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JUNE 20, 1913. Honorable F. M. WYLIE, Chief Clerk,
Senate Chamber, ('apitol. Dear Sir : -- In your favor of June 19th you refer to my opinion of June 12th and attract my attention to subdivision 8 of joint rule 7 of the legislature, which is as follows:
“All bills proposing amendments shall indicate the changes desired by showing the matter to be stricken out with a line through the words or part to be omitted, and all new matter with underscoring or italicizing of the part inserted. The portions to be left unchanged shall be presented in ordinary type-writing or by Roman type, as required by section 20.08
of the statutes.” You request my opinion as to whether such rule makes ference in my opinion as to your power to correct “minor clerical errors" (senate rule 32) under the following circumstances:
ceiving that notice, which subdivision 8 of joint rule 7 provides, of the changes which are made in the section, it opens a way for Section 8, joint rule 7, was considered in writing the previous
(1) Where a bill is offered which fails to comply with subdi. vision 8, joint rule i, but such failure is not discovered until after the bill has been ordered engrossed and after the stage amendments are in order;
(2) Where a bill is passed by the assembly and messaged to the senate and while in the senate committee another bill amending the same section of the statutes is signed by the governor and becomes a law, whereupon the bill pending in the senate committee ceases to comply with subdivision 8, joint rule 7;,
(33) Where a senate bill is passed by both houses and while in the senate enrolling room it is discovered that, since the introduction of the bill and some time during its consideration in the les islature, another bill amending the same section has been passed and become a law so that the bill in the enrolling room no longer conforms to sublivision 8, joint rule 7.
You point out that sublivision 8, joint rule 7, is of coin paratively recent origin, and that members of the legislature rely upon it to show what changes are made by a pending bill in sections of the statutes amended thereby, and that if a bill goes throng h and becomes a law without any one, even in the executive office, lethe repeal of a provision by indirection and without the notice provided in this particular rule and upon which everyone having to do with the passage of the bill depends." opinion. It has no bearing on the question of your power to correct minor clerical errors, for it does not purport to give you or any other person power to make any changes in a bill. one merely for the guidance of the legislature and compliance therewith is not essential to a valid enactment. Thus, the supreme court of Wisconsin has said that when it appears that an act was passed in accordance with constitutional requirements
The rule is
" * * * no inquiry will be permitted to ascertain whether the two houses have or have not complied strictly with their own rules in their procedure upon the bill, intermediate its introduction and final passage. The presumption is conclusive that they have done so. We think no court has ever declared an act of the legislature void for noncompliance with the rules of procedure made by itself, or the respective branches thereof, and which it or they may change or suspend at will. If there are any such adjudications, we decline to follow them.”
Mc Donald v. State, 80 Wis, 407, 412. As pointed out in my previous letter, if changes were made in any of the three cases above stated, it would be on the assumption that if the members of the legislature were appraised of the fact that the pending bill in effect repealed an act already passed by the same legislature, the pending bill would be changed to conform to the previous act. This may or may not be true. It is possible that some members may vote for the pending bill because it re. stores the language of a section of the statute as it stood prior to its change by a previous act of the same legislature. In most cases the assumption is probably true that the legislature dves not intend to do away in this indirect manner with a prior amendment to the section involved, but it seems to me plain that the change in the later bill is one of such moment that it cannot be regarded as correcting a minor clerical error.
When it is discovered that a bill fails to comply with sub-div. 8, Joint Rule 7, the attention of the legislative body in which the bill is pending should be called to that fact, and if this situation is brought to the attention of the legislature it might be considered wise to amend the joint rules so as to make it the duty of the various clerks to report all cases where bills fail to comply with subdivision 8, Joint Rule 7, as soon as discovered. If this were done, the legislature could rely on the printed bills and such reports as showing the exact changes made in existing laws by such bills and could then take action by way of amending or refusing to amend any pending bill so as to repeal or leave unrepealed a prior amendment to the same section affected by the pending bill.
W. C. OWEN,
July 19, 1913. HONORABLE Tuomas MORRIS, Lieutenant Governor',
Capitol. Dear Sir: I have your communication of the 12th instant, in which you state that at twelve o'clock to-rday (Saturday), while under call, Senator Teasdale made this motion: “I move that the
senate now ad journ;" that the motion was put and carried; and you desire to know to what time the senate adjourned. Senate Rule No. 15 provides:
“The hour for the meeting of the senate shall be at ten o'clock a. m. unless a different hour shall be prescribed by motion or resolution. This rule may be changed by resolu
tion or motion adopted by a majority vote.” It is the universal construction that, when the senate adjourns under such a motion, it stands adjourned until the next day. In this instance the next day is Sunday, and the question is, whether the senate, upon adoption of this motion, stood ad journed until Sunday or until Monday.
There seems to be sufficient precedent to the effect that the Senate might hold a session and transact business on Sunday if it so desired. I think, however, that in this state such a thing has never occurred, and to hold a session of the Senate on Sunday would be contrary to all precedent, custom and usage and shecking to the public sense of propriety. While, as above stated, there seems to be precedent for the right and authority of the Senate to hold a Sunday session, yet, no presumption that a Sunday session is intended should be indulged and, in iny opinion, to bring about a Sunday session, a plain, unequivocal expression upon the part of the Senate should be required. In the absence of such plain af. firmative expression of the Senate, the universal custom and usage should be followed, and I have no hesitancy in saying that, under the circumstances stated in your letter, the Senate stood adjourned until the next secular day, which is Monday.
Yours very truly,
W. C. OWEN,
Rules of the Senate, and Joint Rules, With
Notes by the Compiler
Also Extracts of the State and Federal Constitutions; and the State and Federal Statutes, Affecting the Powers, Duties, and Procedure of the Legislature, and the Privilege of its Members; the Rules of the Assembly; Directory of the Senate and Assembly; and the Location of State Offices.