AGLO 1971 No. 90 - Jul 19 1971
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July 19, 1971
Honorable Jack G. Nelson
Director, Department of Motor Vehicles
Olympia, Washington 98504 Cite as: AGLO 1971 No. 90 (not official)
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion on a problem arising from the dual amendment of RCW 46.68.030 by two separate acts passed by the recently concluded 1971 legislative session.
The first act to be noted is chapter 91, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess. By § 1 thereof, the legislature amended RCW 46.68.030 to read as follows:
"All fees received by the director for vehicle licenses under the provisions of chapter 46.16 RCW shall be forwarded to the state treasurer, accompanied by a proper identifying detailed report, and be by him deposited to the credit of the motor vehicle fund ((, and out of each vehicle basic license fee as provided for in RCW 46.16.060, the state treasurer shall deposit six dollars to the credit of the state patrol highway account of the motor vehicle fund. A minimum of ten percent of the funds deposited in such account shall be appropriated and expended for the enforcement of RCW 46.44.100 relating to weight control))."
In addition, § 7 of this act provided that:
"Section 46.68.140, chapter 12, Laws of 1961 and RCW 46.68.140 are hereby repealed and all funds remaining in the state partol highway account on August 1, 1971 are transferred to the motor vehicle fund: PROVIDED, That this section shall take effect on August 1, 1971."
By virtue of § 8, the remainder of the act, including the amendatory provisions of § 1, supra, became effective on July 1, 1971.
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
The second act to be noted is chapter 231, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess. By § 11 of this act, the legislature also amended RCW 46.68.030, supra ‑ this time to read as follows:
"All fees received by the director for vehicle licenses and mobile home identification tags under the provisions of chapter 46.16 shall be forwarded to the state treasurer, accompanied by a proper identifying detailed report, and be by him deposited to the credit of the motor vehicle fund, and out of each vehicle basic license fee as provided for in RCW 46.16.060 and each mobile home identification tag fee as provided for in section 16 of this 1971 amendatory act, the state treasurer shall deposit six dollars to the credit of the state patrol highway account of the motor vehicle fund. A minimum of ten percent of the funds deposited in such account shall be appropriated and expended for the enforcement of RCW 46.44.100 relating to weight control."
However, because of provisions contained in § 24 of the act, the amendatory section will not become effective until January 1, 1973.
The rule of construction which is applicable in a case such as this has been established by the legislature itself, through its enactment of RCW 1.12.025 which provides as follows:
"If at any session of the legislature there are enacted two or more acts amending the same section of the session laws or of the official code, each amendment without reference to the others, each act shall be given effect to the extent that the amendments do not conflict in purpose, otherwise the act last filed in the office of the secretary of state in point of time, shall control: Provided, That if an extraordinary session shall immediately follow any regular session, this rule of construction shall apply to the laws enacted at either or both sessions."
[[Orig. Op. Page 3]]
The important point to be noted in reviewing the two subject amendments to RCW 46.68.030 is that the latter, § 11, chapter 231, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., did not purport to restore the statutory language with respect to the "state patrol highway account of the motor vehicle fund" which had been deleted by the earleir act, chapter 91. Instead, the bill which became chapter 231, simply contained a recital of the preexisting language of the statute being amended in order to comply with the requirements of Article II, § 37 of our state constitution, which provides that:
"No act shall ever be revised or amended by mere reference to its title, but the act revised or the section amended shall be set forth at full length."1/
Therefore, in so far as the disposition of fees is concerned, it follows that the motor vehicle fund's "state patrol highway account" has been effectively eliminated by the first of the two acts. In addition, it follows that during the period from July 1, 1971, until January 1, 1973, those vehicle license fees which are described in RCW 46.68.030, as amended by § 1, chapter 91, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., supra, are to be deposited to the general credit of the motor vehicle fund (rather than to any account therein). After January 1, 1973, when § 11, chapter 231, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., supra, becomes effective, there will be added to the fees thus deposited those fees received by the director of motor vehicles for mobile home identification tags as well, unless the legislature, in the meantime, provides otherwise.
It is hoped that the foregoing will be of assistance.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General
*** FOOTNOTES ***
1/Compare the situation which was involved in our opinion to your predecessor of November 21, 1969, copy enclosed, dealing with two amendments to RCW 46.20.070 (juvenile agricultural driving permits) which were enacted by the 1969 legislature.