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AGO 1951 No. 97 - July 31, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

SOLDIERS ‑- SOLDIERS AND SAILORS FUND ‑- FUNDS ‑- SOLDIERS AND SAILORS ‑- VETERANS ‑- GRAVE MARKERS ‑- VETERANS, DECEASED ‑- COUNTY EXPENDITURES

A headstone transportation charge for existing veterans' graves is not a valid county expenditure.

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                                                                    July 31, 1951

Mr. E. B. Riley, Director
Veterans' Rehabilitation Council
P.O. Box 777
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 97

Attention:  !ttMr. Edwin W. Schultz,
            Assistant Director

Dear Sir:

            You have requested our opinion on whether:

            "A headstone transportation charge for existing veterans' graves would be a valid county expenditure."

            We conclude that this suggestion, although laudable, is not authorized.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Rem. Rev. Stat. § 10757 (1949 Supp.); RCW § 73.24.01 [[RCW 73.24.010]]provides the Rem. Rev. Stat. § 10757 (1949 Supp.); RCW § 73.24.01 provides the

            "* * * County Commissioners * * * shall cause to be interred at the expense of the county the body of any honorably discharged soldier, sailor or marine * * * who shall hereafter die without leaving means sufficient to defray funeral expenses; and when requested  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] so to do by the commanding officer of any post, camp, or chapter of any national organization of veterans * * *:  Provided,however, That such interment shall not cost more than one hundred eighty dollars.  * * *"

            The statute further provides that if friends or relatives of the deceased veteran desire to conduct the burial that they may be reimbursed in the amount of $180.00.  The purpose of this statute was to insure other than a pauper's burial for indigent veterans.

            You indicate that the burial of these veterans has been fully completed.  It would therefore appear that moneys expendable for the original burial expense would not be available for costs more properly termed maintenance or improvements.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

JENNINGS P. FELIX
Assistant Attorney General

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