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278
F. G. Young

land grant were pledged to the payment of the principal and interest of these bonds, so that the measure was not counted as a violation of the provision forbidding the loaning of the credit of the state. The legislature (1909) registered the widest departure from the constitutional and traditional policy. Several municipalities were created for harbor improvement purposes, authorized to contract indebtedness if sanctioned by popular vote. This legislature also submitted to the people an amendment providing that the "state, or any county, municipality or railroad district, may pledge its credit," to create a fund for the purchase, or construction, or operation of railroads or other highway within the state.[1]

Financial Legislation and Treasury Administration— The almost complete silence on matters pertaining to financial leg- islation and treasury administration in the convention should prepare us for careless policies and practices along these lines. During two bienniums, the machinery of the state government and its institutions had to make shift to' run without the passage of appropriation bills.[2] Not until 1905 was any attention given to the matter of loaning the surplus state funds;[3] and not until the last session of the legislature were the steps taken to develop a budgetary procedure for adequate preparation and early introduction of appropriation bills.[4]

The annals of Oregon legislation betray the all-too-common dominance, to a blighting degree, of partisan interests in which the hope of spoils or purely personal allegiance was the controlling motive. It was the recurrence of this to a sickening frequency that impelled the people to the extreme of most radical methods of direct legislation. Subjected time and again to witnessing the spectacle of seeing the members of their legislative assemblies converted into coteries for the advancement of the interests of this or that candidate for the


  1. Session Laws, 1909, pp. 484-5.
  2. 1868 and 1897-99.
  3. Session Laws, 1907, pp. 248-254.
  4. Session Laws, 1909, pp. 484 and 491-2.