THE FINANCIAL STORY
BETWEEN 1870 AND THE CLOSE of 1873 state expenditures were great and taxes were exceedingly high. A heavy debt had been accumulated. With the advent of the Radical Republicans the cost of state administration grew rapidly, for the Republicans not only increased the number of state employees; they also increased salaries and contingent expenses. In 1870, for instance, the governor, who had been receiving a yearly salary of $4,000 since 1866, was voted an increase of $1,000. Substantial raises were also given the secretary of state, the treasurer, the comptroller, the commissioner of the General Land Office, the chief clerks, and the district judges. These increases were unnecessary and placed an added strain on the taxpayers.
Expenditures were further increased by the Legislature, which met in numerous lengthy sessions and spent much time considering special measures, applying to individual corporations, a labor that might have been avoided by the passage of a general corporation act. The Legislature also encouraged needless spending by passing the printing act, the State Police law, and the mileage and per diem measure that provided generously for members.1 The 1870 printing act provided liberal support for an official party newspaper for the state and for a partisan organ in each district.2 The police act and the militia act combined resulted in drawing warrants authorizing payment of money from the treasury to the amount of $688,091 between 1871 and 1874____________________