Tax Day: California’s Ratification of Amendment 16

Just a reminder for you on Tax Day (April 15th)… the constitutional amendment which allowed the federal government to collect an income tax was ratified with the approval of the California Legislature.

Congress proposed an amendment to the federal constitution on July 2, 1909, which gave Congress the “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

Senator Sanford

On January 5, 1911, State Senator John Bunyan Sanford (D-Ukiah) introduced a resolution, SJR 2, to ratify the amendment. In an interesting side note, Sanford was one of 5 State Senators (and 17 Legislators overall) who voted against SCA 8 (1911), which amended the State Constitution to give women the right to vote in California.

As a second side-note; Senator Ted Gaines sits at the Senate Desk 25, where Sanford sat in 1911.

SJR 2 (1911) was approved by the full Senate on January 23rd, by a vote of 33-0 (with seven abstentions).

Final Senate Floor Vote: 33-0 (January 23, 1911)

AYES: Avey, Bell, Bills, Birdsall, Black, Boynton, Bryant, Burnett, Caminetti, Campbell, Cartwright, Cassidy, Cutten, Estudillo, Gates, Hare, Hewitt, Holohan, Hurd, Juilliard, Larkins, Lewis, Regan, Roseberry, Rush, Sanford, Shanahan, Strobridge, Thompson, Tyrell, Walker, Welch, and Wolfe. (0)

NOES: (0)

ABS: Beban, Curtin, Finn, Hans, Martinelli, Stetson and Wright. (7)

On January 31st, SJR 2 (1911) was approved by the Assembly. Curiously (if not surprisingly), no vote was recorded, and the Journal notes only that “Resolution read, on motion adopted, and ordered transmitted to the Senate.”

This was, in one final interesting tidbit, the only time (of the 30 times that a house of the California Legislature has voted on a successful federal constitutional amendment) that a specific vote-count was NOT provided in the Journal.

Ok, get back to work.

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