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AGO 1953 No. 102 - July 24, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington


Chapter 287, Laws of 1953, relating to contracts for out of state printing is not applicable to the public (state) printer.

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                                                                    July 24, 1953

Honorable C. Ellington
Public Printer
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 102

Dear Sir:

            Receipt of your letter of July 22, 1953, is hereby acknowledged.  The question presented is whether chapter 287, Laws of 1953, relates to the public printer.

            We conclude that it does not.


            Chapter 287, Laws of 1953, has come to our attention on a prior occasion.  See AGO 53-55 No. 78 [[to C. Ellington, Public Printer on July 1, 1953]].  At that time, the public printer had requested our interpretation of certain specific language contained therein.  This interpretation was given, but no question was ever raised as to its applicability to the public (state) printer.  In fact, the public printer and all contracting parties had, for some time, operated under the assumption that this statute (in its prior form) governed the granting of contracts by the public printer.  We have now been asked to consider whether this statute is properly classified as a part of the public printer's code.  Of course, this question should have been considered at the outset but, unfortunately, it was never presented to this office.

            Chapter 287, Laws of 1953, is an amendment of RCW 43.78.150 which was, in turn, a codification of section 3, chapter 80, Laws of 1919.  The title to chapter 80, Laws of 1919 reads as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "AN ACT regulating the procuring of printing, binding and stationery work bycounties, cities, towns, port districts and school districts, requiring that such work shall be executed within the state, except in certain instances."  (Emphasis supplied)

            Section 1 of that chapter also relates to printing work "executed for or on behalf of anycounty, city, town, port district or school district, * * *."  Section 3 of that same chapter (as amended by chapter 287, Laws of 1953) provides in part:

            "All contracts forsuch work to be done outside the state * * *."  (Emphasis supplied)

            The phrase "such work" in the 1953 act obviously refers to public printing for municipal corporations.  The state printer is not now, nor has he ever been, the contracting agent for municipal corporations.  It is true that RCW 43.78.150 was incorporated into the Revised Code of Washington in the chapter relating to "public printer," but this is erroneous insofar as it infers that all the limitations set forth therein are applicable to the public printer.  The session law itself related only to printing for municipal corporations.  The location of the statute in the code is for convenience only, and can have no effect upon the substance of the law.

            In our opinion, chapter 287, Laws of 1953, is applicable only to public printing for those municipal corporations referred to in section 1 of chapter 80, Laws of 1919.  The provisions of this chapter are in no way applicable to the public (state) printer.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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