By a provision unique in 1875, the constitution authorized the legislature to provide that the electors might express their preferences for United States senators; but this was not treated as mandatory on the legislature, and though votes were at times taken (1886, 1894), they were not officially canvassed, nor were any senatorial The amendment increased the pay of members from three dollars to five dollars a day " during their sitting," and provided that sessions should last at least sixty days, and that members should not receive pay " for more than sixty days at any one sitting"; the original constitution had provided that they should " not receive pay for more than forty days at any one session " and had prescribed no minimum length for a session.
The secret ballot was adopted in 1891; the use of the voting machines was authorized in 1899; and the nomination of candidates by primaries was made mandatory in 1907.
Nearly all the large salaries and many of those of the second grade are made mandatory by the legislature, which has also determined many affairs of a purely administrative character.
The influence of the railways has been very great, and a constant drag on just taxation and other legislative reforms. In 1885, 1887 and 1897 the legislature created a Board of Transportation consisting of existing state executive officers or their secretaries, but this could do little except gather statistics, investigate alleged abuses, and advise the legislature, upon which the regulation of rates remained mandatory by the constitution.