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AGLO 1973 No. 110 - November 27, 1973
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Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- CAPITOL COMMITTEE ‑- DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL ADMINISTRATION ‑- CAPITOL
 
Review of the functions of the state capitol committee with respect to its various powers of approval or disapproval of particular state building projects on state owned property.
 
                                                              - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
                                                               November 27, 1973
 
Honorable A. L. Rasmussen
State Senator, 29th District
5415 A
Tacoma, Washington 98408
                                                                                                             Cite as:  AGLO 1973 No. 110
 
Dear Sir:
 
            By letter previously acknowledged you requested the opinion of this office on a series of questions involving the powers of the state capitol committee.  Specifically you have asked:
 
            "1. What state building projects on property the state owns must be approved by the Capitol Committee?  Do the Committee's powers extend to remodeling and renovation as well as new construction?
 
            "2. At what stages of planning and implementation of building projects must approval of the State Capitol Committee be sought (e.g., project designation, site selection, preliminary design, final design, specifications and bid estimates, final bid, etc.)?
 
            "3. Are there any projects which are excluded from the State Capitol Committee's review powers?  If so, upon what statutory authority are these exclusions based?
 
            "4. Given the state's budgetary process, at what stage does the Capitol Committee become involved (e.g., before submission of the capital budget by the Department of General Administration to the Governor; when the Governor submits the budget to the legislature; after the appropriations are made; etc.)?"
 
            We answer these questions in the manner set forth in our analysis.
 
                                                                     ANALYSIS
 
            The state capitol committee is a statutory state  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] agency consisting of the governor, the lieutenant governor and the commissioner of public lands.1/   As such it has only those powers expressly granted to it by statute or necessarily implied therefrom.  State ex rel. Eastvold v. Maybury, 49 Wn.2d 533, 304 P.2d 663 (1956).
 
            This agency was created in 1921,2/ replacing a prior agency known as the state capitol commission which had earlier been created to manage "capitol building lands" and to construct facilities on the "Old Capitol Site," as well as to acquire the property which is now the main capitol area.  See, chapter 69, Laws of 1909 and chapter 20, Laws of 1909, Ex. Sess.  By chapter 59, Laws of 1911, the legislature designated the new capitol grounds thus acquired as "Capitol Place" and authorized the commission to build the new capitol thereon.  Accord, State ex rel. Wohleb v. Yelle, 196 Wash. 26, 81 P.2d 864 (1938), prohibiting the state capitol committee as successor to the commission from erecting a new building outside of the capitol group established pursuant to the general plan adopted under the 1911 act where the legislature's appropriation to fund it was for the "construction of an additional unit to the capitol group."3/
 
             In addition to these functions for which the committee became responsible as successor to the state capitol commission, the legislature has since, from time to time, directed other specific functions to be performed by this agency, including the following:
 
            (a) Issuance of bonds for an acquisition of land for and construction of the Des Chutes Basin Project (RCW 79.24.100-79.24.160);
 
            (b) Issuance of bonds for an acquisition of land for and the construction of the General Administration Building and the State Library (RCW 79.24.200);
 
            (c) Acquisition of land for and the construction of parking facilities (RCW 79.24.300);
 
             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]
            (d) Acquisition of land for and construction of a one‑level parking facility (RCW 79.24.340);
 
            (e) Construction of access to the capitol grounds (RCW 79.24.450);
 
            (f) Acquisition of property for the "east capitol site" (RCW 79.24.520);
 
            (g) Approval of the over-all plan for development of the east capitol site (RCW 79.24.530);
 
            (h) Issuance of bonds for and construction, remodeling and furnishing capitol buildings (RWC 79.24.61079.24.628, repealed by chapter 272, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., but restored as RCW 79.24.650-79.24.664 by §§ 1-9 and 11 of this same act);
 
            (i) Issuance of bonds for acquisition, construction, development and improvement within the east capitol site (RCW 79.24.630-79.24.647).
 
            Also to be noted are the provisions of RCW 43.34.040 which authorized the capitol committee to erect permanent or temporary buildings, or to make other permanent or temporary improvements to either the "Sylvester Site" or the "Capitol Place," and RCW 79.24.520 which grants it the authority to acquire property for the east capitol site with the assistance of other state agencies.  RCW 79.24.530 then makes the committee responsible for final approval of the over-all plan for the design and establishment of the east capitol site as developed by the department of general admininstration.
 
            RCW 79.24.550 requires the authorization of the state capitol committee before any state agency constructs a building in Thurston county which is not on the state capitol grounds.  Acquisition of real estate by the department of general administration, and the use thereof, is likewise subject to the approval of the state capitol committee when the real estate is located in Thurston county ‑ under RCW 43.82.020 which expressly so provides.
 
            Finally to be noted is § 5, chapter 167, Laws of 1917,4/ which authorized the state capitol commission (and hence its successor, the captiol committee) to amend or modify any plans or specifications, or to adopt new plans and specifications, for the location, construction and completion of buildings for the state capitol site.5/
 
             [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]
            In contradistinction to these capitol committee functions, the state department of general administration (through its division of engineering and architecture) is required by RCW 43.19.450 to:
 
            "(1) Establish a systematic building program for the grouping of buildings at the state capital, at institutions under the control of the department of institutions, and for state agencies which have no architectural staff, and prepare preliminary layouts, site studies, programs and topographical plans to accompany the estimates for the biennial budgets.
 
            "(2) Contract for professional architectural, engineering and related services for the design of buildings and major alterations to existing buildings at the state capital, at institutions under the control of the department of institutions, and for all state‑owned buildings for agencies which have no architectural staff.
 
            "(3) Prepare estimates for the biennial budget and prepare plans and specifications for all necessary maintenance, repairs, and minor alterations to the state capitol buildings, all buildings required at the institutions under the control of the department of institutions, and for all other state‑owned buildings for agencies which have no architectural staff.
 
            "(4) Supervise the erection, repairing and betterment of all capitol buildings, all buildings required for the institutions under the control of the department of institutions, and all other state‑owned buildings for agencies which have no architectural staff.
 
            "(5) Negotiate and/or call for bids and execute all contracts on behalf of the state for the preceding."6/
 
             RCW 43.82.010 further directs this department, as agent for any state agency involved, to purchase, lease or rent all real estate needed for offices, warehouses, and similar purposes as required by those agencies; and it  [[Orig. Op. Page 5]] authorizes the director of general administration to undertake work, construction, alteration, repair, improvement on any such leased or rented property.  In addition, the director may construct new buildings on or improve existing facilities on all real estate under his management and to furnish and equip those buildings and facilities.
 
            The department of general administration has also been appropriated money to accomplish the provisions of chapter 272, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., and chapter 273, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.7/   In both situations, however, the capitol committee was given the authority to expend the funds from the various bond issues for the purposes of the appropriation.8/
 
             Lastly to be noted before turning to your questions is chapter 217, Laws of 1973, Ex. Sess., § 1 of which authorizes the state finance committee to issue general obligation bonds for the purpose of
 
            ". . . acquiring land, funding and providing the planning, acquisition, construction, remodeling, and furnishing, together with all improvements, enhancements, fixed equipment, and facilities, of capitol office buildings, parking facilities, governor's mansion, and such other buildings and facilities as are determined by the state capitol committeeto be necessary to provide space for the legislature by way of offices, committee rooms, hearing rooms, and work rooms, and to provide executive office and housing for the governor, and to provide executive office space for other elective officials and such other state agencies as may be necessary, . . ."
 
            Section 4 of this 1973 act then states that:
 
            "The principal proceeds from the sale of the bonds or notes deposited in the state building construction account of the general fund shall be administered by the state department of general administration subject to the approval of the state capitol committee."
 
            It is significant to note that, as above indicated, both of these sections of this 1973 measure as it was passed  [[Orig. Op. Page 6]] by the legislature included requirements for a determination of necessity by (§ 1) and for the approval of (§ 4) the capitol committee.  However, both of those requirements were thereafter vetoed by the governor under Article III, § 12 of the state Constitution ‑ an action which we must presume in this opinion to have been valid in accordance with long-standing office policy.9/
 
             With this general background and the foregoing statutory provisions in mind, we now turn to your several questions:
 
            Question (1) and (3):
 
            We will consider these two sets of questions together in view of their essential similarity.  By them you have asked:
 
            "1. What state building projects on property the state owns must be approved by the Capitol Committee?  Do the committee's powers extend to remodeling and renovation as well as new construction?
 
            "3. Are there any projects which are excluded from the State Capitol Committee's review powers?  If so, upon what statutory authority are these exclusions based?"
 
            In responding to these questions, we first must distinguish between those state building projects which are located within Thurston county and those which are situated somewhere else in the state.  Quite clearly the state capitol committee has no authority over projects located outside of Thurston county.  The provisions of chapter 43.82 RCW which place the responsibility for purchasing, leasing, renting, improving and constructing state facilities in the department of general administration as agent for the particllar state agency utilizing the real property are unrestricted by any requirement for approval by the capitol committee where the project is not located in that county.
 
            Within Thurston county, however, the situation is quite different.  Here, we note that RCW 43.82.020, supra, provides that the acquisition of real estate, and the use thereof, in Thurston county by any state agency is subject  [[Orig. Op. Page 7]] to the approval of the capitol committee.  This section is similar to the provisions of RCW 79.24.550, supra, which states that:
 
            "No state agency shall undertake construction of buildings in Thurston county except upon the state capitol grounds: Provided, That the state capitol committee may authorize exceptions upon a finding by the state capitol committee that appropriate locations on the capitol grounds or east capitol site are unavailable."
 
            As regards the "east capitol site"10/ it is clear that the over-all plan, and any amendments or modifications thereto, for the design and establishment of buildings and grounds in this area are subject to the approval of the state capitol committee.  See, RCW 79.24.530, supra, which expressly so provides.  The duty to develop, amend or modify such plans is placed initially, however, with the department of general administration under that statute.
 
            It is also our opinion that the capitol committee retains certain approval functions with respect to any projects to be funded with proceeds still unexpended from bonds issued under either chapter 27211/ or chapter 273,12/ of the Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.  In both instances, although the department of general administration was appropriated the moneys derived from the sale of these bonds, the capitol committee was directed to expend those proceeds.  RCW 79.24.642 authorizes such expenditures as to the east capitol site and RCW 79.24.662 as to the state buildings and parking facilities.  The authority to expend the proceeds was, however, made subject to the provisions of chapter 43.19 RCW.13/   This latter statute involves the authority of the department of general administration.   [[Orig. Op. Page 8]] Although the exact delineation of authority between these two agencies was not precisely drawn, it is our opinion that the legislature intended that the over-all approval functions involving the construction, remodeling and furnishing of buildings funded under chapter 272, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., and the acquisition, development, and improvement of lands, improvements and facilities, within the east capitol site were to be exercised by the capitol committee.  The actual contracting, and the administration thereof, was to be performed by the department of general administration pursuant to the provisions of chapter 43.19 RCW.
 
            Insofar as these powers extend to remodeling or renovation, chapter 272, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., specifically enumerates those items.  The language of chapter 273, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., also is broad enough to include those functions with respect to projects funded under that act.
 
            A more difficult question, however, is presented as to the role of the capitol committee with respect to projects funded under chapter 217, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess.  As noted above, this act also authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds ‑ in this case for
 
            ". . . the planning, acquisition, construction, remodeling, and furnishing, together with all improvements, enhancements, fixed equipment, and facilities, of capitol office buildings, parking facilities, governor's mansion, and such other buildings and facilities as are determined to be necessary to provide space for the legislature . . ."
 
            The language of § 1 of this act is practically identical to that found in RCW 79.24.650 (§ 1, chapter 272, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.) with the exception that the references in that act to the state capitol committee are absent by reason of the above‑noted gubernatorial veto.  The proceeds from these bonds are also to be administered by the department of general administration,14/ to which they were specifically appropriated by chapter 114, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess.
 
            Any of these funds which are expended on the east capitol site must, however, be used in accordance with the  [[Orig. Op. Page 9]] plan for that site.  Any projects would constitute amendments or modifications of that plan would thus also require the over-all approval by the capitol committee because of the provisions of RCW 79.24.530, supra.  In addition, the provisions of RCW 43.82.020 would require the approval of the capitol committee for any acquisition of real estate, or the use thereof, in Thurston county.
 
            The question which remains is whether, in addition, the capitol committee has any approval functions in the case of projects funded by these 1973 bond proceeds which are located on the capitol grounds other than the east capitol site or as to contracts involving any lands other than lands acquired for the east capitol site.  But for the governor's partial veto of §§ 1 and 4, chapter 217, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., supra, it is clear that the capitol committee would have had the function of determining the necessity of carrying out the projects to be funded by that act.  It is also clear the department of general administration would have administered the bond proceeds subject to the approval of the committee.  Because of these vetoes, however, the two sections involved are now to be read as if the vetoed language had never been written into the bill.  State ex rel. Stiner v. Yelle, 174 Wash. 402, 25 P.2d 91 (1933).
 
            Accordingly, while § 1 only permits the issuance of bonds for those projects specified therein that have been "determined to be necessary," because of the veto it does not say who is to make this determination.  In order, however, for it to be concluded that notwithstanding this veto, the capitol committee is still to perform this function it would be necessary to find such an authorization or directive in some other statute.  Accord, State ex rel. Eastvold v. Maybury, supra.  Similarly, in order to find that in spite of the governor's partial veto of § 4, supra, the capitol committee nevertheless has an approval function with respect to the overall administration of the bond proceeds by the department of general administration it would likewise be necessary to find this authority to have been granted elsewhere.  From the general resume of other legislative enactments granting powers to the capitol committee which we have set forth in the introductory portion of this opinion there appear to be only two possibilities to be considered on this count:  Section 5, chapter 167, Laws of 1917, previously codified as RCW 43.34.030, and § 1, chapter 272, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., now codified as RCW 79.24.650.
 
            The first of these two statutes, as enacted in 1917, authorized the state capitol commission (predecessor to the capitol committee) to
 
             [[Orig. Op. Page 10]]
            ". . . amend or modify any of the plans and specifications heretofore authorized or adopted, or to adopt new plans and specifications for the location, construction and completion of buildings on the state capitol site, and may advertise for competitive plans."
 
            In 1965, however, when Title 43 RCW was reenacted by chapter 8, Laws of 1965, this section was deleted and, hence, decodified in accordance with the following explanatory note by the state code reviser's office:
 
            "The powers and duties of the state capitol committee set forth in this section appear to have devolved upon the director of general administration, see 43.19.125 which places these powers and duties with the division of engineering and architecture of the department of general administration.  See also 43.82.010 which gives the department of general administration authority over state agency housing.
 
            "The session law source for this section is a part of a 1917 bond issue authorization, the other provisions of which were not codified for the apparent reason that the bonds issued have been retired.  For this reason the section is not included in the reenactment bill and is not repealed."15/
 
             The second statute to be here considered, as enacted in 1969, states that:
 
            "The state capitol committee shall provide for the construction, remodeling, and furnishing of capitol office buildings, parking facilities, governor's mansion, and such other buildings and facilities as are determined by the state capitol committee to be necessary to provide space for the legislature by way of offices, committee rooms, hearing rooms, and work rooms, and to provide executive office space and housing  [[Orig. Op. Page 11]] for the governor, and to provide executive office space for other elective officials and such other state agencies as may be necessary, and to pay for all costs and expenses in issuing the bonds and to pay interest thereon during construction of the facilities for which the bonds were issued and six months thereafter."
 
            Like § 5, chapter 167, Laws of 1917, supra, however, this statute was also simply a part of a bond authorization act ‑ as evidenced by the final clause of the statute itself.  Accordingly, read in context it appears to us that the powers thereby granted to the capitol committee were (as with the 1917 act) wholly related and restricted to those projects to be funded by other bonds which were authorized and issued thereunder.
 
            Having eliminated these two possible sources of authority for the capitol committee either to determine the necessity or otherwise to approve of any of the projects not within the east capitol site which are to be funded under chapter 272, supra, we must thereby conclude that because of the governor's partial veto of §§ 1 and 4 of that act, the capitol committee has no approval functions to perform with respect to those projects.16/
 
             This completes our consideration of your first and third questions, and we will now turn to your second and fourth questions.
 
            Question (2):
 
            By this question you have asked:
 
            "At what stages of planning and implementation of building projects must approval of the State Capitol Committee by sought (e.g., project designation, site selection, preliminary design, final design, specifications  [[Orig. Op. Page 12]] and bid estimates, final bid, etc.)?"
 
            The laws do not specify a particular point in time when the approval of the capitol committee must be obtained in those cases where it is required.  In the development of the east capitol site, it is clear that the initial development, proposed amendments or modifications of the over-all plan are to be initiated by the department of general administration.  This presupposes the submission to the capitol committee by the department of plans which, if approved, would be final in nature.17/
 
             In the event a state agency desires to construct buildings in Thurston county which are not on the state capitol grounds, that agency must obtain the authorization of the capitol committee prior to undertaking any construction.  In the event acquisition of land is necessary, prior approval must be obtained before such acquisition is made.18/
 
            Question (4):
 
            Finally you have asked:
 
            "Given the state's budgetary process, at what stage does the Capitol Committee become involved (e.g., before submission of the capital budget by the Department of General Administration to the Governor; when the Governor submits the budget to the legislature; after the appropriations are made; etc.)?"
 
            There is no direct authority for the capitol committee to become involved in the state budgetary process.  RCW 43.88.090 does require the governor to obtain detailed estimates and other information in such form at such times as he shall direct from proper agency officials to be included in his budget proposals to the legislature.  However, we see no requirement that any items in the governor's budget  [[Orig. Op. Page 13]] as submitted to the legislature must have prior approval of the capitol committee.  It is obvious that the legislature has complete control of the adoption of any projects and the appropriations therefor.
 
            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
 
Very truly yours,
 
SLADE GORTON
Attorney General
 
 
THEODORE O. TORVE
Assistant Attorney General
 
 
RICHARD A. HEATH
Assistant Attorney General
 
                                                         ***   FOOTNOTES   ***
 
1/See, RCW 43.17.070 and RCW 43.34.010.
 
2/Section 4, chapter 7, Laws of 1921.
 
3/Chapter 230, Laws of 1937, at p. 1194.
 
4/Formerly RCW 43.34.030, now decodified as explained below.
 
5/This appears to refer to the new capitol grounds designated as "Capitol Place" by chapter 59, Laws of 1911, as well as other lands that may have been added to the area by 1917.
 
6/Section 4, chapter 301, Laws of 1959, recodified as § 43.19.450, chapter 8, Laws of 1965.
 
7/RCW 79.24.644 and RCW 79.24.664; see, also, § 1, chapter 276, Laws of 1971, Ex. Sess.
 
8/RCW 79.24.642 and RCW 79.24.662.
 
9/See, e.g., letter dated March 4, 1963, to then State Senator Herbert H. Friese, copy enclosed.
 
10/See, RCW 79.24.510 designating the area described in RCW 79.24.500 as the "east capitol site" which, upon acquisition, becomes part of the state capitol grounds.
 
11/Codified as RCW 79.24.650-79.24.668 (state buildings and parking facilities).
 
12/Codified as RCW 79.24.630-79.24.647 (construction of east capitol site).
 
13/See, RCW 79.24.642 and RCW 79.24.660.
 
14/See, § 4, chapter 217, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess.
 
15/See, Volume I, 1965 Session Laws, at p. 764.
 
16/What this means, of course, is that as to those projects, full authority to proceed without intervention by the capitol committee is vested in the department of general administration under § 4 of chapter 272, along with RCW 43.19.450 and the appropriation of bond proceeds contained in § 2, chapter 114, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess.
 
17/See, RCW 79.24.530.
 
18/See, RCW 43.82.020.
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