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“The legislature may confer upon any commission or court, now or hereafter created, such power and authority as the legislature may deem requisite to carry out the provisions of this section.
“The provisions of this section shall not be controlled or limited by any other provision of this constitution, except the provisions thereof, relating to the passage and approval of acts by the legislature and to the referendum thereof."
Unemployment insurance. The subject of unemployment insurance assisted by governmental funds has not been actively discussed in this country but may be presented in some manner to the constitutional convention. This whole subject will be found thoroughly discussed in a book by I. G. Gibbon, Unemployment Insurance. A study of schemes of assisted insurance (London, 1911).
Old age pensions. Governmental pension schemes exist in Illinois for teachers and for a number of classes of local employes. A full statement regarding these pension schemes will be found in the reports of the Illinois Pension Laws Commission. In the Pension Laws Commission Report for 1918-19 will be found a full review of the constitutional aspects of legislation providing for pensions of public employes. Another type of so-called pension legislation in this state is that which has to do with mothers' pensions. There has been no effort to enact pension legislation in this state other than that based either on the notion that a pension is part of an official compensation or upon the notion that the pension is a means by which the state takes care of its wards. . In the case of People v. Abbott, 274 Ill. 380 (1915) the Supreme Court said as to pensions of public employes : "Such pensions generally are not considered donations or gratuities. The rule in the majority of jurisdictions is that the legislature has power to require municipalities to pension their employes and raise the funds for that purpose.”
A plan of old age pensions involves different constitutional elements from the pensions just referred to, although old age pensions may perhaps be constitutionally justified on the ground that they constitute a legitimate means of preventing pauperism.
Old age pensions have been adopted in a number of countries. A full review of English legislation and its operation will be found in a book by H. J. Hoare, Old Age Pensions (London, 1915).
The subject of old age pensions has been investigated in recent years by several state commissions. A report of a special commission in Massachusetts in 1910 was adverse to old age pensions and compulsory old age insurance and recommended that if any scheme were adopted it should be a voluntary contributory scheme. A report was
? 'Report of Illinois Pension Laws Commission 1916. Report of Illinois Pension Laws Commission, 1918-19.
made in 1919 by a Pennsylvania commission on old age pensions. This report gives a complete review of old age pensions in all countries which have adopted such a plan. It discusses separately the voluntary and subsidized systems; the system of compulsory, contributory old age insurance; and the non-contributory or straight pension system. In 1919 also a report on health insurance and old age pensions was made by the Ohio Health and Old Age Pension Insurance Commission.
Little has been done in this country in the form of legislation regarding old age pensions. Massachusetts adopted in 1908 a plan of savings bank insurance which was intended to enable wage earners to secure life insurance or annuities at the lowest possible cost, and to encourage savings among workingmen. The expense of administering the savings bank insurance is borne largely by the state.. Wisconsin in 1911 adopted a state insurance system, although the expense of the administration in this state is paid from the insurance funds.
"No system of old age pensions is in force in continental United States but the territory of Alaska has an optional system whereby an aged person may receive a monthly pension of $12.50 in lieu of going to the Pioneers' Home at Sitka. The recipient of a pension must be 65 years
of age or over and a resident of Alaska for 10 years or since 1905. Arizona adopted an old age pension plan through an initiated act adopted November, 1915, but being crude and plainly unconstitutional in its form, it was promptly declared void by the Arizona Supreme
The New Hampshire House of Representatives sought in 1917 the advice of the Supreme Court of that state as to the constitutionality of old age pensions. New Hampshire has a constitutional provision that "Economy being a most essential virtue in all states, especially in a young one, no pension should be granted but in consideration of actual services; and such pensions ought to be granted with great caution by the legislature and never for more than one year at a time.” The court took the view that the constitutional provision prohibited a system of old age pensions. A similar view would almost necessarily be taken by the courts, upon the basis of constitutional provisions regarding pensions in Maryland and South Carolina.
Constitutional problems in connection with social insurance. The constitutional problem with respect to social insurance primarily concerns the use of public funds in aid of such schemes. It may be regarded as constitutionally doubtful whether the general assembly of this state may appropriate or authorize the appropriation of public funds for the payment of unemployment or health insurance or of old age pensions. A full discussion of the constitutionality of old age pensions will be found in F. J. Goodnow's Social Reform and the Constitution (New York, 1911).
3 Report of Ohio Health and Old Age Insurance Commission p. 271.
This chapter attempts to review the types of state legislation which supplements federal action with respect to payment or aid to soldiers.
In Illinois limited provisions were enacted in 1919, giving certain preferences to returned soldiers. Among these provisions is that for free scholarships at the State University and the state normal schools, the scholarships covering tuition and matriculation charges. (p. 922.) Certain preferences are also given returned soldiers under civil service laws, particularly as to appointments under the state classified service (p. 292); under park boards (p. 290); and under civil service in cities (p. 287). Under the state teachers' pension and retirement fund, an amendment (p. 706) provides that time spent with military and naval forces is to be computed as part of the 25-year period of teaching service, providing the returned soldier makes contributions to the pension fund covering the period of his military service. Another act (p. 533) authorizes the director of labor to secure information as to the rehabilitation of discharged soldiers and sailors in industry.
Some of the states have provided small cash payments and bonuses in the way of scholarships in educational institutions. Some merely give exemptions from tuition and matriculation fees. A law enacted by the legislature of Minnesota (Laws, 1919, chap. 338) provides tuition for soldiers in the University of Minnesota, in the state normal schools, in any college of the state which participated in the students' army training corps' work, and in other colleges and schools in the state. The total allowance for tuition to any person is not to exceed $200. In New York provision is made (Laws 1919, chap. for 450 state scholarships for world war veterans. These scholarships include $100 a year for tuition and $100 additional for maintenance. Not more than three persons may be appointed for the same period from any assembly district. Oregon grants a bonus of $25 a month or $200 a year for four years for educational purposes to any honorably discharged soldier (Laws, 1919, chap, 428). The state of Washington exempts returned soldiers from paying fees at the state university. (Laws, 1919, chap. 63.) In Massachusetts each officer, enlisted man, or other person having received an honorable discharge from military service may obtain a direct bonus of $100 upon making application to the proper authorities (Laws, 1919, chap. 283). In its regular session for 1919, North Dakota made an allowance of $25 a month for each month in service, to be applied for expenses of education or for the purchase of a home or farm. A bill introduced in the special session provides for a slight increase in the amount of compensation to be
granted, and makes the necessary increase for this purpose in the tax levy.
Important legislation has been enacted for soldiers' bonuses in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A Minnesota act approved September 22, 1919, provides that each soldier or sailor shall receive from the state the sum of fifteen ($15) dollars for each and every month and fraction thereof of service during the war. 'No soldier, however, is to receive less than fifty dollars. Sums received for tuition under a law referred to in the preceding paragraph are to be deducted, certificates of indebtedness not exceeding $20,000,000 are authorized to carry out the provisions of the act.
Wisconsin has gone furthest in working out a co-ordination between education and bonus. A general soldiers' bonus law provides ten ($10) dollars a month for each month a soldier was in service. An educational bonus law provides that a soldier shall "be entitled to receive thirty dollars per month while in regular attendance as a student at any such institution, but not to exceed a total of one thousand and eighty dollars in lieu of the soldier bonus provided for in chapter 667 of the Laws of 1919, except as hereinafter provided.” The educational bonus law provides methods for its administration; defines the institution that may be attended; and imposes an additional surtax on incomes, and a state tax not to exceed one mill on each dollar for a period of five years, to defray expenses under the act. Persons receiving the $10 bonus may also receive free correspondence instruction,
Preference in public employment. Quite a number of the states have enacted legislation giving returned soldiers preference in appointments under civil service regulations, and have also provided for their preference in public employment. Among the states that have enacted provisions of this kind during the legislative session of 1919 are: California (p. 1350); Illinois (pp. 287, 290 and 292); Indiana (pp. 423 and 872); Kansas (p. 378); Michigan (p. 402); Oregon (pp. 223, 248, 251 and 809); South Dakota (p. 373); Washington (chap. 14 and 26); and New York (chap. 225). New York has referred a constitutional amendment to the next legislature providing for preference for soldiers in the civil service (p. 1793).
The federal government also gives preference in civil service appointments to honorably discharged soldiers, sailors and marines, and their widows. Preference in appointments to civil service positions is further extended to wives of injured soldiers, sailors or marines who themselves are not qualified, but whose wives are qualified to hold such positions.
1 For a review of the Wisconsin legislation, see Review of Reviews, December, 1919, and Wisconsin's Educational Horizon, Vol. 2, No. 1 (September, 1919).
Admission to professions. In the legislative sessions for 1919, certain states made provision to facilitate the admission of returned soldiers to the learned professions, particularly in those cases in which their course of study was interrupted by the war. Thus Michigan reduces the regular period for prior study for admission to the bar examination from three years to two years in a law school and makes a corresponding reduction for study with a preceptor. Maine likewise provides for admission to examination at the end of two years' study and, in recognition of the time required for recuperation on the part of returned soldiers, lowers the passing grade to 60 per cent. (p. 15.) New York makes special provision for conferring degrees on dental students who were in the military service (chap. 422).
Exemptions from certain taxes and fees. Provision is made in a number of states for certain small tax exemptions and also for exemption from the payment of certain fees. Among the states which enacted such provisions in 1919 are: California (pp. 139, 160, 269 and 305); Indiana (pp. 199, 697 and 823); Maine (chap. 105 and 218); Michigan (pp. 132 and 585); and New Mexico (p. 345). Provisions exempting soldiers from the necessity of securing hucksters' and peddlers' licenses are found in New York (chap. 42), Delaware (p. 49) and Minnesota (p. 484).
Land settlement plans for soldiers. The most substantial provisions so far enacted by the different states are the land settlement acts to provide homes for returned soldiers.
The national soldiers' settlement bill has been pending in congress for many months. This bill embodies the general plan of the federal government to cooperate with the several states in providing employment and rural homes for returned soldiers. Under this reclamation and settlement plan of the federal government the country is to be divided into three general divisions corresponding to three types of land to be settled. The northern division comprises mainly the cutover timber land lying principally in Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The southern division consists mostly of swamp lands south of the Ohio boundary. The western division includes the arid lands west of the Dakotas and Nebraska. Over two hundred million acres of unused swamp, cut-over, and arid lands are available under reclamation and irrigation plans embodied in the federal land settlement bill. The normal size of the farms will be 80 acres. Half of the land will be completely or partially prepared by the government, which will also erect houses and barns and supply equipment necessary for cultivating the land. The original payment on the land will be 5 per cent of the cost and the remaining payments will be extended over a period of forty years.