House of Representatives at the
preceding session. He calls the roll of members-elect who,
after taking their oath of office, elect from their number a
Speaker, who presides during the sittings of the House, and
also a Speaker pro tempore is elected. A chief clerk and other
attaches are then chosen. Both Houses are then said to be or-
ganized and ready for business. Before proceeding with any
business each House sends a committee to notify the other
House, and also each sends a committee to notify the Gov-
ernor that it is organized and ready for transacting the busi-
ness of the session.
As soon as practicable each House adopts rules governing
its procedure and the committees are named by the presiding
officers. Much important work of the Legislature is done by
the committees, and the report or recommendation of a com-
mittee on a bill referred to it has weight in its passage or de-
feat, but the committee's action is not final and does not have
the weight upon the ultimate passage or failure of the bill as
a committee report in the National Congress. There are some
thirty or forty committees for each House, some of the more
important being the Judiciary, Education, Finance and Taxa-
tion, Appropriations, Agriculture, Railroads and Telegraphs,
Corporations, Privileges and Elections, Public Health, etc.
There are committees for looking after the necessary clerical
work incident to handling the pending measures and the pro-
cess through which a bill passes before becoming a law. The
Engrossing and Enrolling committees are of this kind.
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE 45
Each House is the sole judge of the qualifications of its
own members. Each House regulates its own procedure by
the adoption of rules and resolutions. Matters of procedure
requiring joint or concurrent action by the two Houses are
regulated by the joint rules of the session and by concurrent
resolutions, a concurrent resolution being one adopted by one
House and concurred in by the other House.
Qualifications of Members of the Legislature.-The
Constitution specifies certain qualifications for members of the
Legislature but leaves each House, or branch, of the Legisla-
ture to pass upon the qualifications of its members. Senators'
and Representatives must be residents of and duly qualified
electors in the Senatorial district or the county from which
they are chosen. If they remove their residence from the
county or district during the term for which they were elected
it automatically vacates the office. Neither can a member of
the Legislature hold any office under the United States during
his service as a member of the State Legislature.
Members of the Legislature may not during the term for
which they were elected, be appointed or elected to fill any of-
fice which has been created or the emoluments of which have
been increased by that Legislature. The reason for this is clear.
It prevents legislators from creating offices with the hope or
intention of filling them themselves or increasing the pay of
an office which they anticipate securing by appointment or
election before the close of the term for which they were elected
to the Legislature.
Special Powers of the Legislature.-Either house dur-
ing the session may punish by fine or imprisonment any person
for disorderly conduct or contemptuous actions in its presence,
or for refusing to obey its lawful summons.
46 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
There are also special inhibitions against actions by one
House without the consent of the other. Neither House may
adjourn for a longer time than three days, nor to meet at any
other place than the State capital, without the consent of the
Powers of Impeachment.-There are officials of the
State who may not be removed from office in any way except
by impeachment. The House of Representatives has the powet
of impeachment-that is, the power to prefer charges and de-
mand the trial of such an officer on a complaint which if true
would cause his removal from office. The Senate decides
whether the officer is to be removed from office. In the event
of impeachment proceedings the House of Representatives
would prefer the charges, appoint a committee to prosecute
them before the bar of the Senate and the Senate would sit as
a court to hear the evidence and determine the guilt or inno-
cence of the accused official.
When impeachment trials are had the chief justice of the
Supreme Court presides over the Senate, except in case the
chief justice might be the official under impeachment, in which
case the Governor would preside over the Senate during the
While the Legislature is the law-making branch and its
functions are primarily and almost entirely legislative, here we
see that in the case of impeachments of high officials, and in
the case of punishing any person guilty of contemptuous con-
duct in its presence, or refusing to obey its mandates, the Leg-
islature while in session may under the conditions mentioned
exercise functions that are judicial in their nature.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER SZEN
I. Of how man= members did the Legislature consist as originally
planned in the Constitution?
THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE 47
2. Why are there now more than that number?
3. How many members are there now? In which House does the in-
crease take place?
4. How long is the term of office of a State Senator; of a Repre-
5. Are the State Senators all elected the same year? What good
reason can you think of for this provision?
6. When are the general elections held? When does the Legislature
meet in regular session?
7. How is a vacancy filled in the membership of the Legislature?
8. How long is the Legislature in session at regular sessions? What
can you say of special sessions?
9. Give the procedure usually followed in organizing the Legislature
at the opening of a session.
xo. Name some of the important committees of the Legislature.
ii. Who determines the qualifications of a member, or his right to
his seat as a member of the Legislature if it be questioned?
12. What can you say about the qualifications of a member of the
13. What special powers are granted both branches of the Legisla-
ture? What special prohibitions are imposed against both?
14. Discuss the powers of impeachment. Who presides during im-
Note.-A proposed amendment to the Constitution, which would re-
apportion the membership and increase the size of the Legislature, was
submitted by the Legislature of i9ga, and will be either ratified or re-
jected by the people in the general election held in g922.
48 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
How THE LAWS ARE MADE
The Passage of a Law.-We are now ready to see how
Sa "bill" becomes a law. All laws which finally find their way
to the statute books are first proposed or introduced, either
in the Senate or the House of Representatives in the form of
a bill. The bill contains the proposed law and has a title which
is a brief reference to the subject matter in the bill. The title
to a bill begins: "A Bill to be Entitled an Act-, etc." And
it must also contain an enacting clause which reads: "Be It
Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida." Without
this enacting clause a bill cannot become a law. Following the
title and enacting clause the proposed law is set out in orderly
arrangement by sections if more than one section is required.
A bill can be introduced only by a member but any
member has the privilege of introducing as many bills as he
may wish. When a bill is introduced it is read the first time
by its title and the usual course for it to take is to be referred
to an appropriate committee. The committee, after giving it
consideration, which sometimes takes several days or even
weeks, returns the bill with their recommendation as to whether
it should or should not pass. The bill then takes its place on
the calendar of "Bills on Second Reading." When it is
reached in its order it is read for the second time, this time in
full unless the rule be waived by a two-thirds vote. If any
member desires to offer amendments they are usually offered
at this time and if any member opposes the bill and desires to
prevent its passage he usually undertakes to defeat it while it
is on its second reading. A bill may be amended by a major-
ity vote while on second reading. If a motion "to indefinitely
postpone" or "to strike out the enacting clause" should prevail,
HOW THE LAWS ARE MADE 49
the effect would be to kiltthe bill. If.the bill is not "killed"
it goes to the Engrossing committee where any amendments
that may have been adopted are incorporated in the bill and it
is rewritten and examined for errors. When it is returned
from the Engrossing committee it goes on the calendar again,
this time under the heading of "Bills on Third Reading," and
when reached in its order is read again, this time in full, and
the roll is called on the question of "Shall the Bill Pass." If a
majority of those present and voting vote "yea," then the bill
passes and it is certified to the other branch of the Legislature
where the same process must be gone through with in that
House. When a bill on final passage is voted on the vote must
be by roll call and the vote recorded in the journal.
A bill may originate in either House, but must be voted on
and pass in both Houses before it is duly enacted. After it has
passed both Houses it is enrolled by the Committee on Enrolled
Bills of the House in which it originated, is then examined by
both Enrolling committees and is signed by the presiding of-
ficer and secretary or chief clerk of each House. The bill is
then ready to go to the Governor for his approval or disap-
proval. He has only five days (except in the last five days of
the session) in which to approve or disapprove the Act. If he
approves he signs it and then it becomes a law. If he disap-
proves and objects to its becoming a law he may veto the meas-
ure which he does by returning it to the House in which it
originated with a message stating his objection to it.
The Veto.--In case of the veto it must then be voted
on again and cannot pass unless two-thirds of the members
present in each House vote for it, the veto of the Governor to
the contrary notwithstanding.
If the Governor does not care to sign a bill, thus giving it
his expressed approval, yet does not care to veto its passage, he
may permit it to become a law without his approval for it will
50 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
become a law if he does not either approve or disapprove it
within the time limit.
Unless an earlier time is stated in the bill the Act does not
become a law until sixty days after the adjourning of the Leg-
islature. Most bills are now drawn so that the effective clause
reads: "This Act shall take effect upon its passage and ap-
proval by the Governor."
Subsequent chapters will discuss some of the main ques-
tions with which the Legislatures have to deal.
Attaches* of the Legislature.-Each house has its at-
taches, or corps of clerks and assistants who look after the
clerical work of the session, and perform other work incident
to a session of a deliberative body. The name and number of
these attache positions may be changed at the pleasure of the
members at any session, but the usual attaches are: Secretary
or chief clerk, assistant secretary or assistant chief clerk, bill
clerk, reading clerk, engrossing clerk, enrolling clerk, record-
ing clerk, sergeant-at-arms, messenger, chaplain, doorkeeper,
pages and janitors. In addition to these there are stenog-
raphers and committee clerks.
A corps of competent attaches greatly facilitates the work
of the session. There are always quite a number of applicants
for these places and they are filled by vote of the members.
The attaches, as well as the presiding officers, are usually de-
cided upon at a caucus held by each House the night before the
formal opening of the session.
Publishing the Laws.-It is a well established rule of
the law and the courts that "Ignorance of the law excuses no
one." This might appear hard sometimes if no effort were
made to acquaint the people with the new laws.
'Florida has an excellent provision with regard to giving
out the information. Not only are the laws printed in book
HOW THE LAWS ARE MADE
form and may be had at a small cost, but at the close of each
session all laws of a general nature are published in a news-
paper in each county and mailed to each registered voter in the
county. So if a citizen be uninformed as to what the Legisla-
ture has enacted in new laws or changes in old ones it is his
Constitutional Requirements to Be Met.-Many of the
laws which the Legislature attempts to enact in good faith are
found by the courts to be unconstitutional and are declared to
be therefore null and void. Sometimes these defects are quite
grave and to permit the law to stand as passed would work
great injury to the constitutional rights of individuals. In
other cases the defects are more or less formal or technical in
their nature. So, in framing a measure for passage through
the Legislature its author should be very careful to have it con-
form to the requirements of the Constitution.
While no extended mention may be made of how a bill
might be defective, yet some of the plain and more formal re-
quirements of the Constitution will be mentioned. Each law
shall contain but one subject matter, and matter properly con-
nected therewith. This requirement the courts have said
means one general subject matter and the matters incidental
thereto. The subject matter, which is expressed in the title
of a bill, may sometimes be quite broad or general in its
scope, but care must be taken that it be not too broad or gen-
eral in its terms. There are certain laws that must be gen-
eral in their application throughout the State. That is, they
cannot be drawn so as to be in force in one county and not in
another. State taxes, for example, must be uniform through-
out all the counties.
Appropriation bills for the expense of the State Govern-
ment are not permitted to contain any other matters. The end
52 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
doubtless in view there being to prevent appropriations for
governmental expenses being tacked on as "riders" to other
pieces of legislation.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPT EIGHT
i. When a proposed law is introduced in either branch of the Leg-
islature in what form is it? What does the title contain?
2. What clause is essential in every bill? How does this clause read?
3. Who may introduce a bill in the Legislature? What is usually
done with the bill after its introduction?
4. What two motions are frequently made in an endeavor to prevent
any further consideration of a bill-or to kill it?
5. When a bill successfully passes in one of the branches of the
Legislature what is the procedure it usually follows?
6. After a bill has been duly enacted by both branches where does it
then go? What may that official do with it?
7. What is the veto? Suppose the Governor does not disapprove of
a measure so much that he wishes to veto it, yet does not care to give it
8 When does an act of the Legislature after becoming a law usually
p. Who are the attaches of the Legislature and what are some of
1o. What method is provided-for the people to gain knowledge of
what laws have been enacted?
II. There is a well established rule of law and of the courts fre-
quently found expressed in the Latin sentence "Ignormntia esx sos x-
curs." What is that rule?
12. What is said of meeting constitutional requirements in enacting
EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT 53
EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT
The Chief Executive.-At the head of the executive
department of the State is the Governor, but there are a num-
ber of administrative officers each having in charge the -ad-
ministering of certain affairs of the State. The more impor-
tant of these are: Secretary of State, Attorney General,
Comptroller, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public In-
struction and Commissioner of Agriculture. These six of-
ficials are sometimes referred to as the cabinet officers though
the Constitution does not designate them as such. In fact un-
der the system of government Florida has adopted, these six
officials are more than a mere cabinet for they have more than
advisory powers and functions.
As members of the various State administrative "boards"
they are potent factors in shaping the administrative policies
and managing the institutions and business of the State. These
"boards" will be discussed in a later Chapter. We shall now
take up individually the officers of the executive or administra-
The Governor.-The chief executive officer of the
State is the Governor and as such he possesses a greater power
than is delegated to any other one individual in the State. But
under our governmental system of checks and balances his
powers are limited and he does not possess the privilege of fol-
lowing purely personal inclinations or desires in carrying on
the affairs of government as is attributed to the office in the
minds of some citizens. His powers and duties are set forth
in the Constitution and in the statutes.
The Governor has great and grave responsibilities resting
upon him. The four years he occupies the office is called his
54 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
administration by those who write the history of the State, and
this is because the Governor, as chief executive, is supposed
to influence largely the administrative policy of the four years,
and often also the legislative policy to some extent.
Qualifications and Eligibility.-The Governor must be
a qualified elector of the State. That is, he must be a regis-
tered voter and have complied with all requirements of voters
for being qualified to vote in the general election at which the
Governor is to be chosen. He is voted for at the same time
and places for voting for members of the Legislature. He
must have been a citizen of the United States for at least ten
years and a citizen'and resident of the State of Florida for at
least five years next preceding his election. These restrictions
do not apply in case of the President of the Senate or the
Speaker of the House of Representatives succeeding to the
governorship in the event of a vacancy.
Term of Office.-The term of a Governor is four years
and he cannot succeed himself in office. He may serve twice
as Governor but not in succession. One Governor has served
two terms but there were three administrations intervening be-
tween his first and second term. But he is not prevented from
being a candidate for some other office at the close of his term
His Powers and Duties.-The Governor is commander
in chief of the militia of the State, except when they are called
into the service of the United States.
He may require information in writing from the admin-
istrative officers of the executive department.
He appoints officers to fill vacancies in office when no
other method has been provided by the Constitution.
He may call the Legislature in extraordinary session.
EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT 55
He may suspend the collection of fines and grant reprieves
for a period not exceeding sixty days.
He may with the consent of a majority of the Board of
Pardons, grant pardons to persons after they have been con-
victed of crime.
He may require the opinion of the Supreme Court as to the
interpretation- of the Constitution upon any question affecting
his executive powers and duties.
He signs all commissions granted in the name of the State.
He may suspend from office, for cause, any officers not lia-
ble to impeachment, the suspension remaining effective until
the next meeting of the State Senate. Then if the Senate con-
curs, a permanent removal is made, otherwise the officer is
The Governor's Duties.-It would hardly be possible
to set forth in such limited space all the duties of the Governor.
His chief duty is to see that the laws are executed or enforced,
for he is the chief executive officer of the government. He is
ex oficio chairman of many of the "boards" which transact
the business of the State and in speaking of the work of these
boards the work of the Governor will be included.
The Governor communicates to the Legislature at the be-
ginning of each session by a message giving information on
the condition of the State and his recommendations as to
His salary is fixed by the Legislature and is at present six
thousand dollars per year. He is also furnished a splendid
home, called the Governor's Mansion, which is well furnished
and becomes the residence of the Governor and his family dur-
ing the four years he is in office.
How a Vacancy Would Be Filled.-In event a vacancy
should occur in the governorship by reason of death, resigna-
56 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
tion, impeachment, or otherwise, the President of the Senate
succeeds to the office, and in event he cannot serve until a Gov-
ernor is elected, then the Speaker of the House of Representa-
tives succeeds to the executive office., An election for Gover-
nor would be held at the next general election after the vacancy
The Executive Offices.-The Governor has his offices
inithe Capitol, where his official business is transacted. He is
allowed a secretary who is commissioned to hold office during
the term of and at the pleasure of the Governor.
The Secretary of State.-The Constitution says that
the Secretary of State shall be the keeper of the records of of-
ficial acts of the legislative and executive departments of the
government, and "shall, when required, lay the same, and all
matters relative thereto, before either branch of the Legisla-
ture; and shall be the custodian of the great seal of the State.
He shall also have charge of the capitol building and grounds,
and perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by law."
In addition to the above the Legislature has from time to
time placed important duties upon the Secretary of State. He
is State librarian, keeps in his office the election returns and
gives certificates of election, attests all official documents
signed by the Governor and attaches the great seal of the State
to all official papers requiring the same. The detail work of is-
suing and recording charters for incorporated companies in the
State and admitting those of other states to enter Florida for
transacting business is looked after by the office of Secretary
of State. He publishes the laws enacted by the Legislature,
and keeps in his office the original enrolled acts containing the
signatures of the legislative officers. He is custodian of the
bonds of county officials, and the journals of proceedings in
both Houses of the Legislature.
EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE.'DEPARTMENT 57
The Secretary of State is a member of the Board of Com-
missioners of State Institutions, the State Board of Education,
the State Board of Pardons, and chairman of the State Can-
The Attorney General.-Under the provisions of the
Constitution the Attorney General is the legal adviser of the
Governor, and of each of the officers of the executive depart-
ment; and is reporter for the Supreme Court.
The Attorney General is of course a lawyer. He is the
chief lawyer for the State and his advice is often sought on
legal questions by the Governor and other executive officers.
Though he is often besought by county officials and private
citizens for his opinion on question of law, he is not authorized
by the Constitution or statutes to render to them his opinion
officially. He frequently gives unofficial opinions, however,
as a matter of courtesy. He has general supervision over the
State Attorneys and represents the State in the cases appealed
to the Supreme Court in which the State is a party. He also
represents the State in the United States courts. As the busi-
ness of the State increases and affairs of State become more
complicated, the Attorney General's office is taxed more and
more by being called on for opinions relating to the construc-
tion of the laws and the duties of the State officials.
He is reporter for the Supreme Court, which means that
he indexes and prepares in suitable form for publication the
opinions of the Supreme Court and their decisions in all cases
heard in that court.
He makes a report to the Governor concerning the opera-
tion of the laws enacted by the Legislature and the Supreme
Court's decisions relative to them. He makes such recom-
mendations as he deems proper as to needed legislation; and it
is the duty of the Governor to lay his report before the Legis-
58 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
The Attorney General is a member of the Board of Com-
missioners of State Institutions, the State Board of Education,
the State Board of Pardons, the State Canvassing Board, the
Internal Improvement Trustees, the Board of Drainage Com-
missioners and other boards.
The State Comptroller.-The State Comptroller's of-
fice is one of the most extensive departments of the State gov-
ernment. The Constitution says that: "The Comptroller shall
examine, audit, adjust and settle the accounts of all officers of
the State-- ;" but in addition to these duties the Legislature
has from time to time added to his work. The chief duty of
the Comptroller might be said to be the examining and paying
of accounts against the State. No moneys are paid out of the
State Treasury except on a warrant drawn by the Comptrollet
which has been countersigned by the Governor. The Comp-
troller keeps in his office the vouchers or approved bills on
which State moneys are paid out.
In his office and under his supervision are the pension de-
partment, banking department, tax redemption department,
auditing and county finance department, motor vehicle license
department and others.
He is a member of the Board of Commissioners of State
Institutions, the Internal Improvement Trustees, the Board of
Drainage Commissioners, State Finance Board, Pension
Board, State Board of Pardons, Foreign Investment Company
Board, and the Budget Commission.
He examines and approves the bonds of State and county
officers and has wide powers and extensive duties with refer-
ence to all claims and accounts against the State and the ac-
counts due to the State.
He keeps accounts against the State Treasurer and all
county tax collectors with reference to State taxes; keeps du-
EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT 59
plicate books on file of all taxes assessed in all counties; of the
lands sold for taxes and the redemption of such lands.
The State Treasurer.-The State Treasurer's constitu-
tional duties are to "Receive and keep all funds, bonds, and
other securities, in such manner as may be prescribed by law,
and shall disburse no funds, nor issue bonds, or other secur-
ities, except upon the order of the Comptroller countersigned
by the Governor- ." Like all other cabinet officers, how-
ever, these duties have been greatly extended. His chief duty;
however, is the safe-keeping of the public funds. He gives a
large bond for the faithful performance of his duty and han-
dles all the cash and securities belonging to the State as well
as large amounts which are deposited with him for the time be-
ing as guaranties or securities.
His office is provided with strong safes and secure vaults
but aside from the bonds and securities not much actual cash
is kept on hand in the vault. Such of the State's money as may
not be needed for immediate use is deposited in many banks
throughout the State and draws interest. The banks place se-
curities with the State Treasurer to protect the State against
loss of this money.
The State School Fund owns several hundred thousand
dollars worth of bonds and securities and these are kept by the
State Treasurer as the treasurer of the State School Fund. He
also has in his custody large amounts of securities belonging to
the insurance companies doing business in the State, which se-
curities are required to be deposited with him to guarantee the
faithful compliance of the companies with certain insurance
laws and the faithful performance of certain of their contracts
or policies. He also administers the insurance laws.
The State Treasurer is a member of the Board of Com-
missioners of State Institutions, the State Board of Education,
the State Board of Pensions, the Internal Improvement Trus-
60 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
tees and Board of Drainage Commissioners, State Finance
Board, and the Budget Commission.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction.-Of more
interest to the school children of the State than any other of-
ficer is probably the Superintendent of Public Instruction. He
is head of the school system and the educational affairs of the
State. He influences largely the standard of education in the
State and the fine work of this officer is reflected in the splen-
did educational standards in force in Florida.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction is secretary of
the State Board of Education and a member of the Board of
Commissioners of State Institutions.
He issues a report biennially which contains a large amount
of interesting data with reference to the schools of the State;
giving the enrollment, attendance, teachers, teachers salaries,
value of the school buildings, school equipment, etc. This re-
port reviews the progress of education in the State during the
time for which it is issued and has much valuable information
concerning the educational system of the State.
He may call county superintendents in convention and
teachers in to institutes for obtaining and imparting informa-
tion on the practical working of the school system.
In the chapter dealing with the Educational System of the
State further reference will be made to the important office of
State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Commisioner of Agriculture.-The office of the
Commissioner of Agriculture is another extensive department
of the State government. He is chiefly concerned with the
agricultural and horticultural interests of the State but he has
various duties under the Constitution and laws to perform.
He keeps an immigration bureau, has supervision over the
public lands and matters pertaining thereto, and has supervi-
sion over the State Prison.
EXECUTIVE OR ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT 61
The pure food laws and the laws relating to the inspection
of fertilizers and feed stuffs are administered from his office.
When the State census is taken it is under his supervision and
the State census bureau is in his office.
He is a member of the Board of Commissioners of State
Institutions, State Board of Pardons, Internal Improvement
Trustees and the Board of Drainage Commissioners.
The 'hell Fish Department, which is the department that
administers the fish and oyster laws, is also under him; and
the State chemist's office is in most of its work connected with
the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
The citrus fruit inspection law comes under the supervision
of this office, as does the law relative to standard weights and
measures and the inspection of gasoline and oils.
He collects and disseminates agricultural statistics, and
other information of especial interest to those who till the soil.
From the above it will be seen that the Commissioner of
Agriculture is charged with the administration of much impor-
tant legislation that directly affects the individual citizen.
QUzsnIos ON CHAPrr NINE
r. What official is called the Chief Executive of the State.
2. What six administrative officers are sometimes referred to as the
3. Does the Constitution refer to them as the Cabinet? What can
you say of their importance?
4. What can you say of the powers, duties and responsibilities of the
5. Why do we speak of the four years a Governor is in office as his
6. What qualifications are prescribed by the Constitution for one
who is elected Governor? Can a Governor succeed himself in office?
7. Name some of the specific powers that may be exercised by the
62 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
8 What is the most important duty of the Governor?
9. What special duty has the Governor when the Legislature con-
ro. In what ways might a vacancy occur in the Governor's office?
Who would succeed to the governorship in that event?
II. Where does the Governor work? Where does he live?
12. Name two duties of the Secretary of State named in the Con-
13. Does the Legislature require other duties of him also?
x4. What are the main duties of the Attorney General?
IS. What special report does he make to the Governor?
x6. What are the chief constitutional duties of the Comptroller?
17. Name several kinds of State business handled by the State Comp-
i8. What duties has the State Treasurer under the Constitution?
Ip. What particular class of business corporations does he supervise?
2o. Who is the chief school officer of the State? What can you say
of his influence on educational work?
21. What are some of the facts given in his report?
22. What are the chief duties of the Commissioner of Agriculture?
Name some of the special laws he administers.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS
The Work of the State Boards.-As mentioned in a
previous chapter there is much of the State's business trans-
acted by "Boards" composed of some or all the cabinet officers.
These officers are ex officio members of the "Boards" and
serve without additional pay.
When the Legislatures in past years began to place new
laws and enterprises of the State in the hands of these
"Boards" for administration it was a good policy from the
standpoint of economy, for instead of creating new offices and
appropriating the necessary money for. the salaries of addi-
tional officers and the expense of new departments, the new
work was placed under these "Boards" where it was attended
to at a minimum of expense. But as the affairs of the State
grew and expanded and the work increased in volume and in
new enterprises or new laws to be administered, the time of
these cabinet officers has been very heavily taxed with the
varied work of these boards, or commissions of which they are
ex officio members.
A brief sketch of the work of these administrative boards
will now be given.
Board of Commissioners of State Institutions.-This
board is composed of the Governor and six cabinet officers,
the Governor being ex officio chairman. They employ a sec-
retary who keeps the minutes of their meetings and conducts
the correspondence for the board. As the name implies, this
board has supervision over all the State institutions. It has
direct supervision over the Hospital for Insane, the State
Prison Farm, the Industrial School for Boys and the Industrial
School for Girls and general supervision over other State in-
64 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
stitutions which may be directed in detail by some subordinate
board or superintendent It also has supervising powers over
all State buildings and State property not specifically placed in
the control of other officials.
Some of the duties of the board, other than those above
mentioned, are to make contracts for the State printing, for
the State school text books adopted for use under the State
Uniform Text Book Law, for insuring the State's buildings
and property against loss by fire and for the purchase of sup-
plies for the institutions under its immediate direction.
This Board is recognized as representing the interests of
the State in a general way and having charge of such State
business that is not specifically placed under some department
or other official.
The Board of Pardons.-The State Board of Pardons
is composed of. the Governor, the Secretary of State, the At-
torney General, the Comptroller, and the Commissioner of Ag-
riculture. The Governor is ex officio chairman and the board
employs a secretary for keeping minutes and the record of
cases coming before it.
This board hears the applications for pardons, paroles and
commutations of sentence. It has the power, the Governor
consenting, to grant pardons either conditional or full and free,
to parole prisoners, and to commute a sentence. Its functions
are not only to correct any manifest error of justice, but it is
also empowered to extend mercy where, in the wisdom of its
members, it is proper to do so. There are citizens who believe
in a liberal use of the pardon power while other citizens be-
lieve it should seldom be used, leaving the sentences of the law
imposed by the courts to be inexorably executed. Criticism of
the actions of the board by persons who do not like itspolicies
usually come from those who are not as familiar with me cases
as are the members of the Board of Pardons. A commutation
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS
of sentence is a changing or reduction of the sentence to a
lesser degree of punishment. Sometimes sentences of death
are commuted to a sentence of imprisonment for life; sen-
tences of imprisonment are sometimes commuted to a shorter
term of imprisonment or to the payment of a fine. Pardons,
when first granted, are usually "conditional;" that is, the par-
don is effective only so long as the pardoned convict lives a
sober, peaceable, law-abiding life and abides by any other con-.
ditions of its terms and it may be revoked if its conditions are
broken. When a person is sentenced to imprisonment -in the
State prison for certain crimes he loses some.of his rights as a
citizen, such as voting, and a conditional pardon does not re-
store the holder to citizenship but a full pardon may be granted
by the board which restores the convict to civil rights.
For a pardon, parole or commutation to be granted it must
be agreed to by a majority of the members and the Governor
must be one of those consenting.
The State Board of Education.-The State Board of
Education is provided for by the Constitution and is composed
of the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State
Treasurer and State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Governor is ex officio its president and the State Superin-
tendent of Public Instruction is ex officio secretary of this
board. It has power to remove subordinate school officers for
cause, upon notice to the incumbent; and has the management
and investment of the State School Fund. It has supervision
over the State Colleges and Institutions of Higher Education
and many phases of the educational laws often come before this
board for adjustment.
This board is a very important one as it is the body that
has in general charge all our State educational institutions and
is in a way the head of the school system of the State.
66 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
The Internal Improvement Trustees.-This board is
composed of the Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller,
State Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture and its du-
Sties are in general to administer the lands and proceeds thereof
which were granted to the State by the United States Govern-
ment for purposes of reclamation and internal improvement.
The largest undertaking this board has had is the drainage of
the Everglades and providing for the reclamation of this vast
expanse of overflowed lands or lands subject to overflow.
The board supervises the work of digging the drainage canals
and building locks and making surveys of the reclaimed lands.
The work is a fine example of that function. of government
coming under the head of the general welfare. When this
great undertaking is successfully finished it will add greatly to
the wealth of the State and increase the agricultural and other
economic opportunities open to the people.
The same officials compose the State Board of Drainage
Commissioners and under the latter name much of the actual
drainage work is handled.
The State Pension Board.-A pension in its strictest
sense is a stated allowance granted for past service to the
State. Almost all governments have pensioners who draw of
the State's bounty for one cause or another. It is within the
province of the Legislature to provide for pensioning such per-
sons as it deems proper. It is the generally accepted custom of
the Legislature of this State to pension those old soldiers and
the widows of soldiers who served in the confederate army or
navy. The United States pensions those who served in the
Union armies during the Civil War, but does not pension those
who served in the Confederate armies; therefore most of the
Southern States have provided for State pensions to be paid
Confederate Veterans and their widows.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS
Florida's pension laws have been among the most liberal of
any of the Southern States. The rates of pay, requirements
for applicants to be eligible to receive pensions and levying the
tax to provide the funds are functions of the Legislature.
The State Board of Pensions, composed of the Governor,
Comptroller and State Treasurer, passes upon all applications
for pension to determine if they meet the requirements of the
law, and if granted what rate of pay is applicable to them. The
State tax, on account of pensions, has been for several years
greater than that levied by the Legislature for any other one
The State Canvassing Board.-The Secretary of State
is chairman of this board, the other members being the Attor-
ney General and State Comptroller. However, if any one of
its members for any reason cannot serve, some other cabinet
officer may be called in and serve on the board. Its duties are
to canvass the returns and declare the results of State elections.
Their findings are filed with the Secretary of State.
The State Board of Control.-Some years ago when
the Legislature undertook to consolidate, improve, and enlarge
the colleges and institutions of higher education there was cre-
ated the State Board of Control, which board has duties con-
nected directly with the detail supervision of the University
and State colleges. Its members recommend the faculties of
the colleges, supervise the expenditures of the appropriations
made to pay the expenses of the institutions of higher learning,
prepare recommendations to the Legislature as to the needs of
the institutions and otherwise have in hand the interests of the
institutions of higher learning which are supported by the
State Plant Board.-The membership of this board is
the same as that of the State Board of Control, and they are
B GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
charged with administering the laws relative to protection of
our great horticultural interests. For example, the State and
the grove owners have spent thousands of dollars in fighting
citrus canker and other dangers to the orange groves and other
citrus fruit trees. Other plants and trees also require protec-
tion. The national government expends money to assist in this
work and it is all done under the supervision of the State Plant
The Live Stock Sanitary Board.-The live stock of the
State need protection as well as the plant life. There are laws
which prevent the shipment of animals or dressed meats from
one state to another without certain inspection tests are met.
Live stock are also subject to diseases to which they fall as a
prey in great numbers. The Live Stock Sanitary Board has
the administering of the laws designed to stamp out the cattle
tick, hog cholera, etc.
State Board of Health.-This is one of the most im-
portant of the State Boards and as its name implies, is charged
with protecting the health of the people. So important mat-
ter as the public health will be discussed in a separate chapter
and the duties of this board discussed therein.
State Budget Commision.-The expenditure of pub-
lic funds has ever been the subject of more or less criticism.
Since governmental agencies cannot be built up along the same
lines as private business there is not always the economy prac-
ticed in public affairs as there might be. The expenditures in
the several departments of the government have not been co-
ordinated as much as might have been, so the Legislature re-
cently provided a Budget Commission. The duty of this com-
mission, which is composed of the Governor and two of the
cabinet officers, is to work out a budget, or systematic plan of
the needed expenditures for the State and submit this plan or
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS
budget to the Legislature as a basis for intelligent action in
State Finance Board.-This board is composed of the
Governor, Comptroller and Treasurer. It deals with general
financial questions that arise in which the State is a party or
in which some problem effecting the State must be worked out.
Foreign Investment Board.-Laws regulating the sale
of foreign stocks and securities withinn the State have been
passed in many of the States and Florida has such a law. Its
administration is in the hands of the Comptroller and the At-
torney General and they are when acting in that capacity
known as the Foreign Investment Board.
The State Road Department.-The building and im-
proving of public highways, for long years left to the coun-
ties, is now being given much attention by the State. This
work is entrusted to the State Road Department. This depart-
ment is supervised by a commission of five members appointed
by the Governor. One is appointed from each Congressional
district and one from the State at large. These members
choose one of their number as chairman who is known as the
State Road Commissioner and devotes his entire time to the
big task the State has undertaken in the way of public road im-
A State System of Highways.-The State Road De-
partment has mapped out a number of highways which will
form the main or trunk line highways of the State and will
construct improved or hard surfaced highways in accordance
with this State-wide system. The counties are supposed to
construct or maintain the connecting roads or those known
as county public roads, and also to assist in the construction of
the main State highways. The national government also as-
70 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
sists to a certain extent in the improvement of the public roads
There is scarcely any public improvement which has so
important place in the development of a State as that of its
public roads. In this age of rapid transit when the motor
vehicle is supplanting the horse-drawn carriage or wagon, hard
surfaced highways have become a necessity. Improved high-
ways are second only in importance to the railroads in the de-
velopment of a state or nation.
State Marketing Bureau.-An important aid rendered
the public by the State is maintaining a State Marketing Bu-
reau which compiles information of interest alike to producer
and consumer. It is of great assistance to producers in finding
markets for their products, particularly the perishable products
which must find ready markets or be entirely lost.
Other State Boards.-There are other bodies or com-
missions created by law either for some temporary purpose or
for some restricted function and which are not separately dis-
cussed. The name usually indicates their purpose; such for
example as the Board of Medical Examiners. It will not be
necessary to take these up in detail as any well directed inquiry
will gain any necessary information concerning them.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER TEN
I. What officers make up the personnel of the administrative boards?
2. What are the main duties exercised by the Board of Commission-
ers of State Institutions?
3 What is the chief duty of the Board of Pardons?
4. What two kinds of pardons are granted? What is a parole? A
commutation of sentence?
5. What is necessary in order for a pardon to be granted?
6. What particular powers has the State Board of Education with
reference to school officials? What connection has it with the colleges?
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS 71
7. What are the duties of the Internal Improvement Trustees and
what is the largest single undertaking they supervise?
8. What is a pension? What can you say of Florida's pension laws?
Who receive pensions from the State?
9. What does the State Canvassing Board do?
Io. Discuss the duties of the Board of Control.
x1. What is the purpose of the Live Stock Sanitary Board?
12. With what matters does the Budget Commission deal? The
State Finance Board? The Foreign Investments Board?
13. What are the duties of the State Road Department and how is
14. Discuss the State Marketing Bureau.
x5. Name some other State boards.
72 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONS
Government Supervision of Certain Corporations.-
Those corporations and companies, the business of which is
to serve the public generally, such as railroad companies, tel-
egraph companies, express companies, etc., are usually large
corporations doing business over extensive territory and are
seldom sufficiently local in interests to cause them to be guided
entirely in their management by local needs or convenience.
Therefore a locality might suffer economic loss or inconven-
ience and be unable to influence the policy of the public serv-
ice corporation. All states have some kind of public service
commission whose duty it is to see that the public generally
get fair and just treatment as patrons of these corporations.
in some states these commissions have more extensive powers
than others-depending on the growth of governmental ideas
in the State.
The Railroad Commission.-Florida has made a fair
start in this phase of governmental regulation. Its most im-
portant public service commission is the Railroad Commission.
When it was first created, it was given but few powers and
public sentiment was not awakened to the need of it. After
some years of a slow, trying-out process the Legislature made
a proper and earnest effort to dothe this Commission with suf-
ficient powers to cope with its problems and the duty it was
supposed to perform. It is supposed to look after the pub-
lic's interests with all the railroads, telegraph companies, tel-
ephone companies and any other common carriers doing busi-
ness in the State. It must be kept in mind, however, that it
would have no power over interstate business or commerce, as
that is a function of the United States Government. The
THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONS
United States Commerce Commission looks after interstate
If the people of a community felt that the railroad depot
in their town was insufficient and not adequate to meet the
needs of the public travel and shipments to and from that
point, they could appeal to the Railroad Commission who
would investigate the public need for the convenience and if
found necessary would order the railroad company to build
such a depot as would meet the public need. Again, if it was
found that the rate on some class of freight or express ship-
ments from some point in the State to some other point in the
State was not equitably fixed, the Railroad Commission would
make it a matter for investigation and order such changes as
fairness and justice demanded. Telephone companies also
come under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission.
The Railroad Commission has extensive powers and ju-
risdiction over.the intrastate business of these common carriers
in the State, and the common carriers are the largest and most
important of the public service corporations.
The Hotels Inspected.-Next to the service given by
the common carriers, the traveling public. are probably most
interested in the service of the hotels. Florida has only re-
cently undertaken any supervision over the equipment and
service of hotels but there is now a Hotel Commissioner, whose
department maintains an inspection service to see that the
hotels, cafes and boarding houses are equipped in accordance
with the requirements of the law and that the service is san-
As the public demands it, the supervising or regulating
of public service companies by the government will expand
to cover every class of public service enterprise.
It should be kept in mind that those public utilities located
and operated entirely within the cities and towns are subject
74 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
to the regulation of the city or town governments; and their
service is usually regulated by the terms of their franchise and
the ordinances of the city or town. This function of munici-
palities will be mentioned at more length in a succeeding chap-
Quasi-Public Service Corporations.-There are corpo-
rations which engage in lines of business which affect so
many of the public and which by the nature of business trans-
acted are in a measure subject to some degree of public or State
supervision. These are sometimes referred to as quasi-public
service corporations, meaning in the nature of a public service
institution. Examples of these are banks and insurance com-
Bank Supervision.-State Banks of which there are
over two hundred in the State, are under the supervision of
the State Comptroller. He has the power to cause the State
banks to be examined from time to time for the purpose of
ascertaining if the bank is being conducted on safe and sound
principles and if its investments are safe and secure. Since
a large portion of the wealth of the State is entrusted in some
way to the banks it is of course a matter of public concern
and interest that some supervision or regulation over them
should be maintained. State banks are supervised by the State
and National banks by the Federal Government. As the origin
of national banks, was to provide a governmental agency to
assist in the isAue of paper currency the supervision of these
naturally falls under the head of Federal Government regula-
tion, since the national currency is one of the subjects with
which the National Congress was granted power to deal.
Insurance Companies.-A large portion of the people
carry insurance of some kind, either life insurance, accident
insurance, fire insurance or some other form. Much of the
THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONS
insurance in force is carried in large companies having their
home office in some other State and unless the State main-
tained some kind of regulation or supervision over their busi-
ness conducted in Florida the transactions had with them by
policy holders might not prove satisfactory or easy of adjust-
ment. So we have laws regulating the manner of handling
insurance business in this State. These laws are administered
by the State Treasurer who is ex officio Insurance Commis-
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER ELEVEN
I. Why do large public service corporations need State supervision?
2. What is the chief function of the Railroad Commission?
3. What kind of commerce can it regulate? What kind has it no
4. What are some specific matters with which the Railroad Com-
5. What other public service corporations are under the jurisdic-
tion of the Railroad Commission in addition to railroads?
6. What can you say of the Hotel Commission and its duties?
7. Are the waterworks and electric light plants of your home town
or city owned by the city or by a private corporation?
8. Who controls them?
9. What can you say of the advantages and disadvantages of a city
owning its own public utilities such as water system, electric light plants,
to. What is a quasi-public service corporation?
It. Give two prominent examples.
t1. What official supervises the State banks?
13. Does he also supervise national banks? Why?
14. Give a reason for State supervision of insurance companies.
IS. What official is ex officio insurance commissioner?
76 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
In addition to those already discussed there are other State
officers who are concerned with some phases of administer-
ing the laws of the State. Some of these fill important places
in the general administration of the affairs of the government.
This chapter will deal with the most important duties of these
The State Chemist.-The State Chemist's office is in
some respects an adjunct of the department of agriculture in
so far as its part as an administrative office is considered,
but in many ways it is a separate department. The State
Chemist, with his assistants, makes chemical analyses of foods,
feed stuffs, fertilizers and gasoline sold in the State, and his
office is generally concerned with the chemistry work nec-
essary to supervise and enforce the pure food and drug laws,
stock feed and fertilizer laws of the State, as well as to give
information of value concerning soils, etc.
State Geologist-The State Geologist makes what is
called a geological survey of the State. He collects data and
prepares it for publication concerning the geological forma-
tions in the State; gathers any specimens of interest from a
geological standpoint; and furnishes information that he may
have in hand concerning the soil formations of any section of
The Shell Fish Commission.-This department, like
the State Chemist's, is in some respects an adjunct of the De-
partment of Agriculture. There is a Shell Fish commissioner,
who supervises the administration of the oyster and fish laws
of the State. He maintains a force of deputies to insure the
enforcement of the laws regulating the fish and oyster indus-
OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
tries, and sees that these natural resources of the State are
not ruthlessly depleted or destroyed.
The Hotel Commissioner.-This officer inspects ho-
tels, boarding houses, restaurants and cafes to see that they
are properly equipped for caring safely for the public who
patronize them, and also as to the manner in which they are
run. He looks after their sanitary condition particularly.
State Equalizer of Taxes.-Taxation has ever been a
troublous question in governmental affairs. To have the tax
burden distributed fairly and equitably among the people of
the State is of course the just and right thing to do. The
methods of taxation that have been in use in Florida for many
years have been such that inequalities have crept in more from
the officers whose duty it was to assess taxes than from any
fault of the system or theory provided. To correct these in-
equalities is a problem with which the State Equalizer of
Taxes is to deal. An attempt was made some years ago to
correct the trouble through the agency of a tax commission
composed of three members. The Legislature did away with
this commission, however, and very recently a law was enacted
providing for one official whose duties are to bring about
equality and a fair distribution of tax assessments. His title
is State Equalizer of Taxes. His findings are reviewed by a
State Board of Equalizers composed of the Governor together
with some of the cabinet officers.
State Labor Inspector.-The duty of the State Labor
Inspector is to see that the laws against child labor in factories
are enforced, to inspect the places where groups of men and
women are employed, to see that employers provide safe and
sanitary working places and that those who labor in factories
and like places are protected from intolerable conditions. His
greatest work, probably, is to protect children of immature
78 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
years from being unnecessarily put to work instead of being
in school. Children under certain ages may not be hired out
without his permission. He gives it only in cases where the
absolute necessities of the family demand it.
Other Officers of the State.-There are many other
minor officials or inspectors who perform some duties under
the State Government and who are not mentioned specifically
in this chapter for the reason their duties are closely connected
with some department of the government which is discussed
in another chapter.
Miscellaneous.-There are other laws enacted by the
Legislature from time to time, which have been placed for ad-
ministration under some State officer, such as the Naval Stores
Inspection laws. Any office or department which the Legis-
lature creates, it also has the power to abolish and all offices
discussed in this particular chapter are statutory offices and
may be abolished by the Legislature. A constitutional office,
which is one provided for in the State Constitution, may not
be abolished by the Legislature.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER TWELVE
I. What is the work of the State Chemist?
2. What laws depend mainly for their enforcement upon chemical
3. Give the duties of the State Geologist.
4. What is the chief duty of the State Equalizer of Taxes?
5. What benefits are derived from the Hotel Commission laws?
6. What industries are under the supervision of the Shell Fish
Commission? What is the purpose of the laws regulating these indus-
7. May the offices mentioned in this chapter be changed or abol-
ished by the Legislature?
8 Could the Legislature abolish one of the cabinet offices? Why?
9. What are the duties of the State Labor Inspector?
to. What other administrative officers of the State can you name?
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF THE STATE
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF THE STATE.
An Important Duty of the State.-One of the greatest
concerns of the State should be the education of its youth,
for they are its future citizens. The school boy of to-
day in a very few years may be the legislator, the State offi-
cial, and the judge. He will have his part in shaping the
State's laws and their enforcement, and in caring for the wel-
fare of its populace. He may be, and probably will be called on
to serve as a juror, he will doubtless take part in elections and
thus be directly participating in the destinies of his State. He
is a part of the State, and his influence-however slight-in
shaping its welfare is a matter of concern to every other citi-
zen of the State; therefore one reason from a governmental
standpoint for public education.
Civilization advances by the side of public education. It
is a view firmly grounded in our system of democratic gov-
ernment that maintaining public free schools is one of the
fundamental duties of the State.
Our State Constitution says that "The Legislature shall
provide for a uniform system of public free schools, and shall
provide for the liberal maintenance of the same." So it was
the intention of the framers of the Constitution, and of the
people in ratifying it, that our public free schools should not
be hampered or cramped for funds or run in a niggardly
At the time the present Constitution was adopted, the schools
were not being very liberally supported, neither were they of
the high standard they are at this time. This phase of our
State's government has made most remarkable progress, and
this progress has been largely due to the policy followed by
the head of the Department of Education, the State Superin-
80 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
tendent of Public Instruction, who is the chief school officer
of the State.
Where School Money Comes From.-If a person is only
rich enough he can invest his money in bonds or securities,
which will pay interest, and live on the interest of his money.
Florida's schools are not quite rich enough to live on the in-
terest of their investments but they have some money which
is kept invested. This is called the State School Fund. This
fund is never spent, only the interest from it is used. It is
now about one and one-half million dollars and it also has
lands which some time in the future may make it very rich.
This fund receives the proceeds of all lands that have been or
may hereafter be granted to the State by the United States for
school purposes. The United States granted the i6th section
of each township of the government lands in the State for
school purposes, so when the lands in Section 16 of any town-
ship so granted are sold the money goes into the State School
Fund. The Legislature can also appropriate money to this
fund and any donation to the State when the purpose is not
specified goes to it. When any State land is sold one-fourth
of the proceeds must go into the State School Fund, and it
also receives the proceeds of escheated property, fines and for-
feitures in some cases, and surplus revenues from the admin-
istration of certain laws. So this fund is getting a little richer
from time to time. The principal of this fund is invested in
bonds of the United States, bonds of the States or bonds and
securities of the counties and cities of this State. The inter-
est is distributed to the counties and used exclusively for the
support of the public schools.
The State also levies a tax of one mill on the dollar on all
property in the State assessed for taxation and the money
thus collected is likewise distributed to the counties for the
public schools. Then the counties levy a tax throughout the
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF THE STATE
county which may be as much as ten mills on the dollar and not
less than three mills on the dollar, and the money thus raised
is used for the support of the public schools throughout the
Special Tax Districts.-If a part of a county desires
better school facilities than it can have from its share of the
money above mentioned, a special tax district may be formed
and a further tax may be levied and used for the schools in that
district. Special tax school districts may also issue bonds
for building school houses and equipping them. Many of
the special tax school districts of the State have issued
bonds and with the proceeds have built new and substantial
school buildings with modern equipment.
When the citizens in any section of a county vote to create
a special tax school district of their section they determine
first the proposed boundaries and petition for an election, and,
if the petition be in accordance with the law's requirements,
the county school board calls the election and gives due notice
of the same. At this election those qualified to vote within
the limits of the proposed district, vote on the question of its
formation, the number of mills special tax and for three trus-
tees. These trustees make recommendations as to the manage-
ment of the schools in the district and how the money is to be
spent which is raised by the special tax. However, the county
school board contracts with the teachers and pays their salaries
and has control of school matters over the entire county.
Grades and Classes of Schools.-The educational sys-
tem of Florida contemplates that the education of the youth
shall be uniform and the instruction is classified into grades,
or the schools are said to be graded. In thinly populated sec-
tions the schools cannot be as carefully graded as in the cities
or more populous communities because of having possibly
only one teacher or a very few teachers. In the cities and
82 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
towns there are enough little tots just ready to begin that a
tpcher can be had for them alone and in such cases they have
kindergartens for the beginners.
The graded and grammar schools include from the first
to eighth grades; and the high schools from the ninth to the
twelfth. After completing the high school course the student
is ready to enter college.
The State maintains for the white students two institu-
tions of higher education with college and university rank.
The University of Florida, located at Gainesville, is for boys
and men; the Florida State College for Women is located at
Tallahassee. Each of these institutions is in itself a group of
colleges where the student may receive college training in a
number of different professions or trades. A splendid school
for the deaf, dumb and blind is located at St. Augustine.
The negro youth of the State are provided with a well
equipped college at Tallahassee known as the Florida Agricul-
tural and Mechanical College.
While the institutions of higher education are more largely
attended each year, the large majority of the young people
of the State do not go beyond the high school; so the work
and facilities in the graded schools are being given very care-
The Professional Side of the Schools.-The means by
which to maintain the schools, and also the classification of
them, have been discussed, now the professional side will be
taken up. If the school possessed a fine building with mod-
ern equipment yet poor teachers the pupils would suffer
thereby; so it is important that while the State is expending
large amounts of money to maintain the schools it should
require fixed standards of qualifications for teachers so that
the money will bring value received and so also that the pupil
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF THE STATE
may have a just and fair opportunity to get the very best
out of his or her school days.
The Examination of Teachers.-Teachers, in order to
teach in the public schools are required first to obtain a certif-
icate. As often as expedient an examination for teachers is
conducted in each county in the State, these examinations
being conducted by a commission of three educators appointed
for that purpose. The successful applicants in these examina-
tions are issued first, second or third grade teacher's certifi-
cates according to the grade of their examination papers.
These certificates entitle the holder to teach in the graded or
grammar schools and are good for from two to five years.
Some teachers prepare especially to teach certain subjects or
branches and can take examinations in these branches and,
if they make the required grade, will be given certificates
authorizing them to teach those special subjects.
Teachers who desire to teach the higher grades in high
schools and in colleges are required to hold State certificates
or special certificates. State certificates are based on exam-
inations in higher branches than the first, second and third
grade certificates. Other certificates are also issued.
Normal Training.-In order that the teaching profes-
sion shall be kept up to high standard, normal training courses
are maintained in the colleges and special summer normal
schools are conducted.
In the colleges and the University students may take the
regular college courses in the arts and sciences, or courses for
special trades or professions, such as law, engineering, agricul-
ture, teaching, music and domestic art and science.
Florida is providing well for the education of its youth.
Heretofore the attendance upon school has been optional but
recently the Legislature has made attendance upon school by
children within certain ages compulsory. Compulsory attend-
84 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
ance laws are based upon the theory that the State can ill af-
ford to have illiterates among its citizens. It is true that the
ignorant and illiterate are not so useful as citizens and are
more likely to become, at some age, public charges upon the
Efficiency in Schools.-In these modern times much
emphasis is placed on efficiency in all undertakings. In so
great work as educating the youth of the State it is quite im-
portant that efficient teachers be employed, the very best meth-
ods used, the utmost endeavor put forth, the best conditions
possible be provided in which for teacher and pupil to work
and upon the whole that the utmost results be obtained in the
schools. To this end the State provides inspectors for the ru-
ral schools and also the high schools. These inspectors visit
the schools to see if the high standards prescribed are being
followed, if the teachers are qualified, if the school buildings
are comfortable, sanitary and properly equipped.
The boys and girls of Florida should feel grateful for the
fine things which have been done to provide them with the
very best in educational facilities and in turn should resolve
to make the very best use possible of their time while in school.
The means to obtain an education is in reach of almost every
child in the State and the opportunities, which are so much
better than our forefathers had, should not be wasted.
The School and the State.-While the boys and girls
are enjoying these advantages provided for them they should
not be unmindful of the government which has done so much
for their benefit. The State protects them, provides for their
living in healthful and safe communities, furnishes so many
things for their welfare and gives them the very best school
advantages. The boys and girls should therefore have great
love and respect for their State government. Some day it
will be their duty to take up the responsibilities of supporting,
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF THE STATE
and possibly aiding in directing the government of the State
for the benefit of themselves and their children.
Educational Extension Work.-The State, with aid from
the Federal government, carries practical educational work
right to the homes of the people. Demonstration work in
home economics and farming is carried on through the educa-
tional system with much benefit to the people.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER THIRTEEN
I. Why is educating the youth of the State an important duty of
2. What does the Constitution say about providing for public free
3. How does it say they shall be maintained?
4. What can you say of our public schools at the time the present
Constitution was adopted?
5. What can you say of the State School Fund?
6. How is it added to from time to time?
7. From what other source do school funds or moneys come?
8. What can you say of the formation of a special tax school dis-
trict? How have many of the school houses been built and furnished?
9. How is uniformity in the school work of the State maintained?
Io. Where are our institutions of higher education located and
what are they named?
iI. What can you say of the method of providing qualified teach-
ers for the public schools?
12. What provision is made for maintaining a high standard for
the qualification of teachers?
13. Do you think compulsory attendance in schools a good plan?
14. What can you say of efficiency in the schools and methods pro-
vided for maintaining it?
IS. Are the present day facilities for gaining an education better
than our forefathers had?
16. What can you say of the relationship of the schools and the
86 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE MILITIA AND THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT
Who Constitute the Militia.-The militia include every
male inhabitant of the State who is a citizen or who
has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United
States, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, and
none will be exempt from military service on account of re-
ligious creed. Provision is made by law for exemptions under
certain conditions to clergymen, teachers and certain public
officials. Some speak of the soldiers or members of military
organizations as "militia," and some, therefore, have the idea
that only those who belong to some such military organiza-
tion are members of the militia, but this is an erroneous idea;
the militia are those in the State subject to be called into the
military service of the State or of the United States.
It will be noted that none are exempted on account of re-
ligious creed. If a man should be exempted from military
service for such reason, all those who desired to avoid serv-
ing their State or Nation in time of need, could do so by es-
pousing the creed which would exempt them. The Quaker's
creed does not sanction going to war, and while the true
Quaker is sincere in his belief, yet if all Quakers were exempted
from military service, it is likely that cowards would turn
Quakers in time of war.
Another idea is presented here for the student's thought.
Since the "common defense" is one of the primal objects of
government, the largest possible number of the citizenry should
be subject to the government's call when needed for the com-
The Military Establishment.-The organized militia
compose the military establishment in time of peace, so far as
THE MILITIA AND THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT 87
the State is concerned. For many years the enlisted members
of the organized militia in our State were known as the Flor-
ida State Troops, but a few years ago the National govern-
ment began a policy of supplying the State military organiza-
tions and aiding in their training with a view to making them
more quickly available as trained soldiers in time of war or
other urgent need. They have since that time, in all the States,
been known as the National Guard, and have been subject to
the call of the National government.
The organized militia or National Guard of Florida, under
the present law, consists of one regiment of infantry, and sev-
eral special service companies.
The head of the military establishment, nominally, is the
Governor, who is commander-in-chief, but at the head ac-
tively is the Adjutant General. He devotes his time to looking
after the details of the organization and the maintenance,
equipping and drilling of the various commands.
Martial Law.-The military companies have proven a
valuable aid in times of unusual conditions or calamities within
the State. If a city should be laid waste by fire or flood and
the orderly affairs of the community be suddenly thrown into
disorder and chaos, the militia are called out and maintain a
military order of government until the civil government can
be again organized and restored. Sometimes riots may break
out and suddenly become so serious as to be beyond the control
of the local civil authorities. The militia are called to restore
order in such cases. When a city, or any locality, has to be
placed entirely in the control of the militia, and the civil gov-
ernment in the locality is entirely suspended because of the ex-
treme conditions, martial law is declared and the city or lo-
qality is then governed by the military authorities according
to the strict and exacting rules of military government. The
law in the locality concerned, for the time being, is such orders
88 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
and rules as may be issued by the military officer in com-
mand. Offenders or violators of those laws are speedily tried
by courts-martial which are military courts. The military
power, when invoked, is effective because its forces are or-
ganized and trained and are able speedily to enforce its rules
Drafting for Military Service.-Enlistment in the or-
ganized militia is voluntary and since the Civil War military
service in the organized militia of the States and in the army
of the United States was voluntary until the United States en-
tered the great world war when the development of conditions
which made necessary a quick change from a state of peace
to actual warfare caused the congress to enact a compulsory
When one subject to or able for military duty offers, of his
own accord, to enlist and perform the active military service
he is a volunteer; if he is compelled by his government to per-
form the service, he is said to be selected or drafted. In the
event of war, volunteers are first called for and many of the
citizens able to perform military duty will volunteer as they
see they are needed. The patriotic citizen realizes that he
owes his country and his government all he possesses, even
his life if necessary, when the public safety is imperiled and
the State or Nation attacked.
A State does not have the authority or power to declare
war or begin hostilities independent of the National govern-
ment, unless invaded or in immediate danger.
The Adjutant General, who is the active head of the or-
ganized militia, gives his entire time to the office and re-
ceives a stated annual salary. He has headquarters at the
State Arsenal. The officers and enlisted men of the National
Guard receive regular pay while on encampments or when
THE MILITIA AND THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT 89
called into the service of the State or the United States, and
now also receive a small compensation for attending drills.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER FOURTEEN
1. Of whom does the militia consist?
2. Does a man's creed or religious belief exempt him from military
3. Who composes the military establishment of the State in time
4. What is the object of training the organized militia in time of
5. Who is the Commander-in-Chief of the militia as a whole?
6. Who is actively at the head of the military establishment?
7. Upon what occasions, other than war, are organized military
8 What is martial law?
9. Can the government require a person able to do military duty to
perform that service?
Io. What can you say of volunteer service when the nation is at
11. Can a state declare war? If so, when?
12. Do the members of the National Guard receive pay?
QUESTION FOR DEBATE
Resolved; That a limited standing army for the nation and a well
trained National Guard in each state, is a better plan than universal mil-
90 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE PRISON SYSTEM
State Prisoners.-Those who break the laws of the
State are, after trial and conviction, sentenced to pay a fine or
serve in prison. If the offense of which the person has been
convicted be a felony, he may be sentenced to serve a term
in the State prison. For many years, Florida had no actual
State prison, but leased or hired out all State prisoners to per-
sons or companies who would guard, clothe, feed and otherwise
care for them, working those able to labor, and paying the
State some price agreed on at the time the contract was made.
Prisoners when turned over to these lessees were subject to
the inspection of State officers and were said to be in the State
These lessees, of course, wanted to get all the work possible
out of the prisoners, and abuses would creep in. So the system
of letting out the prisoners for hire, the contracts being made
with the highest bidder, came into public disfavor. The pol-
icy of subjecting even a criminal undergoing punishment to
be driven to the limit of his endurance for mercenary motives,
was contrary to the enlightened and modern idea of the treat-
ment of prisoners; so the "lease system" was abolished. The
abolition of it was gradual because it was necessary to pro-
vide some place where the State could keep them, and some
time was required to establish and fully equip such place and
provide for the prisoners to have some work to perform. A
State Prison Farm has been provided and is the State Prison
headquarters. More than half of the State prisoners are now
kept at this State Farm. The able bodied men are worked
on the State roads. The maintenance of public roads being
a function of government, either State or county, the sugges-
THE PRISON SYSTEM
tion to place the convicts at road building met with no partic-
Reforms in Prison Management.-Prison management,
while only an incidental function of government, is one which
by no means should be neglected. In many states prison re-
forms have been the occasion of much legislation and pub-
licity. Florida's prison system, while never as bad as some,
has been greatly improved in recent years and the Prison
Farm previously mentioned is a model one. It has one general
superintendent, a head physician and a number of guards and
watchmen. Those prisoners whose conduct for a considerable
time is found exemplary are made trusties by the superintend-
ent and except for the stripes they wear they go about their
work as though they were not convicts.
All State prisoners are required to wear suits made of wide
black and white striped cloth. This cloth is made especially
for use in convict suits and, therefore, if a convict escapes
from prison, he can easily be detected as a prisoner by his
clothes until he has an opportunity to get others and change.
Some prison reformers have objected to the use of striped
suits for the prisoners, stating as a reason that the wearing
of such clothes was a constant humiliation to the prisoner and
kept him broken in spirit. This idea is possibly an extreme
one in prison reform, for while modern prison systems in-
clude the purpose of reforming criminals where possible, yet
the main purpose of a prison is a place of punishment, for some
people would have no respect for the law or the rights of
others were it not for the fear of punishment. While this is
true, yet such punishment should never be brutal or inhuman.
but should be only such as would result in the penitence of the
prisoner, causing him to have respect for the law and reform-
ing him from any criminal tendencies he might possess.
92 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
The State Reform Schools.-The State Constitution
provides not only for a State prison but also that "Provision
may be made by law for the establishment and maintenance of
a house of refuge for juvenile offenders *" Under this
authority the Legislature has established two reformatories,
one for boys at Marianna and one for girls at Ocala. It is
the purpose of these two schools or reformatories to care for
and make better boys and better girls of those of immature
age who have become incorrigible or broken the laws of the
State and have become a menace to society.
By proper care and training many of these boys and girls
see the error of their ways and are reformed from their evil
habits and tendencies thereby developing into good citizens in-
stead of criminals and social outcasts.
County and City Prisons.-The counties maintain jails
or prisons for those who have been tried in the county courts.
county judges' courts or justice courts and convicted of mis-
demeanors or minor offenses. The prisoners who are sen-
tenced to serve terms of imprisonment in the county jails are
in the custody of the sheriff who clothes and feeds them. Un-
der orders of the county commissioners county prisoners are
employed, when their physical condition permits, on county
roads or on any public work of the county in which the com-
missioners may desire to use them.
Cities and incorporated town likewise maintain prisons or
jails for offenders against their laws and ordinances. The
term for which such persons are imprisoned is usually short
as the offenses are not so grave as those over which county
and State courts have jurisdiction. In addition to being con-
fined in prison offenders against city or town ordinances are
also sometimes employed at some labor for the city, such as
work on the streets.
THE PRISON SYSTEM
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER FIFTEEN
1. What are the modes of punishment for those who break the law?
2. In past years how were the State prisoners handled?
3. What were the objections to hiring out the prisoners?
4. What kind of State prison have we now?
5. What kind of clothing or garb do prisoners wear? Why do some
prison reformers object to this kind of garb? Do you think their objec-
tion well founded?
6. What is the main purpose of a prison?
7. What provision is made for the correction of juvenile prisoners
or offenders against the law? Where are these places located?
8. What is the county prison called?
9. What official has charge of county prisoners?
Io. County prisoners are engaged usually in what kind of work?
11. Do cities and towns also have prisoners?
12. What work is sometimes given them to do?
QUESTION FOR DEBATE
Resolved, That a sentence to prison should be more for the purpose
of reforming the prisoner than for punishment.
94 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
The Principal Political Subdivisions of the State.-The
main governmental divisions of the State are the counties.
There are other divisions or districts which include more or
less territory than one county, but the county is the main sub-
division from the standpoint of the administrative department
of the State government. It is said to be the political unit, as
it is not only the main subdivision in the administrative de-
partment, but is also the basic unit for circuits or districts in
the judicial and legislative departments.
The number of counties is variable, as the Legislature has
the power to create new counties by division or changing of
boundary lines of several counties. A number of new coun-
ties have been created since the Constitution of 1885 was
New Counties.-When new counties are created, the
new county must take over its share of the debts or liabilities
from the old county or counties from which it was created.
These liabilities are divided pro rata according to assessed
value of property, both real and personal.
The city or town at which the principal governmental af-
fairs of a county are conducted is called the county seat. When
a new county is formed, the county seat may be temporarily
established by the Legislature, but the Legislature has do
power to change a county seat. When the people of a county
desire to change the location of the county seat from one city
or town to another, they petition for an election which, if the
petition is sufficient, is called by the county commissioners.
The city or town receiving a majority of all the votes cast
at such election, is the county seat. If there be more than two
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
places voted for, and no one of them receives a majority of the
votes cast, then another election is held at which only the two
places receiving the highest and next highest number of votes
shall be voted for, and of these two places, the one receiving
the majority of the votes cast is declared the county seat. It
then remains the county seat for the next ten years (in counties
having only a frame courthouse this does not apply).
The county government derives all its powers from the
State government, either from the Constitution or from leg-
islative enactments, and the Legislature provides by law for a
uniform system of government in the counties.
The County Officers.-The counties are divided into
five commissioner's districts and a county commissioner electeZ
from each district. These five county commissioners attend
to the affairs of the county generally, and are particularly
charged with looking after the public roads and bridges, the
paupers, the care of county property, levying county tax mill-
age, details of holding elections, paying all bills against the
county (but not school expenses), care and working of county 0
convicts and supervision of the finances, records, etc., of
the county. The commissioners receive a per diem for their 3
services and mileage for distance traveled in going to and from
meetings. They hold regular stated meetings, usually once
each month, and special meetings when necessary. A county
should have men of sound business judgment on its Board of
The County Judge.-This official is a court officer and
administrative officer. He holds court for the trial of cer-
tain cases (his jurisdiction as to cases is discussed in another
chapter), and performs various other duties which are pre-
scribed by the Legislature, such as the issuance of marriage
licenses, countersigning occupational licenses and making re-
96 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
ports of the same, issuing and collecting for hunting licenses,
The Sheriff.-The executive or police officer of the
county is called the sheriff. He is not a judicial officer, but
is an officer of the court in executing its orders and seeing
that its mandates are enforced. He is particularly charged
with the detection and arrest of violators of the law, and when
prisoners are under arrest awaiting trial, or after conviction
are sentenced to jail, he is charged with their safe keeping
and care, and is, therefore custodian of the county jaiD The
sheriff is expected to see that quiet and order prevai and to
quell any riots or disturbances of the peace. In order to carry
on his regular work, he is authorized to appoint deputies who
are required to give bond. In the case of unusual or.neces-
sitous circumstances, the sheriff may call upon any citizens
to assist him in maintaining order or arresting violators of
The Clerk of the Circuit Court.-This official is one
of the busiest of the county officers. At least his office is
among the most important from the standpoint of work which
the law places in his charge. QTis, as the name implies, the
Clerk of the Circuit Court, and besides keeping its minutes
and records while in session, he also keeps all papers and rec-
ords filed from time to time in the cases which come up for
hearings before the Judge In addition to being Clerk of the
Circuit Court, he is clerk of the board of county commission-
ers, and ex officio county auditor. In his office are recorded
deeds, mortgages, plats and maps of lands, judgments, etc.,
and also the records of lands sold for taxes and other records
pertaining to real estate.
As clerk of the county commissioners, he keeps the min-
utes of that board, and a record of their financial transactions.
He keeps the financial accounts of the county, and as ex
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
officio county auditor, checks up all officials of the county
who in any wise handle public funds. He has many clerical
duties to perform in connection with the preparation for elec-
tions, and the many details of the county government. He is
also clerk of the county court in counties where such court has
been established. L' ,
The Tax Assessor.-In each county the County Tax As-
sessor is the official who prepares and places in a book a list
of all the taxable property in a county, both real* and per-
sonal, with the owner's name and the assessed value of the
property. After the tax millage, or rate of taxation is de-
termined, and he is notified of the same he calculates and en-
ters on the tax book the amount of taxes, both State and
county, due on all the property listed in the tax books and
makes three copies of the completed book. One of these he
delivers to the Tax Collector with instructions to collect the
taxes assessed therein, another copy is delivered to the Clerk
of the Circuit Court as one of the public records of the county,
and the third copy is sent to the State Comptroller and filed
with the State records. The taxes assessed by the county tax
assessor are only those levied for the State, county or special
district of a county, and which are collected on an ad valorem1
basis. He assesses poll taxes, however, which are assessed
as a per capital2 tax, instead of ad valorem. -> '
Collecting the Taxes.-The Tax Collector of the county
upon receiving the tax assessment books, proceeds, at the
proper time, to collect the taxes as assessed, and also collects
occupational license taxes. The Tax Collector remits monthly,
or oftener, to the State Treasurer for all State taxes collected,
*Real property or real estate is land with any fixtures or improvements thereon
not easily movable. Personal property is movable, and includes all property not
clased as real.
'Ad valorem means according to the value.
'A per capital tax is one "by the head" or on the individual.
98 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
and to the county depositories for the county and district
taxes collected. He does not have anything to do with the
taxes of the cities or towns.
At the time for the tax book to be dosed, the tax collector
proceeds to make up a list of lands on which the taxes have
not been paid, and, after advertising the sale, proceeds to sell
the land for the taxes due. Any personal property on which
the tax has not been paid, may be seized and sold for the taxes.
The County Superintendent of Public Instruction.-
The chief school officer of the county is called the County
Superintendent of Public Instruction. He has supervision over
the public schools of the county, and is clerk or secretary of
the County Board of Public Instruction. He keeps the school
records of the county, including the school financial records
and accounts. He also visits and inspects the schools.
The County Commissioners.-The affairs of a county,
not made specifically the duty of some county officer come
before the Board of County Commissioners. As before men-
tioned, there are five members of this board, each being from
a different district of the county, and they might be termed
the board of managers for the county in its governmental
affairs) They have particular jurisdiction over roads and
bridge, and other special duties mentioned elsewhere in this
The Board of Public' Instruction.-The general man-
agers or directors of the school affairs of the county are known
as the County School Board or Board of Public Instruction.
They meet in regular session at least once each month, and
oftener if necessary,,(ad it is within their province to assign
teachers, determine the length of term a school shall be taught,
where the school shall be located, the kind of schoolhouse to
be built, the number of teachers, etc. While the county board
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
has this power, they usually permit the local trustees or the
people of a community to settle many of these questions for
themselves. This is especially true in the rural communities
with reference to selecting the site for a school and the teacher
or teachers to teach in the community. In the cities, the board
of trustees of the school district make recommendations to the
county board regarding most of the school affairs of the city
or district, and these, as a rule, are adopted by the county
board. The County Board of Public Instruction is composed
of three members.
Other County Officials.-The supervisor of registra-
tion keeps the records of the registered electors and provides,
at the proper time, for the registration of new voters, and
furnishes lists to election inspectors of those who have qual-
ified by the payment of poll taxes.
The county surveyor when called upon makes surveys of
land for individuals for which he is paid a per diem by the
party for whom the survey is made.
There is also the county game and fish warden, and in
some counties there are timber and lumber inspectors, also in-
spectors of marks and brands, pilot commissioners, harbor
Most communities have a justice of the peace and hi
stable who are a part of the judicial system and will be
tioned in that connection.
Public Roads.-No sooner does a community get its
first settlers than it becomes necessary to provide roads for t
public to travel. As the population increases the travel ii
creases; and its increase also follows the invention of new and
improved means of travel. Since the coming of the automo-
bile, the public road question has become an almost paramount
one in the county government. Until very recently, maintain-
ing roads has been exclusively a county matter and under the
100 GRAY'S CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF FLORIDA
jurisdiction of the county commissioners. In some counties
there has been built quite a system of hard surfaced roads.
In other counties certain districts have formed a special tax
road district, and improved the roads in the district by a spe-
cial tax or by the proceeds of bond issues.
The variety of opinions in the several counties as to the
best kind of hard surfaced roads to be built, and the mistakes
made by the county commissioners in some counties have given
rise to the policy of State supervision of public roads, espec-
ially the main highways, and some progress has been made
along that line. Also the national government has been in-
duced to lend aid in road building, one of the theories upon
which this is done being that the rural mail carriers have to
use the public roads and therefore the national government
may very properly render aid.
The system of roads was once largely a community affair,
then a county function, and is now fast becoming a State
and National function of government. Many of the coun-
ties have issued bonds to raise the money for building hard
roads, as well as for other improvements. These public im-
provement bonds are payable in the future, some thirty, forty
or even fifty years after date, and a special annual tax on
Pte property within the territory bonded is levied to meet
rest and the principal when due.
loking After. the Poor.-The paupers of the county
are usually taken care of or are materially assisted by the
unty commissioners. In some counties a poor house or
w r farm is maintained, while in others, the paupers are
compelled to find some abode, but the county contributes
monthly small amounts to assist in maintaining them. The
State Constitution authorizes specifically such action in the
following language: "The respective counties of the State
shall provide in the manner prescribed by law for those of the