Chapter 70.44 RCW

PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICTS

Sections

70.44.003Purpose.
70.44.007Definitions.
70.44.010Districts authorized.
70.44.015Validation of existing districts.
70.44.016Validation of districts.
70.44.020ResolutionPetition for countywide districtConduct of elections.
70.44.028Limitation on legal challenges.
70.44.030Petition for lesser districtProcedure.
70.44.035Petition for district lying in more than one countyProcedure.
70.44.040ElectionsCommissioners, terms, districts.
70.44.041Validity of appointment or election of commissionersCompliance with 1994 c 223.
70.44.042Commissioner districtsResolution to abolishProposition to reestablish.
70.44.045CommissionersVacancies.
70.44.047Redrawn boundariesAssignment of commissioners to districts.
70.44.050CommissionersCompensation and expensesInsuranceResolutions by majority voteOfficersRules.
70.44.053Increase in number of commissionersProposition to voters.
70.44.054Increase in number of commissionersCommissioner districts.
70.44.056Increase in number of commissionersAppointmentsElectionTerms.
70.44.059ChaplainsAuthority to employ.
70.44.060Powers and duties.
70.44.062Commissioners' meetings, proceedings, and deliberations concerning health care providers' clinical or staff privileges to be confidentialFinal action in public session.
70.44.067Community revitalization financingPublic improvements.
70.44.070SuperintendentAppointmentRemovalCompensation.
70.44.080SuperintendentPowers.
70.44.090SuperintendentDuties.
70.44.110Plan to construct or improveGeneral obligation bonds.
70.44.130BondsPaymentSecurity for deposits.
70.44.140Contracts for material and workCall for bidsAlternative proceduresExemptions.
70.44.171TreasurerDutiesFundsDepositariesSurety bonds, cost.
70.44.185Change of district boundary lines to allow farm units to be wholly within one hospital districtNotice.
70.44.190Consolidation of districts.
70.44.200Annexation of territory.
70.44.210Alternate method of annexationContents of resolution calling for election.
70.44.220Alternate method of annexationPublication and contents of notice of hearingHearingResolutionSpecial election.
70.44.230Alternate method of annexationConduct and canvass of electionNoticeBallot.
70.44.235Withdrawal or reannexation of areas.
70.44.240Contracting or joining with other districts, hospitals, corporations, or individuals to provide services or facilities.
70.44.260Contracts for purchase of real or personal property.
70.44.300Sale of surplus real property.
70.44.310Lease of surplus real property.
70.44.315Evaluation criteria and requirements for acquisition of district hospitals.
70.44.320Disposal of surplus personal property.
70.44.350Dividing a district.
70.44.360Dividing a districtPlan.
70.44.370Dividing a districtPetition to court, hearing, order.
70.44.380Dividing a districtElectionCreation of new districtsChallenges.
70.44.400Withdrawal of territory from public hospital district.
70.44.450Rural public hospital districtsCooperative agreements and contracts.
70.44.460Rural public hospital district defined.
70.44.470Chapter not applicable to certain transfers of property.
70.44.900SeverabilityConstruction1945 c 264.
70.44.901SeverabilityConstruction1974 ex.s. c 165.
70.44.903Savings1982 c 84.
70.44.910Construction1945 c 264.

NOTES:

County hospitals: Chapter 36.62 RCW.
Limitation of indebtedness prescribed: RCW 39.36.020.
Tortious conduct of political subdivisions, municipal corporations and quasi municipal corporations, liability for damages: Chapter 4.96 RCW.


70.44.003
Purpose.

The purpose of chapter 70.44 RCW is to authorize the establishment of public hospital districts to own and operate hospitals and other health care facilities and to provide hospital services and other health care services for the residents of such districts and other persons.



70.44.007
Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words have the meanings indicated:
(1) "Other health care facilities" means nursing home, extended care, long-term care, outpatient, and rehabilitative facilities; ambulances; facilities that promote health, wellness, and prevention of illness and injury; and such other facilities as are appropriate to the health and wellness needs of the population served.
(2) "Other health care services" means nursing home, extended care, long-term care, outpatient, rehabilitative, and ambulance services; services that promote health, wellness, and prevention of illness and injury; and such other services as are appropriate to the health needs of the population served.
(3) "Public hospital district" or "district" means public health care service district.



70.44.010
Districts authorized.

Municipal corporations, to be known as public hospital districts, are hereby authorized and may be established within the several counties of the state as hereinafter provided.
[ 1947 c 225 § 1; 1945 c 264 § 2; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 6090-31. FORMER PART OF SECTION: 1945 c 264 § 1 now codified as RCW 70.44.005.]



70.44.015
Validation of existing districts.

Each and all of the respective areas of land heretofore attempted to be organized into public hospital districts under the provisions of this chapter are validated and declared to be duly existing hospital districts having the respective boundaries set forth in their organization proceedings as shown by the files in the office of the board of county commissioners of the county in question, and by the files of such districts.



70.44.016
Validation of districts.

Each and all of the respective areas of land attempted to be organized into public hospital districts prior to June 10, 1982, under the provisions of chapter 70.44 RCW where the canvass of the election on the proposition of creating a public hospital district shows the passage of the proposition are validated and declared to be duly existing public hospital districts having the respective boundaries set forth in their organization proceedings as shown by the files in the office of the legislative authority of the county in question, and by the files of such districts.



70.44.020
Resolution—Petition for countywide district—Conduct of elections.

At any general election or at any special election which may be called for that purpose, the county legislative authority of a county may, or on petition of ten percent of the registered voters of the county based on the total vote cast in the last general county election, shall, by resolution, submit to the voters of the county the proposition of creating a public hospital district coextensive with the limits of the county. The petition shall be filed with the county auditor, who shall within fifteen days examine the signatures thereon and certify to the sufficiency thereof, and for that purpose the auditor shall have access to all registration books in the possession of election officers in the county. If the petition is found to be insufficient, it shall be returned to the persons filing it, who may amend or add names thereto for ten days, when it shall be returned to the auditor, who shall have an additional fifteen days to examine it and attach the certificate thereto. No person signing the petition may withdraw his or her name therefrom after filing. When the petition is certified as sufficient, the auditor shall forthwith transmit it, together with the certificate of sufficiency attached thereto, to the county legislative authority, who shall immediately transmit the proposition to the supervisor of elections or other election officer of the county, and he or she shall submit the proposition to the voters at the next general election or if such petition so requests, shall call a special election on such proposition in accordance with RCW 29A.04.321 and 29A.04.330. The notice of the election shall state the boundaries of the proposed district and the object of the election, and shall in other respects conform to the requirements of law governing the time and manner of holding elections. In submitting the question to the voters, the proposition shall be expressed on the ballot substantially in the following terms:
For public hospital district No. . . . .
Against public hospital district No. . . . .



70.44.028
Limitation on legal challenges.

Unless commenced within thirty days after the date of the filing of the certificate of the canvass of an election on the proposition of creating a new public hospital district pursuant to chapter 70.44 RCW, no lawsuit whatever may be maintained challenging in any way the legal existence of such district or the validity of the proceedings had for the organization and creation thereof. If the creation of a district is not challenged within the period specified in this section, the district conclusively shall be deemed duly and regularly organized under the laws of this state.



70.44.030
Petition for lesser district—Procedure.

Any petition for the formation of a public hospital district may describe a less area than the entire county in which the petition is filed, the boundaries of which shall follow the then existing precinct boundaries and not divide any voting precinct; and in the event that such a petition is filed containing not less than ten percent of the voters of the proposed district who voted at the last general election, certified by the auditor in like manner as for a countywide district, the board of county commissioners shall fix a date for a hearing on such petition, and shall publish the petition, without the signatures thereto appended, for two weeks prior to the date of the hearing, together with a notice stating the time of the meeting when such petition will be heard. Such publications required by this chapter shall be in a newspaper published in the proposed or established public hospital district, or, if there be no such newspaper, then in a newspaper published in the county in which such district is situated, and of general circulation in such county. The hearing on such petition may be adjourned from time to time, not exceeding four weeks in all. If upon the final hearing the board of county commissioners shall find that any lands have been unjustly or improperly included within the proposed public hospital district the said board shall change and fix the boundary lines in such manner as it shall deem reasonable and just and conducive to the welfare and convenience, and make and enter an order establishing and defining the boundary lines of the proposed public hospital district: PROVIDED, That no lands shall be included within the boundaries so fixed lying outside the boundaries described in the petition, except upon the written request of the owners of such lands. Thereafter the same procedure shall be followed as prescribed in this chapter for the formation of a public hospital district including an entire county, except that the petition and election shall be confined solely to the lesser public hospital district.
[ 1945 c 264 § 4; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 6090-33.]



70.44.035
Petition for district lying in more than one county—Procedure.

Any petition for the formation of a public hospital district may describe an area lying in more than one county, the boundaries of which shall follow the then existing precinct boundaries and not divide a voting precinct; and if a petition is filed with the county auditor of the respective counties in which a portion of the proposed district is located, containing not less than ten percent of the voters of that area of each county of the proposed district who voted at the last general election, certified by the said respective auditors in like manner as for a countywide district, the board of county commissioners of each of the counties in which a portion of the proposed district is located shall fix a date for a hearing on the petition, and shall publish the petition, without the signatures thereto appended, for two weeks prior to the hearing, together with a notice stating the time of the meeting when the petition will be heard. The publication required by this chapter shall be in a newspaper published in the portion of each county lying within the proposed district, or if there be no such newspaper published in any such portion of a county, then in one published in the county wherein such portion of said district is situated, and of general circulation in the county. The hearing before the respective county commissioners may be adjourned from time to time not exceeding four weeks in all. If upon the final hearing the respective boards of county commissioners find that any land has been unjustly or improperly included within the proposed district they may change and fix the boundary lines of the portion of said district located within their respective counties in such manner as they deem reasonable and just and conducive to the welfare and convenience, and enter an order establishing and defining the boundary lines of the proposed district located within their respective counties: PROVIDED, That no lands shall be included within the boundaries so fixed lying outside the boundaries described in the petition, except upon the written request of the owners of the land to be so included. Thereafter the same procedure shall be followed as prescribed for the formation of a district including an entire county, except that the petition and election shall be confined solely to the portions of each county lying within the proposed district.



70.44.040
Elections—Commissioners, terms, districts.

(1) The provisions of Title 29A RCW relating to elections shall govern public hospital districts, except as provided in this chapter.
A public hospital district shall be created when the ballot proposition authorizing the creation of the district is approved by a simple majority vote of the voters of the proposed district voting on the proposition and the total vote cast upon the proposition exceeds forty percent of the total number of votes cast in the proposed district at the preceding state general election.
A public hospital district initially may be created with three, five, or seven commissioner districts. At the election at which the proposition is submitted to the voters as to whether a district shall be formed, three, five, or seven commissioners shall be elected from either three, five, or seven commissioner districts, or at large positions, or both, as determined by resolution of the county commissioners of the county or counties in which the proposed public hospital district is located, all in accordance with RCW 70.44.054. The election of the initial commissioners shall be null and void if the district is not authorized to be created.
No primary shall be held. A special filing period shall be opened as provided in RCW 29A.24.171 and 29A.24.181. The person receiving the greatest number of votes for the commissioner of each commissioner district or at large position shall be elected as the commissioner of that district. The terms of office of the initial public hospital district commissioners shall be staggered, with the length of the terms assigned so that the person or persons who are elected receiving the greater number of votes being assigned a longer term or terms of office and each term of an initial commissioner running until a successor assumes office who is elected at one of the next three following district general elections the first of which occurs at least one hundred twenty days after the date of the election where voters approved the ballot proposition creating the district, as follows:
(a) If the public hospital district will have three commissioners, the successor to one initial commissioner shall be elected at such first following district general election, the successor to one initial commissioner shall be elected at the second following district general election, and the successor to one initial commissioner shall be elected at the third following district general election;
(b) If the public hospital district will have five commissioners, the successor to one initial commissioner shall be elected at such first following district general election, the successors to two initial commissioners shall be elected at the second following district general election, and the successors to two initial commissioners shall be elected at the third following district general election;
(c) If the public hospital district will have seven commissioners, the successors to two initial commissioners shall be elected at such first following district general election, the successors to two initial commissioners shall be elected at the second following district general election, and the successors to three initial commissioners shall be elected at the third following district general election.
The initial commissioners shall take office immediately when they are elected and qualified. The term of office of each successor shall be six years. Each commissioner shall serve until a successor is elected and qualified and assumes office in accordance with *RCW 29A.20.040.
(2) Only a registered voter who resides in a commissioner district may be a candidate for, or hold office as, a commissioner of the commissioner district. Voters of the entire public hospital district may vote at a primary or general election to elect a person as a commissioner of the commissioner district.
If the proposed public hospital district initially will have three commissioner districts and the public hospital district is countywide, and if the county has three county legislative authority districts, the county legislative authority districts shall be used as public hospital district commissioner districts. In all other instances the county auditor of the county in which all or the largest portion of the proposed public hospital district is located shall draw the initial public hospital district commissioner districts and designate at large positions, if appropriate, as provided in RCW 70.44.054. Each of the commissioner positions shall be numbered consecutively and associated with the commissioner district or at large position of the same number.
The commissioners of a public hospital district that is not coterminous with the boundaries of a county that has three county legislative authority districts shall at the times required in chapter 29A.76 RCW and may from time to time redraw commissioner district boundaries in a manner consistent with chapter 29A.76 RCW.
(3) No person may hold office as a commissioner while serving as an employee of the public hospital district.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.20.040 was recodified as RCW 29A.60.280 pursuant to 2013 c 11 § 93.
Effective date1997 c 99: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 21, 1997]." [ 1997 c 99 § 8.]
Purpose1979 ex.s. c 126: See RCW 29A.60.280(1).



70.44.041
Validity of appointment or election of commissioners—Compliance with 1994 c 223.

No appointment to fill a vacant position on or election to the board of commissioners of any public hospital district made after June 9, 1994, and before April 21, 1997, is deemed to be invalid solely due to the public hospital district's failure to redraw its commissioner district boundaries if necessary to comply with chapter 223, Laws of 1994.

NOTES:

Effective date1997 c 99: See note following RCW 70.44.040.



70.44.042
Commissioner districts—Resolution to abolish—Proposition to reestablish.

Notwithstanding any provision in RCW 70.44.040 to the contrary, any board of public hospital district commissioners may, by resolution, abolish commissioner districts and permit candidates for any position on the board to reside anywhere in the public hospital district.
At any general or special election which may be called for that purpose, the board of public hospital district commissioners may, or on petition of ten percent of the voters based on the total vote cast in the last district general election in the public hospital district shall, by resolution, submit to the voters of the district the proposition to reestablish commissioner districts.

NOTES:

Effective date1997 c 99: See note following RCW 70.44.040.



70.44.045
Commissioners—Vacancies.

A vacancy in the office of commissioner shall occur as provided in chapter 42.12 RCW or by nonattendance at meetings of the commission for sixty days, unless excused by the commission. A vacancy shall be filled as provided in chapter 42.12 RCW.



70.44.047
Redrawn boundaries—Assignment of commissioners to districts.

If, as the result of redrawing the boundaries of commissioner districts as permitted or required under the provisions of this chapter, chapter 29A.76 RCW, or any other statute, more than the correct number of commissioners who are associated with commissioner districts reside in the same commissioner district, a commissioner or commissioners residing in that redrawn commissioner district equal in number to the number of commissioners in excess of the correct number shall be assigned to the drawn commissioner district or districts in which less than the correct number of commissioners associated with commissioner districts reside. The commissioner or commissioners who are so assigned shall be those with the shortest unexpired term or terms of office, but if the number of such commissioners with the same terms of office exceeds the number that are to be assigned, the board of commissioners shall select by lot from those commissioners which one or ones are assigned. A commissioner who is so assigned shall be deemed to be a resident of the commissioner district to which he or she is assigned for purposes of determining whether a position is vacant.

NOTES:

Effective date1997 c 99: See note following RCW 70.44.040.



70.44.050
Commissioners—Compensation and expenses—Insurance—Resolutions by majority vote—Officers—Rules.

Each commissioner shall receive ninety dollars for each day or portion thereof spent in actual attendance at official meetings of the district commission, or in performance of other official services or duties on behalf of the district, to include meetings of the commission of his or her own district, or meetings attended by one or more commissioners of two or more districts called to consider business common to them, except that the total compensation paid to such commissioner during any one year shall not exceed eight thousand six hundred forty dollars. The commissioners may not be compensated for services performed of a ministerial or professional nature.
Any commissioner may waive all or any portion of his or her compensation payable under this section as to any month or months during his or her term of office, by a written waiver filed with the district as provided in this section. The waiver, to be effective, must be filed any time after the commissioner's election and prior to the date on which the compensation would otherwise be paid. The waiver shall specify the month or period of months for which it is made.
Any district providing group insurance for its employees, covering them, their immediate family, and dependents, may provide insurance for its commissioners with the same coverage. Each commissioner shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred in connection with such business and meetings, including his or her subsistence and lodging and travel while away from his or her place of residence. No resolution shall be adopted without a majority vote of the whole commission. The commission shall organize by election of its own members of a president and secretary, shall by resolution adopt rules governing the transaction of its business and shall adopt an official seal. All proceedings of the commission shall be by motion or resolution recorded in a book or books kept for such purpose, which shall be public records.
The dollar thresholds established in this section must be adjusted for inflation by the office of financial management every five years, beginning July 1, 2008, based upon changes in the consumer price index during that time period. "Consumer price index" means, for any calendar year, that year's annual average consumer price index, for Washington state, for wage earners and clerical workers, all items, compiled by the bureau of labor and statistics, United States department of labor. If the bureau of labor and statistics develops more than one consumer price index for areas within the state, the index covering the greatest number of people, covering areas exclusively within the boundaries of the state, and including all items shall be used for the adjustments for inflation in this section. The office of financial management must calculate the new dollar threshold and transmit it to the office of the code reviser for publication in the Washington State Register at least one month before the new dollar threshold is to take effect.
A person holding office as commissioner for two or more special purpose districts shall receive only that per diem compensation authorized for one of his or her commissioner positions as compensation for attending an official meeting or conducting official services or duties while representing more than one of his or her districts. However, such commissioner may receive additional per diem compensation if approved by resolution of all boards of the affected commissions.



70.44.053
Increase in number of commissioners—Proposition to voters.

At any general or special election which may be called for that purpose the board of public hospital district commissioners may, or on petition of ten percent of the voters based on the total vote cast in the last district general election in the public hospital district shall, by resolution, submit to the voters of the district the proposition increasing the number of commissioners to either five or seven members. The petition or resolution shall specify whether it is proposed to increase the number of commissioners to either five or seven members.

NOTES:

Effective date1997 c 99: See note following RCW 70.44.040.



70.44.054
Increase in number of commissioners—Commissioner districts.

If the voters of the district approve the ballot proposition authorizing the increase in the number of commissioners to either five or seven members, the additional commissioners shall be elected at large from the entire district; provided that, the board of commissioners of the district may by resolution redistrict the public hospital district into five commissioner districts if the district has five commissioners or seven commissioner districts if the district has seven commissioners. The board of commissioners shall draw the boundaries of each commissioner district to include as nearly as possible equal portions of the total population of the public hospital district.
If the board of commissioners increases the number of commissioner districts as provided in this section, one commissioner shall be elected from each commissioner district, and no commissioner may be elected from a commissioner district in which another commissioner resides.

NOTES:

Effective date1997 c 99: See note following RCW 70.44.040.



70.44.056
Increase in number of commissioners—Appointments—Election—Terms.

In all existing public hospital districts in which an increase in the number of district commissioners is proposed, the additional commissioner positions shall be deemed to be vacant and the board of commissioners of the public hospital district shall appoint qualified persons to fill those vacancies in accordance with RCW 42.12.070.
Each person who is appointed shall serve until a qualified person is elected at the next general election of the district occurring one hundred twenty days or more after the date of the election at which the voters of the district approved the ballot proposition authorizing the increase in the number of commissioners. If needed, special filing periods shall be authorized as provided in RCW 29A.24.171 and 29A.24.181 for qualified persons to file for the vacant office. A primary shall be held to nominate candidates if sufficient time exists to hold a primary and more than two candidates file for the vacant office. Otherwise, no primary shall be held and the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each position shall be elected. Except for the initial terms of office, persons elected to each of these additional commissioner positions shall be elected to a six-year term. The newly elected commissioners shall assume office as provided in RCW 29A.60.280.
The initial terms of the new commissioners shall be staggered as follows: (1) When the number of commissioners is increased from three to five, the person elected receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected to a six-year term of office, and the other person shall be elected to a four-year term; (2) when the number of commissioners is increased from three or five to seven, the terms of the new commissioners shall be staggered over the next three district general elections so that two commissioners will be elected at the first district general election following the election where the additional commissioners are elected, two commissioners will be at the second district general election after the election of the additional commissioners, and three commissioners will be elected at the third district general election following the election of the additional commissioners, with the persons elected receiving the greatest number of votes elected to serve the longest terms.

NOTES:

Effective date1997 c 99: See note following RCW 70.44.040.



70.44.059
Chaplains—Authority to employ.

Public hospital districts may employ chaplains for their hospitals, health care facilities, and hospice programs.

NOTES:

Contingent effective date1993 c 234: "This act shall take effect on January 1, 1994, if the proposed amendment to Article I, section 11 of the state Constitution authorizing the legislature to permit public hospital districts to employ chaplains is validly submitted to and is approved and ratified by the voters at the next general election held. If the proposed amendment is not so approved and ratified, this act is void in its entirety." [ 1993 c 234 § 2.] House Joint Resolution No. 4200 was approved by the voters on November 2, 1993.



70.44.060
Powers and duties.

All public hospital districts organized under the provisions of this chapter shall have power:
(1) To make a survey of existing hospital and other health care facilities within and without such district.
(2) To construct, condemn and purchase, purchase, acquire, lease, add to, maintain, operate, develop and regulate, sell and convey all lands, property, property rights, equipment, hospital and other health care facilities and systems for the maintenance of hospitals, buildings, structures, and any and all other facilities, and to exercise the right of eminent domain to effectuate the foregoing purposes or for the acquisition and damaging of the same or property of any kind appurtenant thereto, and such right of eminent domain shall be exercised and instituted pursuant to a resolution of the commission and conducted in the same manner and by the same procedure as in or may be provided by law for the exercise of the power of eminent domain by incorporated cities and towns of the state of Washington in the acquisition of property rights: PROVIDED, That no public hospital district shall have the right of eminent domain and the power of condemnation against any health care facility.
(3) To lease existing hospital and other health care facilities and equipment and/or other property used in connection therewith, including ambulances, and to pay such rental therefor as the commissioners shall deem proper; to provide hospital and other health care services for residents of said district by facilities located outside the boundaries of said district, by contract or in any other manner said commissioners may deem expedient or necessary under the existing conditions; and said hospital district shall have the power to contract with other communities, corporations, or individuals for the services provided by said hospital district; and they may further receive in said hospitals and other health care facilities and furnish proper and adequate services to all persons not residents of said district at such reasonable and fair compensation as may be considered proper: PROVIDED, That it must at all times make adequate provision for the needs of the district and residents of said district shall have prior rights to the available hospital and other health care facilities of said district, at rates set by the district commissioners.
(4) For the purpose aforesaid, it shall be lawful for any district so organized to take, condemn and purchase, lease, or acquire, any and all property, and property rights, including state and county lands, for any of the purposes aforesaid, and any and all other facilities necessary or convenient, and in connection with the construction, maintenance, and operation of any such hospitals and other health care facilities, subject, however, to the applicable limitations provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(5) To contract indebtedness or borrow money for corporate purposes on the credit of the corporation or the revenues of the hospitals thereof, and the revenues of any other facilities or services that the district is or hereafter may be authorized by law to provide, and to issue and sell: (a) Revenue bonds, revenue warrants, or other revenue obligations therefor payable solely out of a special fund or funds into which the district may pledge such amount of the revenues of the hospitals thereof, and the revenues of any other facilities or services that the district is or hereafter may be authorized by law to provide, to pay the same as the commissioners of the district may determine, such revenue bonds, warrants, or other obligations to be issued and sold in the same manner and subject to the same provisions as provided for the issuance of revenue bonds, warrants, or other obligations by cities or towns under the municipal revenue bond act, chapter 35.41 RCW, as may hereafter be amended; (b) general obligation bonds therefor in the manner and form as provided in RCW 70.44.110 and 70.44.130, as may hereafter be amended; or (c) interest-bearing warrants to be drawn on a fund pending deposit in such fund of money sufficient to redeem such warrants and to be issued and paid in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as the board of commissioners may deem to be in the best interest of the district; and to assign or sell hospital accounts receivable, and accounts receivable for the use of other facilities or services that the district is or hereafter may be authorized by law to provide, for collection with or without recourse. General obligation bonds shall be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW. Revenue bonds, revenue warrants, or other revenue obligations may be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW. In connection with the issuance of bonds, a public hospital district is, in addition to its other powers, authorized to grant a lien on any or all of its property, whether then owned or thereafter acquired, including the revenues and receipts from the property, pursuant to a mortgage, deed of trust, security agreement, or any other security instrument now or hereafter authorized by applicable law: PROVIDED, That such bonds are issued in connection with a federal program providing mortgage insurance, including but not limited to the mortgage insurance programs administered by the United States department of housing and urban development pursuant to sections 232, 241, and 242 of Title II of the national housing act, as amended.
(6) To raise revenue by the levy of an annual tax on all taxable property within such public hospital district not to exceed fifty cents per thousand dollars of assessed value, and an additional annual tax on all taxable property within such public hospital district not to exceed twenty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value, or such further amount as has been or shall be authorized by a vote of the people. Although public hospital districts are authorized to impose two separate regular property tax levies, the levies shall be considered to be a single levy for purposes of the limitation provided for in chapter 84.55 RCW. Public hospital districts are authorized to levy such a general tax in excess of their regular property taxes when authorized so to do at a special election conducted in accordance with and subject to all of the requirements of the Constitution and the laws of the state of Washington now in force or hereafter enacted governing the limitation of tax levies. The said board of district commissioners is authorized and empowered to call a special election for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters of the hospital district a proposition or propositions to levy taxes in excess of its regular property taxes. The superintendent shall prepare a proposed budget of the contemplated financial transactions for the ensuing year and file the same in the records of the commission on or before the first day of November. Notice of the filing of said proposed budget and the date and place of hearing on the same shall be published for at least two consecutive weeks, at least one time each week, in a newspaper printed and of general circulation in said county. On or before the fifteenth day of November the commission shall hold a public hearing on said proposed budget at which any taxpayer may appear and be heard against the whole or any part of the proposed budget. Upon the conclusion of said hearing, the commission shall, by resolution, adopt the budget as finally determined and fix the final amount of expenditures for the ensuing year. Taxes levied by the commission shall be certified to and collected by the proper county officer of the county in which such public hospital district is located in the same manner as is or may be provided by law for the certification and collection of port district taxes. The commission is authorized, prior to the receipt of taxes raised by levy, to borrow money or issue warrants of the district in anticipation of the revenue to be derived by such district from the levy of taxes for the purpose of such district, and such warrants shall be redeemed from the first money available from such taxes when collected, and such warrants shall not exceed the anticipated revenues of one year, and shall bear interest at a rate or rates as authorized by the commission.
(7) To enter into any contract with the United States government or any state, municipality, or other hospital district, or any department of those governing bodies, for carrying out any of the powers authorized by this chapter.
(8) To sue and be sued in any court of competent jurisdiction: PROVIDED, That all suits against the public hospital district shall be brought in the county in which the public hospital district is located.
(9) To pay actual necessary travel expenses and living expenses incurred while in travel status for (a) qualified physicians or other health care practitioners who are candidates for medical staff positions, and (b) other qualified persons who are candidates for superintendent or other managerial and technical positions, which expenses may include expenses incurred by family members accompanying the candidate, when the district finds that hospitals or other health care facilities owned and operated by it are not adequately staffed and determines that personal interviews with said candidates to be held in the district are necessary or desirable for the adequate staffing of said facilities.
(10) To employ superintendents, attorneys, and other technical or professional assistants and all other employees; to make all contracts useful or necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, (a) contracts with private or public institutions for employee retirement programs, and (b) contracts with current or prospective employees, physicians, or other health care practitioners providing for the payment or reimbursement by the public hospital district of health care training or education expenses, including but not limited to debt obligations, incurred by current or prospective employees, physicians, or other health care practitioners in return for their agreement to provide services beneficial to the public hospital district; to print and publish information or literature; and to do all other things necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(11) To solicit and accept gifts, grants, conveyances, bequests, and devises of real or personal property, or both, in trust or otherwise, and to sell, lease, exchange, invest, or expend gifts or the proceeds, rents, profits, and income therefrom, and to enter into contracts with for-profit or nonprofit organizations to support the purposes of this subsection, including, but not limited to, contracts providing for the use of district facilities, property, personnel, or services.

NOTES:

Intent1997 c 3 §§ 201-207: See note following RCW 84.55.010.
ApplicationSeverabilityPart headings not lawReferral to electorate1997 c 3: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.
Purpose1984 c 186: See note following RCW 39.46.110.
Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
Severability1979 ex.s. c 155: "If any provision of this amendatory act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1979 ex.s. c 155 § 3.]
Severability1979 ex.s. c 143: See note following RCW 70.44.200.
SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.
Purpose1970 ex.s. c 56: See note following RCW 39.52.020.
PurposeSeverability1967 c 164: See notes following RCW 4.96.010.
Eminent domain
by cities: Chapter 8.12 RCW.
generally: State Constitution Art. 1 § 16.
Limitation on levies: State Constitution Art. 7 § 2; RCW 84.52.050.
Port districts, collection of taxes: RCW 53.36.020.
Tortious conduct of political subdivisions, municipal corporations and quasi-municipal corporations, liability for damages: Chapter 4.96 RCW.



70.44.062
Commissioners' meetings, proceedings, and deliberations concerning health care providers' clinical or staff privileges to be confidential—Final action in public session.

(1) All meetings, proceedings, and deliberations of the board of commissioners, its staff or agents, concerning the granting, denial, revocation, restriction, or other consideration of the status of the clinical or staff privileges of a physician or other health care provider as that term is defined in RCW 7.70.020, if such other providers at the discretion of the district's commissioners are considered for such privileges, shall be confidential and may be conducted in executive session: PROVIDED, That the final action of the board as to the denial, revocation, or restriction of clinical or staff privileges of a physician or other health care provider as defined in RCW 7.70.020 shall be done in public session.
(2) All meetings, proceedings, and deliberations of a quality improvement committee established under RCW 4.24.250, 43.70.510, or 70.41.200 and all meetings, proceedings, and deliberations of the board of commissioners, its staff or agents, to review the report or the activities of a quality improvement committee established under RCW 4.24.250, 43.70.510, or 70.41.200 may, at the discretion of the quality improvement committee or the board of commissioners, be confidential and may be conducted in executive session. Any review conducted by the board of commissioners or quality improvement committee, or their staffs or agents, shall be subject to the same protections, limitations, and exemptions that apply to quality improvement committee activities under RCW 4.24.240, 4.24.250, 43.70.510, and 70.41.200. However, any final action of the board of commissioners on the report of the quality improvement committee shall be done in public session.



70.44.067
Community revitalization financing—Public improvements.

In addition to other authority that a public hospital district possesses, a public hospital district may provide any public improvement as defined under RCW 39.89.020, but this additional authority is limited to participating in the financing of the public improvements as provided under RCW 39.89.050.
This section does not limit the authority of a public hospital district to otherwise participate in the public improvements if that authority exists elsewhere.



70.44.070
Superintendent—Appointment—Removal—Compensation.

(1) The public hospital district commission shall appoint a superintendent, who shall be appointed for an indefinite time and be removable at the will of the commission. Appointments and removals shall be by resolution, introduced at a regular meeting and adopted at the same or a subsequent regular meeting by a majority vote. The superintendent shall receive such compensation as the commission shall fix by resolution.
(2) Where a public hospital district operates more than one hospital, the commission may in its discretion appoint up to one superintendent per hospital and assign among the superintendents the powers and duties set forth in RCW 70.44.080 and 70.44.090 as deemed appropriate by the commission.



70.44.080
Superintendent—Powers.

(1) The superintendent shall be the chief administrative officer of the public district hospital and shall have control of administrative functions of the district. The superintendent shall be responsible to the commission for the efficient administration of all affairs of the district. In case of the absence or temporary disability of the superintendent a competent person shall be appointed by the commission. The superintendent shall be entitled to attend all meetings of the commission and its committees and to take part in the discussion of any matters pertaining to the district, but shall have no vote.
(2) Where the commission has appointed more than one superintendent as provided in RCW 70.44.070, the commission shall assign among the superintendents the powers set forth in this section as deemed appropriate by the commission.
[ 1987 c 58 § 2; 1982 c 84 § 17; 1945 c 264 § 9; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 6090-38.]



70.44.090
Superintendent—Duties.

(1) The public hospital district superintendent shall have the power, and duty:
(a) To carry out the orders of the commission, and to see that all the laws of the state pertaining to matters within the functions of the district are duly enforced.
(b) To keep the commission fully advised as to the financial condition and needs of the district. To prepare, each year, an estimate for the ensuing fiscal year of the probable expenses of the district, and to recommend to the commission what development work should be undertaken, and what extensions and additions, if any, should be made, during the ensuing fiscal year, with an estimate of the costs of such development work, extensions and additions. To certify to the commission all the bills, allowances and payrolls, including claims due contractors of public works. To recommend to the commission a range of salaries to be paid to district employees.
(2) Where the commission has appointed more than one superintendent as provided in RCW 70.44.070, the commission shall assign among the superintendents the duties set forth in this section as deemed appropriate by the commission.
[ 1987 c 58 § 3; 1982 c 84 § 18; 1945 c 264 § 11; Rem. Supp. 1945 § 6090-40.]



70.44.110
Plan to construct or improve—General obligation bonds.

Whenever the commission deems it advisable that the district acquire or construct a public hospital, or other health care facilities, or make additions or betterments thereto, or extensions thereof, it shall provide therefor by resolution, which shall specify and adopt the plan proposed, declare the estimated cost thereof, and specify the amount of indebtedness to be incurred therefor. General indebtedness may be incurred by the issuance of general obligation bonds or short-term obligations in anticipation of such bonds. General obligation bonds shall mature in not to exceed thirty years. The incurring of such indebtedness shall be subject to the applicable limitations and requirements provided in section 1, chapter 143, Laws of 1917, as last amended by section 4, chapter 107, Laws of 1967, and RCW 39.36.020, as now or hereafter amended. Such general obligation bonds shall be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW.

NOTES:

Purpose1984 c 186: See note following RCW 39.46.110.



70.44.130
Bonds—Payment—Security for deposits.

The principal and interest of such general bonds shall be paid by levying each year a tax upon the taxable property within the district sufficient, together with other revenues of the district available for such purpose, to pay said interest and principal of said bonds, which tax shall be due and collectible as any other tax. All bonds and warrants issued under the authority of this chapter shall be legal securities, which may be used by any bank or trust company for deposit with the state treasurer, or any county or city treasurer, as security for deposits, in lieu of a surety bond, under any law relating to deposits of public moneys.

NOTES:

Purpose1984 c 186: See note following RCW 39.46.110.



70.44.140
Contracts for material and work—Call for bids—Alternative procedures—Exemptions.

(1) All materials purchased and work ordered, the estimated cost of which is in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars, shall be by contract. Before awarding any such contract, the commission shall publish a notice at least thirteen days before the last date upon which bids will be received, inviting sealed proposals for such work. The plans and specifications must at the time of the publication of such notice be on file at the office of the public hospital district, subject to public inspection: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the commission may at the same time, and as part of the same notice, invite tenders for the work or materials upon plans and specifications to be submitted by bidders. The notice shall state generally the work to be done, and shall call for proposals for doing the same, to be sealed and filed with the commission on or before the day and hour named therein. Each bid shall be accompanied by bid proposal security in the form of a certified check, cashier's check, postal money order, or surety bond made payable to the order of the commission, for a sum not less than five percent of the amount of the bid, and no bid shall be considered unless accompanied by such bid proposal security. At the time and place named, such bids shall be publicly opened and read, and the commission shall proceed to canvass the bids, and may let such contract to the lowest responsible bidder upon plans and specifications on file, or to the best bidder submitting his or her own plans and specifications. If, in the opinion of the commission, all bids are unsatisfactory, they may reject all of them and readvertise, and in such case all bid proposal security shall be returned to the bidders. If the contract is let, then all bid proposal security shall be returned to the bidders, except that of the successful bidder, which is retained until a contract shall be entered into for the purchase of such materials for doing such work, and a bond to perform such work furnished, with sureties satisfactory to the commission, in an amount to be fixed by the commission, not less than twenty-five percent of contract price in any case, between the bidder and commission, in accordance with the bid. If such bidder fails to enter into the contract in accordance with the bid and furnish such bond within ten days from the date at which the bidder is notified that he or she is the successful bidder, the bid proposal security and the amount thereof shall be forfeited to the public hospital district. A low bidder who claims error and fails to enter into a contract is prohibited from bidding on the same project if a second or subsequent call for bids is made for the project.
(2) As an alternative to the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, a public hospital district may let contracts using the small works roster process under RCW 39.04.155.
(3) Any purchases with an estimated cost of up to fifteen thousand dollars may be made using the process provided in RCW 39.04.190.
(4) The commission may waive the competitive bidding requirements of this section pursuant to RCW 39.04.280 if an exemption contained within that section applies to the purchase or public work.

NOTES:

PurposePart headings not law2000 c 138: See notes following RCW 39.04.155.
Contractor's bond: Chapter 39.08 RCW.
Lien on public works, retained percentage of contractor's earnings: Chapter 60.28 RCW.



70.44.171
Treasurer—Duties—Funds—Depositaries—Surety bonds, cost.

The treasurer of the county in which a public hospital district is located shall be treasurer of the district, except that the commission by resolution may designate some other person having experience in financial or fiscal matters as treasurer of the district. If the treasurer is not the county treasurer, the commission shall require a bond, with a surety company authorized to do business in the state of Washington, in an amount and under the terms and conditions which the commission by resolution from time to time finds will protect the district against loss. The premium on any such bond shall be paid by the district.
All district funds shall be paid to the treasurer and shall be disbursed by him or her only on warrants issued by an auditor appointed by the commission, upon orders or vouchers approved by it. The treasurer shall establish a public hospital district fund, into which shall be paid all district funds, and he or she shall maintain such special funds as may be created by the commission, into which he or she shall place all money as the commission may, by resolution, direct.
If the treasurer of the district is the treasurer of the county all district funds shall be deposited with the county depositaries under the same restrictions, contracts, and security as provided for county depositaries. If the treasurer of the district is some other person, all funds shall be deposited in such bank or banks authorized to do business in this state as the commission by resolution shall designate, and with surety bond to the district or securities in lieu thereof of the kind, no less in amount, as provided in *RCW 36.48.020 for deposit of county funds. Such surety bond or securities in lieu thereof shall be filed or deposited with the treasurer of the district, and approved by resolution of the commission.
All interest collected on district funds shall belong to the district and be deposited to its credit in the proper district funds.
A district may provide and require a reasonable bond of any other person handling moneys or securities of the district. The district may pay the premium on such bond.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 36.48.020 was repealed by 1984 c 177 § 21.



70.44.185
Change of district boundary lines to allow farm units to be wholly within one hospital district—Notice.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including RCW 70.44.040, whenever the boundary line between contiguous hospital districts bisects an irrigation block unit placing part of the unit in one hospital district and the balance thereof in another such district, the county auditor, upon his or her approval of a request therefor after public hearing thereon, shall change the hospital district boundary lines so that the entire farm unit of the person so requesting shall be wholly in one of such hospital districts and give notice thereof to those hospital district and county officials as he or she shall deem appropriate therefor.



70.44.190
Consolidation of districts.

Two or more contiguous hospital districts, whether the territory therein lies in one or more counties, may consolidate by following the procedure outlined in chapter 35.10 RCW with reference to consolidation of cities and towns.



70.44.200
Annexation of territory.

(1) A public hospital district may annex territory outside the existing boundaries of such district and contiguous thereto, whether the territory lies in one or more counties, in accordance with this section.
(2) A petition for annexation of territory contiguous to a public hospital district may be filed with the commission of the district to which annexation is proposed. The petition must be signed by the owners, as prescribed by *RCW 35A.01.040(9) (a) through (e), of not less than sixty percent of the area of land within the territory proposed to be annexed. Such petition shall describe the boundaries of the territory proposed to be annexed and shall be accompanied by a map which outlines the boundaries of such territory.
(3) Whenever such a petition for annexation is filed with the commission of a public hospital district, the commission may entertain the same, fix a date for public hearing thereon, and cause notice of the hearing to be published once a week for at least two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the territory proposed to be annexed. The notice shall also be posted in three public places within the territory proposed to be annexed, shall contain a description of the boundaries of such territory, and shall specify the time and place of hearing and invite interested persons to appear and voice approval or disapproval of the annexation.
(4) Following the hearing, if the commission of the district determines to accomplish the annexation, it shall do so by resolution. The resolution may annex all or any portion of the proposed territory but may not include in the annexation any property not described in the petition. Upon passage of the annexation resolution, the territory annexed shall become part of the district and a certified copy of such resolution shall be filed with the legislative authority of the county or counties in which the annexed property is located.
(5) If the petition for annexation and the annexation resolution so provide, as the commission may require, and such petition has been signed by the owners of all the land within the boundaries of the territory being annexed, the annexed property shall assume and be assessed and taxed to pay for all or any portion of the outstanding indebtedness of the district to which it is annexed at the same rates as other property within such district. Unless so provided in the petition and resolution, property within the boundaries of the territory annexed shall not be assessed or taxed to pay for all or any portion of the indebtedness of the district to which it is annexed that was contracted prior to or which existed at the date of annexation. In no event shall any such annexed property be released from any assessments or taxes previously levied against it or from its existing liability for the payment of outstanding bonds or warrants issued prior to such annexation.
(6) The annexation procedure provided for in this section shall be an alternative method of annexation applicable only if at the time the annexation petition is filed either there are no registered voters residing in the territory proposed to be annexed or the petition is also signed by all of the registered voters residing in the territory proposed to be annexed.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 35A.01.040 was amended by 2008 c 196 § 2, changing subsection (9)(e) to subsection (9)(f).
Severability1979 ex.s. c 143: "If any provision of this amendatory act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1979 ex.s. c 143 § 3.]



70.44.210
Alternate method of annexation—Contents of resolution calling for election.

As an alternate method of annexation to public hospital districts, any territory adjacent to a public hospital district may be annexed thereto by vote of the qualified electors residing in the territory to be annexed, in the manner provided in RCW 70.44.210 through 70.44.230. An election to annex such territory may be called pursuant to a resolution calling for such an election adopted by the district commissioners.
Any resolution calling for such an election shall describe the boundaries of the territory to be annexed, state that the annexation of such territory to the public hospital district will be conducive to the welfare and benefit of the persons or property within the district and within the territory proposed to be annexed, and fix the date, time and place for a public hearing thereon which date shall be not more than sixty nor less than forty days following the adoption of such resolution.



70.44.220
Alternate method of annexation—Publication and contents of notice of hearing—Hearing—Resolution—Special election.

Notice of such hearing shall be published once a week for at least two consecutive weeks in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the territory proposed to be annexed. The notice shall contain a description of the boundaries of the territory proposed to be annexed and shall state the time and place of the hearing thereon and the fact that any changes in the boundaries of such territory will be considered at such time and place. At such hearing or any continuation thereof, any interested person may appear and be heard on all matters relating to the proposed annexation. The district commissioners may make such changes in the boundaries of the territory proposed to be annexed as it shall deem reasonable and proper, but may not delete any portion of the proposed area which will create an island of included or excluded lands. If the district commissioners shall determine that any additional territory should be included in the territory to be annexed, a second hearing shall be held and notice given in the same manner as for the original hearing. The district commissioners may adjourn the hearing on the proposed annexation from time to time not exceeding thirty days in all. At the next regular meeting following the conclusion of such hearing, the district commissioners shall, if it finds that the annexation of such territory will be conducive to the welfare and benefit of the persons and property therein and the welfare and benefit of the persons and property within the public hospital district, adopt a resolution fixing the boundaries of the territory to be annexed and causing to be called a special election on such annexation to be held not more than one hundred twenty days nor less than sixty days following the adoption of such resolution.



70.44.230
Alternate method of annexation—Conduct and canvass of election—Notice—Ballot.

An election on the annexation of territory to a public hospital district shall be conducted and canvassed in the same manner as provided for the conduct of an election on the formation of a public hospital district except that notice of such election shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the territory proposed to be annexed and the ballot proposition shall be in substantially the following form:
ANNEXATION TO (herein insert name of public hospital district)
"Shall the territory described in a resolution of the public hospital district commissioners of (here insert name of public hospital district) adopted on . . . ., . . . . . ., 19. . . [. . . . (year)], be annexed to such district?
 
YES . . . .
 
 
NO . . . .
□"
 
If a majority of those voting on such proposition vote in favor thereof, the territory shall thereupon be annexed to the public hospital district.



70.44.235
Withdrawal or reannexation of areas.

(1) As provided in this section, a public hospital district may withdraw areas from its boundaries, or reannex areas into the public hospital district that previously had been withdrawn from the public hospital district under this section.
(2) The withdrawal of an area shall be authorized upon: (a) Adoption of a resolution by the hospital district commissioners requesting the withdrawal and finding that, in the opinion of the commissioners, inclusion of this area within the public hospital district will result in a reduction of the district's tax levy rate under the provisions of RCW 84.52.010; and (b) adoption of a resolution by the city or town council approving the withdrawal, if the area is located within the city or town, or adoption of a resolution by the county legislative authority of the county within which the area is located approving the withdrawal, if the area is located outside of a city or town. A withdrawal shall be effective at the end of the day on the thirty-first day of December in the year in which the resolutions are adopted, but for purposes of establishing boundaries for property tax purposes, the boundaries shall be established immediately upon the adoption of the second resolution.
The withdrawal of an area from the boundaries of a public hospital district shall not exempt any property therein from taxation for the purpose of paying the costs of redeeming any indebtedness of the public hospital district existing at the time of the withdrawal.
(3) An area that has been withdrawn from the boundaries of a public hospital district under this section may be reannexed into the public hospital district upon: (a) Adoption of a resolution by the hospital district commissioners proposing the reannexation; and (b) adoption of a resolution by the city or town council approving the reannexation, if the area is located within the city or town, or adoption of a resolution by the county legislative authority of the county within which the area is located approving the reannexation, if the area is located outside of a city or town. The reannexation shall be effective at the end of the day on the thirty-first day of December in the year in which the adoption of the second resolution occurs, but for purposes of establishing boundaries for property tax purposes, the boundaries shall be established immediately upon the adoption of the second resolution. Referendum action on the proposed reannexation may be taken by the voters of the area proposed to be reannexed if a petition calling for a referendum is filed with the city or town council, or county legislative authority, within a thirty-day period after the adoption of the second resolution, which petition has been signed by registered voters of the area proposed to be reannexed equal in number to ten percent of the total number of the registered voters residing in that area.
If a valid petition signed by the requisite number of registered voters has been so filed, the effect of the resolutions shall be held in abeyance and a ballot proposition to authorize the reannexation shall be submitted to the voters of the area at the next special election date according to RCW 29A.04.330. Approval of the ballot proposition authorizing the reannexation by a simple majority vote shall authorize the reannexation.

NOTES:

Effective date2006 c 344 §§ 1-16 and 18-40: See note following RCW 29A.04.311.



70.44.240
Contracting or joining with other districts, hospitals, corporations, or individuals to provide services or facilities.

Any public hospital district may contract or join with any other public hospital district, publicly owned hospital, nonprofit hospital, legal entity, or individual to acquire, own, operate, manage, or provide any hospital or other health care facilities or hospital services or other health care services to be used by individuals, districts, hospitals, or others, including providing health maintenance services. If a public hospital district chooses to contract or join with another party or parties pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, it may do so through establishing a nonprofit corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity of its choosing in which the public hospital district and the other party or parties participate. The governing body of such legal entity shall include representatives of the public hospital district, which representatives may include members of the public hospital district's board of commissioners. A public hospital district contracting or joining with another party pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may appropriate funds and may sell, lease, or otherwise provide property, personnel, and services to the legal entity established to carry out the contract or joint activity.



70.44.260
Contracts for purchase of real or personal property.

Any public hospital district may execute an executory conditional sales contract with any other municipal corporation, the state, or any of its political subdivisions, the government of the United States, or any private party for the purchase of any real or personal property, or property rights, in connection with the exercise of any powers or duties which such districts now or hereafter are authorized to exercise, if the entire amount of the purchase price specified in such contract does not result in a total indebtedness in excess of the limitation imposed by RCW 39.36.020, as now or hereafter amended, to be incurred without the assent of the voters of the district: PROVIDED, That if such a proposed contract would result in a total indebtedness in excess of three-fourths of one percent of the value of taxable property in such public hospital district, a proposition in regard to whether or not such a contract may be executed shall be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection in the same manner that bond issues for capital purposes are submitted to the voters. The term "value of taxable property" shall have the meaning set forth in RCW 39.36.015.
[1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 78 § 1.]



70.44.300
Sale of surplus real property.

(1) The board of commissioners of any public hospital district may sell and convey at public or private sale real property of the district if the board determines by resolution that the property is no longer required for public hospital district purposes or determines by resolution that the sale of the property will further the purposes of the public hospital district.
(2) Any sale of district real property authorized pursuant to this section shall be preceded, not more than one year prior to the date of sale, by market value appraisals by three licensed real estate brokers or professionally designated real estate appraisers as defined in *RCW 74.46.020 or three independent experts in valuing health care property, selected by the board of commissioners, and no sale shall take place if the sale price would be less than ninety percent of the average of such appraisals.
(3) When the board of commissioners of any public hospital district proposes a sale of district real property pursuant to this section and the value of the property exceeds one hundred thousand dollars, the board shall publish a notice of its intention to sell the property. The notice shall be published at least once each week during two consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper of general circulation within the public hospital district. The notice shall describe the property to be sold and designate the place where and the day and hour when a hearing will be held. The board shall hold a public hearing upon the proposal to dispose of the public hospital district property at the place and the day and hour fixed in the notice and consider evidence offered for and against the propriety and advisability of the proposed sale.
(4) If in the judgment of the board of commissioners of any district the sale of any district real property not needed for public hospital district purposes would be facilitated and greater value realized through use of the services of licensed real estate brokers, a contract for such services may be negotiated and concluded. The fee or commissions charged for any broker service shall not exceed seven percent of the resulting sale price for a single parcel. No licensed real estate broker or professionally designated real estate appraisers as defined in *RCW 74.46.020 or independent expert in valuing health care property selected by the board to appraise the market value of a parcel of property to be sold may be a party to any contract with the public hospital district to sell such property for a period of three years after the appraisal.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 74.46.020 was amended by 2010 1st sp.s. c 34 § 2, deleting the definition of "professionally designated real estate appraiser."



70.44.310
Lease of surplus real property.

The board of commissioners of any public hospital district may lease or rent out real property of the district which the board has determined by resolution presently is not required for public hospital district purposes in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as the board in its discretion finds to be in the best interest of the district.



70.44.315
Evaluation criteria and requirements for acquisition of district hospitals.

(1) When evaluating a potential acquisition, the commissioners shall determine their compliance with the following requirements:
(a) That the acquisition is authorized under chapter 70.44 RCW and other laws governing public hospital districts;
(b) That the procedures used in the decision-making process allowed district officials to thoroughly fulfill their due diligence responsibilities as municipal officers, including those covered under chapter 42.23 RCW governing conflicts of interest and chapter 42.20 RCW prohibiting malfeasance of public officials;
(c) That the acquisition will not result in the revocation of hospital privileges;
(d) That sufficient safeguards are included to maintain appropriate capacity for health science research and health care provider education;
(e) That the acquisition is allowed under Article VIII, section 7 of the state Constitution, which prohibits gifts of public funds or lending of credit and Article XI, section 14, prohibiting private use of public funds;
(f) That the public hospital district will retain control over district functions as required under chapter 70.44 RCW and other laws governing hospital districts;
(g) That the activities related to the acquisition process complied with chapters 42.56 and * 42.32 RCW, governing disclosure of public records, and chapter 42.30 RCW, governing public meetings;
(h) That the acquisition complies with the requirements of RCW 70.44.300 relating to fair market value; and
(i) Other state laws affecting the proposed acquisition.
(2) The commissioners shall also determine whether the public hospital district should retain a right of first refusal to repurchase the assets by the public hospital district if the hospital is subsequently sold to, acquired by, or merged with another entity.
(3)(a) Prior to approving the acquisition of a district hospital, the board of commissioners of the hospital district shall obtain a written opinion from a qualified independent expert or the Washington state department of health as to whether or not the acquisition meets the standards set forth in RCW 70.45.080.
(b) Upon request, the hospital district and the person seeking to acquire its hospital shall provide the department or independent expert with any needed information and documents. The department shall charge the hospital district for any costs the department incurs in preparing an opinion under this section. The hospital district may recover from the acquiring person any costs it incurs in obtaining the opinion from either the department or the independent expert. The opinion shall be delivered to the board of commissioners no later than ninety days after it is requested.
(c) Within ten working days after it receives the opinion, the board of commissioners shall publish notice of the opinion in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the hospital district, stating how a person may obtain a copy, and giving the time and location of the hearing required under (d) of this subsection. It shall make a copy of the report and the opinion available to anyone upon request.
(d) Within thirty days after it received the opinion, the board of commissioners shall hold a public hearing regarding the proposed acquisition. The board of commissioners may vote to approve the acquisition no sooner than thirty days following the public hearing.
(4)(a) For purposes of this section, "acquisition" means an acquisition by a person of any interest in a hospital owned by a public hospital district, whether by purchase, merger, lease, or otherwise, that results in a change of ownership or control of twenty percent or more of the assets of a hospital currently licensed and operating under RCW 70.41.090. Acquisition does not include an acquisition where the other party or parties to the acquisition are nonprofit corporations having a substantially similar charitable health care purpose, organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, or governmental entities. Acquisition does not include an acquisition where the other party is an organization that is a limited liability corporation, a partnership, or any other legal entity and the members, partners, or otherwise designated controlling parties of the organization are all nonprofit corporations having a charitable health care purpose, organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, or governmental entities. Acquisition does not include activities between two or more governmental organizations, including organizations acting pursuant to chapter 39.34 RCW, regardless of the type of organizational structure used by the governmental entities.
(b) For purposes of this subsection (4), "person" means an individual, a trust or estate, a partnership, a corporation including associations, a limited liability company, a joint stock company, or an insurance company.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: The only section in chapter 42.32 RCW, RCW 42.32.030, was recodified as RCW 42.30.035 pursuant to 2017 3rd sp.s. c 25 § 30.



70.44.320
Disposal of surplus personal property.

The board of commissioners of any public hospital district may sell or otherwise dispose of surplus personal property of the district which the board has determined by resolution is no longer required for public hospital district purposes in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as the board in its discretion finds to be in the best interest of the district.



70.44.350
Dividing a district.

An existing public hospital district upon resolution of its board of commissioners may be divided into two new public hospital districts, in the manner provided in RCW 70.44.350 through 70.44.380, subject to the approval of the plan therefor by the superior court in the county where such district is located and by a majority of the voters voting on the proposition for such approval at a special election to be held in each of the proposed new districts. The board of commissioners of an existing district shall by resolution or resolutions find that such division is in the public interest; adopt and approve a plan of division; authorize the filing of a petition in the superior court in the county in which the district is located to obtain court approval of the plan of division; request the calling of a special election to be held, following such court approval, for the purpose of submitting to the voters in each of the proposed new districts the proposition of whether the plan of division should be approved and carried out; and direct all officers and employees of the existing district to take whatever actions are reasonable and necessary in order to carry out the division, subject to the approval of the plan therefor by the court and the voters.



70.44.360
Dividing a district—Plan.

The plan of division authorized by RCW 70.44.350 shall include: Proposed names for the new districts; a description of the boundaries of the new districts, which boundaries shall follow insofar as reasonably possible the then-existing precinct boundaries and include all of the territory encompassed by the existing district; a division of all the assets of the existing district between the resulting new districts, including funds, rights, and property, both real and personal; the assumption of all the outstanding obligations of the existing district by the resulting new districts, including general obligation and revenue bonds, contracts, and any other liabilities or indebtedness; the establishing and constituting of new boards of three commissioners for each of the new districts, including fixing the boundaries of commissioner districts within such new districts following insofar as reasonably possible the then-existing precinct boundaries; and such other matters as the board of commissioners of the existing district may deem appropriate. Unless the plan of division provides otherwise, all the area and property of the existing district shall remain subject to the outstanding obligations of that district, and the boards of commissioners of the new districts shall make such levies or charges for services as may be necessary to pay such outstanding obligations in accordance with their terms from the sources originally pledged or otherwise liable for that purpose.



70.44.370
Dividing a district—Petition to court, hearing, order.

After adoption of a resolution approving the plan of division by the board of commissioners of an existing district pursuant to RCW 70.44.350 through 70.44.380, the district shall petition the superior court in the county where such district is located requesting court approval of the plan. The court shall conduct a hearing on the plan of division, after reasonable and proper notice of such hearing (including notice to bondholders) is given in the manner fixed and directed by such court. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court may enter its order approving the division of the existing district and of its assets and outstanding obligations in the manner provided by the plan after finding such division to be fair and equitable and in the public interest.



70.44.380
Dividing a district—Election—Creation of new districts—Challenges.

Following the entry of the court order pursuant to RCW 70.44.370, the county officer authorized to call and conduct elections in the county in which the existing district is located shall call a special election as provided by the resolution of the board of commissioners of such district for the purpose of submitting to the voters in each of the proposed new districts the proposition of whether the plan of division should be approved and carried out. Notice of the election describing the boundaries of the proposed new districts and stating the objects of the election shall be given and the election conducted in accordance with the general election laws. The proposition expressed on the ballots at such election shall be substantially as follows:
"Shall the plan of division of public hospital district No. . . . ., approved by the Superior Court on . . . . . . (insert date), be approved and carried out?
Yes □
No □"
At such election three commissioners for each of the proposed new districts nominated by petition pursuant to RCW 54.12.010 shall be elected to hold office pursuant to RCW 70.44.040. If at such election a majority of the voters voting on the proposition in each of the proposed new districts shall vote in favor of the plan of division, the county canvassing board shall so declare in its canvass of the returns of such election and upon the filing of the certificate of such canvass: The division of the existing district shall be effective; such original district shall cease to exist; the creation of the two new public hospital districts shall be complete; all assets of the original district shall vest in and become the property of the new districts, respectively, pursuant to the plan of division; all the outstanding obligations of the original district shall be assumed by the new districts, respectively, pursuant to such plan; the commissioners of the original district shall cease to hold office; and the affairs of the new districts shall be governed by the newly elected commissioners of such respective new districts. Unless commenced within thirty days after the date of the filing of the certificate of the canvass of such election, no lawsuit whatever may be maintained challenging in any way the legal existence of the resulting new districts, the validity of the proceedings had for the organization and creation thereof, or the lawfulness of the plan of division. Upon the petition of either or both new districts, the superior court in the county where they are located may take whatever actions are reasonable and necessary to complete or confirm the carrying out of such plan.



70.44.400
Withdrawal of territory from public hospital district.

Territory within a public hospital district may be withdrawn therefrom in the same manner provided by law for withdrawal of territory from water-sewer districts, as provided by chapter 57.28 RCW. For purposes of conforming with such procedure, the public hospital district shall be deemed to be the water-sewer district and the public hospital board of commissioners shall be deemed to be the water-sewer district board of commissioners.

NOTES:

Part headings not law1999 c 153: See note following RCW 57.04.050.



70.44.450
Rural public hospital districts—Cooperative agreements and contracts.

In addition to other powers granted to public hospital districts by chapter 39.34 RCW, rural public hospital districts may enter into cooperative agreements and contracts with other rural public hospital districts in order to provide for the health care needs of the people served by the hospital districts. These agreements and contracts are specifically authorized to include:
(1) Allocation of health care services among the different facilities owned and operated by the districts;
(2) Combined purchases and allocations of medical equipment and technologies;
(3) Joint agreements and contracts for health care service delivery and payment with public and private entities; and
(4) Other cooperative arrangements consistent with the intent of chapter 161, Laws of 1992. The provisions of chapter 39.34 RCW shall apply to the development and implementation of the cooperative contracts and agreements.

NOTES:

Intent1992 c 161: "The legislature finds that maintaining the viability of health care service delivery in rural areas of Washington is a primary goal of state health policy. The legislature also finds that most hospitals located in rural Washington are operated by public hospital districts authorized under chapter 70.44 RCW and declares that it is not cost-effective, practical, or desirable to provide quality health and hospital care services in rural areas on a competitive basis because of limited patient volume and geographic isolation. It is the intent of this act to foster the development of cooperative and collaborative arrangements among rural public hospital districts by specifically authorizing cooperative agreements and contracts for these entities under the interlocal cooperation act." [ 1992 c 161 § 1.]



70.44.460
Rural public hospital district defined.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definition in this section applies throughout RCW 70.44.450.
"Rural public hospital district" means a public hospital district authorized under chapter 70.44 RCW whose geographic boundaries do not include a city with a population greater than fifty thousand.

NOTES:

Intent1992 c 161: See note following RCW 70.44.450.



70.44.470
Chapter not applicable to certain transfers of property.

This chapter does not apply to transfers of property under *sections 1 and 2 of this act.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: The reference to "sections 1 and 2 of this act" appears to be erroneous. Reference to "sections 2 and 3 of this act" codified as RCW 43.99C.070 and 43.83D.120 was apparently intended. RCW 43.99C.070 and 43.83D.120 were recodified as RCW 43.83.400 and 43.83.410, respectively, by the code reviser September 2015.
Findings2006 c 35: See note following RCW 43.83.400.



70.44.900
Severability—Construction—1945 c 264.

Adjudication of invalidity of any section, clause or part of a section of this act [1945 c 264] shall not impair or otherwise affect the validity of the act as a whole or any other part thereof. The rule of strict construction shall have no application to this act, but the same shall be liberally construed, in order to carry out the purposes and objects for which this act is intended. When this act comes in conflict with any provisions, limitation or restriction in any other law, this act shall govern and control.



70.44.901
Severability—Construction—1974 ex.s. c 165.

If any section, clause, or other provision of this 1974 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of such 1974 amendatory act, or the application of such section, clause, or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected. The rule of strict construction shall have no application to this 1974 amendatory act, but the same shall be liberally construed, in order to carry out the purposes and objects for which this 1974 amendatory act is intended. When this 1974 amendatory act comes in conflict with any provision, limitation, or restriction in any other law, this 1974 amendatory act shall govern and control.



70.44.903
Savings—1982 c 84.

All debts, contracts, and obligations made or incurred prior to June 10, 1982, by or in favor of any public hospital district, and all bonds, warrants, or other obligations issued by such district, and all other actions and proceedings relating thereto done or taken by such public hospital districts or by their respective officers within their authority are hereby declared to be legal and valid and of full force and effect from the date thereof.



70.44.910
Construction—1945 c 264.

This act [1945 c 264 § 22] shall not be deemed or construed to repeal or affect any existing act, or any part thereof, relating to the construction, operation and maintenance of public hospitals, but shall be supplemental thereto and concurrent therewith.