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AGO 1957 No. 111 - August 15, 1957
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington


OASI COVERAGE FOR COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.

The Garfield County Superintendent of Schools is an "employee" for the purpose of OASI as defined in Chapter 183 of the Laws of 1957.  The County is required to contribute its share of the premiums from the fund from which the employees wages are paid.

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                                                                 August 15, 1957

Honorable Patrick McCabe
Prosecuting Attorney
Garfield County
Pomeroy, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 57-58 No. 111

Dear Sir:

            In your recent letter you advised us that the Garfield County superintendent of schools is a member of the state employees' retirement system and is interested in coverage under the OASI program, as provided in chapter 183 of the Laws of 1957.

            You have requested our opinion on a specific question which we have divided and paraphrased for the purpose of clarification:

            (1) As an elected county official, is subject county superintendent of schools an "employee," as defined in the above act?

            (2) Is the county required to contribute its share of the premiums?

            (3) If so, may this payment be made from currently appropriated funds for salaries?

            The above questions are answered in the affirmative.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            (1) The county superintendent of schools, who is a member of the state teachers' retirement system, is an "employee" as defined by chapter 183 of the Laws of 1957, as provided in § 2, subsection (2):

            "'Employee' means any person who is a member of the teachers' retirement system and is employed by a political subdivision."

            The individual who is the subject of this opinion is a member of the system and is employed by a political subdivision; hence, there would be no question but that he is an employee under the act.  The fact that he is also an elected official is immaterial since the Washington state legislature did not elect to exclude elected officials except those compensated on a fee basis, from OASI coverage (RCW 41.48.020, as amended).

            (2) Under the provisions of subsection (7) of § 2 of the above act, the county is required to pay its share of the contribution.  We quote:

            "Each political subdivision shall pay into the contribution fund with respect to the wages of its employees during the period of their OASI coverage pursuant to this plan contributions in an amount equal to the employer tax imposed by the federal insurance contributions act (section 3111, Internal Revenue Code of 1954), from the fund of the subdivision from which such employees' wages are paid.  The subdivision shall remit such contributions to the state for deposit in the contribution fund on a quarterly basis, not later than the twentieth calendar day of the month following each calendar quarter."

            (3) The contributions may be paid from currently appropriated funds for salaries, as set forth in the above‑quoted subsection (7) of § 2, the pertinent portion of which we repeat:

            "Each political subdivision shall pay into the contribution fund * * * contributions in an amount equal to the employer  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] tax imposed * * * from the fund of the subdivision from which such employees' wages are paid.  * * *"

            We hope the foregoing sufficiently answers your questions.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General

PAUL J. MURPHY
Assistant Attorney General

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