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AGO 1955 No. 177 - December 21, 1955
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington


Treasurer may make interfund loan with consent of state finance committee from the motor vehicle fund.

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                                                               December 21, 1955

Honorable Charles R. Maybury
State Treasurer
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 177

Dear Mr. Maybury:

            We have received and considered your request for opinion which you state as follows:

            "The question has been raised ‑ is our action in making loans to the general fund from the motor vehicle fund in conflict with RCW 47.08.010 * * *."

            Our answer is in the negative.


            RCW 47.08.010 is a partial codification of § 32, chapter 53, Laws of 1937, under Chapter V which is entitled "Construction."  The original section provides in part as follows:

            "Whenever there is provided an allocation for the construction or improvement of primary state highways the same shall be under the sole charge and direct control of the director of highways.  * * *"

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            The word "control" in the foregoing provision has no relation to the manner in which the state treasurer may account for the motor vehicle fund while in his possession as a fund in the state treasury.  The control of the fund given to the director of highways relates only to expenditures made from the motor vehicle fund within the appropriation made by the legislature.  This function is one of several transferred to the state highway commission by chapter 247, Laws of 1951.

            The general duties of the state treasurer are set forth in RCW 43.08.010:

            "The state treasurer shall:

            "(1) Receive and keep all moneys of the state not expressly required by law to be received and kept by some other persons;

            "(2) Disburse the public moneys only upon warrants drawn upon the treasurer by the state auditor in the order of their number, date, and issue;

            "(3) Keep a just, true, and comprehensive account of all moneys received and disbursed;"

            These provisions are applicable to the motor vehicle fund.

            The treasurer has the explicit authority to make interfund loans upon direction by the state finance committee, subject to the provisions of RCW 43.84.100, which provides:

            "Whenever there is in any fund in the state treasury insufficient moneys to meet the current expenditures properly payable therefrom and there are in any other funds moneys in excess of the amount required to meet the current expenditures therefrom, the state treasurer, with the consent of the state finance committee, may make temporary loans from the funds having excess moneys to those having insufficient moneys of such sums as may be necessary to meet the demands  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] thereon:  Provided, That this shall not authorize the loan of any moneys from the permanent common school fund, or from any of the permanent irreducible funds, of the state."

            The only funds within the state treasury which are excepted are the permanent irreducible funds which do not include the motor vehicle fund.

            The foregoing advice is in accordance with long standing administrative practice and the opinion of the office dated January 19, 1950, addressed to the Honorable Tom Martin, state treasurer [[Opinion No. 49-51-199]].

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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