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Maine Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2003)

handle is hein.sag/sagme0002 and id is 1 raw text is: 03-1

14 H-,Akaw(,w ST.,   F LO
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ThL: (207) 94 i-3070
TEL: (2071 S22-0260
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telephone: (207) 626-EECO                 STATE OF 1AINE                          TDD: (77 42e-3800
Z _    NE128 SWEDEN ST., STE. 2
MD0 [2071 626-613EE               OFFICE OF TI-EAr~i~      GEI ERAL                12  wiSr.Si
CARIBOU, MedNE 04736
6 STATE =Housz Smu-iST                    TEL: (207) 496-3792
AUGUSTA, MAINE 04333-0006                     FAx: (207) 496-3291
February 3, 2003
Hon. Christopher Hall, Senate Chair
Hon. Lawrence Bliss, House Chair
Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Utilities and Energy
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0100
Dear Senator Hall, Representative Bliss and Committee Members:
You have inquired whether the transfer of $600,000 from the Conservation
Administration Fund of the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to the State's
General Fund would violate the provisions of the Maine Constitution. We believe that
such transfer would not violate the Maine Constitution.
Unless funds are held in trust or are specifically protected by the express terms of
the Maine Constitution, the Legislature has discretion in making allocations for any
designated governmental purpose, including allocation to the general fund. See ME AG
Opinion No. 92-7 (attached).
It is our determination that the funds in the PUC Conservation Administration
Fund are not held in trust. There is nothing in Title 35-A M.R.S.A. section 3211 or of
which we are aware that suggests that the Legislature intended to establish the
Conservation Administration Fund as a trust. Dedicated revenue accounts are, by
definition, funds specified to be used for a designated purpose. If this alone were
sufficient to render these accounts trust funds, then no dedicated revenue account would
be available for reallocation by the Legislature.
I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to inquire again if further
clarification is necessary.
Sincerely   j
Attorney General

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