OPINION NUMBER - 003

ADOPTED - 1978/01/10

SUBJECT - Statements of Financial Interests

REQUESTED The Honorable Douglas Bereuter

QUESTION: Whether section 13 of LB186 would eliminate members of land-use planning commissions, zoning commissions, or authorities of the state or any county.

CONCLUSION: Section 49-1493 of LB186 or other similar legislation are enacted with the emergency clause and signed by the Governor on or before April 1, 1978.

FACTS: If the same are not so enacted and signed by the Governor until after April 1, 1978, members of land-use planning commission, zoning commissions or authorities of the state or any county who are in office on April 1 would have the obligation of filing Statements of Financial Interests for the calendar year 1977. If such a planning or zoning commission member filed a Statement of Financial Interests prior to April 1, 1978 or will be in office on April 1, 1978, he will have the obligation of filing Statements of Financial Interests as indicated in the following analysis within 30 days after resigning or leaving office unless and until section 13 and the repealer provisions of LB 186 became law.

ANALYSIS: Section 49-1493, R.S. Supp., 1976, provides that the persons listed in this section shall file Statements of Financial Interests for the preceding calendar year on or before April 1 of each year in which such individual holds such a position. An individual who leaves office shall, within 30 days after leaving office, file a statement covering the period since the previous statement was filed. Under these circumstances the obligation to file an initial Statement of Financial Interests for persons who have been in office prior to July 1, 1977, the date the law became effective, is conditioned on that person being in office on April 1 of 1978. This position was adopted by the Commission in connection with a letter to the city attorney of Lincoln, Nebraska dated September 26, 1977. Under such circumstances if such a person had not filed a Statement of Financial Interests for the calendar year 1977 prior to April 1, 1978 and was not in office on April 1, 1978, he has no obligation to file a financial statement for 1977 or upon leaving office prior to April 1, 1978. On the other hand, if such person is in office on April 1, 1978 or filed a Statement of Financial Interests on or prior to April 1, 1978, and resigns after April 1, 1978, he would be obligated to have filed Statements of Financial Interests for at least the calendar year 1977 and another such statement covering the period since the filing of the previous statement, within 30 days after his leaving office, assuming that such provisions of LB186 have not become law in the meantime. As to the continuing effect of section 49-1493 until section 13 and the repealer provisions of LB186 become law are concerned, Sec. 14 of the Nebraska Constitution provides that no law shall be amended unless the new act contain the section or sections as amended and the section or sections so amended shall be repealed: Constitution, Sec. 27, provides that no action shall take effect until 3 calendar months after the adjournment of the session at which it was passed, unless in case of emergency, to be expressed in the preamble or body of the act, the Legislature shall, be a vote of two-thirds of all of the embers elected otherwise direct; and Constitution, Sec. 15, provides that every bill passed by the Legislature, before it becomes a law, shall be presented to the Governor (and) (i)f he approves he shall sign it, and thereupon it shall become a law.

Section 49-301, R.R.S., 1943, provides that whenever a statute shall be repealed, such repeal shall in no manner affect pending actions founded thereon nor causes of action not in suit that accrued prior to an such repeal. In view of the provisions of this section, it is submitted that a cause of action would not arise unless a person referred to above held office on April 1, 1978, and failed to filed or the thirty day period in which to file after leaving office had passed prior to the repealer provisions of LB186 becoming law.

Adopted as an official advisory opinion by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission on the 18th day of January 1978.