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AGO 1950 No. 312 - July 28, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

MONEY APPROPRIATED FOR NEW BUILDINGS CANNOT BE USED FOR REPAIR.

Money appropriated under Chapter 230, Laws of 1949, not permitted to be used for repair of existing buildings.

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                                                                    July 28, 1950

Honorable H. D. Van Eaton
Director of Public Institutions
Olympia, Washington                                                                                               Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 312

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of July 7, 1950, in which you ask the following question:

            Must the proceeds from the sale of bonds provided for in chapter 230, Laws of 1949, be used for construction of new institutional buildings, or may such proceeds be also applied to necessary repairs and improvements of existing buildings?

            The conclusion reached may be summarized as follows:

            Moneys derived from the sale of bonds under chapter 230, Laws of 1949, must be used for the construction of new buildings rather than in the repair or improvement of existing buildings.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            You have referred us to chapter 230, Laws of 1949, and have asked whether the proceeds from the sale of bonds as provided therein must be used solely for construction of new institutional buildings, or whether such funds may  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] also be applied to necessary repairs of existing buildings, to replacement of obsolete heating equipment and boilers, and other installation of sewage disposal plants to meet minimum standards of the State Department of Health and State Pollution Control Commission.  Section 1 provides in part:

            "For the purpose of providing needful buildings at the state operated charitable, educational and penal institutions presently operated by the Department of Public Institutions, the State Finance Committee is hereby authorized to issue at any time prior to January 1, 1960, general obligation bonds of the State of Washington in the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000), or so much thereof as shall be required to finance the program herein set out, to be paid and discharged within twenty (20) years of the date of issuance."

            Section 2 provides:

            "The proceeds from the sale of the bonds authorized herein, together with all grants, donations, transferred funds and all other moneys which the State Finance Committee may direct the State Treasurer to deposit therein shall be deposited in the Institutional Building Construction Fund."

            Section 3 provides:

            "The sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the Institutional Building Construction Fund to the State Finance Committee to be expended by the Committee for the payment of expense incident to the sale and issuance of the bonds authorized herein and through allotments made, in its discretion, to the Director of Public Institutions for the purpose of constructing needful buildings at the state operated charitable, educational and penal institutions."

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            The prime object of interpreting any statute is to arrive at the legislative intent.  McKenzie v. Mukilteo Water District, 4 Wn. (2d) 103, 102 P. (2d) 251;Layton v. Holm Indemnity Co., 9 Wn. (2d) 25, 113 P. (2d) 538;Cory v. Nethery, 19 Wn. (2d) 326, 142 P. (2d) 488; Lynch v. State, 19 Wn. (2d) 802, 145 P. (2d) 265.

            Money derived from the sale of bonds cannot be used for a different purpose than that for which the bonds were issued.  Thompson v. Pierce Co., 113 Wash. 237, 193 Pac. 706.

            The purpose of the bonds, as stated in section 1, supra, and the wording of sections 2 and 3,supra, all lead to the conclusion that such bonds were to be issued for the purpose of constructing new buildings, rather than making repairs upon existing buildings.

            While it is not necessarily controlling, we mention the fact that we are also reliably informed that the proponents of chapter 230, supra, at the time this law was passed, had in mind only the construction of new buildings.

            It is, therefore, our opinion that moneys derived from the sale of bonds under chapter 230, Laws of 1949, must be used for the construction of new buildings, rather than in the repair or the improvement of existing buildings.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

GEORGE DOWNER
Assistant Attorney General

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