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AGO 1952 No. 421 - October 24, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

DEFINITION OF WORD "INSTITUTION"

An institution of the state is any organized activity created or established by law or public authority.

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                                                                October 24, 1952 

Honorable C. Ellington
State Printer
State Printing Plant
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 421

 Dear Sir:

             You have asked for an interpretation of the word "institute" as used in RCW 43.78.030.  We thank you for enclosing a copy of the Washington State Printing Plant Laws; however, in checking the appropriate section I do not find the word "institute" used therein.

             Upon the assumption that you were referring to the word "institution" we conclude that an institution of the state is any organized activity created or established by law or public authority.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             The word "institution" appears in the second proviso of RCW 43.78.030 where it states:

             "Provided further, That where any institution of the state may become equipped with facilities for doing such work, it may do any printing for itself, * * *"

             The Washington court was called upon to interpret the word "institution" in State v. Clausen, 85 Wash. 260, 148 Pac. 28, where it said:

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "* * * the highway department, the fisheries department, and the state fair, are 'public institutions' of the state."

             In construing Article II, section 1 (b) of the Washington State Constitution, the court said:

             "* * * A public institution is any organized activity created or established by law or public authority.  * * *"

             In that case the argument was propounded that an existing public institution is some activity of the state which has taken form and is lodged in buildings or structures.  The Washington court refused to apply such a restricted meaning, however.

             Although the word "institution" was modified by the term "public" in the Clausen case, while in the instant context it is followed by the propositional phrase "of the state," it is our opinion that the above quoted language of the court is equally applicable here.  An institution of the state, therefore, is, in our opinion, any organized activity created or established by law or public authority.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General 

FRANK J. CONWAY
Assistant Attorney General

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