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AGO 1952 No. 412 - October 07, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

DURATION OF APPROPRIATIONS TO LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMITTEE.

The appropriation for the Legislative Budget Committee terminates at the end of the biennium.  The committee may not be empowered to expend a future, anticipated appropriation.

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                                                                 October 7, 1952 

Honorable Ole H. Olson
Chairman
Legislative Budget Committee
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 412

 Dear Sir:

             You have asked our views on the following questions:

             1. Does the appropriation for the Legislative Budget Committee terminate at the convening of the Thirty-third session of the Legislature, or is that appropriation available until the end of the biennium?

            2. In view of the fact that the Legislative Budget Committee is a "continuing committee," is it entitled to share in and proceed to expend funds that may be appropriated for the expenses of the Thirty-third session of the Legislature and its agencies?

             As to your first question it is our opinion that the appropriation will be available until the end of the biennium.  With regard to your second question we find no authority for the anticipatory expenditure of funds that may be appropriated for the expenses of the Thirty-third session of the Legislature.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             RCW 44.28.030 (continuation of memberships and powers) sheds the following light upon your first question:

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "On and after the commencement of a succeeding general session of the legislature, those members of the committee who continue to be members of the senate and house, respectively, shall continue as members of the committee until their successors are appointed and confirmed or elected,and the committee shall continue with all its powers, duties, authorities, records, papers, personnel and staff, and all funds made available for its use."  (Emphasis supplied)

             In answering your first question we place reliance upon the underlined portion of the above quoted statute, particularly that portion reading "and all funds made available for its use."  We call your attention, however, to the Eleventh Amendment to the State Constitution which provides in part:

             "No moneys shall ever be paid out of the treasury of this state, or any of its funds, or any of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appropriation by law; nor unless such payment be made within one calendar month after the end of the next ensuing fiscal biennium, * * *."

             It is this last clause of the quoted portion of the Eleventh Amendment which limits the use of your committee appropriation to situations where payment is made within one calendar month after the end of the biennium.

             With reference to your second question, the implication of RCW 44.28.030, supra, is that the

             "* * * powers, duties, authorities, records, papers, personnel and staff, * * *."

             may be exercised and shall continueonly insofar as compatible with the availability of moniespreviously made available or appropriated.  This fact, coupled with the absence of any statutory authority for expenditures against an anticipated appropriation is the basis for answering your second question in the negative.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

FRANK J. CONWAY
Assistant Attorney General

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