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ever possible commissions should be consolidated and the number of commissioners and of their employees reduced. In the State's charitable work, which is now very expensive, especially as regards the care of the insane, care should be taken not needlessly to multiply institutions nor to erect buildings more costly than is absolutely necessary, and the salary list should be kept down. The economical and efficient administration of these institutions is interfered with by the custom which has grown up of treating each as if it existed for the benefit of the locality in which it exists, whereas of course this is an utterly improper view, as the administration should always be simply in the interest of the State at large. Great improvement has resulted from putting the care of the insane under the control of the State instead of the counties.
UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK For more than a century New York has taken a leading position in fostering secondary and higher education. This work she accomplishes through the agency of her University. The growth of these interests has been specially marked since 1889. Within this decade, though the increase in attendance on our public elementary schools has been less than 20 per cent., there has been an increase of more than 100 per cent. in those completing require· ments for admission to the high school and of more than 200 per cent. in high school graduates. By setting the standard for graduation from the elementary schools and by providing teachers for these schools the University has been a potent factor in improving the whole school system. In comparison with results attained and with other expenditures the State appropriations for high schools are
small. In 1898 the State expended about $150 for each convict in her prisons and $185.31 for each lunatic in her asylums. The cost to the State of each student in her high schools was $4.45.
In the medical schools of New York are nearly one-fifth of all the medical students in the United States. In her law schools are fully one-quarter of all the law students. In other higher educational lines she is equally prominent. The standards for admission to the professions, which are recognized as the highest in the country, are determined by the University.
The reputation of the University has been increased by the valuable work of its museum, its paleontologist, botanist and entomologist. Important original research in these fields has added to the knowledge of the natural history and of the resources of the State.
The New York State Library, another department of the University, has more than doubled its efficiency within the past ten years and is an inspiration to intellectual life throughout the State. Through its local public libraries, its traveling libraries, its valuable photographic reproductions which are sent from school to school, and its other facilities for home education, it comes in direct contact with every class of the community.
The State owes loyal support to an organization which so guards and unites her most vital interests.
RAPID TRANSIT in New York City I call the attention of the Legislature to the need of improved facilities for rapid transit in the city of New York. As the city extends, the need for the establishment of an improved system of rapid transit become more and more imperative, and the Legislature should take every means to find out the best system to adopt.
ECONOMY IN NEW YORK's MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
In New York city, even more than in the State, there is need of cutting down the salaries of certain officials, of forcing others to do more work, and of altogether getting rid of yet others. I suggest that you investigate carefully whether there is need to retain in existence such offices as those of the chamberlain of the city and the special commissioner of jurors; whether the fees given to the sheriffs of the county of New York and of the county of Kings, and the county clerk and register of Kings should not be turned in to the counties, salaries being allowed the officials in their stead; and whether the judges of the municipal courts of the city should not be required to sit every day, so that working men who are the chief patrons of these courts, in such suits as those for the payment of wages, may not be compelled to lose day after day in attendance. Very many clerkships, inspectorships, and positions held by deputies, could be abolished. The evils of the police system in New York have become very serious; I may find it necessary to communicate with you again on this matter.
SUGGESTION REGARDING SMALL CITIES Of an interest and importance secondary only to that of the Greater New York are the cities of the second and third classes. Owing to their relative unimportance when taken singly, their needs have often been overlooked. While the condition of each of these cities differs from that of the others, all have substantially the same prob
lems to solve, and the experience of each should be readily available for all. Practical students of municipal attairs, as represented by the city officials who form the League of American Municipalities and by the New York Senate committee on cities in the so-called Fassett Report, have urged as a matter of the greatest importance for good government in cities a uniform system of accounting. Foreign countries in which municipal government has been most successful have invariably provided some means to secure uniformity of accounting and a general interchange of information. The commissions on second and third class cities in 1896, recommended for this State an advisory board for cities of the second and third classes, and I venture to urge upon you the consideration of the establishment of an unsalaried State municipal board which shall have no coercive power in shaping the policy of any city, but which shall have for its duties the securing of uniformity of accounting systems in the cities of the second and third classes, the publishing of information regarding the work and conditions of these cities, besides also the duty of examining bills regarding them which are presented to the Legislature, and of making recommendations concerning legislative action upon them. Probably no other measure could be of so great assistance to these cities in the way of stimulating local pride and securing active local self-government.
SECRETARY OF STATE In the Secretary of State's office eight thousand corporation papers have been filed during the past year, including certificates of incorporation, of which four hundred and fourteen, exclusive of real estate corporations,
are stock corporations. This increase in the volume of business transacted, necessarily means a corresponding increase of the sums turned into the State Treasury, for the organization tax on corporations. It is a curious fact that during the last fiscal year a large number of claims have been filed for gold and silver mines in this State.
COMPTROLLER The report of the Comptroller shows a very large increase in the revenue from indirect taxes during the last fiscal year. The amounts received from the organization and corporation tax for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1898, exceeded the amount received during the preceding fiscal year by the sum of $84,934.22. The amounts received from the tax on inheritances during the fiscal year ending September 30, 1898, exceeded the amount received during the preceding fiscal year by $167,268.41. The amounts received from the sale of liquors, under the Excise Law, exceeded the amount received during the preceding fiscal year by $212,922.71. These figures are of peculiar interest, because the amounts received represent a decrease in the burden of taxation upon those least able · to contribute to the necessary revenues of the State.
STATE TREASURER Notwithstanding the extraordinary expenditures, necessarily incurred by reason of the recent war with Spain, a large balance, to wit: the sum of $3,973,804.45, still remained in the State Treasury at the end of the last fiscal year.