Beutler, 042381 NEAGO, AGO 81081

Docket Nº:AGO 81081
Case Date:April 23, 1981
Court:Nebraska
 
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Senator Chris Beutler
AGO 81081
No. 81081
Nebraska Attorney General Opinions
State of Nebraska office of the Attorney General
April 23, 1981
         Senator Chris Beutler          Nebraska State Legislature          Unicameral, State Capitol          Lincoln, Nebraska 68509          Dear Senator Beutler:          In your letter of April 14, 1981, you stated that LB 331 provides for a $50, 000 gratuity to be awarded to the developer of the best high protein food made from distillers' grain or the process of ethanol distillation. You then requested our opinion as to whether LB 331 violates:
A. Article XIII, Section 3 of the Nebraska Constitution prohibiting the lending of the credit of the state.
B. Article III, Section 19 of the Nebraska Constitution prohibiting the payment of any extra compensation for services rendered.
C. Any other provision of the Nebraska Constitution.
         We have reviewed LB 331 in light of your request, and our conclusions are set forth below.          LB 331 provides that the Nebraska Gasohol Committee shall encourage the development and subsequent production of high protein food products for human consumption which have been derived from distillers' grain or the process of ethanol distillation. The bill further provides that the Nebraska Gasohol Committee shall evaluate all such high protein food products under criteria set forth in the legislation. The provision of LB 331 which you have questioned provides that the Nebraska Gasohol Committee may award a $50, 000 development gratuity to a person whose high protein food product best meets the criteria set forth in the bill. A "person" eligible for this $50, 000 development gratuity includes any individual, firm, partnership, association, or corporation.          Article III, Section 19 of the Nebraska Constitution provides, in pertinent part:
The Legislature shall never grant any extra compensation to any public officer, agent, or servant after the services have been rendered nor to any contractor after the contract has been entered into, except that retirement benefits of retired public officers and employees may be adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living and wage levels that have occurred subsequent to the date of retirement.
         On the basis of this language, LB 331 does appear valid under Article III, Section 19. This constitutional provision specifically applies to public officers, agents, servants or persons who contract...

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