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Jordan v. Metropolitan Sanitary Dist.

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 26, 1958.

BERNARD F. JORDAN ET AL., APPELLEES,

v.

METROPOLITAN SANITARY DISTRICT OF GREATER CHICAGO ET AL., APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Superior Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN A. SBARBARO, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DAVIS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 22, 1959.

This case presents the question of the constitutionality of the 1957 amendment to section 26 of the Chicago Sanitary District Employees' and Trustees' Annuity and Benefit Fund Act, (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, par. 382.26,) and the validity of an amendment to rule 11.041 of the civil service board. The legislative amendment is here referred to as the enactment; the act in question, as the Annuity and Benefit Fund Act; and the rule, as the rule.

Plaintiffs, certain classified civil service employees of the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago who have attained, or will shortly attain, the age of 67 years, obtained a declaratory judgment in the superior court of Cook County that the enactment, which provided for compulsory retirement of such employees at age 67 with certain provisions for temporary re-employment, was unconstitutional, and that an amendment to the rule, which added attainment of 67 years of age as cause for discharge from service, was invalid. Defendants, the district, its trustees, the members of the civil service board and trustees of its employees' annuity and benefit fund, by appropriate answer, admitted the allegations of the plaintiffs' pleadings concerning their employment and their status in service, but denied the unconstitutionality of the enactment and the invalidity of the rule. Upon the issues of law presented by the pleadings, the court allowed plaintiffs' motion for judgment, entered judgment in accordance with the prayer of the complaint and issued an injunction permanently restraining defendants from removing or compulsorily retiring plaintiffs under the provisions of the enactment and rule.

The court found the enactment violative of section 2 of article II, article III, and section 13 of article IV of the Illinois constitution; and that the rule transgressed section 2 of article II and article III, was contrary to the provisions of section 4.14 of the Sanitary District Act, requiring the existence of cause for removal, (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, par. 323.14,) and beyond the rule-making power conferred upon the civil service board by section 4.5. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, par. 323.5.) Defendants appealed directly to this court since the validity of a statute is involved.

The enactment is entitled: "An Act to amend Section 26 of `An Act to provide for the creation, setting apart, maintenance and administration of a Sanitary District Employees' and Trustees Annuity and Benefit Fund in sanitary districts organized under an Act entitled "An Act to create sanitary districts and to remove obstructions in the Des Plaines and Illinois Rivers," approved May 29, 1889, as amended, and including within their territorial limits two or more cities, villages, or towns having a total population exceeding one million inhabitants,' approved July 7, 1931, as amended." It supplements section 26 as follows: "Any sanitary district employee, other than a trustee, shall be compulsorily retired from service upon attainment of 67 years of age; provided that the corporate authorities of the sanitary district may employ any former employee on a temporary basis after he attains 67 years of age and prior to attainment of 72 years of age if an annual physical examination conducted by a physician designated by such corporate authorities indicates that such employee is physically fit to continue in his employment, and an employee so continued in service on a temporary basis may at his option as provided in Section 15 of this Act make contributions for service rendered prior to 70 years of age." Section 26, both before and after the adoption of the enactment, provided for a service retirement pension for employees retiring from service at age 60, having rendered 5 years of service; for employees retiring at age 55, having rendered 15 years of service; and for employees retiring prior to age 55, having rendered 15 years of service, upon attaining age 55. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1955 and 1957, chap. 42, par. 382.26.) Section 15 referred to in the enactment was not changed. It heretofore specified and still specifies that an age and service annuity shall be payable for services rendered prior to age 65, and optionally, for services rendered between ages 65 and 70. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1955 and 1957, chap. 42, par. 382.15.

Section 13 of article IV of the Illinois constitution provides: "No act hereafter passed shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title." The trial court found that the provisions of the enactment violated this constitutional provision. We have been liberal in our construction of this mandate of the constitution and have held that in order to render a provision of a statute void because its subject is not embraced in its title, the provision must be one which is incongruous or which has no proper connection with the title of the act. (People ex rel. Ryan v. Sempek, 12 Ill.2d 581, 586; People ex rel. Coutrakon v. Lohr, 9 Ill.2d 539, 549; Pickus v. Board of Education, 9 Ill.2d 599, 612.) "Therefore, the constitution is obeyed if all the provisions of the act relate to one subject indicated in the title and are parts of it, or incident to it, or reasonably connected with it, or in some reasonable sense auxiliary to the object in view." (People ex rel. Brenza v. Gebbie, 5 Ill.2d 565, 587.) If the title of the act amended is set forth in the title of the amendatory act, any provision which might have been inserted in the original act may be incorporated in the amendatory act as within its title. (Sangamon County Fair and Agricultural Assn. v. Stanard, 9 Ill.2d 267, 273; Baim v. Fleck, 406 Ill. 193, 198; Malloy v. City of Chicago, 369 Ill. 97, 101.) The title of the Annuity and Benefit Fund Act is repeated verbatim in the enactment. The provisions of the enactment are neither incongruous nor inconsistent with the other provisions of section 26 or the other sections of the Annuity and Benefit Fund Act and could have been included in the original legislation had the legislature so desired. The subject of the enactment is compulsory retirement at age 67 with provision for temporary re-employment under certain conditions and for optional contributions to the annuity and benefit fund until the age of 70. We find that the provisions of the enactment are indicated in its title, reasonably connected with it, auxiliary to its object, and that this constitutional requirement is fulfilled.

Neither do we believe that the enactment embraces more than one subject. The term "subject" is comprehensive in its scope, and an act may include all matters germane to its general subject, including the means necessary or appropriate to the accomplishment of the legislative purpose. (People ex rel. Brenza v. Gebbie, 5 Ill.2d 565; People ex rel. Gutknecht v. City of Chicago, 414 Ill. 600.) The constitutional requirement seeks to prohibit only the inclusion of discordant provisions which by no fair intendment can be considered as having any legitimate relation to each other. (People ex rel. Brenza v. Gebbie, 5 Ill.2d 565, 587; People ex rel. City of Chicago v. Board of County Comrs. 355 Ill. 244, 247.) The provisions of the enactment are all germane to its general subject, are appropriate to accomplish the legislative purpose and have a legitimate relation to each other. Tested by these principles, the act complies with the constitutional mandate and the contention that the act embraces more than one subject is without merit.

The court below also held that the enactment was violative of the following language of section 13 of article IV of the Illinois constitution: "* * * and no law shall be revived or amended by reference to its title only, but the law revived, or the section amended, shall be inserted at length in the new act." Plaintiffs urge that the enactment, which purports to amend only section 26 of the Annuity and Benefit Fund Act, actually amends sections 4, 4.5 and 4.14 of the Sanitary District Act; (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, pars. 323, 323.5, 323.14;) that these sections should have been inserted at length in the new act; and that failure to do so renders it void.

The Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago was established under an act of the General Assembly approved May 29, 1889, as amended, and entitled "An Act to create sanitary districts and to remove obstructions in the Des Plaines and Illinois rivers," (Laws of 1889, pp. 125-137; Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, pars. 320 et seq.,) which provided for the organization of the district, defined its powers and duties, set out the responsibilities of its corporate authorities and provided methods for raising revenue. We here refer to this act as the Sanitary District Act.

In 1931 the General Assembly passed "An Act to provide for the creation, setting apart, maintenance and administration of a Sanitary District Employees' and Trustees Annuity and Benefit Fund in sanitary districts organized under an Act entitled `An Act to create sanitary districts and to remove obstructions in the Des Plaines and Illinois rivers.'" This act set up a retirement program for the employees of the sanitary district, provided for its administration by a retirement board, specified qualifications for service retirement pensions, set out provisions for return of salary deductions to the resigning or discharged employees and required the proper authorities of the district to furnish the board all information, reports and data concerning employees, needed by the board in the performance of its duties. (Laws of 1931, pp. 479-526; Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, pars. 382.1-382.60 incl.) We have here referred to this act as the Annuity and Benefit Fund Act.

In 1935, the General Assembly enacted "An Act to amend `An Act to create sanitary districts and to remove obstructions in the Des Plaines and Illinois rivers,'" approved May 29, 1889, as amended, by adding sections 4.1-4.36 thereto, which created a civil service board, brought all employees, with certain exceptions, under civil service, provided for a superintendent of employment, for examinations, eligibility lists, and classifications and that civil service employees could be removed or discharged only for cause after a hearing. (Laws of 1935, pp. 744-754; Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 42, pars. 323.1-323.36, incl.) Both the Sanitary District Act, the Annuity and Benefit Fund Act, and the amendatory act of 1935 are complete acts as defined by this court. People ex rel. Thomson v. Barnett, 344 Ill. 62, 76.

A careful examination of the sections of the Chicago Sanitary District Act alleged to have been amended reveals no violation of section 13 of article IV. Section 4 sets forth the powers and duties of the elected trustees of the district including the power to prescribe the duties and fix the compensation of the superintendent and officers and employees of the district. Section 4.5, one of the sections added by the civil service provisions of the act adopted in 1935, gives the civil service board the power to make rules, provide for examinations, appointments and removals from service. Section 4.14 provides that no employee in the classified service shall be removed or discharged except for cause and after a hearing, specifies the method of conducting hearings, and provides for judicial review. We are unable to say that the enactment, by adding to section 26 the provision for compulsory retirement at age 67, has the effect of ...


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