Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Pending Attorney General's Office Formal Opinion Requests

The Washington Attorney General issues formal published opinions in response to requests by the heads of state agencies, state legislators, and county prosecuting attorneys.  When the Attorney General's Office receives a request for a formal opinion, a summary of that opinion request will be published here and distributed via our mailing list

Formal Requests:

Informal Requests:

If you are interested in commenting on any of these requests, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office of your interest by the date listed below each request.  This is not the due date by which comments must be received.  However, if you do not notify the Attorney General’s Office of your interest in commenting on an opinion request by this date, the opinion may be issued before your comments have been received. 

 You may notify the Attorney General’s Office of your intention to comment by:

  • Writing to the Office of the Attorney General, Solicitor General Division, Attention: Jeff Even, Deputy Solicitor General, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, Washington 98504-0100;  or
  • Emailing opinioncomments@atg.wa.gov.

When you notify the office of your intention to comment, you may be provided with:

  • A copy of the opinion request in which you are interested;
  • Information about the Attorney General’s Opinion process;
  • Information on how to submit your comments; and 
  • A due date by which your comments must be received to ensure that they are fully considered.

 

Formal Opinion Requests:



​​Opinion Docket No. 21-03-01 : Request by Dr. David May, Interim President, Eastern Washington University

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by April 24, 2021.

  1. Does EWU's Academic Senate constitute a governing body under the OPMA requiring it to comply with the OPMA?

    The intent to comment must be received by April 24, 2021.

Entire text of original request

 


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Opinion Docket No. 20-12-01 : Request by the Honorable Debra Lekanoff, State Representative, District 40

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by January 13, 2020.

  1. Can a Fire District refuse to provide fire and or emergency services to the citizens of the State of Washington who either reside on or are visiting the Reservation of a federally recognized Indian tribe within Washington State?
  2. Are there any financial limits or a reasonableness standard with respect to the amount of a fee for service charge that a Fire District can charge a federally recognized Indian tribe on a Reservation within Washington State for fire and emergency services?
  3. What recourse, if any, does a federally recognized Indian tribe have if it believes that a charge for fee for services for fire and emergency services charged by a Fire District is unreasonable and or punitive?
  4. If the Reservation of a federally recognized Indian tribe in Washington State is served by two separate Fire Districts whose designated service boundaries do not overlap, is the Tribe and one of the Fire Districts entitled to negotiate for fee for services for fire and emergency services to allow only one of the Fire Districts to serve the entire Reservation to the exclusion of the other Fire District?

Entire text of original request

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 20-10-02 : Request by Mark Hugh, Chair, Washington State Board of Acountancy

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by November 25, 2020.

Does the board have disciplinary authority, for violations of the Public Accountancy Act and Board rules, over a Certified Public Accountant licensee who is an employee of a state agency, for acts performed within the scope of employment?

Entire text of original request

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 20-07-01 : Request by Lin-Marie Nacht, Chair, Commission on Judicial Conduct

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by November 25, 2020.

Absent a constitutional amendment, can the CJC create a rule, consistent with Article IV §31, under the CJCRP to request the Washington Supreme Court to order the interim suspension of a judge or justice charged with or convicted of a felony or any judge or justice suffering from a mental, emotional, psychological, or physical disability that renders them unable to fulfill their judicial duties, and whose continued service would pose an immediate and substantial harm to the public or to the administration of justice?

Entire text of original request

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 20-07-02 : Request by the Honorable Monica Stonier, State Representative, District 49

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by September 2, 2020.

Does the authority of school districts to offer school-based health clinics remain limited in the manner described by AGO 1988 No. 2 and AGO 1989 No. 17 in light of subsequent legislation

Entire text of original request

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 20-07-04 : Request by the Honorable Amy Walen, State Representative, District 48

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by September 2, 2020.

Is it acceptable for engineers to stamp and sign architectural drawings for permits prepared by non-professionals for projects not excepted under RCW 18.08.410?

Entire text of original request

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 19-07-01: Request by the Honorable Christine Kilduff, State Representative, District 28

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office of your interest by August 29, 2019

  1. May a local government prohibit or contest the release or less restrictive alternative placement of a person involuntarily committed to a state hospital or facility under RCW 71-05, 10.77, or 71.09 to a less restrictive setting, including an adult family home, when the person otherwise qualifies for release/LRA? Please consider in your answer at a minimum the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act?
  2. May state government restrict the release or less restrictive alternative placement of a person involuntarily committed to a state hospital or facility under RCW 71.05, 10.77, or 71.09 to a less restrictive setting, by statutorily providing for density or radius restrictions on the location of adult family homes or by prohibiting any such person with a history of violence or sexual offense(s) from residing in such homes or another setting? Please consider in your answer at a minimum the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act?

Entire text of original request

 

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 19-01-04: Request by Dale Slack, Prosecutor, Columbia County

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office of your interest by February 27, 2019

  1. Are state, county, and city elected officials within the State of Washington "employees" of their respective jurisdictions pursuant to RCW 50A.04.010(4)?
  2. Are state, county, and city elected officials within the State of Washington subject to withholding of Paid Family Medical Leave premiums as described by RCW 50A.04.115?

Entire text of original request

 

 


 

 

Informal Opinion Requests:



Opinion Docket No. 20-07-05: Request by the Honorable Brian Blake, State Representative, District 19

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by November 18, 2020. 

Is a cost-benefit analysis conducted to satisfy the requirements of RCW 34.05.328(1)(d) required to consider the costs and benefits of a new rule as compared to the no-action alternative of a current statute, rule, or other identifiable, legally-binding regulation or does an agency have the discretion to compare costs against an observed common practice that is different than the current regulations?

Entire Text of original request

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 20-10-01: Request by the Honorable Liz Lovelett, State Senator, District 50

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office by October 22, 2020.

  1. Does the provision of the Interlocal Cooperation Act allowing Washington public agencies to use contracts established by other public agencies (RCW 39.34.030(5)(b)) include job order contracts as defined in RCW 39.10.210?
  2. Is the answer to the first question the same whether the other public agency is located within or outside Washington?

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 18-07-03: Request by the Honorable Joe Fain, State Senator, District 47

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office of your interest by August 7, 2018. 

  1. Does RCW 42.17A.555 require a City to prohibit initiative signature gathering on City property?
  2. Does RCW 42.17A.555 allow a City to prohibit initiative signature gathering on City property?
  3. If a City is aware of initiative signature gathering on City property, and takes no action to stop or prevent it, can the city or individual officials or employees be held liable for penalties, fees or costs, or other sanctions?

Background.

A citizen wants to collect signatures for an initiative at a Plaza in front of City Hall. The Plaza is not part of the City right-of-way. City policy in place since 2002 completely bans this activity in this location this activity based on RCW 42.17A.555’s (and its predecessor 42.17.130) prohibition against “allowing” anyone else to utilize City facilities for political campaigns, ballot measures, and election measures.

By letter dated November 10, 2009, the AG’s office addressed this issue as it relates to the placement of campaign signs on public property, and concluded in part that the statute would not prohibit the placement of signs in areas that are traditionally open for public expression, such as public sidewalks and associated rights-of-way.

 


 

Opinion Docket No. 18-08-01 Requested by the Honorabale Tina Orwall, State Representative, District 33

The Attorney General’s Office seeks public input on the following opinion request. If you are interested in commenting on this request, you should notify the Attorney General’s Office of your interest by October 11, 2017.

  1. If a city adopts by reference the state statutes defining misdemeanor crimes instead of enacting its own municipal code, does that act unconstitutionally delegate the city’s legislative authority?
  2. Is the Washington State Patrol obligated or authorized to accept and test DNA samples taken from individuals convicted of municipal misdemeanors that are equivalent to the state law misdemeanors listed in RCW 43.43.754(1)(a), but are adopted in the form of independent municipal ordinances?
  3. Do municipal offenses constitute prior offenses for purposes of felony prosecution (a) in all cases, (b) only if adopted by “incorporation by reference,” or (c) in no cases?
  4. Can a municipal sex offense that is equivalent to misdemeanor sex offenses under state statute can be treated as a sex offense for purposes of RCW 9A.44.130(1)(a) either (a) in all cases, (b) only if adopted by “incorporation by reference,” or (c) in no cases?
  5. Should convictions for equivalent crimes, whether state, separately-codified municipal, or “incorporated by reference,” be identified the same way or differently on criminal histories?”

Entire text of original request

 


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