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May 5, 1970
Honorable William N. Weaver
Director, Veterans' Rehabilitation Council
304 E. 4th Avenue
Olympia, Washington 98501
Cite as: AGLO 1970 No. 73
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion as to whether the various veterans' organizations having representative members on the state veterans' rehabilitation council, as provided for in RCW 43.61.010, as amended by § 31, chapter 18, Laws of 1970, may, by virtue of the amendments contained in this act, have the council purchase all of their office supplies through the state division of purchasing.
As you know, this office issued an opinion to you on May 24, 1963, in which it was concluded that, under then existing law, the veterans' rehabilitation council could not purchase office supplies through the state division of purchasing for use by the various participating veterans' organizations. Accordingly, we regard your present request, in essence, as constituting a request that we review this previous opinion in the light of the amendments contained in chapter 18, Laws of 1970.
We have done so, and are still constrained to reach the same conclusion as was expressed in our earlier opinion to you. The critical statute is RCW 43.61.030 ‑ under which, at the time of our earlier opinion, the veterans' rehabilitation council was authorized to reimburse the various participating veterans' organizations for their approved expenditures. Emphasizing this statutory concept of reimbursement, we expressed the reasoning in support of our conclusion as follows:
"Thus, since the power of the council is limited to reimbursing the participating veterans' organizations, the office supplies used by the organizations are not needed for the support and use of the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council.
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
"We conclude, therefore, that the Veterans' Rehabilitation Council may not under existing law purchase office supplies through state central stores for use by participating veterans' organizations."
While RCW 43.61.030 was, in fact, amended by § 33, chapter 18, Laws of 1970 ‑ as you have pointed out ‑ this 1970 amendment in no way altered the portion of the statute which constituted the basis for our earlier opinion. In other words, the statute still speaks of reimbursement, just as it did in 1963, when our previous opinion to you was written.
Accordingly, we must continue to answer the question which you have posed in the negative, for the same reasons as we expressed in thus concluding in our earlier opinion.
It is hoped the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Assistant Attorney General