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AGO 1954 No. 226 - March 19, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF STATE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT --REGIONAL LIBRARIES.

The North Central Regional Library which was established and is maintained by the City of Wenatchee and the rural library district of Chelan County is a political subdivision of the State of Washington within the meaning of the Social Security Act.

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                                                                  March 19, 1954

Honorable Peter R. Giovine
Acting Commissioner
Employment Security Department
P.O. Box 367
Olympia, Washington                                                                                         Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 226

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of March 10, 1954, in which you ask an opinion as follows:

            "Is the North Central Regional Library, which was organized pursuant to the authority contained in RCW 27.12.080, a political subdivision of the State of Washington within Section 218 (b) (2) of the Social Security Act?"

            In our opinion your question may be answered in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 218 (b) (2) of the Social Security Act provides as follows:

            "For the purposes of this section‑-the term 'political subdivision' includes an instrumentality of * * * (B) one or more political subdivisions of a State * * *"

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Virtually the same definition of "political subdivision" is contained in RCW 41.48.020 (5).  We are advised that the North Central Regional Library was organized pursuant to RCW 27.12.080 by the City of Wenatchee and the rural library district of Chelan County.  We believe that both rural county library districts and cities are "political subdivisions" of the state within the normal understanding of that term.

            RCW 27.12.020 declares it to be the public policy of the state

            "* * * to promote the establishment and development of public library service throughout its various subdivisions and to that end every governmental unit may establish and maintain a library, either by itself or in cooperation with other governmental units."

            RCW 27.12.080 provides in part:

            "Two or more governmental units may join in establishing and maintaining a regional library through a joint written agreement of their legislative bodies.  * * *"

            The definition of "governmental unit" contained in RCW 27.12.010 (1) includes, among other things, cities and rural county library districts. An examination of these statutes indicates that the legislature uses the term "governmental unit" as the equivalent of "political subdivision of the state."

            Since the City of Wenatchee and the rural library district of Chelan County have entered into a written agreement to establish and maintain the North Central Regional Library, it is evident that this library is an instrumentality of both the participating city and district.  Thus, we conclude that the North Central Regional Library is a political subdivision of the State of Washington within the meaning of section 218 (b) (2) of the Social Security Act.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

ANDY ENGEBRETSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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