Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1977 NO. 2 > Jan 10 1977

Under present state constitutional provisions, it is now permissible for county commissioners to receive a legislatively granted mid-term salary increase resulting from an upward reclassification of their county and the commissioners may, constitutionally, adopt appropriate budgetary amendments to fund such salary increases.

AGO 1978 NO. 3 > Jan 26 1978

(1) A person who is either appointed or elected to an unexpired term to which the $3,800 per year salary provided for by chapter 149, Laws of 1974, 1st Ex. Sess., is applicable is constitutionally prohibited from being paid at the increased salary rate ($7,200 per annum) provided for by § 1, chapter 113, Laws of 1975-76, 2nd Ex. Sess. at any time during the remainder of the Senate term to which he or she is thus appointed or elected.  (2) A person who is either appointed or elected to a Senate vacancy to which the $7,200 per annum rate provided for in chapter 113, supra , is currently applicable is constitutionally prohibited from being paid at the further increased rate of $9,800 per annum, under § 1, chapter 318, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess. at any time during the remainder of such an unexpired term.  (3) Each of the foregoing conclusions is equally applicable in those instances in which the person so appointed or elected to a Senate vacancy is, at the time of the appointment or election, an incumbent member of the state House of Representatives.

AGO 1994 NO. 8 > Apr 29 1994

1.  The Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials may not decrease the salaries of elected officials during their current terms of office. 2.  If the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials fails to timely adopt a new salary schedule, the last one adopted continues in effect. 3.  The Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials may continue to operate lawfully notwithstanding Washington's gain of a ninth representative in Congress after the 1990 census; pending amendatory legislation commission members must be selected from the pre-1990 congressional districts. 4.  A member of the Washington Citizens' Commission may be reappointed to a second term if his or her name is again drawn by lot for the position, or if nominated for a second term pursuant to RCW 43.03.305.

AGO 1974 NO. 9 > Apr 10 1974

The members of a board of county commissioners, during the remainder of the terms of office they were serving on the effective date of the salary increases granted by the legislature in chapter 88, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., may receive those legislatively granted increases; they may not, however, constitutionally receive mid-term increases in such health care benefits as they have provided for themselves and other county officers and employees under the provisions of RCW 41.04.180.

AGO 1982 NO. 10 > Jul 20 1982

The board of county commissioners of a fifth through ninth class county may not, simply by making a public announcement to that effect prior to the period for candidates' filings, cause the office of county prosecuting attorney to become a full-time office so as to prohibit the candidate then duly elected to that office from thereafter engaging in the private practice of law.

AGO 1980 NO. 13 > May 22 1980

(1) In the case of a city councilman, city treasurer, or city clerk elected in November, 1975, to fill a four-year term commencing on the second Tuesday in January, 1976, that term actually ended at midnight on December 31, 1979, as a consequence of the legislature's enactment of RCW 29.04.170. (2) As a result of this shortening of the terms of office involved, the incumbent officials holding those offices were not entitled to a full year's salary for each of the four years initially encompassed in their respective terms since the last year of their terms was shortened by approximately two weeks.

AGO 1974 NO. 15 > Jul 25 1974

(1) The governing body of a state institution may not, in the exercise of its statutory authority to employ and fix the salaries and duties of the various administrative officers and employees of that institution, provide those officers and employees with the unrestricted use of an automobile owned or leased by the institution for that purpose.  (2) Where the statutory authority of a state institution is to "employ," or "employ and compensate" its necessary officials or employees, that institution may, in the exercise of this authority, contract to provide the unrestricted use of an automobile leased by the institution for that purpose, but it may not so contract in the case of a state‑owned automobile in view of WAC 82-28-200 which provides that state cars shall be used only for official business.

AGO 1981 NO. 16 > Oct 23 1981

Although a reduction (from 183 to 180) in the number of days in the current (1981-82) school year during which the certificated employees of a certain school district will be required to work, when coupled with a continuation of the same annual salaries as were paid during the previous (1980-81) school year, will result in a "salary increase" in the literal sense as that term is used in § 1, chapter 16, Laws of 1981, such a salary increase would not, by and of itself, trigger the restrictive provisions of the subject legislation.

AGO 1981 NO. 17 > Nov 5 1981

The legislature may not constitutionally cancel, or rescind, prospective salary increases for its own members which are payable during the remainder of their current terms of office and which were provided for by a law that had already been enacted and taken effect before those current terms began.

AGO 1982 NO. 17 > Dec 30 1982

In view of restrictions contained in the 1981-83 appropriations act, as last reflected in chapter 50, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess., school districts are not legally permitted to grant salary increases (other than as permitted by RCW 28A.58.095(3)) for the 1982-83 school year prior to June 30, 1983, except in the case of those employees who are covered by contracts entered into prior to April 20, 1982 which entitle the subject employees to salary increases during the 1982-83 school year prior to June 30, 1983.

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