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State debt called the general fund debt, including the debt for loans of the State credit to railroad companies which have failed to pay the interest thereon, and also the contingent debt on State stocks loaned to incorporated companies which have hitherto paid the interest thereon, whenever and as far as any part thereof may become a charge on the Treasury or general fund, until the same shall be wholly paid; and the principal and income of the said last-mentioned sinking fund shall be sacredly applied to the purpose aforesaid, and if the payment of any part of the moneys to the said sinking fund shall at any time be deferred, by reason of the priority recognized in the first section of this article, the sum so deferred with quarterly interest thereon at the then cur. rent rate shall be paid to the last-mentioned sinking fund, as soon as it can be done consistently with the just rights of the creditors holding said canal debt.
Sec. 3. The first and second sections of this article having been fully complied with, no tolls shall hereafter be imposed on persons or property transported on the canals, but all boats navi. gating the canals, and the owners and masters thereof, shall be subject to such laws and regulations as have been or may hereafter be enacted concerning the navigation of the canals. The Legislature shall, annually, by equitable taxes, make provision for the expenses of the superintendence and repairs of the canals. The canal debt contracted under the section hereby amended, which on the first day of October, eighteen hundred and eighty, amounted to eight million nine hundred and eighty-two thousand two hundred dollars, shall continue to be known as the “canal debt, under article seven, section three, of the Constitution;" and the sinking fund applicable to the payment thereof, together with the contributions to be made thereto, shall continue to be known as the “ canal debt sinking fund," and the principal and interest of said debt shall be met as provided in the fifth section of this article. All contracts for work or materials on any canal shall be made with the person who shall offer to do or provide the same at the lowest price, with adequate security for their performance. No extra compensation shall be made to any contractor; but if, from any unforeseen cause, the terms of any contract shall prove to be unjust and oppressive, the Canal Board may, upon the application of the contractor, cancel such contract.
Sec. 4. The claims of the State against any incorporated company to pay the interest and redeem the principal of the stock of the State loaned or advanced to such company, shall be fairly enforced, and not released or compromised; and the moneys arising from such claim shall be set apart and applied as part of the sinking fund provided in the second section of this article. But the time limited for the fulfillment of any condition of any release or compromise heretofore made or provided for may be extended by law.
Sec. 5. There shall annually be imposed and levied a tax, which shall be sufficient to pay the interest and extinguish the principal of the canal debt mentioned in the third section of this article, as the same shall become due and payable, and the proceeds of such tax shall in each fiscal year be appropriated and set apart for the sinking fund constituted for the payment of the principal and the interest of the aforesaid debt. But the Legis. lature may, in its discretion, impose for the fiscal year beginning on the first day of October, eighteen hundred and eighty-three, a State tax on each dollar of the valuation of the property in the State which may by law then be subject to taxation, suffi cient with the accumulations of the sinking fund applicable thereto, to pay in full both the principal and interest of the canal debt before mentioned, and the proceeds of such tax shall be appropriated and set apart for the sinking fund constituted for the payment of the principal and interest of said debt. In the event of such action by the Legislature, then the Legislature shall, under the law directing the assessment and levy of such tax, make such provision for the retirement of the canal debt as it shall deem equitable and just to the creditors of the State.
Sec. 6. The Legislature shall not sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the Erie canal, the Oswego canal, the Champlain canal, the Cayuga and Seneca canal, or the Black River canal, but they shall remain the property of the State and under its management forever. All funds that may be derived from any lease, sale or other disposition of any canal shall be applied in payment of the canal debt mentioned in the third section of this article.
Sec. 7. The Legislature shall never sell or dispose of the Salt Springs belonging to this State. The lands contiguous thereto, and which may be necessary and convenient for the use of the Salt Springs, may be sold by authority of law and under the direc. tion of the Commissioners of the Land Office, for the purpose of investing the moneys arising therefrom in other lands alike con. venient; but by such sale and purchase the aggregate quantity of these lands shall not be diminished.
Sec. 8. No moneys shall ever be paid out of the treasury of this State, or any of its funds, or any of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appropriation by law; nor unless such payment be made within two years next after the passage of such appropriation act; and every such law making a new appropriation, or continuing or reviving an appropriation, shall distinctly specify the sum appropriated, and the object to which it is to be applied; and it shall not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other law to fix such sum.
Sec. 9. The credit of the State shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual, association or corporation.
Sec. 10. The State may, to meet casual deficits or failures in revenues, or for expenses not provided for, contract debts, but such debts, direct or contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed one million of dollars; and the moneys arising from the loans creating such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which they were obtained, or to repay the debt so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.
Sec. 11. In addition to the above limited power to contract debts, the State may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the State in war; but the money arising from the contracting of such debts shall be applied to the purpose for which it was raised, or to repay such debts, and to no other purpose whatever.
Sec. 12. Except the debts specified in the tenth and eleventh sections of this article, no debts shall be hereafter contracted by or on behalf of this State, unless such debt shall be authorized by a law, for some single work or object, to be distinctly specified therein; and such law shall impose and provide for the collection of a direct annual tax to pay, and sufficient to pay, the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt within eighteen years from the time of the contracting thereof. No such law shall take effect until it shall, at a general election, have been submitted to the people, and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it, at such election. On the final passage of such bill in either house of the Legislature, the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, to be duly entered on the journals thereof, and shall be: “Shall this bill pass, and ought the same to receive the sanction of the people ?”
The Legislature may at any time, after the approval of such law by the people, if no debt shall have been contracted in pursuance thereof, repeal the same; and may at any time, by law, forbid the contracting of any further debt or liability under such law; but the tax imposed by such act, in proportion to the debt and liability which may have been contracted, in pursuance of such law, shall remain in force and be irrepealable, and be annually collected, until the proceeds thereof shall have made the provision hereinbefore specified to pay and discharge the interest and principal of such debt and liability. The money arising from any loan or stock creating such debt or liability shall be applied to the work or object specified in the act authorizing such debt or liability, or for the repayment of such debt or lia. bility, and for no other purpose whatever. No such law shall be submitted to be voted on, within three months after its passage, or at any general election, when any other law, or any bill, or any amendment to the Constitution, shall be submitted to be voted for or against.
Sec. 13. The sinking funds provided for the payment of interest and the extinguishment of the principal of the debts of the State shall be separately kept and safely invested, and neither of them shall be appropriated or used in any manner other than for the specific purpose for which it shall have been provided. Sec. 14. Neither the ,
Canal Board, Canal Appraisers, nor any person or persons acting in behalf of the State, shall audit, allow, or pay any claim which, as between citizens of the State, would be barred by lapse of time. The limitation of existing claims shall begin to run from the adoption of this section; but this provision shall not be construed to revive claims already barred by existing statutes, nor to repeal any statute fixing the time within which claims shall be pre. sented or allowed, nor shall it extend to any claims duly presented within the time allowed by law, and prosecuted with due diligence from the time of such presentment. But if the claimant shall be under legal disability, the claim may be presented within two years after such disability is removed.
ARTICLE VIII. Section 1. Corporations may be formed under general laws; but shall not be created by special act, except for municipal pur. poses, and in cases where, in the judgment of the Legislature, the objects of the corporation cannot be attained under general laws. All general laws and special acts passed pursuant to this section may be altered from time to time or repealed.
Sec. 2. Dues from corporations shall be secured by such individual liability of the corporators and other means as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 3. The term corporations as used in this article shall be construed to include all associations and joint-stock companies having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships. And all corporations shall have the right to sue and shall be subject to be sued in all courts in like cases as natural persons.
Sec. 4. The Legislature shall, by general law, conform all charters of savings banks, or institutions for savings, to a untformity of powers, rights and liabilities, and all charters here. after granted for such corporations shall be made to conform to such general law, and to such amendments as may be made thereto. And no such corporation shall have any capital stock, nor shall the trustees thereof, or any of them, have any interest whatever, direct or indirect, in the profits of such corporation; and no director or trustee of any such bank or institution shall be interested in any loan or use of any money or property of such bank or institution for savings. The Legislature shall have no power to pass any act granting any special charter for banking purposes; but corporations or associations may be formed for such purposes under general laws.
Sec. 5. The Legislature shall have no power to pass any law sanctioning in any manner, directly or indirectly, the suspension of specie payments, by any person, association or corporation issuing bank notes of any description.
Sec. 6. The Legislature shall provide by law for the registry of all bills or notes, issued or put in circulation as money,
and shall require ample security for the redemption of the same in specie.
Sec. 7. The stockholders in every corporation and joint-stock association for banking purposes issuing bank notes or any kind