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229. The Legislature shall pass no special act conferring corporate powers, but it shall pass general laws under which corporations may be organized and corporate powers obtained, subject, nevertheless, to repeal at the will of the Legislature; and shall pass general laws under which charters may be altered or amended." The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the payment to the State of Alabama of a franchise tax by corporations organized under the laws of this State, which shall be in proportion to the amount of capital stock; but strictly benevolent, educational or religious corporations shall not be required to pay such a tax. The charter of any corporation shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal under general laws.
230. All existing charters, under which a bona fide organization shall not have taken place and business commenced in good faith within twelve months from the time of the ratification of this Constitution, shall thereafter have no validity.
231. The Legislature shall not remit the forfeiture of the charter of any corporation now existing, or alter or amend the same, nor pass any general or special law for the benefit of such corporation, other than in execution of a trust created by law or by contract, except upon condition that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution.
232. No foreign corporation shall do any business in this State without having at least one known place of business and an authorized agent or agents therein, and without filing with the Secretary of State a certified copy of its articles of incorporation or association. Such corporation may be sued in any county where it does business, by service of process upon an agent anywhere in the State. The Legislature shall
, by general law, provide for the payment to the State of Alabama of a franchise tax by such corporation, but such franchise tax shall be based on the actual amount of capital employed in this State. Strictly benevolent, educational or religious corporations shall not be required to pay such a tax.
233. No corporation shall engage in any business other than that expressly authorized in its charter or articles of incorporation.
234. No corporation shall issue stock or bonds except for money, labor done or property actually received; and all fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void. The stock and bonded indebtedness of corporations shall not be increased except in pursuance of general laws, nor without the consent of the persons holding the larger amount in value of stock, first obtained at a meeting to be held after thirty days' notice, given in pursuance of law.
235. Municipal and other corporations and individuals invested with the privilege of taking property for public use, shall make just compensation, to be ascertained as may be provided by law, for the property taken, injured or destroyed by the construction or enlargement of its works, highways or improvements, which compensation shall be paid before such taking, injury or destruction. The Legislature is hereby prohibited from denying the right of appeal from any preliminary assessment of damages against any such corporations or individuals made by viewers or otherwise, but such appeal
shall not deprive those who have obtained the judgment of condemnation from a right of entry, provided the amount of damages assessed shall have been paid in the court in money, and a bond shall have been given in not less than double the amount of the damages assessed, with good and sufficient sureties, to pay such damages as the property owner may sustain; and the amount of damages in all cases of appeals shall, on the demand of either party, be determined by a jury according to law.
236. Dues from private corporations shall be secured by such means as may be prescribed by law; but in no case shall any stockholder be individually liable otherwise than for the unpaid stock owned by him or her.
237. No corporation shall issue preferred stock without the consent of the owners of two-thirds of the stock of said corporation.
238. The Legislature shall have the power to alter, amend or revoke any charter of incorporation now existing and revocable at the ratification of this Constitution, or any that may be hereafter created, whenever, in its opinion, such charter may be injurious to the citizens of this State, in such manner, however, that no injustice shall be done to the stockholders.
239. Any association or corporation organized for the purpose, or any individual, shall have the right to construct and maintain lines of telegraph and telephone within this State, and connect the same with other lines; and the Legislature shall, by general law of uniform operation, provide reasonable regulations to give full effect to this section. No telegraph or telephone company shall consolidate with or hold a controlling interest in the stock or bonds of any other telegraph or telephone company owning a complete line, or acquire, by purchase or otherwise, any other competing line of telegraph or telephone.
240. All corporations shall have the right to sue, and shall be subject to be sued, in all courts in like cases as natural persons.
241. The term “ corporation,” as used in this article, shall be construed to include all joint stock companies, and all associations having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships.
RAILROADS AND CANALS
242. All railroads and canals, not constructed and used exclusively for private purposes, shall be public highways, and all railroads and canal companies shall be common carriers. Any association or corporation organized for the purpose shall have the right to construct and operate a railway between any points in this State, and connect at the State line with railroads of other States. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road to intersect, connect with, or cross any other railroad, and each shall receive and transport the freight, passengers and cars, loaded or empty, of the others, without delay or discrimination.
243. The power and authority of regulating railroad freight and passenger tariffs, the locating and building of passenger and freight depots, correcting abuses, preventing unjust discrimination and extortion and requiring reasonable and just rates of freight and passenger tariffs, are hereby conferred upon the Legislature, whose duty it shall be to pass laws from time to time regulating freight and passenger tariffs, to prohibit unjust discrimination on the various railroads, canals and rivers of the State, and to prohibit the charging of other than just and reasonable rates, and enforce the same by adequate penalties.
244. No railroad or other transportation company or corporation shall grant free passes or sell tickets or passes at a discount, other than as sold to the public generally, to any member of the Legislature, or to any officer exercising judicial functions under the laws of this State; and any such member or officer receiving such pass or ticket for himself or procuring the same for another, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars and, at the discretion of the court trying the case, in' addition to such fine, may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months, and upon conviction, shall be subject to impeachment and removal from office. The courts having jurisdiction shall give this law specially in charge to the Grand Juries, and when the evidence is sufficient to authorize an indictment, the Grand Jury must present a true bill. The Circuit Court or any court of like jurisdiction in any county into or through which such member or officer is transported by the use of such prohibited pass or ticket, shall have jurisdiction of the case, provided, only one prosecution shall be had for the same offense; and provided further, that the trial and judgment for one offense shall not bar a prosecution for another offense, when the same pass or ticket is used; and provided further, that nothing herein shall prevent a member of the Legislature who is a bona fide employe of a railroad or other transportation company or corporation at the time of his election, from accepting or procurivg for himself or another, not a member of the Legislature, or officer exercising judicial functions, a free pass over the railroads or other transportation company or corporation by which he is employed.
245. No railroad company shall give or pay any rebate, or a bonus in the nature thereof, directly or indirectly, or do any act to mislead or deceive the public as to the real rates charged or received for freights or passage; and any such payments shall be illegal and void, and these prohibitions shall be enforced by suitable penalties.
246. No railroad, canal or transportation company in existence at the time of the ratification of this Constitution shall have the benefit of any future legislation by general or special laws, other than in execution of a trust created by law or by contract, except on condition of complete acceptance of all the provisions of this article.
BANKS AND BANKING
247. The Legislature shall not have the power to establish or incorporate any bank or banking company, or moneyed institution, for the purpose of issuing bills of credit, or bills payable to order or bearer, except under the conditions prescribed in this Constitution.
248. No bank shall be established otherwise than under a general banking law, nor other than upon a specie basis; provided, that any bank may be established with authority to issue bills to circulate as money in an amount equal to the face value of bonds of the United States, or of this State, convertible into specie at their face value, which shall, before such bank is authorized to issue bills for circulation, be deposited with the State Treasurer, or other depository prescribed by law, in an amount equal to the aggregate of such proposed issue, with power in such treasurer or depository to dispose of any or all of such bonds for a sufficient amount of specie to redeem the circulating notes of such bank at any time and without delay, should such bank suspend specie payment or fail to redeem its notes on demand.
249. All bills or notes issued as money shall be at all times redeemable in gold or silver, and no law shall be passed sanctioning, directly or indirectly, the suspension by any bank or banking company of specie payment.
250. Holders of bank notes, and depositors who have not stipulated for interest, shall, for such notes and deposits, be entitled, in case of insolvency, to preference of payment over all other creditors; provided, this section shall apply to all banks, whether incorporated or not.
251. Every bank or banking company shall be required to cease all banking operations within twenty years from the time of its organization, unless the time be extended by law, and promptly thereafter close its business; but after it has closed its business it shall have corporate capacity to sue and shall be liable to suits until its affairs and liabilities are fully closed.
252. No bank shall receive, directly or indirectly, a greater rate of interest than shall be allowed by law to individuals for lending money.
253. Neither the State nor any political subdivision thereof shall be a stockholder in any bank, nor shall the credit of the State or any political subdivision thereof ever be given or lent to any banking company, association or corporation.
254. The Legislature shall by appropriate laws provide for the examination, by some public officer, of all banks and banking institutions and trust companies engaged in banking business in this State; and each of such banks and banking companies or institutions shall, through its president or such other officer as the Legislature may designate, make a report under oath of its resources and liabilities at least twice a year.
255. The provisions of this article shall apply to all banks except National banks, and to all trust companies and individuals doing a banking business, whether incorporated or not.
256. The Legislature shall establish, organize and maintain a liberal system of public schools throughout the State for the benefit of the children thereof between the ages of seven and twenty-one years. The public school fund shall be apportioned to the several counties in proportion to the number of school children of school age therein, and shall be so apportioned to the schools in the districts or townships in the county as to provide, as nearly as practicable, school terms of equal duration in such school districts or townships. Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.
257. The principal of all funds arising from the sale or other disposition of lands or other property, which has been or may hereafter be granted or entrusted to this state or given by the United States for educational purposes shall be preserved inviolate and undiminished; and the income arising therefrom shall be faithfully applied to the specific object of the original grants or appropriations.
258. All lands or other property given by individuals, or appropriated by the State for educational purposes, and all estates of deceased persons who die without leaving a will or heir shall be faithfully applied to the maintenance of the public schools.
259. All poll taxes collected in this State shall be applied to the support of the public schools in the respective counties where collected.
260. The income arising from the Sixteenth Section trust fund, the surplus revenue fund, until it is called for by the United States government, and the funds enumerated in Sections 257 and 258 of this Constitution, together with a special annual tax of thirty cents on each one hundred dollars of taxable property in this State, which the Legislature shall levy, shall be applied to the support and maintenance of the public schools, and it shall be the duty of the Legislature to increase the public school fund from time to time, as the necessity therefor and the condition of the treasury and the resources of the State may justify; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to authorize the Legislature to levy in any one year a greater rate of State taxation for all purposes, including schools, than sixty-five cents on each one hundred dollars worth of taxable
property; and provided further, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from first providing for the payment of the bonded indebtedness of the State and interest thereon out of all the revenues of the State.
261. Not more than four per cent. of all moneys raised, or which may hereafter be appropriated for the support of public schools, shall be used or expended otherwise than for the payment of teachers employed in such schools; provided, that the Legislature may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, suspend the operation of this section.
262. The supervision of the public schools shall be vested in a Superintendent of Education, whose powers, duties and compensation shall be fixed by law.
263. No money raised for the support of the public schools, shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian or denominational school.
264. The State University shall be under the management and control of a board of trustees which shall consist of two members from the Congressional district in which the University is located, one from each of the other Congressional districts in the State, the Superintendent of Education and the Governor who shall be ex-officio president of the board. The members of the Board of Trustees as now