Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Publication of the Laws

A bill has passed the House, at Des Moines, requiring the board of Supervisors to publish the general Acts of the Legislature in at least one newspaper (that having the largest circulation) in each county.  The measure was pretty thoroughly discussed and passed, yeas 53, nays 39.  We are somewhat surprised that Mr. Caster of this County should speak against a measure of such evident utility.  The bill was introduced by Mr. Stanton of Washington Co., who, on a motion being made to strike out “shall” and insert “may” spoke against the amendment and is thus reported:

Mr. Stanton said he hoped the amendment of the gentlemen from Lucas would not prevail.  That there was too much discretionary legislation on our statutes.  The present law provides the same discretionary power in relation to the publication of the laws for the benefit of the people for whom the laws are made.  The compensation therefore was left with the Board of Supervisors – if they did not see fit to give the usual reasonable compensation they could cut it down one half, or to whatever figure they pleased.  The idea was to have the laws published so the people could get them, and not for the benefit of the county press, of which the gentleman had so much fear.  Many members who owed their seats here in no small degree to the influence of their county papers, come here and turn round and use their efforts towards cutting down what little patronage the press gets from the State to the smallest pittance.  The county press was entitled to some consideration at our hands, and there was not a single paper in the State, in his opinion, that would not be glad to publish the laws for anything approaching a reasonable compensation.  In many cases they were publishing them without compensation whatever and hoped the amendment, which only leaves the laws as at present, would not prevail.  While it would give a very limited compensation to county press for the work of printing and distributing the laws broadcast, it would confer a much greater benefit upon the people. – [Oskaloosa Herald.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 29, 1862, p. 1

No comments: