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AGO 1956 No. 296 - July 10, 1956
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

WASHINGTON STATE APPLE ADVERTISING COMMISSION ‑- AUTHORITY TO OBTAIN BANK LOAN

Washington State Apple Advertising Commission has the authority to obtain a bank loan repayable during the same apple marketing season.

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                                                                    July 10, 1956

Washington State Apple Advertising Commission
c/o Cheney and Hutcheson
Miller Building
Yakima, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 296


Attention:  Mr. Elwood Hutcheson

Gentlemen:

            In your letter of June 13, 1956, previously acknowledged, you request our opinion on whether or not the Washington state apple advertising commission has the authority to obtain a bank loan repayable during the same apple marketing season.

            We answer your question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The Washington state apple advertising commission was created by the legislature by chapter 195, Laws of 1937.  Under § 17 of the act the legislature provided that the act shall be liberally construed.

            Section 8 of the act provides, among other things, that the commission shall have power:

            ". . .

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "(2) To administer and enforce this act, and do and perform all acts and exercise all powers reasonably necessary to effectuate the purpose of this act;

            ". . .

            "(4) To establish offices and incur any and all expense and to enter into any and all contracts and agreements and to create such liabilities as may be reasonable for the proper administration and enforcement of this act;

            ". . .

            "(8) To make in the name of the commission such advertising contractsand other agreements as may be necessary; . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)

            The term "liability" has been defined to mean all character of municipal debts and obligations.  SeeWashington Water Power Co. v. City of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 9 F.Supp. 263, 271.  The term has very comprehensive significance and in our opinion certainly would encompass the debt or obligation in the form of a short-term bank loan herein contemplated.  We can find no other provision of the act in conflict with this express grant of authority.

            It should be pointed out that the only security for such a loan is the money collected by the commission under the assessment levy.  Section 7 of the act provides:

            "The State of Washington shall not be liable for the acts of said commission or its contracts.  All persons shall be limited to the funds collected by the commission, and no member of the commission or any employee or agent thereof shall be liable on the contracts of the commission.  All salaries, expenses, costs, obligations, and liabilities incurred by said commission shall be payable only from the funds collected by the commission under this act."

            By virtue of this provision of the act, no state indebtedness has been  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] or could be created.  State ex rel. Washington Toll Bridge Authority v. Yelle, 195 Wash. 636.  See, also,State ex rel. Banker v. Yelle, 183 Wash. 380; Ajax v. Gregory, 177 Wash. 465; State ex rel. State Capitol Committee v. Clausen, 134 Wash. 196.

            Finding no other impediment to the express grant of authority by the legislature, we can only conclude that the commission has the power to obtain a bank loan repayable during the same apple marketing season out of funds collected by the commission.

            We trust that the foregoing will prove helpful to you.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General


JOHN J. CHAMPAGNE
Assistant Attorney General

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