Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1967 NO. 2 > Jan 18 1967

The legislature may constitutionally enact legislation designating the Tuesday after the first Monday of November of every odd-numbered year as a general state election date on which (1) constitutional amendments, initiatives, referendums and state bond issues (Article VIII, § 3) ready for submission , will be submitted to the qualified voters of the entire state for their approval or rejection; (2) school directors will be elected by the qualified voters throughout the entire state; and (3) city and other public officers specified in RCW 29.13.020 will be elected by the qualified voters entitled to vote on such offices.

AGO 1969 NO. 2 > Jan 20 1969

(1) Pursuant to RCW 54.12.080, the commissioners of a public utility district "fix their own compensation" within the meaning of the constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 13; accordingly, these officials continue to be prohibited from receiving a mid-term increase in their compensation. (2) Under RCW 52.12.010, the commissioners of a fire protection district fix their own compensation within the meaning of the constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 13; accordingly, these officials continue to be prohibited from receiving a mid-term increase in their compensation. (3) Pursuant to RCW 53.13.250, the commissioners of a port district do not fix their own compensation, within the meaning of the constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 13. (4) Except to the limited extent provided for by RCW 41.04.180, relating to group hospitalization and medical aid coverage, the members of a board of county commissioners do not fix their own compensation, within the meaning of the constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 13; accordingly, these officials are entitled to receive the salary provided for by the law in existence at the time their services are rendered, for all services rendered after the effective date of HJR No. 13, but they may not, during their terms of office, receive an increase in the amount of the county's payment for group hospitalization or medical aid coverage.

AGO 1957 NO. 4 > Jan 21 1957

Where a vacancy occurs in the legislature and the county commissioners are unable to agree upon a successor pursuant to the terms of the 13th Amendment of the state constitution, it is preferable for the governor to wait sixty days from the inception of the vacancy before making the appointment.

AGO 1953 NO. 5 > Apr 13 1953

The call of a special extraordinary session of the legislature does not deprive the Governor of his constitutional power to veto bills within ten days after presentment to him and after adjournment of the legislature when the general adjournment of the legislature has prevented the return within the five‑day period.

AGO 1955 NO. 12 > Jan 20 1955

1. Section 1, ch. 299, Laws of 1953, providing that non-high school districts may contribute funds to be used for capital outlay by high school districts is not within the prohibition of Art. VIII, sec. 7, of the constitution which forbids municipal corporations from giving or loaning money or credit.2. Ch. 229, Laws of 1953, does not violate the constitutional prohibition against the delegation of legislative power.3. Ch. 229, Laws of 1953, is not in conflict with Art. IX, sec. 1 of the constitution, which requires the state to make "ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.  . . ." 4. It is possible that ch. 229, Laws of 1953, does violate the provision of Art.I, sec. 19, of the constitution, which requires that no bill contain more than one subject and that expressed in its title.   If this is true, most of the act will be saved because the offending provision may be severed.

AGO 1953 NO. 16 > Apr 23 1953

Membership in the state welfare medical care committee is not a "civil office" within the purview of Constitution, Article II, section 13.  Hence, the governor may legally appoint a member of the 33rd legislature to serve on such committee.

AGO 1968 NO. 22 > Jun 3 1968

We believe that the provisions of chapter 125, Laws of 1967, under which the state of Washington became a party to the multistate tax compact, are effective as Washington law without any legal necessity for consent to formation of the compact to be granted by the United States Congress; however, the enactment of a consent bill by Congress would completely remove any conceivable doubt as to the validity of the compact.

AGO 1957 NO. 23 > Feb 26 1957

A Bond issue to finance the construction of certain buildings at the University of Washington does not contravene constitutional limitations on the amount of state debt that may be incurred, if passable solely from tuition fees.

AGO 1968 NO. 33 > Nov 8 1968

(1) The constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 13, which was voted upon at the 1968 general election, will become effective on the day of completion of the official canvass and issuance of the governor's proclamation, under RCW 29.62.130, confirming approval of the amendment by the voters; however, a delay of either of these events beyond the thirty-day period specified in the statute will not result in a delay of the effective date of the amendment beyond this period. (2) The approval of H.J.R. No. 13 will entitle those public officers (including supreme and superior court judges) who, because of previous constitutional limitations, have been receiving a lesser salary during their current terms of office than that provided for by the law presently in effect henceforth to receive the salary increases provided for by existing law without further action by the legislature or other salary fixing body.

AGO 1968 NO. 36 > Dec 5 1968

(1) The constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 13, which was adopted by the voters at the 1968 general election, grants to all municipal officers who do not fix their own compensation a constitutional right henceforth to receive the salary provided for by the state law or municipal ordinance in effect at the time that their services are being rendered, notwithstanding a city charter provision to the effect that the salary of no officer of the city shall be increased during his term of office. (2) Where the salary of a mayor of a city is fixed by city ordinance, the mayor is an officer who fixes his own compensation within the meaning of H.J.R. No. 13, where he is a member of the city council or commission which enacts all city ordinances; however, he is not such an officer if he has only a veto power over ordinances passed by the city council.  Where the mayor is authorized to cast either an affirmative or negative vote on an ordinance in the event of a tie in the votes of the councilmen, he will be prevented by the constitution from receiving a pay raise during his term of office only where his own affirmative vote becomes necessary for the passage of an ordinance raising his salary. (3) Where the mayor of a city is a member of the council or commission which enacts all city ordinances, he may not qualify himself to receive a mid-term increase in his compensation by abstaining from participating in the enactment of an ordinance involving his compensation as mayor.

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