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AGO 1950 No. 263 - April 27, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

APPROPRIATION ‑- ADJUTANT GENERAL ‑- STATE MEMBERSHIP IN NATIONAL GUARD

Payment of dues for state membership in the National Guard Association may legally be made if the Adjutant General finds that the service to the National Guard results from such membership.

                                                                  - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                   April 27, 1950

Lilburn H. Stevens
Brigadier General, W.N.G.
The Adjutant General
State of Washington
Camp Murray, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 263

Dear Sir:

            This is in answer to your request for the opinion of this office on the following question:

            May the Adjutant General's department legally pay state membership dues to the National Guard Association from its appropriation?

            Our conclusion is as follows:

            State membership dues to the National Guard Association may be paid if, in the opinion of the Adjutant General, a service is rendered by such association and the efficiency of the state service is thereby improved.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 3, chapter 130, Laws of 1943 (8603-3 Rem. Supp. 1943), places the executive responsibility of the National Guard on the Adjutant General.  Section 16 of the 1943 law defines the duties of the Adjutant General, and provides that his expenses shall be audited as other military expenses.  As there is no prohibition in the law against the expenditure of funds for state membership in the National Guard Association, it necessarily follows that the Adjutant General may make the expenditure if it falls within the terms and limitations of the appropriation.

            The question, then, turns on whether state membership in the National Guard Association is within the terms of present appropriations for  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] the Adjutant General's department, included in chapter 242, Laws of 1949, on page 955, as follows:

"FROM THE GENERAL FUND.
"FOR THE ADJUTANT GENERAL ‑‑-

MILITARY DEPARTMENT:

            "Salaries and Wages                                                     $250,000.00
            Operations                                                                         205,000.00
            Uniform Allowance                                                           60,000.00
            Armory Drill Pay                                                               15,000.00
            Medical Aid and Compensation                                     10,000.00
            Major Repairs and betterments
                        to Armories                                                             50,000.00

            "* * *"

            Since none of the specific appropriations, nor that under the heading of "Salaries and Wages" may be used for paying National Guard Association dues, it follows that the dues may be paid only if the expenditure comes within the definition of "Operations" as set out in section 1, chapter 242, Laws of 1949 which reads as follow:

            "The word 'operations,' whenever used in this act, shall mean and include necessary traveling expenses of officers and employees, and all expenses necessary for housing cost, supplies, material, services and maintenance of the various institutions, departments and offices of the state government, other than salaries and wages:  Provided, That no portion of the appropriations made hereunder shall be expended for coupon or scrip books, or other evidences of advance payment for future delivery."

            We do not know the exact nature of the National Guard Association, but if it provides any service such as furnishing a source of information useful  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] to the National Guard, membership in the National Guard Association may come within the definition of "services," and can legally be paid from the appropriation for military department operations.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

JAMES M. MORRIS
Assistant Attorney General

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