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State Board of Health of State of Arizona v. Frohmiller

Supreme Court of Arizona

July 14, 1933

STATE BOARD OF HEALTH OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA, Petitioner,
v.
ANA FROHMILLER, Auditor of the State of Arizona, Respondent

Original proceeding in Mandamus. Alternative writ issued and on hearing made permanent.

Messrs. Moeur & Moeur, for Petitioner.

Mr. Arthur T. La Prade, Attorney General, and Mr. Charles L. Strouss, Assistant Attorney General, for Respondent.

OPINION

[42 Ariz. 233] ROSS, C. J.

The petitioner is a state agency organized and existing under article 1, chapter 61, Revised Code of 1928, entitled "State Board of Health."

The general appropriation bill, chapter 95, Laws of 1933, approved March 18, 1933, section 1, reads as follows:

"The following sums herein set forth are hereby appropriated for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 1933 and ending June 30,

Page 942

1934, hereinafter designated as the 22nd Fiscal Year, and beginning July 1, 1934 and ending June 30, 1935, hereinafter designated as the 23rd Fiscal Year, for the several purposes and objects as hereinafter specified, and the state auditor is hereby authorized and directed to draw warrants on the state treasurer to and not to exceed the amounts herein set forth and for the purposes herein specified; and the state treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to pay said warrants out of the general fund of the state and the appropriation for the respective state agencies herein made. . . .

"Subdivision 21. Board of health, Child Hygiene and Child Welfare. [42 Ariz. 234]

"For the 22nd

For the 23rd

Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year

For salaries and wages for the following

positions

Superintendent and Register

$ 3,600.00

$ 3,600.00

Other salaries & wages

7,780.00

7780.00

Total salaries & wages for Board of Health

& Vital Statistics

$ 11,380.00

$ 11,380.00

For operation

3,775.00

3,775.00

For travel

250.00

250.00

For capital investment

350.00

350.00

Total for Board of Health

& Vital Statistics.

$ 15,755.00

$ 15,755.00"

On July 6th the petitioner, representing that its activities required immediate cash outlays for postage, traveling expenses and other emergencies, applied to the respondent, state auditor, to provide it with the sum of $250 for such purposes. Section 2628 of the Revised Code of 1928, being a part of what is known as the "State Financial Code" (article 2, §§ 2614-2631), provides that when such application is made in conformity therewith the auditor shall allow it, draw a warrant to the applicant officer, and charge the amount against the appropriation made to that office for the class of expenses covered by the application, and that the treasurer shall pay such warrant. The auditor, not being able to determine from the law what her duty in the premises was, refused to provide the petitioner with the funds applied for, hence this proceeding in mandamus.

On March 14, 1933, the legislature passed an emergency measure (chapter 48) suspending, or purporting to suspend, the Financial Code in its application to the general appropriation bill for twenty-second and twenty-third fiscal years; and, if such legislation is effective, section 2628, supra, providing for an imprest fund, is inoperative. On the other hand, the legislature in the appropriation bill for those years, which was approved four days later than the said [42 Ariz. 235] emergency measure, or on March 18, 1933, in section 2 thereof announces that "the appropriations herein made are subject to the provisions of the State Financial Code." If this expressed recognition of the Financial Code is to be accepted, then section 2628 is in force and effect. The equivocal situation thus created by the legislature's divergent expressions is apparent, and we are not surprised that the auditor should refuse to divine what was meant and should offer to do her duty as determined by the court.

We think it is a universal rule that the later of two acts of the legislature on the same subject, if there is a conflict, is accepted by the courts as the legislative will. Olson v. State,36 Ariz. 294, 285 P. 282; Kitchel, Treasurer, v. Gadsden Hotel Co., ante, p. 226, 23 P.2d 939. Under this rule the Financial Code was not suspended and it and the appropriations for the twenty-second and twenty-third fiscal years should be construed together, if possible; but since ...


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