PAYMENT OF EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
The executive secretary may be paid from the appropriation for salary and wages of the Social Security Department. The executive secretary may be paid from the county current expense fund if there is conformity with the pertinent statutes relating to county budget law.
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January 30, 1950
Honorable Hugh H. Evans
Spokane 11, Washington Cite as: AGO 49-51 No. 209
Attention: !ttMr. Earl W. Foster
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
We have your request of December 31, 1949, for an opinion from this office on the following questions:
"1. May this executive secretary be paid from social security funds, that is, from the two mill County public assistance levy?
"2. If the answer to the first question is no, may this executive secretary be paid from the County current expense fund?"
Our conclusions may be summarized as follows:
1. The executive secretary may be paid from the appropriation for salary and wages of the Social Security Department. The executive secretary may be paid from the county current expense fund if there is conformity with the pertinent statutes relating to county budget laws.
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As we understand the facts, the county supervisory committees are being set up in most of the counties under the provisions of section 11, chapter 180, Laws of 1937 [Rem. Rev. Stat. 10007-111]. That statute provides that such committees are to be appointed by county commissioners in cooperation with the Department of Social Security to determine the underlying causes of unemployment, and to improve the administration of public assistance. Members of the supervisory committee serve without pay, but are reimbursed for actual travel and other expenses involved in carrying out their duties. At the present time they are being reimbursed from the appropriation for Operations of the Department of Social Security. Section 11,supra, is the only remaining section left of chapter 180, Laws of 1937, which was repealed by chapter 216, Laws of 1939. Under the present public assistance laws of this state the administration of all public assistance is in the hands of the Department of Social Security, which acts through the various county welfare departments and their administrators.
In view of the fact that our Supreme Court has held that county commissioners are state employees and agents of the state Department of Social Security when dealing with assistance matters, it necessarily follows that persons appointed by the county commissioners and the department to assist in administering the public assistance program are also state employees.
Accordingly, you are advised that it is the opinion of this office that the executive secretary hired by members of the county supervisory committee to assist in carrying out the work of the committee can be paid from the appropriation for salaries and wages from the State Department of Social Security.
We are unable to answer your second question relative to whether or not the executive secretary's salary can be paid from the county current expense fund, in view of the fact that we do not know whether or not there has been compliance with the provisions of the county budget law. We assume, however, that this provision has been followed, and accordingly we can see no reason why his salary cannot be paid from the current expense fund if there is no money available in the Social Security appropriation to cover the costs of such an item.
Very truly yours,
Assistant Attorney General