OPINION NUMBER - 005
ADOPTED - 1978/01/20
SUBJECT - Statements of Financial Interests
REQUESTED BY: Dennis J. Mullin, Attorney
QUESTION: Are the members of the Nebraska Poultry and Egg Development, Utilization and Marketing Committee required to file Statements of Financial Interests by reason of the provisions of subdivisions (7) and (10) of section 49-1493 of the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act?
As to subdivision (10) of Section 49-1493, be advised that this subdivision applies to officials or employees of the state designated by rules and regulations of the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission within certain categories. The Commission has adopted Commission Rule 2 on December 21, 1977 and in said Rule 2 with respect to the Department of Agriculture, the members of the Nebraska Poultry and Egg Development, Utilization and Marketing Commission are not listed. Therefore there is no obligation pursuant to this Subdivision for such members to file Statements of Financial Interests. Filings made pursuant to this subdivision may only be required by reason of the provisions of the rules and regulations adopted by our Commission.
As to subdivision (7) of section 49-1493, regardless of the designations set forth in Commission Rule 2, the statute requires a member of any board or commission of the state or any county which examines or licenses a business, trade, or profession, or which determines rates for or otherwise regulates a business to file Statements of Financial Interests. The Nebraska Poultry and Egg Resources Act provides inspection 2-3407, R.R.S., 1943, that the Department of Agriculture shall, only upon the approval of the majority of the advisory committee, have the authority to do certain acts, among which is establish annually the fees to be collected under a system of check-off upon the sale of commercial eggs and turkeys from the first purchaser thereof. This act goes on to provide in section 2-3408(3) that the Director of Agriculture, subject to the approval of a majority of the members of the advisory committee, may make adjustments or reduce the amount of such fees and correspondingly increase the same depending on revenues and needs in terms of the purposes of the act. It appears that there is no examination or licensing of a business, trade or profession as such. However, the determination of rates and other regulation of a business may be involved, except that the same is to be done by the director and Department of Agriculture. We note that such authority is to be exercised "only upon" or "subject to" the approval of the advisory committee, but nevertheless, that the statutory power is vested in the director and Department of Agriculture and not in the advisory committee. Therefore, we conclude that the members of the Nebraska Poultry and Egg Development, Utilization and Marketing Committee are not required to file Statements of Financial Interests under subdivision (7) of section 49-1493.
Adopted as an official advisory opinion by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission on the 18th day of January, 1978.