OPINION NUMBER - 004

ADOPTED - 1978/01/11

SUBJECT - Statements of Financial Interests

REQUESTED: William W. Lyons

QUESTION: Are the directors of the Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District required to file Statements of Financial Interests pursuant to the provisions of Section 49-1493, R.S.Supp., 1976?

CONCLUSION: No

ANALYSIS: From the information furnished to us by the Department of Water Resources, it is our understanding that the Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation District does not engage in the electric light and power business and has not filed a petition in the office of the Department of Water Resources pursuant to the requirements set forth in section 70-604 to 70-606.

Further, it is otherwise treated as formed and governed by the provisions of Chapter 46, R.R.S., 1943, pertaining to irrigation districts only. Under these circumstances since the directors of an irrigation district are not members of the board of directors or officers of a district organized under the provisions of Chapter 70, then there is no requirement for such persons to file Statements of Financial Interests under subsection (6) of section 49-1493.

The provisions of subsection (7) of 49-1493 apply to members of boards or commissions of the state or any county which examines or licenses a business or which determines rates for or otherwise regulates a business. The situation with a Chapter 46 Irrigation District is not that it determines rates for or otherwise regulates a business but that it itself engages in a business. Section 46-101 and 46-120, R.R., 1943; cf. Section 70-6-4(1), R.R., 1943. Further, such an irrigation district is a public corporation and a political subdivision of the state by reason of its powers to tax (Section 46-131 et. seq.), eminent domain (46-125), sue and be sued in its own name (46-130) and the other provisions of Chapter 46 of the Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska and as such is not a board or commission of the state or any county. See Wight v. McGuigan, 94 Neb.358.

Adopted as an official advisory opinion this 18th day of January, 1978.