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AGO 1952 No. 415 - October 09, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

AUTHORITY OF NORMAL SCHOOL REGENTS TO EXECUTE BONDS FOR MILITARY EQUIPMENT.

The trustees of the state colleges of education have authority to execute bonds for the safeguarding of government military equipment.

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                                                                 October 9, 1952

Mr. Otis W. Freeman, President
Eastern Washington College of Education
Cheney, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 415

 Dear Sir:

             Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of September 30, 1952, in which you ask our opinion as to whether the board of trustees of the Eastern Washington College of Education has authority to issue a bond covering military equipment placed upon the campus by the United States Defense Department to indemnify the government for losses of property arising from negligence of the military property custodian.

             It is our conclusion that the board of regents does have authority to execute a bond to the Defense Department to indemnify the government for losses of property arising from negligence of the military property custodian.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             Federal Statutes authorize the issuance by the secretary of the army of military supplies to schools and colleges where military instruction is carried on.  Section 1182, Title 10 of the United States Code, authorizing issuance of quartermaster supplies, concludes with the following:

             "* * * and the Secretary of the Army shall require a bond in each case in the value of the property for the care and safe‑keeping thereof and for the return of the same when required."

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Section 1182a, Title 10 of the United States Code Annotated, relative to the issuance of ordinance stores, concludes:

             "* * * and the Secretary shall require a bond in each case, in double the value of the property, for the care and safe keeping thereof, and for the return of the same when required."

             If the state colleges of education are to take advantage of the military educational provisions of the federal laws, it is necessary that they be authorized to issue such bonds.  Specific authority has been granted by statute to the regents of the University of Washington and the State College of Washington to issue bonds of this type (RCW 28.77.130 and 28.80.130), but such specific provisions have not been made relative to the powers and duties of the boards of trustees of our state colleges of education.  However, the powers of those trustees are very broad.  RCW 28.81.050, under subparagraph 19, provides that the regents shall have the following power:

             "May do anything reasonably implied from the powers granted and necessarily implied from their offices;"

             The codifier apparently derives this from section 4, chapter 252, Laws of 1909 (RRS § 4607) which provides that the trustees may "* * * do such other things not forbidden by law as may become necessary for the good of the school."  Extremely broad powers conferred upon the trustees by this section, in our opinion, authorized them to issue the bond required for the purpose of obtaining military equipment which is needed for carrying out a part of the instructional program of the college.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

LYLE L. IVERSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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