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State ex rel. Conway v. The Industrial Commission of Arizona

Supreme Court of Arizona

February 12, 1940

THE STATE OF ARIZONA ex rel. JOE CONWAY, Attorney General of Said State, Appellant,
v.
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION OF ARIZONA, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. M. T. Phelps, Judge. Judgment affirmed.

Mr. Joe Conway, Attorney General, and Mr. Earl Anderson, Special Assistant Attorney General, for Appellant.

Mr. Charles L. Strouss and Mr. Howard Twitty, for Appellee.

OPINION

Page 89

[55 Ariz. 106] McALISTER, J.

The State of Arizona, at the relation of its attorney general, Joe Conway, seeks by this action to recover from the industrial commission the sum of $232,761.82 which represents premiums for workmen's compensation insurance paid by the state board of public welfare out of moneys in the state welfare fund for a period of slightly more than four years, March, 1933, to May, 1937. The complaint contains five counts, each asking for the return of the amount alleged to have been illegally paid to the commission during a particular year. The trial resulted in a judgment for the commission and from it the state appeals.

[55 Ariz. 107] The state board of public welfare, consisting of five members, was created by the eleventh legislature in March, 1933, and by it clothed with the power and duty of looking after the needs of those who, because of the depression then at its height, were unable to take care of themselves, and of initiating or approving work projects for the relief of the destitute unemployed. Chap. 35, Sess, Laws 1933. In subsections 9, 11 and 13 of section 3 of the act the board was specifically directed to do these things:

"To pay out of the funds appropriated or donated to the board, office expenses, salaries of employees and all other expenses incurred in carrying out the duties and powers herein set out subject to the approval of the governor....

"... To receive, hold and expend, subject to the provisions of this act, money received

Page 90

by gift, donation or otherwise from private sources, from federal, state, county or municipal governments or agencies, or from any charitable association or institution. All money received under the provisions of this paragraph shall be paid into the state treasury to be maintained by the state treasurer in a fund known as 'State Public Welfare Fund.'"

"To act as the official agency for the state in any social welfare activity initiated by the federal government and to administer any state funds that may at any time be appropriated or made available for the relief of destitute or necessitous persons."

It appears from the agreed statement of facts upon which the case was submitted that between the 10th day of March and the 31st day of December, 1933, large sums of money were paid into the state welfare fund by the federal government, by the counties, and by the state tax commission out of moneys received from excise taxes collected under the provisions of the luxury tax law enacted by the eleventh legislature, which provided that

[55 Ariz. 108] "ninety-six per cent of the gross receipts of the taxes levied by this act are hereby appropriated for the use of the ...


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