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Making the actual reduction in the State debt since 1895.......
1,608,210 18 The report of the Comptroller for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 1898, shows that there was a balance
566,351 30 The report of the Comptroller for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 1899, shows that the total receipts
into the Treasury during the year were ........ 3,791,298 77 Making the total amount available in the Treasury during the year 1899 of ...............
4,357,650 07 The report of the Comptroller for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 1899, shows the total disbursements
The substantial reduction in the State debt recorded above has been accomplished in the face of greater appropriations for educational and charitable purposes than were made during any preceding administration. The revenues of the State are steadily growing, and with this continuance of increase, which should come under a wise and economical conduct of State affairs, there is no reason why the tax rate of 1734 cents should not be materially lessened, and, within a few years, the public debt paid off.
Unnecessary offices should not be created and useless ones should be discontinued. Every effort ought to be made to lessen the weight of taxation.
Along this line I think that the office of State Fire Marshal should be abolished. The $5,500 which is annually appropriated for its support could be withheld, and the powers of the State Insurance Commissioner so enlarged that the duties of Fire Marshal could be performed by one of his deputies.
For the purpose of attracting to the State desirable immigrants the General Assembly of 1896 established the Bureau of Immigration. . The experiment has been tried, and in my judgment the results have not been satisfactory.
The new buildings of the Maryland Penitentiary are completed and occupied. They were erected and equipped at a cost of $1,071,110.45. This is now the most modern penal institution in the country.
It continues to be self-supporting; the receipts for the past year having been $120,396.46, the largest in its history.
To make room for the new buildings it became necessary to raze some of the workshops. For the good of the inmates, as well as the self-maintenance of the institution, these shops should be restored, others put into operation, and the present ones rearranged. The old Penitentiary building, too, should be remodeled for hospital and other purposes. To carry out this work $150,000 is needed. With the facilities which would then be had it would not be long before the interest on the Penitentiary Loan could be paid out of the proceeds of the industrial enterprises located there.
HOUSE OF CORRECTION.
There is no institution in the State in which greater or more needed advance has been made in the last four years than the House of Correction. The original structure has been added to and improved so that there is now a dormitory exclusively for women, and a workshop apart from the living quarters, while modern sanitary arrangements have been installed in the whole building. New industrial enterprises have been inaugurated, the proceeds of which have increased the revenues of the State $12,000 more than in any year prior to 1896. Better discipline is preserved, and the general administration is highly creditable to the State.
STATE TOBACCO WAREHOUSES.
The work of the State Tobacco Warehouses under the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1898 has been very satisfactory. The first report of the Chief Inspector for the year
ending March 31, 1898, showed the net earnings for the year to be $15,705.05, an increase of more than $5,000 over any one year since the establishment of the warehouses. Experience has shown, however, that the law should be amended so as to give the Chief Inspector larger powers over the appointment and removal of subordinates.
MARYLAND AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE. The Maryland Agricultural College has become one of the most valuable educational institutions in the State. New buildings have been added and much-needed improvement made to the old, while the curriculum has been enlarged. The growing importance and appreciation of the college makes an addition to the main structure imperative.
The offices of State Entomologist and State Pathologist, which are conducted in connection with the college, have been administered so as to receive commendation from almost every county, while the Department of Farmers' Institutes has been productive of much good in the discussion of subjects which are of practical import to agricultural classes.
MARYLAND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. The Maryland Geological Survey, inaugurated by the General Assembly of Maryland of 1896, has accomplished important results during the brief period of its operations.
Three large volumes have already been issued, including reports dealing with the building stone industry, magnetic variations, highway improvement, and our agricultural and mineral resources,
Reports of an educational character of the physiography and geology of Maryland have been furnished, and other publications based upon the work of the past years are already in press, including a fourth volume of the survey dealing with the geological and economic resources of the western counties, together with a report of the surveys of both the western boundary and the Allegany-Garrett boundary line. The surveys of Allegany, Garrett, Cecil and Kent counties are complete, together with portions of Washington, Harford, Prince George's and Queen Anne's counties.
One of the most important branches of the work of the survey during the past two years has related to the study of Mary. land highway conditions. This work will afford the basis for future legislation in this direction.
The most permanent and economical methods of road-building may be ascertained after a period of model road-building in the vicinity of the several county towns where the most approved methods of road construction and actual operation may be demonstrated for the benefit of the people.
I recommend that the work of the survey receive the same liberal support of the General Assembly in the future as in the past.
The administration of the public schools should be divorced from all political influences. To this end I recommend the adoption of legislation that will insure the minority party representation on all the School Boards in the State. The salaries of the teachers in the public schools should be increased to a degree commensurate with the importance and requirements of the profession, and the tenure of office for teachers should be made more permanent, without regard to the mutations of politics.
The State Normal School is increasing in usefulness, and every year sending forth graduates well equipped as teachers.
The last General Assembly made an appropriation of $20,000 for a second Normal School at Frostburg. That amount being found insufficient, Allegany County advanced $5,000 for the erection of the building.
It will be necessary that an appropriation be made for the furnishing of the school, which will be completed in a few months.
A question which must sooner or later be met by the people of Maryland is that of the education of the colored race, so that the colored man may be given tools wherewith to become a good and useful citizen. The most certain method, to my mind, is the establishment of manual training and industrial schools. I recommend that this matter be given your serious attention.
HOSPITALS FOR THE INSANE.
The State Hospitals for the Insane are competently managed. Humane treatment for this class of patients is successfully practiced.
Through the liberal appropriations made by the last two General Assemblies, the Board of Managers of the Spring Grove Asylum was enabled to make many needed improvements for the betterment of the inmates.
The Second Hospital, near Sykesville, is not surpassed by any retreat of its kind. The open door treatment has been introduced for the first time in the State, and has proven eminently satisfactory. The first group of buildings is now occupied by 196 male patients. The second group is almost finished, and will be occupied by females.
The State has never made provision for a separate hospital for the colored insane. From the best information there are fully 350 of these unfortunates in the State. I would recommend that a group of buildings be erected on the grounds at Springfield for this purpose.
The questions of the State care of the pauper insane and the diversion of the liquor license fees of Baltimore City to the income of that municipality are being agitated.
The adoption of the first proposition is worthy of consideration. It has been recommended by the State Lunacy Commission, which has repeatedly submitted its views on the matter to the General Assembly. But if this is done the additional burden thereby imposed upon the State will preclude any diversion of the present revenues.