Jones Act of 1917
AN ACT TO PROVIDE A CIVIL GOVERNMENT FOR PORTO RICO AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.1
Approved March 2, 1917.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of this Act shall apply to the island of Porto Rico and to the adjacent islands belonging to the United States, and waters of those islands; and the name Porto Rico as used in this Act shall be held to include not only the island of that name but all the adjacent islands as aforesaid.
1 Public—No. 368—64TH Congress. [H. R. 9533.]
BILL OF RIGHTS
Sec. 2. That no law shall be enacted in Porto Rico which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal protection of the laws.
That in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to have a copy thereof, to have a speedy and public trial, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.
That no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law; and no person for the same offense shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
That all persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. That no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be enacted.
That no person shall be imprisoned for debt.
That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion, insurrection, or invasion, the public safety may require it, in either of which events the same may be suspended by the President, or by the governor, whenever during such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist.
That no ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.
Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use except upon payment of just compensation ascertained in the manner provided by law. Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to limit the power of the legislature to enact laws for the protection of the lives, health, or safety of employees.
That no law granting a title of nobility shall be enacted, and no person holding any office of profit or trust under the government of Porto Rico shall, without the consent of the Congress of the United States, accept any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever from any king, queen, prince, or foreign State, or any officer thereof.
That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
That the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.
That no warrant for arrest or search shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
That slavery shall not exist in Porto Rico.
That involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall not exist in Porto Rico.
That no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.
That no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed, and that no political or religious test other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Porto Rico shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the government of Porto Rico.
That no public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution or association, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such, or for charitable, industrial, educational, or benevolent purposes to any person, corporation, or community not under the absolute control of Porto Rico. Contracting of polygamous or plural marriages hereafter is prohibited.
That one year after the approval of this Act and thereafter it shall be unlawful to import, manufacture, sell, or give away, or to expose for sale or gift any intoxicating drink or drug: Provided, That the legislature may authorize and regulate importation, manufacture, and sale of said liquors and drugs for medicinal, sacramental, industrial, and scientific uses only. The penalty for violations of this provision with reference to intoxicants shall be a fine of not less than $25 for the first offense, and for second and subsequent offenses a fine of not less than S50 and imprisonment for not less than one month or more than one year: And provided further, That at any general election within five years after the approval of this Act this provision may, upon petition of not less than ten per centum of the qualified electors of Porto Rico, be submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of Porto Rico, and if a majority of all the qualified electors of Porto Rico voting upon such question shall vote to repeal this provision, it shall thereafter not be in force and effect; otherwise it shall be in full force and effect.
That no money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation by law, and on warrant drawn by the proper officer in pursuance thereof.
That the rule of taxation in Porto Rico shall be uniform.
That all money derived from any tax levied or assessed for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund in the Treasury and paid out for such purpose only except upon the approval of the President of the United States.
That eight hours shall constitute a day's work in all cases of employment of laborers and mechanics by and on behalf of the government of the island on public works, except in cases of emergency.
That the employment of children under the age of fourteen years in any occupation injurious to health or morals or hazardous to life or limb is hereby prohibited.
Sec. 3. That no export duties shall be levied or collected on exports from Porto Rico, but taxes and assessments on property, internal revenue, and license fees, and royalties for franchises, privileges, and concessions may be imposed for the purposes of the insular and municipal governments, respectively, as may be provided and defined by the Legislature of Porto Rico; and when necessary to anticipate taxes and revenues, bonds and other obligations may be issued by Porto Rico or any municipal government therein as may be provided by law, and to protect the public credit: Provided, however, That no public indebtedness of Porto Rico or of any subdivision or municipality thereof shall be authorized or allowed in excess of seven per centum of the aggregate tax valuation of its property, and all bonds issued by the government of Porto Rico, or by its authority, shall be exempt from taxation by the Government of the United States, or by the government of Porto Rico or of any political or municipal subdivision thereof, or by any State, or by any county, municipality, or other municipal subdivision of any State or Territory of the United States, or by the District of Columbia. In computing the indebtedness of the people of Porto Rico, bonds issued by the people of Porto Rico secured by an equivalent amount of bonds of municipal corporations or school boards of Porto Rico shall not be counted.
Sec. 4. That the capital of Porto Rico shall be at the city of San Juan, and the seat of government shall be maintained there.
Sec. 5. That all citizens of Porto Rico, as denned by section seven of the Act of April twelfth, nineteen hundred, "temporarily to provide revenues and a civil government for Porto Rico, and for other purposes," and all natives of Porto Rico who were temporarily absent from that island on April eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and have since returned and are permanently residing in that island, and are not citizens of any foreign country, are hereby declared, and shall be deemed and held to be, citizens of the United States: Provided, That any person hereinbefore described may retain his present political status by making a declaration, under oath, of his decision to do so within six months of the taking effect of this Act before the district court in the district in which he resides, the declaration to be in form as follows:
"I, , being duly sworn, hereby declare my intention not to become a citizen of the United States as provided in the Act of Congress conferring United States citizenship upon citizens of Porto Rico and certain natives permanently residing in said island."
In the case of any such person who may be absent from the island during said six months the term of this proviso may be availed of by transmitting a declaration, under oath, in the form herein provided within six months of the taking effect of this Act to the executive secretary of Porto Rico: And provided further, That any person who is born in Porto Rico of an alien parent and is permanently residing in that island may, if of full age, within six months of the taking effect of this Act, or if a minor, upon reaching his majority or within one year thereafter, make a sworn declaration of allegiance to the United States before the United States District Court for Porto Rico, setting forth therein all the facts connected with his or her birth and residence in Porto Rico and accompanying due proof thereof, and from and after the making of such declaration shall be considered to be a citizen of the United States.
Sec. 6. That all expenses that may be incurred on account of the government of Porto Rico for salaries of officials and the conduct of their offices and departments, and all expenses and obligations contracted for the internal improvement or development of the island, not, however, including defenses, barracks, harbors, lighthouses, buoys, and other works undertaken by the United States, shall, except as otherwise specifically provided by the Congress, be paid by the treasurer of Porto Rico out of the revenue in his custody.
Sec. 7. That all property which may have been acquired in Porto Rico by the United States under the cession of Spain in the treaty of peace entered into on the tenth day of December, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, in any public bridges, road houses, water powers, highways, unnavigable streams and the beds thereof, subterranean waters, mines or minerals under the surface of private lands, all property which at the time of the cession belonged, under the laws of Spain then in force, to the various harbor works boards of Porto Rico, all the harbor shores, docks, slips, reclaimed lands, and all public lands and buildings not heretofore reserved by the United States for public purposes, is hereby placed under the control of the government of Porto Rico, to be administered for the benefit of the people of Porto Rico; and the Legislature of Porto Rico shall have authority, subject to the limitations imposed upon all its acts, to legislate with respect to all such matters as it may deem advisable: Provided, That the President may from time to time, in his discretion, convey to the people of Porto Rico such lands, buildings, or interests in lands or other property now owned by the United States and within the territorial limits of Porto Rico as in his opinion are no longer needed for purposes of the United States. And he may from time to time accept by legislative grant from Porto Rico any lands, buildings, or other interests or property which may be needed for public purposes by the United States.
Sec. 8. That the harbor areas and navigable streams and bodies of water and submerged lands underlying the same in and around the island of Porto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters, now owned by the United States and not reserved by the United States for public purposes, be, and the same are hereby placed under the control of the government of Porto Rico, to be administered in the same manner and subject to the same limitations as the property enumerated in the preceding section: Provided, That all laws of the United States for the protection and improvement of the navigable waters of the United States and the preservation of the interests of navigation and commerce, except so far as the same may be locally inapplicable, shall apply to said island and waters and to its adjacent islands and waters: Provided further, That nothing in this Act contained shall be construed so as to affect or impair in any manner the terms or conditions of any authorizations, permits, or other powers heretofore lawfully granted or exercised in or in respect of said waters and submerged lands in and surrounding said island and its adjacent islands by the Secretary of War or other authorized officer or agent of the United States: And provided further, That the Act of Congress approved June eleventh, nineteen hundred and six, entitled "An Act to empower the Secretary of War, under certain restrictions, to authorize the construction, extension, and maintenance of wharves, piers, and other structures on lands underlying harbor areas in navigable streams and bodies of water in or surrounding Porto Rico and the islands adjacent thereto," and all other laws and parts of laws in conflict with this section be, and the same are hereby, repealed.
Sec. 9. That the statutory laws of the United States not locally inapplicable, except as hereinbefore or hereinafter otherwise provided, shall have the same force and effect in Porto Rico as in the United States, except the internal-revenue laws: Provided, however, That hereafter all taxes collected under the internal-revenue laws of the United States on articles produced in Porto Rico and transported to the United States, or consumed in the island shall be covered into the treasury of Porto Rico.
Sec. 10. That all judicial process shall run in the name of "United States of America, ss. the President of the United States," and all penal or criminal prosecutions in the local courts shall be conducted in the name and by the authority of "The People of Porto Rico"; and all officials shall be citizens of the United States, and, before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, shall take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Porto Rico.
Sec. 11. That all reports required by law to be made by the governor or heads of departments to any official of the United States shall hereafter be made to an executive department of the Government of the United States to be designated by the President, and the President is hereby authorized to place all matters pertaining to the government of Porto Rico in the jurisdiction of such department.
Sec. 12. That the supreme executive power shall be vested in an executive officer, whose official title shall be "The Governor of Porto Rico." He shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and hold his office at the pleasure of the President and until his successor is chosen and qualified. The governor shall reside in Porto Rico during his official incumbency and maintain his office at the seat of government. He shall have general supervision and control of all the departments and bureaus of the government in Porto Rico, so far as is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, and shall be commander in chief of the militia. He may grant pardons and reprieves and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses against the laws of Porto Rico, and respites for all offenses against the laws of the United States until the decision of the President can be ascertained, and may veto any legislation enacted as hereinafter provided. He shall commission all officers that he may be authorized to appoint. He shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws of Porto Rico and of the United States applicable in Porto Rico, and whenever it becomes necessary he may call upon the commanders of the military and naval forces of the United States in the island, or summon the posse comitatus, or call out the militia to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, and he may, in case of rebellion or invasion, or imminent danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the island, or any part thereof, under martial law until communication can be had with the President and the President's decision therein made known. He shall annually, and at such other times as he may be required, make official report of the transactions of the government of Porto Rico to the executive department of the Government of the United States to be designated by the President as herein provided, and his said annual report shall be transmitted to Congress, and he shall perform such additional duties and functions as may in pursuance of law be delegated to him by the President.
Sec. 13. That the following executive departments are hereby created: A department of justice, the head of which shall be designated as the attorney general; a department of finance, the head of which shall be designated as the treasurer; a department of interior, the head of which shall be designated as the commissioner of the interior; a department of education, the head of which shall be designated as the commissioner of education; a department of agriculture and labor, the head of which shall be designated as the commissioner of agriculture and labor; and a department of health, the head of which shall be designated as the commissioner of health. The attorney general and commissioner of education shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, to hold office for four years and until their successors are appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President. The heads of the four remaining departments shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of Porto Rico. The heads of departments appointed by the governor shall hold office for the term of four years and until their successors are appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the governor.
Heads of departments shall reside in Porto Rico during their official incumbency, and those appointed by the governor shall have resided in Porto Rico for at least one year prior to their appointment.
The heads of departments shall collectively form a council to the governor, known as the executive council. They shall perform under the general supervision of the governor the duties hereinafter prescribed, or which may hereafter be prescribed by law and such other duties, not inconsistent with law, as the governor, with the approval of the President, may assign to them; and they shall make annual and such other reports to the governor as he may require, which shall be transmitted to the executive department of the Government of the United States to be designated by the President as herein provided: Provided, That the duties herein imposed upon the heads of departments shall not carry with them any additional compensation.
Sec. 14. That the attorney general shall have charge of the administration of justice in Porto Rico; he shall be the legal adviser of the governor and the heads of departments and shall be responsible for the proper representation of the people of Porto Rico or its duly constituted officers in all actions and proceedings, civil or criminal, in the Supreme Court of Porto Rico in which the people of Porto Rico shall be interested or a party, and he may, if directed by the governor or if in his judgment the public interest requires it, represent the people of Porto Rico or its duly constituted officers in any other court or before any other officer or board in any action or proceeding, civil or criminal, in which the people of Porto Rico may be a party or be interested. He shall also perform such other duties not inconsistent herewith as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 15. That the treasurer shall give bond, approved as to form by the attorney general of Porto Rico, in such sum as the legislature may require, not less, however, than the sum of $125,000, with surety or sureties approved by the governor, and he shall collect and be the custodian of public funds, and shall disburse the same in accordance with law, on warrants signed by the auditor and countersigned by the governor, and perform such other duties as may be provided by law. He may designate banking institutions in Porto Rico and the United States as depositaries of the government of Porto Rico, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the governor, after they have filed with him satisfactory evidence of their sound financial condition and have deposited bonds of the United States of the government of Porto Rico or other security satisfactory to the governor in such amounts as may be indicated by him; and no banking institution shall be designated a depositary of the government of Porto Rico until the foregoing conditions have been complied with. Interest on deposits shall be required and paid into the treasury.
Sec. 16. That the commissioner of the interior shall superintend all works of a public nature, have charge of all public buildings, grounds and lands, except those belonging to the United States, and shall execute such requirements as may be imposed by law with respect thereto, and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 17. That the commissioner of education shall superintend public instruction throughout Porto Rico; all proposed disbursements on account thereof must be approved by him, and all courses of study shall be prepared by him, subject to disapproval by the governor if he desires to act. He shall prepare rules governing the selection of teachers, and appointments of teachers by local school boards shall be subject to his approval, and he shall perform such other duties, not inconsistent with this Act, as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 18. That the commissioner of agriculture and labor shall have general charge of such bureaus and branches of government as have been or shall be legally constituted for the study, advancement, and benefit of agricultural and other industries, the chief purpose of this department being to foster, promote, and develop the agricultural interests and the welfare of the wage earners of Porto Rico, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 19. That the commissioner of health shall have general charge of all matters relating to public health, sanitation, and charities, except such as relate to the conduct of maritime quarantine, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 20. That there shall be appointed by the President an auditor, at an annual salary of $5000, for a term of four years, and until his successor is appointed and qualified, who shall examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts, from whatever source, of the government of Porto Rico and of the municipal governments of Porto Rico, including public trust funds and funds derived from bond issues; and audit, in accordance with law and administrative regulations, all expenditures of funds or property pertaining to or held in trust by the government of Porto Rico or the municipalities or dependencies thereof. He shall perform a like duty with respect to all government branches.
He shall keep the general accounts of the government and preserve the vouchers pertaining thereto.
It shall be the duty of the auditor to bring to the attention of the proper administrative officer expenditures of funds or property which, in his opinion, are irregular, unnecessary, excessive, or extravagant.
In case of vacancy or of the absence from duty, from any cause, of the auditor, the Governor of Porto Rico may designate an assistant, who shall have charge of the office.
The jurisdiction of the auditor over accounts, whether of funds or property, and all vouchers and records pertaining thereto, shall be exclusive. With the approval of the governor, he shall from time to time make and promulgate general or special rules and regulations not inconsistent with law covering the methods of accounting for public funds and property, and funds and property held in trust by the government or any of its branches: Provided, That any officer accountable for public funds or property may require such additional reports or returns from his subordinates or others as he may deem necessary for his own information and protection.
The decisions of the auditor shall be final, except that appeal therefrom may be taken by the party aggrieved or the head of the department concerned within one year, in the manner hereinafter prescribed. The auditor shall, except as hereinafter provided, have like authority as that conferred by the law upon the several auditors of the United States and the Comptroller of the United States Treasury, and is authorized to communicate directly with any person having claims before him for settlement, or with any department, officer, or person having official relations with his office.
As soon after the close of each fiscal year as the accounts of said year may be examined and adjusted, the auditors shall submit to the governor an annual report of the fiscal concerns of the government, showing the receipts and disbursements of the various departments and bureaus of the government and of the various municipalities, and make such other reports as may be required of him by the governor or the head of the executive department of the Government of the United States, to be designated by the President as herein provided. In the execution of his duties the auditor is authorized to summon witnesses, administer oaths, and to take evidence, and, in the pursuance of these provisions, may issue subpoenas and enforce the attendance of witnesses. The office of the auditor shall be under the general supervision of the governor and shall consist of the auditor and such necessary assistants as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 21. That any person aggrieved by the action or decision of the auditor in the settlement of his account or claim may, within one year, take an appeal in writing to the governor, which appeal shall specifically set forth the particular action of the auditor to which exception is taken, with the reason and authorities relied on for reversing such decision. The decision of the governor in such case shall be final, subject to such right of action as may be otherwise provided by law.
Sec. 22. That there shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of Porto Rico, an executive secretary at an annual salary of $4000, who shall record and preserve the minutes and proceedings of the public service commission hereinafter provided for and the laws enacted by the legislature and all acts and proceedings of the governor, and promulgate all proclamations and orders of the governor and all laws enacted by the legislature, and until otherwise provided by the legislature of Porto Rico perform all the duties of secretary of Porto Rico as now provided by law, except as otherwise specified in this Act, and perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Governor of Porto Rico. In the event of a vacancy in the office, or the absence, illness, or temporary disqualification of such officer, the governor shall designate some officer or employee of the government to discharge the functions of said office during such vacancy, absence, illness, or temporary disqualification.
Sec. 23. That the Governor of Porto Rico, within sixty days after the end of each session of the legislature, shall transmit to the executive department of the Government of the United States, to be designated as herein provided for, which shall in turn transmit the same to the Congress of the United States, copies of all laws enacted during the session.
Sec. 24. That the President may from time to time designate the head of an executive department of Porto Rico to act as governor in the case of a vacancy, the temporary removal, resignation, or disability of the governor, or his temporary absence, and the head of the department thus designated shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the governor during such vacancy, disability, or absence.
Sec. 25. That all local legislative powers in Porto Rico, except as herein otherwise provided, shall be vested in a legislature which shall consist of two houses, one the senate and the other the house of representatives, and the two houses shall be designated "the Legislature of Porto Rico."
Sec. 26. That the Senate of Porto Rico shall consist of nineteen members elected for terms of four years by the qualified electors of Porto Rico. Each of the seven senatorial districts defined as hereinafter provided shall have the right to elect two senators, and in addition thereto there shall be elected five senators at large. No person shall be a member of the Senate of Porto Rico who is not over thirty years of age, and who is not able to read and write either the Spanish or English language, and who has not been a resident of Porto Rico for at least two consecutive years, and, except in the case of senators at large, an actual resident of the senatorial district from which chosen for a period of at least one year prior to his election. Except as herein otherwise provided, the Senate of Porto Rico shall exercise all of the purely legislative powers and functions heretofore exercised by the Executive Council, including confirmation of appointments; but appointments made while the senate is not in session shall be effective either until disapproved or until the next adjournment of the senate for the session. In electing the five senators at large each elector shall be permitted to vote for but one candidate, and the five candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared elected.
Sec. 27. That the House of Representatives of Porto Rico shall consist of thirty-nine members elected quadrennially by the qualified electors of Porto Rico, as hereinafter provided. Each of the representative districts hereinafter provided for shall have the right to elect one representative, and in addition thereto there shall be elected four representatives at large. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives who is not over twenty-five years of age, and who is not able to read and write either the Spanish or English language, except in the case of representative at large, who has not been a bona fide resident of the district from which elected for at least one year prior to his election. In electing the four representatives at large, each elector shall be permitted to vote for but one candidate and the four candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be elected.
Sec. 28. That for the purpose of elections hereafter to the legislature the island of Porto Rico shall be divided into thirty-five representative districts, composed of contiguous and compact territory and established, so far as practicable, upon the basis of equal population. The division into and the demarcation of such districts shall be made by the Executive Council of Porto Rico. Division of districts shall be made as nearly as practicable to conform to the topographical nature of the land, with regard to roads and other means of communication and to natural barriers. Said Executive Council shall also divide the island of Porto Rico into seven senatorial districts, each composed of five contiguous and compact representative districts. They shall make their report within thirty days after the approval of this Act, which report, when approved by the governor, shall be final.
Sec. 29. That the next election in Porto Rico shall be held in the year nineteen hundred and seventeen upon the sixteenth day of July. At such election there shall be chosen senators, representatives, a Resident Commissioner to the United States, and two public-service commissioners, as herein provided. Thereafter the elections shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, beginning with the year nineteen hundred and twenty, and every four years thereafter, and the terms of office of all municipal officials who have heretofore been elected and whose terms would otherwise expire at the beginning of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen are hereby extended until the officials who may be elected to fill such offices in nineteen hundred and twenty shall have been duly qualified: Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to limit the right of the Legislature of Porto Rico at any time to revise the boundaries of senatorial and representative districts and of any municipality or to abolish any municipality and the officers provided therefore.
Sec. 30. That the term of office of senators and representatives chosen by the first general election shall be until January first, nineteen hundred and twenty-one, and the terms of office of senators and representatives chosen at subsequent elections shall be four years from the second of January following their election. In case of vacancy among the members of the senate or in the house of representatives, special elections may be held in the districts wherein such vacancy occurred, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, but senators or representatives elected in such cases shall hold office only for the unexpired portion of the term wherein the vacancy occurred, and no senator or representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office under the government of Porto Rico, nor be appointed to any office created by Act of the legislature during the time for which he shall have been elected until two years after his term of office shall have expired.
Sec. 31. That members of the Senate and House of Representatives of Porto Rico shall receive compensation at the rate of $7 per day for the first ninety days of each regular session and $1 per day for each additional day of such session while in session, and mileage for each session at the rate of 10 cents per kilometer for each kilometer actually and necessarily traveled in going from their legislative districts to the capital and therefrom to their place of residence in their districts by the usual routes of travel.
Sec. 32. That the senate and House of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole judges of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their members, and they shall have and exercise all the powers with respect to the conduct of their proceedings that usually pertain to parliamentary legislative bodies. Both houses shall convene at the capital on the second Monday in February following the next election, and organize by the election of a speaker or a presiding officer, a clerk, and a sergeant at arms for each house, and such other officers and assistants as may be required.
Sec. 33. That the first regular session of the Legislature of Porto Rico, provided for by this Act, shall convene on the twenty-eighth day after the first election provided for herein, and regular sessions of the legislature shall be held biennially thereafter, convening on the second Monday in February of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen, and on the second Monday in February of each second year thereafter. The governor may call special sessions of the legislature or of the senate at any time when in his opinion the public interest may require it, but no special session shall continue longer than ten days, not including Sundays and holidays, and no legislation shall be considered at such session other than that specified in the call, and he shall call the senate in special session at least once each year on the second Monday in February of those years in which a regular session of the legislature is not provided for.
Sec. 34. That the enacting clause of the laws shall be as to acts, "Be it enacted by the Legislature of Porto Rico," and as to joint resolutions, "Be it resolved by the Legislature of Porto Rico." Except as hereinafter provided, bills and joint resolutions may originate in either house. The governor shall submit at the opening of each regular session of the legislature a budget of receipts and expenditures, which shall be the basis of the ensuing biennial appropriation bill. No bill shall become a law until it be passed in each house by a majority yeaand-nay vote of all of the members belonging to such house and entered upon the journal and be approved by the governor within ten days thereafter. If when a bill that has been passed is presented to the governor for his signature he approves the same, he shall sign it; or if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which house shall enter his objections at large on its journal and proceed to reconsider if. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the members of that house shall agree to pass the same it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members of that house it shall be sent to the governor, who, in case he shall then not approve, shall transmit the same to the President of the United States. The vote of each house shall be by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against shall be entered on the journal. If the President of the United States approve the same he shall sign it and it shall become a law. If he shall not approve same he shall return it to the governor so stating, and it shall not become a law: Provided, That the President of the United States shall approve or disapprove an Act submitted to him under the provisions of this section within ninety days from and after its submission for his approval; and if not approved within such tune it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved. If any bill presented to the governor contains several items of appropriation of money, he may object to one or more of such items, or any part or parts, portion or portions thereof, while approving of the other portion of the bill. In such case he shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the items, parts or portions thereof to which he objects, and the appropriation so objected to shall not take effect. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by adjournment prevents its return, in which case it shall be a law if signed by the governor within thirty days after receipt by him; otherwise it shall not be a law. All laws enacted by the Legislature of Porto Rico shall be reported to the Congress of the United States, as provided in section twenty-three of this Act, which hereby reserves the power and authority to annul the same. If at the termination of any fiscal year the appropriations necessary for the support of the government for the ensuing fiscal year shall not have been made, the several sums appropriated in the last appropriation bills for the objects and purposes therein specified, so far as the same may be applicable, shall be deemed to be reappropriated item by item; and until the legislature shall act in such behalf the treasurer may, with the advice of the governor, make the payments necessary for the purposes aforesaid.
Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and may, in its discretion, from time to time publish the same, and the yeas and nays on any question shall, on the demand of one-fifth of the members present, be entered on the journal.
The sessions of each house and of the committees of the whole shall be open.
Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.
No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through either house as to change its original purpose..
No act of the legislature except the general appropriation bills for the expenses of the government shall take effect until ninety days after its passage, unless in case of emergency (which shall be expressed in the preamble or body of the act) the legislature shall by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house otherwise direct. No bill, except the general appropriation bill for the expenses of the government only, introduced in either house of the legislature after the first forty days of the session, shall become a law.
No bill shall be considered or become a law unless referred to a committee, returned therefrom, and printed for the use of the members: Provided, That either house may by a majority vote discharge a committee from the consideration of a measure and bring it before the body for consideration.
No bill, except general appropriation bills, shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title; but if any subject shall be embraced in any act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be so expressed.
No law shall be revived, or amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred by reference to its title only, but so much thereof as is revived, amended, extended, or conferred shall be reenacted and published at length.
The presiding officer of each house shall, in the presence of the house over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature, after their titles shall have been publicly read, immediately before signing; and the fact of signing shall be entered on the journal.
The legislature shall prescribe by law the number, duties, and compensation of the officers and employees of each house; and no payment shall be made for services to the legislature from the treasury, or be in any way authorized to any person, except to an acting officer or employee elected or appointed in pursuance of law.
No bill shall be passed giving any extra compensation to any public officer, servant or employee, agent or contractor, after services shall have been rendered or contract made.
Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no law shall extend the term of any public officer, or increase or diminish his salary or emoluments after his election or appointment, nor permit any officer or employee to draw compensation for more than one office or position.
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as in case of other bills. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments, interest on the public debt, and for public schools. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.
Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on the question of adjournment, or relating solely to the transaction of business of the two houses, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.
Any person who shall, directly or indirectly, offer, give, or promise any money or thing of value, testimonial, privilege, or personal advantage to any executive or judicial officer or member of the legislature to influence him in the performance of any of his public or official duties, shall be deemed guilty of bribery, and be punished by a fine not exceeding S5000, or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.
The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the legislature, or of public officers of Porto Rico, or of any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation of such members or officers to influence their official action, shall be defined by law, and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment.
In case the available revenues of Porto Rico for any fiscal year, including available surplus for the insular treasury, are insufficient to meet all the appropriations made by the legislature for such year, such appropriations shall be paid in the following order, unless otherwise directed by the governor.
First class. The ordinary expenses of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the State government, and interest on any public debt, shall first be paid in full.
Second class. Appropriations for all institutions, such as the penitentiary, insane asylum, industrial school, and the like, where the inmates are confined involuntarily, shall next be paid in full.
Third class. Appropriations for education and educational and charitable institutions shall next be paid in full.
Fourth class. Appropriations for any other officer or officers, bureaus or boards, shall next be paid in full.
Fifth class. Appropriations for all other purposes shall next be paid.
That in case there are not sufficient revenues for any fiscal year including available surplus in the insular treasury, to meet in full the appropriations of said year for all of the said classes of appropriations, then said revenues shall be applied to the classes in the order above named, and if, after the payment of the prior classes in full, there are not sufficient revenues for any fiscal year to pay in full the appropriations for that year for the next class, then, in that event, whatever there may be to apply on account of appropriations for said class shall be distributed among said appropriations pro rata according as the amount of each appropriation of that class shall bear to the total amount of all said appropriations for that class for such fiscal year.
No appropriation shall be made, nor any expenditure authorized by the legislature, whereby the expenditure of the Government of Porto Rico during any fiscal year shall exceed the total revenue then provided for by law and applicable for such appropriation or expenditure, including any available surplus in the treasury, unless the legislature making such appropriation shall provide for levying a sufficient tax to pay such appropriation or expenditure within such fiscal year.
Sec. 35. That at the first election held pursuant to this Act the qualified electors shall be those having the qualifications of voters under the present law. Thereafter voters shall be citizens of the United States twenty-one years of age or over and have such additional qualifications as may be prescribed by the legislature of Porto Rico: Provided, That no property qualifications shall ever be imposed upon or required of any voter.
Sec. 36. That the qualified electors of Porto Rico shall at the next general election choose a Resident Commissioner to the United States, whose term of office shall begin on the date of the issuance of his certificate of election and shall continue until the fourth of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-one. At each subsequent election, beginning with the year nineteen hundred and twenty, the qualified electors of Porto Rico shall choose a Resident Commissioner to the United States, whose term of office shall be four years from the fourth of March following such general election, and who shall be entitled to receive official recognition as such Commissioner by all of the departments of the Government of the United States, upon presentation, through the Department of State, of a certificate of election of the Governor of Porto Rico. The Resident Commissioner shall receive a salary, payable monthly by the United States, of §7500 per annum. Such Commissioner shall be allowed the same sum for stationery and for the pay of necessary clerk hire as is now allowed to Members of the House of Representatives of the United States; and he shall be allowed the sum of $500 as mileage for each session of the House of Representatives and the franking privilege granted members of Congress. No person shall be eligible to election as Resident Commissioner who is not a bona fide citizen of the United States and who is not more than twenty-five years of age, and who does not read and write the English language. In case of a vacancy in the office of Resident Commissioner by death, resignation, or otherwise, the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a resident Commissioner to fill the vacancy, who shall serve until the next general election and until his successor is elected and qualified.
Sec. 37. That the legislative authority herein provided shall extend to all matters of a legislative character not locally inapplicable, including power to create, consolidate, and reorganize the municipalities so far as may be necessary, and to provide and repeal laws and ordinances therefor; also the power to alter, amend, modify, or repeal any or all laws and ordinances of every character now in force in Porto Rico or municipality or district thereof in so far as such alteration, amendment, modification, or repeal may be consistent with the provisions of this Act.
No executive department not provided for in this Act shall be created by the legislature, but the legislature may consolidate departments, or abolish any department, with the consent of the President of the United States.
Sec. 38. That all grants of franchises, rights, and privileges of a public or quasi public nature shall be made by a public service commission, consisting of the heads of executive departments, the auditor, and two commissioners to be elected by the qualified voters at the first general election to be held under this Act, and at each subsequent general election thereafter. The terms of said elective commissioners elected at the first general election shall commence on the twentyeighth day following the said general election, and the terms of the said elective commissioners elected at each subsequent general election shall commence on the second day of January following their election; they shall serve for four years and until then- successors are elected and qualified. Their compensation shall be 88 for each day's attendance on the sessions of the commission, but in no case shall they receive more than $400 each during any one year. The said commission is also empowered and directed to discharge all the executive functions relating to public-service corporations heretofore conferred by law upon the executive council. Franchises, rights, and privileges granted by the said commission shall not be effective until approved by the governor, and shall be reported to Congress, which hereby reserves the power to annul or modify the same.
The interstate-commerce Act and the several amendments made or to be made thereto, the safety-appliance Acts and the several amendments made or to be made thereto, and the Act of Congress entitled "An Act to amend an Act entitled 'An Act to regulate commerce,' approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and eightyseven, and all Acts amendatory thereof, by providing for a valuation of the several classes of property of carriers subject thereto and securing information concerning their stocks, bonds, and other securities," approved March first, nineteen hundred and thirteen, shall not apply to Porto Rico.
The Legislative Assembly of Porto Rico is hereby authorized to enact laws relating to the regulation of the rates, tariffs, and service of public carriers by rail in Porto Rico, and the Public-Service Commission hereby created shall have power to enforce such laws under appropriate regulation.
Sec. 39. That all grants of franchises and privileges under the section last preceding shall provide that the same shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal, and shall forbid the issue of stocks or bonds except in exchange for actual cash or property at a fair valuation to be determined by the public-service commission equal in amount to the par value of the stocks or bonds issued, and shall forbid the declaring of stock or bond dividends, and in the case of public-service corporations shall provide for the effective regulation of charges thereof and for the purchase or taking of their property by the authorities at a fair and reasonable valuation.
That nothing hi this Act contained shall be so construed as to abrogate or in any manner impair or affect the provision contained in section three of the joint resolution approved May first, nineteen hundred, with respect to the buying, selling, or holding of real estate. That the Governor of Porto Rico shall cause to have made and submitted to Congress at the session beginning the first Monday in December, nineteen hundred and seventeen, a report of all the real estate used for the purposes of agriculture and held either directly or indirectly by corporations, partnerships, or individuals in holdings in excess of five hundred acres.
Sec. 40. That the judicial power shall be vested in the courts and tribunals of Porto Rico now established and in operation under and by virtue of existing laws. The jurisdiction of said courts and the form of procedure in them, and the various officers and attache's thereof, shall also continue to be now as provided until otherwise provided by law: Provided, however, That the chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, and the Legislature of Porto Rico shall have authority, from time to tune as it may see fit, not inconsistent with this Act, to organize, modify, or rearrange the courts and their jurisdiction and procedure, except the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico.
Sec. 41. That Porto Rico shall constitute a judicial district to be called "the district of Porto Rico." The President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint one district judge, who shall serve for a term of four years and until his successor is appointed and qualified and whose salary shall be $5000 per annum. There shall be appointed in like manner a district attorney, whose salary shall be $4000 per annum, and a marshal for said district, whose salary shall be $3500 per annum, each for a term of four years unless sooner removed by the President. The district court for said district shall be called "the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico," and shall have power to appoint all necessary officials and assistants, including the clerk, interpreter, and such commissioners as may be necessary, who shall be entitled to the same fees and have like powers and duties as are exercised and performed by United States commissioners. Such district court shall have jurisdiction of all cases cognizable in the district courts of the United States and shall proceed in the same manner. In addition said district court shall have jurisdiction for the naturalization of aliens and Porto Ricans, and for this purpose residence in Porto Rico shall be counted in the same manner as residence elsewhere in the United States. Said district court shall have jurisdiction of all controversies where all of the parties on either side of the controversy are citizens or subjects of a foreign State or States, or citizens of a State, Territory, or District of the United States not domiciled in Porto Rico, wherein the matter in dispute exceeds, exclusive of interest or cost, the sum or value of $3000, and of all controversies in which there is a separable controversy involving such jurisdictional amount and in which all of the parties on either side of such separable controversy are citizens or subjects of the character aforesaid: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be deemed to impair the jurisdiction of the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico to hear and determine all controversies pending in said court at the date of the approval of this Act. Upon the taking effect of this Act the salaries of the judge and officials of the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico, together with the court expenses, shall be paid from the United States revenues in the same manner as in other United States district courts. In case of vacancy or of the death, absence, or other legal disability on the part of the judge of the said District Court of the United States for Porto Rico, the President of the United States is authorized to designate one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Porto Rico to discharge the duties of judge of said court until such absence or disability shall be removed, and thereupon such judge so designated for said service shall be fully authorized and empowered to perform the duties of said office during such absence or disability of such regular judge, and to sign all necessary papers and records as the acting judge of said court, without extra compensation.
Sec. 42. That the laws of the United States relating to appeals, writs of error and certiorari, removal of causes, and other matters or proceedings as between the courts of the United States and the courts of the several States shall govern in such matters and proceedings as between the district court of the United States and the courts of Porto Rico. Regular terms of said United States district court shall be held at San Juan, commencing on the first Monday in May and November of each year, and also at Ponce on the second Monday in February of each year, and special terms may be held at Mayaguez at such stated times as said judge may deem expedient. All pleadings and proceedings in said court shall be conducted in the English language. The said district court shall be attached to and included in the first circuit of the United States, with the right of appeal and review by said circuit court of appeals in all cases where the same would lie from any district court to a circuit court of appeals of the United States, and with the right of appeal and review directly by the Supreme Court of the United States in all cases where a direct appeal would be from such district courts.
Sec. 43. That writs of error and appeals from the final judgments and decrees of the Supreme Court of Porto Rico may be taken and prosecuted to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and to the Supreme Court of the United States, as now provided by law.
Sec. 44. That the qualifications of jurors as fixed by the local laws of Porto Rico shall not apply to jurors selected to serve in the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico; but the qualifications required of jurors in said court shall be that each shall be of the age of not less than twenty-one years and not over sixty-five years, a resident of Porto Rico for not less than one year, and have a sufficient knowledge of the English language to enable hin to serve as a juror; they shall also be citizens of the United States. Juries for the said court shall be selected, drawn and subject to exemption in accordance with the laws of Congress regulating the same in the United States courts in so far as locally applicable.
Sec. 45. That all such fees, fines, costs, and forfeitures as would be deposited to the credit of the United States if collected and paid into a district court of the United States shall become revenues of the United States when collected and paid into the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico: Provided, That $500 a year from such fees, fines, costs, and forfeitures shall be retained by the clerk and expended for law library purposes under the direction of the judge.
Sec. 46. That the Attorney General of the United States shall from time to time determine the salaries of all officials and assistants appointed by the United States district court, including the clerk, his deputies, interpreter, stenographer, and other officials and employees, the same to be paid by the United States as other salaries and expenses of like character in United States courts.
Sec. 47. That jurors and witnesses in the District Court of the United States for Porto Rico shall be entitled to and receive 15 cents for each mile necessarily traveled over any stage line or by private conveyance and 10 cents for each mile over any railway in going to and returning from said courts. But no constructive or double mileage fees shall be allowed by reason of any person being summoned both as witness and juror or as witness in two or more cases pending in the same court and triable at the same term thereof. Such jurors shall be paid $3 per day and such witnesses $1.50 per day while in attendance upon the court.
Sec. 48. That the supreme and district courts of Porto Rico and the respective judges thereof may grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases in which the same are gran table by the judges of the district courts of the United States, and the district courts may grant writs of mandamus in all proper cases.
Sec. 49. That hereafter all judges, marshals, and secretaries of courts now established or that may hereafter be established in Porto Rico, and whose appointment by the President is not provided for .by law, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of Porto Rico.
Sec. 50. That, except as in this Act otherwise provided, the salaries of all the officials of Porto Rico not appointed by the President, including deputies, assistants, and other help, shall be such and be so paid out of the revenues of Porto Rico as shall from time to time be determined by the Legislature of Porto Rico and approved by the governor; and if the legislature shall fail to make an appropriation for such salaries, the salaries theretofore fixed shall be paid without the necessity of further appropriations therefor. The salaries of all officers and all expenses of the offices of the various officials of Porto Rico appointed as herein provided by the President shall also be paid out of the revenues of Porto Rico on warrant of the auditor, countersigned by the governor. The annual salaries of the following-named officials appointed by the President and so to be paid shall be: The governor, $10,000; in addition thereto he shall be entitled to the occupancy of the buildings heretofore used by the chief executive of Porto Rico, with the furniture and effects therein, free of rental; heads of executive departments, $5000; chief justice of the supreme court, $6500; associate justices of the supreme court, $5500 each.
Where any officer whose salary is fixed by this act is required to give a bond, the premium thereof shall be paid from the insular treasury.
Sec. 51. That the provisions of the foregoing section shall not apply to municipal officials; then- salaries and the compensation of their deputies, assistants, and other help, as well as all other expenses incurred by the municipalities, shall be paid out of the municipal revenues, in such manner as the legislature shall provide.
Sec. 52. That wherever in this Act offices of the insular government of Porto Rico are provided for under the same names as in the heretofore existing Acts of Congress affecting Porto Rico, the present incumbents of those offices shall continue in office in accordance with the terms and at the salaries prescribed by this Act, excepting the heads of those departments who are to be appointed by the governor and who shall continue in office only until their successors are appointed and have qualified. The offices of secretary of Porto Rico and director of labor, charities, and correction are hereby abolished. Authority is given to the respective appointing authorities to appoint and commission persons to fill the new offices created by this Act.
Sec. 53. That any bureau or office belonging to any of the regular departments of the government, or hereafter created, or not assigned, may be transferred or assigned to any department by the governor with the approval of the Senate of Porto Rico.
Sec. 54. That deeds and other instruments affecting land situate in the District of Columbia, or any other territory or possession of the United States, may be acknowledged in Porto Rico before any notary public appointed therein by proper authority, or any officer therein who has ex officio the powers of a notary public: Provided, That the certificate by such notary shall be accompanied by the certificate of the executive secretary of Porto Rico to the effect that the notary taking such acknowledgment is in fact such notarial officer.
Sec. 55. That nothing in this Act shall be deemed to impair or interrupt the jurisdiction of existing courts over matters pending therein upon the approval of this Act, which jurisdiction is in all respects hereby continued, the purpose of this Act being to preserve the integrity of all of said courts and their jurisdiction until otherwise provided by law, except as in this Act otherwise specifically provided.
Sec. 56. That this Act shall take effect upon approval, but until its provisions shall severally become operative, as hereinbefore provided, the corresponding legislative and executive functions of the government in Porto Rico shall continue to be exercised and in full force and operation as now provided by law; and the Executive Council .-hall, until the assembly and organization of the Legislature of Porto Rico as herein provided, consist of the attorney general, the treasurer, the commissioner of the interior, the commissioner of education, the commissioner of health, and the commissioner of agriculture and labor, and the five additional members as now provided by law. And any functions assigned to the Senate of Porto Rico by the provisions of this Act shall, until this said senate has assembled and organized as herein provided, be exercised by the Executive Council as thus constituted: Provided, however, That all appointments made by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Executive Council as thus constituted, in the Executive Council as authorized by section thirteen of this Act or in the office of Executive Secretary of Porto Rico, shall be regarded as temporary and shall expire not later than twenty days from and after the assembly and organization of the legislature hereinbefore provided, unless said appointments shall be ratified and made permanent by the said Senate of Porto Rico.
Sec. 57. That the laws and ordinances of Porto Rico now in force shall continue in force and effect, except as altered, amended, or modified herein, until altered, amended, or repealed by the legislative authority herein provided for Porto Rico or by Act of Congress of the United States; and such legislative authority shall have power, when not inconsistent with this Act, by due enactment to amend, alter, modify, or repeal any law or ordinance, civil or criminal, continued hi force by this Act as it may from tune to tune see fit.
Sec. 58. That all laws or parts of laws applicable to Porto Rico not in conflict with any of the provisions of this Act, including the laws relating to tariffs, customs and duties on importations into Porto Rico prescribed by the Act of Congress entitled "An Act temporarily to provide revenues and a civil government for Porto Rico, and for other purposes," approved April twelfth, nineteen hundred, are hereby continued in effect, and all laws and parts of laws inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.
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