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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 Maryland 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
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.
During the excellent administration of the State Library by the present incumbent, the 39,000 volumes have been rearranged and a card catalogue made.
Many valuable pamphlets have been examined, classified and made accessible, and improved library methods adopted.
STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER.
The report of the State Insurance Commissioner shows that the receipts from this department have largely increased since the present incumbent was appointed. There is no reason why this increase should not be kept up if the department continues to be wisely conducted and the Insurance Laws so amended as to conform to the changing demands of business. For the past fiscal year the receipts were $166,795.09, while in 1895 they were $134,100.98. I ask your attention to the recommendations made by the commissioner.
FISH COMMISSION. The Fish Commissioners have been most energetic, and from all sections of the State the results of their labors have been commended. Their work should continue to receive liberal encouragement.
BUREAU OF INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS.
The Bureau of Industrial Statistics has been ably conducted. Its report for the year 1898 contains for the first time statistical tables dealing with the industries of Maryland outside of Baltimore City, besides having much other useful and reliable information.
LIVE STOCK SANITARY BOARD. The Live Stock Sanitary Board has made itself one of the most useful branches of the State Government. The scope of the Board was enlarged by the Act of 1898, which placed upon it the duty of inspecting the premises of those dairies from which milk was shipped to the cities and towns. It is important to note that the constitutionality of this Act was attacked, but the legality of the measure has been affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
STATE PRINTING. Money can be saved to the State if the General Assembly will provide means for the concentration of the State printing under the management of one person. Under the present law, the Clerk of the Court of Appeals biennially advertises for and lets a contract for State printing. This contract, however, covers only about one-third of all the printing that is paid for out of the State Treasury. Nearly all the State Bureaus contract for their own printing, which is paid for out of their regular appropriatious. I would suggest a Public Printer, with authority to do the work himself or contract for the same.
FIRE PROTECTION TO STATE HOUSE.
The General Assembly of 1898 appropriated $3,000 to be expended for improvements in the Electrical Equipment of the State House to reduce the danger from fire. This work has been completed, and additional fire protection has been secured by placing on each floor and in different parts of the buildings reels of hose attached to water plugs.
Every safeguard should be thrown around our elections so. that they may be made the free and fair index of the popular will. To this end I think that legislation similar to that in force in other States, and known as the Corrupt Practices Act, would go far towards reducing corruption at the polls. A Primary Election Law should also be enacted, under the provisions of which it may be possible for any reputable citizen to become a candidate for public office. As it now stands, it is frequently the case that only the man with money has any hope of winning in the primaries, and then only if he be the choice of the party organization. This not only precludes worthy citizens of limited means from the realization of honorable political ambitions, but compels the people at the General Election to make their selection between two men neither of whom is the first choice of the majority of the voters.
The Constitution and law should be so changed that contested elections in the case of Clerks of Courts and Registers of Wills, instead of being decided by the House of Delegates, should be passed upon by the Judges of the several Circuit Courts, and in Baltimore City, by the Superior Court of that City. The question at issue in such cases is purely one of law and fact, and in no sense political.
The policing of a large city like Baltimore ought to be kept entirely apart from partisan politics, and no political party should be charged with or assume single-handed the preservation of order; every citizen, no matter what his political connection may be, has a right to demand the best protection possible of his life and property. The time has arrived when the Board of Police Commissioners of Baltimore City should be reorganized upon a non-partisan basis. In order to secure undivided responsibility, the power of appointment of Police Commissioners should rest with the Governor, with the consent of the Senate.
The steady dimunition of the oyster supply of the Chesapeake Bay ought to receive careful consideration. The time has come when the State must take some action for improving the wasteful methods at present employed in catching oysters, and for the encouragement of oyster planting. The oyster fund derived from Tongers’ and Dredgers' Licenses continues to be insufficient for the support of the State Fishery Force.