AGO 87-10.

Case Date:November 12, 1987
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1987. AGO 87-10. November 12, 1987Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 87-10 AG Alpha No. LE SE AGAQI The Honorable Ted Strickland President of the Colorado State Senate State Capitol Denver, Colorado 80203 RE: Use of Mineral Impact FundsDear Senator Strickland: This opinion letter is in response to your October 15, 1987, inquiry about whether funds appropriated to the Local Government Mineral Impact Fund, section 34-63-102(3)(b), (5)(a), C.R.S. (1984), (hereinafter, the "Mineral Impact Fund"), can be transferred to the Office of the Governor, or to another executive department, for distribution. QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS Specifically, you ask the following questions: For what purposes can Mineral Impact Funds be spent? Consistent with federal law, see 30 U.S.C.A. sec. 191 (West 1982), the Colorado General Assembly has authorized the distribution of Mineral Impact Funds to: 1) counties in whose unincorporated areas employees of affected facilities reside; and 2) "state agencies, public schools, and political subdivisions of the state ... for planning, construction, and maintenance of public facilities and for public services," with priority given to "those public schools and political subdivisions socially or economically impacted by the development, processing, or energy conversion of fuels and minerals leased under said federal mineral lands leasing act." Section 34-63-102(1)(a), (b), (3)(b)(III), (5)(a), C.R.S. (1984). Can the Executive Director of Local Affairs delegate or transfer authority to the Governor or another executive department to expend Mineral Impact Funds? No. Can Mineral Impact Funds transferred from the Department of Local Affairs to another department be spent without legislative-appropriated spending authority? No. Can the Mineral Impact Funds be appropriated by the Legislature without statutory changes? No. ANALYSIS The Mineral Impact Fund is a subset of the Mineral Leasing Fund, which is comprised of moneys paid to the State of Colorado by the federal government pursuant to 30 U.S.C.A. sec. 191 (West 1982). See sections 34-63-101 and 102, C.R.S. (1984 & 1986 Supp.). Such moneys are derived from "sales, bonuses, royalties including interest charges collected under the Federal Oil and...

To continue reading