Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2015 NO. 7 >

State matching funds held in the Washington State Opportunity scholarship and endowment accounts probably may not be invested in the stocks of private companies pursuant to article XII, section 9 of the Washington Constitution.

AGO 1993 NO. 8 >

1.  Article 8, sections 5 and 7, and article 12, section 9 of the Washington Constitution prohibit gifts or loans of public money or credit and the acquisition of interests in private stocks or bonds. 2.  RCW 43.84.080(7) authorizes the state treasurer, under certain circumstances, to invest public funds in commercial paper.  RCW 39.59.020 empowers local governments to make investments authorized by law for the state treasurer. 3.  Under article 8, sections 5 and 7, and article 12, section 9 of the Washington Constitution, state and local governments can invest in commercial paper purchased on the secondary market.

AGLO 1977 NO. 8 >

A public housing authority established pursuant to chapter 35.82 RCW, although authorized to purchase time certificates of deposit issued by certain in-state financial institutions under chapter 39.68 RCW, has no legal authority to purchase such certificates of deposit when issued by out-of-state financial institutions.

AGO 1993 NO. 18 >

1.  Institutions of higher education have the authority to enter into contracts deemed essential to the institution and to accept and solicit gifts.  If there is consideration flowing to the institution, it has the authority to provide goods and services to a private nonprofit organization, including the use of institution employees to solicit gifts, in exchange for fund-raising and other assistance from the organization. 2.  The statute of frauds, RCW 19.36.010, provides that any agreement not to be performed in one year from the making thereof shall be void.  Thus, any agreement between an institution of higher education and a nonprofit organization should be in writing if it is not to be performed in one year.

AGO 1988 NO. 26 >

1.When RCW 39.59.020(4) authorizes municipal treasurers to invest in " . . . any investments authorized by law for the treasurer of the state of Washington ..." and the state treasurer is authorized by law to invest in commercial paper by RCW 43.84.080(7) but only to the extent consistent with the policy of the State Investment Board, the legal limitations on the state and on municipal treasurers are confined to formally adopted policies of the State Investment Board, and neither the state nor municipal treasurers are bound by State Investment Board policies which are informal or unwritten.2.A municipal treasurer may not lawfully delegate authority to redeem warrants to a banking institution or other party outside the treasurer's office.3.A municipal treasurer may lawfully secure a line of credit for warrant redemption with a bank, to the extent permitted by RCW municipal treasurer may in certain circumstances secure a letter of credit from a bank for warrant redemption purposes, but only to guarantee payment of warrants the treasurer is statutorily authorized to pay.5.A letter or line of credit is a contingent liability and does not constitute a borrowing by a municipal corporation for purposes of applying constitutional or statutory debt or borrowing limitations; the borrowing occurs if the letter of line of credit is actually drawn down.

AGO 1955 NO. 30 >

Endowment Care fund of cemetery cannot be invested in graves, which are not income‑producing.

AGLO 1977 NO. 51 >

(1) RCW 28A.58.740, which authorizes school districts to invest funds accumulated thereunder in shares of an investment company, must be presumed by this office to be constitutional until otherwise ruled upon by a court of competent jurisdiction; moreover, the constitutionality of any such investments could conceivably depend upon the terms of the particular deferred compensation plan involved. (2) RCW 28A.58.740 does not constitute authority for a state‑regulated credit union to receive funds deposited pursuant to that section.

AGO 1953 NO. 146 >

Chapter 56, Laws of 1953, which exempts income derived from motor vehicle funds invested in certain short-term government securities from payment into the reserve fund is unconstitutional.