AGO Opinion 83021

February 2, 1983
Senator Jerome Warner
Nebraska State Legislature
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509

Dear Senator Warner:

We have examined the statutes to determine what legislation may be proposed in order to correct deficiencies within the antitrust section, and more especially, that of the payment of sums collected under antitrust violation to the respective agencies when they can be defined.

The Constitution of Nebraska holds that any "penalty" or "fine" shall be paid to the school fund. Therefore, on this issue only, a constitutional amendment may affect this payment.

We do, however, recognize where "damages" are collected, as in bid rigging contractor cases, a provision may be made for reimbursement 6r return of payment to the agency from which the money was wrongfully taken.

Therefore, we suggest an addition to Neb. Rev. Stat. §59-1614 making provision for repayment, or an additional section, Neb. Rev. Stat. §59-1614.01, be added. In any case, the language treating this damage payment may be substantially in the form as follows:

When the Attorney General, on behalf of a State agency or a political subdivision is authorized to investigate, file suit, or otherwise take action in connection with violations under the Consumer Protection Act.