Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas. Page: 10 of 24
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have to be amended so as to give the Legislature the power to
It is earnestly recommended that the Legislature propose and submit
such an amendment to be voted on at the next regular election.
According to a statement furnished me by the State Comptroller, the
total general revenue for the fiscal year ending August 31, 1910 was
$4,046,040.44, of which sum $1,566,837.78 was from ad valorem taxes
on real and personal property and the remainder, or $2,474,202.56,
was collected from sources other than a tax on property. This indicates
how easy it would be, by an adjustment of our tax system
on the basis proposed, to raise the state's revenue in the manner suggested
without levying an ad valorem tax on lands and personal
property for general state revenue purposes.
STATE'S ACCOUNTING SYSTEM.
The methods of keeping the accounts of the state are such it is
exceedingly difficult to get accurate information in complete form
from any one department of matters which should be of complete
record and ascertainable without having to delve into the archives
and records of some other department. It has occurred to me that
the records in each department should accurately show the beginning
and the ending of any matter. There may be complete records somewhere,
but it is often not so kept as to be ascertainable without
much research and delay. This should not be so. A recent act of
the Legislature, which applies only to the prison system of the state,
provides for an auditor. We also have provided, by separate act,
a State Revenue Agent, and by another act a State Purchasing Agent.
These three officies and duties should be combined in one department
and provision made for the employment of competent auditors under
its control, whose duty it should be to audit the accounts of every
department and institution in the state, and to systematize the bookkeeping
of all of them. By the adoption of this course I believe many
offices and places that are made necessary by the present conditions
could be abolished and large sums of money saved to the tax payers
of the state in the general cost of conducting public affairs. Under
the terms of our state banking system, and of the national banking
law, a critical examination into the affairs of the banks is provided
for and required. Similar scrutiny and examination into the fiscal
management of all state departments and institutions should be made.
THE PENITENTIARY SYSTEM.
I shall not undertake a full discussion of this important subject
at this time. Later I will probably discuss the matter fully in a
special message. The act of the fourth special session of the Thirtyfirst
Legislature creating the Prison Commission and providing for
the management of the prison system of the State, goes too much into
detail. After a few weeks study and practical effort to apply the
law, the Prison Commissioners may be able to make some suggestions
for practical changes, and if so they will be communicated to you,
with such recommendations and observations as are deemed advisable~
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Colquitt, O. B. Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas., book, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5834/m1/10/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .