Select Statutes and Other Documents: Illustrative of the History of the United States, 1861-1898

By William MacDonald | Go to book overview

No. 112. Act prohibiting Special Laws in the Territories
July 30, 1886

A BILL to prohibit the passage of special or local laws in the Territories and to limit territorial indebtedness was introduced in the House, February 1, 1886, by William M. Springer of Illinois. It was stated that the provisions of the bill were taken verbatim from the constitution of Illinois. The bill was reported with a verbal amendment April 6, and passed the House May 1. The Senate made numerous changes, and passed the amended bill June 17. The House refused to agree to all the Senate amendments, and a conference committee settled the final form of the bill. An amendatory act of July 30, 1886, authorized municipal corporations in the Territories to issue bonds "for sanitary and health purposes, the construction of sewers, waterworks, and the improvement of streets," provided such issue were voted by the taxpayers of the municipality at an election called for the purpose.

REFERENCES. -- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XXIV, 170, 171. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 49th Cong., 1st Sess., and the Cong. Record. The text of the House bill is in the Record, May 1; the amendments reported in the Senate are in ibid., June 17. See also Senate Report 1327.

An act to prohibit the passage of local or special laws in the Territories of the United States, to limit Territorial indebtedness, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted . . ., That the legislatures of the Territories of the United States now or hereafter to be organized shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say:
Granting divorces.
Changing the names of persons or places.
Laying out, opening, altering, and working roads or highways.
Vacating roads, town-plats, streets, alleys, and public grounds.
Locating or changing county seats.
Regulating county and township affairs.
Regulating the practice in courts of justice.
Regulating the jurisdiction and duties of justices of the peace, police magistrates, and constables.

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