APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon.
DEWITT S. CROW, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE BRISTOW DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Certain plaintiffs-appellants appeal directly to this court from a decree of the circuit court of Sangamon County granting defendants' motion to strike and dismiss the plaintiffs' second amended complaint to enjoin disbursements from the Fair and Exposition Fund on the ground that the 1955 amendment to the State Finance Act is unconstitutional. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1955, chap. 127, par. 1421.
Since the constitutionality and validity of a State statute and the public revenue are directly involved the appeal properly comes direct to this court.
Section 6i of the State Finance Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1955, chap. 127, par. 142i) was extensively amended by House Bill No. 734 of the 69th General Assembly, being a bill entitled "An Act to amend Section 6i of `An Act in relation to State finance,' approved June 10, 1919, as amended." (Laws of 1955, p. 1338.) In substance section 6i as thus amended sets up the Fair and Exposition Fund, provides for its administration by the Department of Agriculture, authorizes distribution from the fund to county fairs in counties with a population of less than 500,000 and to fair and exposition authorities in counties with a population of 500,000 or more. Funds distributed pursuant to this section may be expended for financing industrial, cultural, educational, trade and scientific exhibits and for construction and equipping of auditoriums and buildings for such purposes. The 1955 amendment added authority to use distributed funds for payment of the principal and interest upon revenue bonds issued for any of the foregoing purposes and deleted the provision permitting use of the funds for agricultural premiums. The amendatory act also provided that a participant, to be eligible to receive appropriations under the statute, must hold the land on which the fair or exposition is to be conducted as a fee or under a lease of at least 40 years duration and that upon receiving a distribution from the fund the treasurer of the participant should file with the Director of the Department of Agriculture a penal bond equaling the sum distributed and conditioned upon the lawful expenditure of the money distributed. The amendatory act also provided that before any money is distributed to any participant under said section the participant shall file with the said Director a schedule showing the purpose for which the State funds are to be spent and also an accounting of such funds at the end of the calendar year following distribution. Failure to comply with any provision of such paragraph bars a participant from further distribution of money. The Department of Agriculture was further authorized to make and enforce such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to carry out and enforce the provisions of the act.
Suit was filed as a taxpayer class action for an injunction to enjoin disbursement of the public funds, alleging unconstitutionality of said amendatory act for the following reasons:
(1) It violates section 13 of article IV of the Illinois constitution in that the title of the amendatory act embraces more than one subject.
(2) It violates section 1 of article IV of the constitution in that (a) it delegates legislative powers to an administrative officer; (b) it confers administrative discretion upon an administrative officer without supplying any standards or definitions, and (c) it is so vague, indefinite and uncertain that the legislative intention cannot be ascertained.
(3) It violates section 13 of article IV of the constitution in that House Bill 734 was not read at large on three different days in the House of Representatives but was, in the third reading, read by title only and not at large.
The legislative history of said bill is alleged in detail in the complaint in substance as follows: Introduced on April 13, 1955, and referred to the House Executive Committee; heard before the executive committee of the House on May 11, 1955, amended by committee and reported by committee to the House with recommendation "do pass" as amended; first reading on May 12, 1955, and advanced to order of second reading; called on order of second reading on May 18, 1955, amended, read the second time and advanced to order of third reading; called on order of third reading for passage on June 7, 1955, title of bill only read by chief clerk, demand by representative for reading at large and in full, refusal by Speaker to order reading in full and at large, called for vote on passage and passed; legislative protest signed by two representatives filed on or about June 8, 1955, protesting and dissenting from passage for failure to read in full; legislative protest signed by five representatives, filed on or about June 14, 1955, protesting and dissenting from passage of the bill for failure to read at large on the order of the third reading or at any time thereafter; bill reported to the Senate, passed thereby, and approved by the Governor on July 9, 1955.
Attached to the complaint as exhibit "A" and incorporated therein was page 20 of the House Journal of June 7, 1955, wherein it is specifically stated in reference to said House Bill as follows: "having been transcribed and typed and all amendments adopted thereto having been printed, was taken up and read at large a third time."
The trial court in allowing the defendant's motion and dismissing the complaint held that the amendatory act was valid and constitutional and not unconstitutional for any of the reasons assigned in the complaint.
George P. Coutrakon, separate plaintiff and appellant, by leave of court filed in the same proceeding his separate complaint challenging the constitutionality of the amendatory act as follows:
(1) It violates section 2 of article II of the constitution in basing distribution from the fund to participants upon population of the participant's county.
(2) It violates section 2 of article II of the constitution in prohibiting use of the funds distributed for agricultural premiums under section 28 of the State Finance Act.
(3) It violates section 11 of article II of the constitution in penalizing failure to comply with provisions of the amendment with permanent ...