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70.44.059  <<  70.44.060 >>   70.44.062

RCW 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.

[2011 c 37 § 1; 2010 c 95 § 1; 2003 c 125 § 1; 2001 c 76 § 1; 1997 c 3 § 206 (Referendum Bill No. 47, approved November 4, 1997); 1990 c 234 § 2; 1984 c 186 § 59; 1983 c 167 § 172; 1982 c 84 § 15; 1979 ex.s. c 155 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 143 § 4; 1977 ex.s. c 211 § 1; 1974 ex.s. c 165 § 2; 1973 1st ex.s. c 195 § 83; 1971 ex.s. c 218 § 2; 1970 ex.s. c 56 § 85; 1969 ex.s. c 65 § 1; 1967 c 164 § 7; 1965 c 157 § 2; 1949 c 197 § 18; 1945 c 264 § 6; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 6090-35.]

Notes:

     Intent -- 1997 c 3 §§ 201-207: See note following RCW 84.55.010.

     Application -- Severability -- Part headings not law -- Referral to electorate -- 1997 c 3: See notes following RCW 84.40.030.

     Purpose -- 1984 c 186: See note following RCW 39.46.110.

     Liberal construction -- Severability -- 1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.

     Severability -- 1979 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.]

     Severability -- 1979 ex.s. c 143: See note following RCW 70.44.200.

     Severability -- Effective dates and termination dates -- Construction -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.

     Purpose -- 1970 ex.s. c 56: See note following RCW 39.52.020.

     Purpose -- Severability -- 1967 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.