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AGO 1956 No. 340 - November 19, 1956
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

APPROPRIATIONS FOR REMODELING INCLUDE NECESSARY FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT WHEN SO INDICATED BY THE LEGISLATURE

Section 2, Chapter 16, Laws of 1955, Ex. Sess., supplemented by Concurrent House Resolution No. 12, indicates an intention of the legislature to authorize the purchase of cafeteria facilities including equipment and furniture to be installed in remodeled cloakrooms in capitol building.

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                                                               November 19, 1956

Honorable H. D. Van Eaton
Director
Department of General Administration
P.O. Box 1164
Olympia, Washington                                                                                    Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 340

Dear Sir:

            By letter, previously acknowledged, you have submitted a request for an opinion as follows:

            Is the appropriation of $245,000 for remodeling of the capitol building as provided in § 2, chapter 16, Laws of 1955, Ex. Sess., as supplemented by House Concurrent Resolution No. 12, sufficiently broad to authorize expenditures for the necessary equipment for cafeteria facilities in the cloakroom of both the senate and the house?

            The question is answered in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The title to the appropriation act, chapter 16, Laws of 1955, Ex. Sess., in so far as pertinent reads as follows:

            "AN ACT making appropriations for the payment of salaries of certain officers and employees of the state and for the operation, maintenance and other expenses of certain state institutions, departments and offices, * * *" (Emphasis supplied)

            Section 2 of the act, in so far as pertinent, and reading from page 1801, of the session laws reads as follows:

            "The following sums, or so much thereof as shall severally be found necessary, are hereby appropriated out of any of the moneys in the several funds in the state treasury hereinafter named for the payment of * * *"

            and on page 1820, the following appears:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                        "From the Capitol Building Construction Fund.

                        "Remodeling Legislative Building. . . . $245,000.00"

            House Concurrent Resolution No. 12, adopted February 8, 1955, provides for the appointment of a joint house and senate committee for the purpose of investigating the availability of office space in the legislative building, and with the intention of taking over, for the use of the legislature certain described areas of the capitol building.  The resolution further provides, in substance, that the joint committee shall consult with the director of public institutions (now the department of general administration) with regard to the use of additional space in the legislative building for the legislature, and directs that an architect's sketch or sketches of revised floor plans suitable for legislative occupancy, together with the estimates of the cost of all floor-plan changes and alterations, be obtained; also, that the director of general administration shall obtain an estimate of the cost of necessary furniture and equipment which will be required when the alterations are completed.

            The last two paragraphs of the resolution read as follows:

            "Be It Further Resolved, That the Director of Public Institutions be and is hereby directed to give his complete cooperation to the committee for the purposes herein mentioned, and that the estimated construction, furniture and equipment costs be available for presentation to the Legislature not later than the first day of March, 1955, and

            "Be It Further Resolved, That in the event the Legislature shall appropriate sufficient money for the purposes herein mentioned, that the Director of Public Institutions be and is hereby directed to have all alterations completed and the necessary furniture and equipment installed in sufficient time to be occupied by the Thirty-Fifth, 1957, session of the Legislature."

            Our supreme court in interpreting and determining the intention of the legislature, in the case ofState ex rel. Peel v. Clausen, 94 Wash. 166, at page 176, adopted the rule that the courts, in interpreting an act, should consider the title as well as the body of the act.  The rule was stated in the following language:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            "Aside from the body of the act, with all its pregnant meaning and wealth of fairness, we may look, with profit, to the title of the act of 1891, as did the court in the case ofState ex rel. Brainerd v. Grimes, supra, when it resorted to the title of the act there considered.  * * *"

            Referring to the title of chapter 16, heretofore in part cited, we find that the purpose of the appropriation was for the operation, maintenance and other expenses of certain state offices.  Referring to § 2 of chapter 16, the legislature has stated that the following sums are appropriated out of any of the monies of the several funds of the state treasury and then specifically provides for the remodeling of the legislative building in the sum of $245,000.00.

            While House Concurrent Resolution No. 12 is advisory only, it clearly demonstrates to us that the intention of the legislature in appropriating the $245,000.00 for the remodeling of the legislative building had in mind the necessary remodeling to establish the cafeterias together with all the necessary furniture and equipment necessary to make the remodeled building usable.  This intention of the legislature is confirmed by letter of September 28, 1956, from Senator Sears and Representatives John G. McCutcheon and Andy Hess.

            Consequently, it is our opinion that you are authorized by the act and the resolution to proceed with the remodeling of the cloakrooms and with the purchasing of the furniture and equipment necessary to the operation of the cafeterias, and that the cost of the same may be paid out of the remodeling appropriation.

            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General


ROY C. FOX
Assistant Attorney General

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