Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGLO 1972 No. 36 - May 12, 1972
AGO Opinion Header Image
Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington

                                                                  - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                   May 12, 1972

Honorable King Lysen
State Representative, 31st District
P.O. Box 66173
Seattle, Washington 98166                                                                                            Cite as:  AGLO 1972 No. 36 (not official)

Dear Sir:
 
            By letter previously acknowledged you requested our opinion on three questions relating to certain provisos contained in chapter 275, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess. ‑ the omnibus appropriations act for the 1971-73 biennium.1/
 
            Questions (1) and (2):
 
            You have asked two questions involving § 1, chapter 275, supra.  This section, as partially vetoed by the governor, reads as follows:
 
            "That a budget is hereby adopted and subject to the provisions set forth in the following sections the several amounts specified in the following sections, or so much thereof as shall be sufficient to accomplish the purposes designated, are hereby appropriated and authorized to be disbursed for salaries, wages and other expenses of the agencies and officers of the state and for other specified purposes for the fiscal biennium beginning July 1, 1971, and ending June 30, 1973, except as otherwise provided, out of the several funds of the state hereinafter named:  PROVIDED, That no moneys appropriated  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] to agencies or departments of the state may be used or spent for any sabbatical leaves for any employee of the state or any subdivisions receiving state appropriations, except, that sabbatical leaves may be granted if the expenditures for sabbatical leaves including replacement costs and the percentage of salary awarded the recipients shall not exceed the annual contracted salary of said recipients while in residence in any one institution or agency period and further, all institutions of higher education shall be subject to sabbatical leave guidelines as adopted by the Council on Higher Education and as reviewed by the Legislative Budget Committee."  (Emphasis supplied.)
 
                                                                     ANALYSIS
 
            Your first question involving this section inquires as to whether the proviso relating to sabbatical leaves applies to any public moneys of a state agency other than those appropriated to the agency by the act in which it appears.  We believe that this question is clearly answerable in the negative.  Consistent with the express language of the section (emphasized above) and the requirements of Article VIII, § 4 (Amendment 11) of the state Constitution relating to the scope and purposes of an appropriations act, we regard the subject proviso as merely constituting a limitation upon an agency's use of the moneys appropriated to it by this 1971 appropriations act from the funds or sources identified therein.  Thus, this section in no way impairs or limits the authority of any agency to use such other funds as are available to it to pay the costs of a sabbatical leave program for its employees.
 
            Assuming this answer, you have next posed the following hypothetical case and question:
 
            "A community college uses non-appropriated (i.e., local) monies to pay an instructor's sabbatical leave salary, then uses appropriated monies to pay the salary of his replacement.  The salary paid to the replacement from State appropriated funds does not exceed the full-time salary of the instructor on sabbatical.  Is the college in violation of Section 1 of Chapter 275, Laws of 1971, extraordinary session?"
 
             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]
            The premise upon which this question is based is that a community college has available to it certain so-called "local moneys" which are in no way covered by any of the appropriations for community colleges appearing in chapter 275, supra.  Our review of this appropriations act, and, in particular, § 77 relating to community colleges, reveals the correctness of this premise.  The entire appropriation contained therein is from the state general fund, and not from any local funds comprised of such fees and other income as the board of trustees of a community college is authorized to retain in a local depositary of its choice under RCW 28B.50.320.2/
 
             Thus, in the case presented by your question, the amount expended by the subject community college district from moneys appropriated to it by chapter 275, would not exceed ". . . the annual contracted salary of . . ." the recipient of the particular sabbatical leave.  For this reason, it follows that this expenditure would not constitute a use of appropriated moneys in a manner contrary to the limitation contained in the subject proviso.
 
            Question (3):
 
            Your remaining question pertaining to chapter 275, involves a different section of this appropriations act; namely, § 89, which reads as follows:
 
            "For additional state contribution to employees health insurance to be allotted to those agencies whose employees are all or in part within the present system of the State Personnel Board, institutions of higher education and local school districts as provided by law:  PROVIDED, That payments from these funds shall be utilized to provide up to $15 per state employee per month, up to $15 per certificated and classified school employee per  [[Orig. Op. Page 4]] month of which up to $10 shall be from state funds and up to $5 shall be from local school district funds and up to $15 per month per employee of the state institutions of higher education.
 
            "General Fund Appropriation ... $9,410,096."
 
            Your question, as we understand it, is whether the limiting language of this appropriation item would somehow carry over and similarly limit the uses to be made of other legislative appropriations made either concurrently or subsequently for the payment of employees' insurance premiums.  For much the same reason as is indicated above in support of our answer to your first question, we would likewise answer this question in the negative.  The language to which you have referred simply constitutes a designation of the purpose for which this particular appropriation may be used by the receiving agencies; the question of whether some other appropriation (whether made concurrently or subsequently) would be similarly limited would be dependent solely upon the language of that appropriation.
 
            We trust that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
 
Very truly yours,
 
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
 
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General
 
                                                         ***   FOOTNOTES   ***
 
1/In addition, your request contained two questions relating to "professional negotiations" by community college employees under chapter 28B.52 RCW (codifying chapter 196, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess.).  We are continuing to process these questions and will advise you as to our conclusions thereon by a separate opinion at a later date.
 
2/RCW 28B.50.320 reads, in material part, as follows:
 
            "All operating fees, services and activities fees, and all other income which the trustees are authorized to impose shall be deposited as the trustees may direct unless otherwise provided by law.  . . ."

Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo