Finances in the Constitutional Convention — Attitude AND Ideas Expressed in the Debates on Financial Matters.
The constitutional convention was composed of representa- tive men of the territory. It was efficiently officered, de- veloped no serious factional spirit and maintained a deliber- ative procedure throughout its sessions so that its discussions and the document it submitted to the people for their ratifi- cation may be taken as fairly reflecting the public will on matters financial.
The regulation of the finances of the future state figured in the discussions of the convention in a decidedly one-sided way. There was at all times the keenest anticipation of the burden involved in supporting the proposed commonwealth organization, with but little or no realization of the possibility of lightening this load either by better adjustment in improved systems of taxation and treasury administration, or by increasing the financial strength to carry the load that the right use of a state organization might afford.
The regular list of standing committees of the convention contained none on Finance. The convention seemed "to fight shy" of the subject as a wholly unpleasant one, and it was quite oblivious of the resources in rightly ordered financial arrangements. No committee on finance was provided for until more than three-fourths of the term of the convention had expired. This committee on finance reported its article within three days after its membership had been announced. Its report elicited no discussion and was adopted without even having been taken up in the committee of the whole.
- The motion for the appointment of such a committee was first made on September 9, its membership was announced on September 10 and reported on September 13. The convention convened on August 17 and adjourned on September 18.