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AGO 1952 No. 432 - December 09, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

HOUSING COST OF STATE DEPARTMENTS ‑- FINANCING ‑- LIABILITY.

Under the provisions of RCW 43.01.090 the Department of Public Instruction is liable for the housing cost of the floor space assigned to or occupied by it.

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                                                                December 9, 1952 

Honorable H. D. Van Eaton
Director, Department of Public Institutions
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 432

 Dear Sir:

             This is in response to your request for an opinion as to whether, under RCW 43.01.090, the Department of Public Instruction is liable for the housing cost of the floor space assigned to or occupied by said department.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             The pertinent language of the cited statute reads, in part:

             "The director of public institutions at the close of each quarterly period ending March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, and December 31st, shall bill each office, department, and activity financed in whole or in part from funds other than the general fund, for payment of its proportion of housing cost for the preceding quarter, the amount so billed to be computed at rates established by the director of public institutions for each square foot of usable floor space assigned to or occupied by it:  * * *"

             The statutory language is a clear mandate that the Department of Public Instruction be required to pay for the housing cost of the floor space assigned to or occupied by that department, inasmuch as the department is financed in part from funds other than the general fund.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Chapter 10, Laws of 1951, Ex. Sess., at page 37, appropriates "From the School Fund" for salaries, wages and operations for the superintendent of public instruction for the fiscal biennium beginning April 1, 1951, and ending March 31, 1953.

             The common school fund is derived from appropriations and donations by the state to that fund; donations and bequests by individuals to the state for common schools; the proceeds of real and personal property which reverts to the state by escheat and forfeiture, and from other sources.  Art. 9, § 4, State Constitution.

             Plainly, the Department of Public Instruction is financed in part from funds other than the general fund.  It is the opinion of this office that the Department of Public Instruction is liable for the housing cost of the floor space assigned to or occupied by it, and our conclusion is that your inquiry must be answered in the affirmative.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

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