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AGO Opinion 98001

Whether or not Commission for the Hearing Impaired members are authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-4731 to conduct fundraising activities.
Opinion 98001

DATE: January 5, 1998

SUBJECT: Whether or not Commission for the Hearing Impaired members are authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-4731 to conduct fundraising activities.

REQUESTED BY: Tanya D. Wendell, Executive Director Commission for the Hearing Impaired

WRITTEN BY: Don Stenberg, Attorney General

Melanie J. Whittamore-Mantzios, Assistant Attorney

General




You have requested an opinion from our office as to whether

members of the Commission for the Hearing Impaired (hereinafter

referred to as "Commission") would be authorized to conduct

fundraising activities pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-4731

(1996). Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-4731 provides as follows: "[t]he

Governor may accept gifts, grants, and donations of money, personal

property, and real property for use in expanding and improving

services to hearing-impaired persons of this state." It is our

position that § 71-4731 does not permit members of the Commission

to conduct fundraising activities. The only thing authorized by

§ 71-4731 is the acceptance of donations by the Governor for the

purpose of improving and expanding the services for the hearing

impaired persons of Nebraska.




Administrative bodies only have that authority specifically

conferred upon them by statute or by construction necessary to

achieve the purpose of the relevant act. Southeast Rural Vol. Fire

Dept. v. Nebraska Dept. of Revenue, 251 Neb. 852, 560 NW.2d 436

(1997) and Grand Island Latin Club v. Nebraska Liquor Cont. Comm.,

251 Neb. 61, 554 N.W.2d 782 (1997). We can find nothing within

Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 71-4720 through 71-4733 (1996) that suggests

that the Commission is authorized to conduct fundraising

activities. The absence of specific statutory language authorizing

the Commission to engage in fundraising activities is significant

in that the Legislature has specifically given the authority to

apply for gifts and contributions to the Nebraska Dairy Industry

Development Board, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 2-3957 (1991), the Department

of Roads, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 13-1206 (1991); the Department of

Economic Development, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-1268(3) (1994); the

Rural Development Commission with the concurrence of the Department

of Economic Development, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-1285 (1994); the

Governor's Policy Research Office, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-135 (1994);

the Commission on Mexican Americans, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,271

(1996); and the Commission on the Status of Women, Neb. Rev. Stat.

§ 81-8,260.01 (1996). We must conclude that the Legislature did

not grant the power to the Commission to engage in fundraising

activities in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-4731.




Sincerely,




DON STENBERG

Attorney General




Melanie J. Whittamore-Mantzios

Assistant Attorney General