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EXTENSION ADMINISTRATIVE HANDBOOK - KANSAS STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

Chapter 1 Section D4. Jurisdiction Relating to an Approved and Filed Budget for County Agricultural Extension Councils (1957)


TO:    Dr. Arthur D. Weber
         Acting President
         Kansas State College

Your request for an opinion as to the proper application of House Bill 289 passed by the recent legislature amending G.S. l955 Supp., 2-610, has been received. Your request contains three specific questions to which you desire answers, each of which are summarized below with our conclusions and reasoning applicable thereto:

1.    Are you correct in your assumption that House Bill 289 became effective July l, l957? In this bill the phrase “after its publication in the statute book” refers to the publication of the Session Laws.  They were published June 29, l957, and House Bill 289 became effective on that date.

2.    Were the operations, functions and proceedings of the County Agricultural Extension Council, its executive board, and officers governed by G.S. Supp., 2-6l0 prior to the effective date of House Bill 289? The provisions of this section of the statutes remained in effect until the effective date of the amendment and governed the actions of the council and its agencies prior to June 29, l957.  House Bill 289 contains no retroactive provisions but it intends to govern preparation of budgets (among other things) subsequent to June 29, l957.

3.    If a budget for the carrying out of county extension work was properly prepared, approved and filed upon or before June l3, l957, as provided in G.S. l955, 2-6l0, is this budget subject to change after the effective date of House Bill 289?

The statute governing the preparation of the budget prepared and submitted on or before June 13, l957, was G.S. l955 Supp., 2-6l0. In the case of State, ex rel. Holden v. Belt, l75 Kan. 330, the authority of the county commissioners at a regular budget hearing pursuant to G.S. l949, 79-2929, to revise the budget of the county agricultural extension council was considered. The Court held that the commissioners had no such authority and that G.S. l95l Supp., 2-6l0 (now G.S. l955 Supp., 2-6l0) stands as a separate and distinct procedure apart from regular budget hearings. By dictum and inference in approving the reasoning of Cloud County Farm Bureau v. Cloud County Commissioners, 126 Kan. 322, the Court indicates that the commissioners have no discretion to reduce the amount of money provided for in the budget, the budget once adopted as provided in the statute is binding on the commissioners. Any other interpretation might defeat the entire extension program, which was certainly not the legislative intent.

We believe the budget properly prepared in accordance with G.S. 1955 Supp., 2-610 and submitted on or before June 13, l957, is not thereafter subject to change. The statute clearly requires a budget to be prepared by the cooperation of the executive board of the county agricultural extension council, the board of county commissioners and the director of the extension of Kansas State College. These officials comprise a group the nature of an administrative agency with the duty of preparing and presenting a budget to the county commissioners on or before the 13th of June. Once this function is performed, the agency is functus officio in this regard and jurisdiction is lost. We believe this view does not allow the possibility that the budget may fail of adoption unless the group has power later to revise it. This office has consistently held that once the budget is presented, the commissioners have a ministerial duty to appropriate the amount of money and to certify the amount of tax necessary to support the budget. Failure to do subjects the commissioners to possible mandamus action. See State ex rel. Holden v. Belt, l75 Kan. 330, 335; State ex rel. Mitchell v. Jackson County Board of Social Welfare, l6l Kan. 672; Cloud County Farm Bureau v. Cloud County Commissioners, l26 Kan. 322.

/S/ John Anderson, Jr., Attorney General
July 11, 1957