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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 7   View pdf image (33K)
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of Governor Herbert R. O'Conor 7

For the Justices of the Peace in the counties I should substitute one or
more central courts in each county for the trial of such criminal and civil cases
as now go before the magistrates. Judges of such courts should be compen-
sated on a salary basis, and the fee system abolished. Their accounts should
be audited, and in each county there should be clerks to keep the dockets and
to transmit the fines and forfeitures to the State treasury.

In Baltimore City also the magistrate system should be changed, and
the People's Court reformed along the lines recommended by the Bar As-
sociation of Baltimore City. I shall have introduced as promptly as possible a
bill to put into effect these desirable changes that do not require an amendment
to the Constitution. In the meantime I shall appoint as Justices of the Peace
only those persons known to be qualified by education, character and tempera-
ment, and who will regard their office primarily as one of importance and
dignity and not as one giving opportunity to profit by the misfortunes of their
fellow men and women. The selection of these officials I shall regard as one
of my most important duties.

Another matter which I feel is of great importance is the establishment of
a Legislative Council. This also was a subject of discussion in the campaign.
Such a Council should be composed principally of members of the General As-
sembly, including the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the
majority and minority floor leaders in each House, and several members of
each House representing both parties. This body should hold meetings peri-
odically during recess of the Legislature for the purpose of agreeing upon,
sponsoring, and preparing a program of legislation to be submitted to the Legis-
lature; and of recommending such revisions of the Senate and House rules
as appear to be desirable.

This Council should have a research director with an adequate staff to ad-
vise the Council upon such major legislative proposals or sugggestions as the
Council may agree upon. Its whole purpose would be to improve the delibera-
tive functioning of the Legislature and to make possible the study of legisla-
tive matters by a group of responsible leaders before the Legislature assembles.
It would give the Legislature a greater voice in the policies of the State gov-
ernment—it would remove many conflicts of interest as well as much confusion
and indecision, such as are now inevitable under present conditions. It would
enable calm and considered public discussions of proposed laws and give public
opinion an opportunity to develop and crystallize. As a result the Legislature
would assume the lead in legislative matters and function with a maximum of
deliberative efficiency. I am convinced that the adoption of a statute creating
such a Council is the best way to improve the quality of legislation and to main-
tain legislative participation and authority.

Happily, Maryland has had little strife between labor and capital, that has
marked industrial centers in other States, and substantially none of the bitter-
ness. I think this is because all of us realize that labor and capital are inter-
dependent, that each, without the other, is helpless, and that what hurts one
necessarily hurts the other. There ought to be no antagonism between them,
but rather cooperation. Unless the employer prospers, he cannot give steady
employment at fair wages, so that the best guarantee of steady jobs at good
wages is a prosperous industry.

It is my judgment that this administration ought to do everything in its
power to encourage and not hamper industry upon which the wealth of the


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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 7   View pdf image (33K)
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