AGO Opinion 83035
March 3, 1983
Senator Chris Beutler
Nebraska State Legislature
1105 State Capitol
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509
Dear Senator Beutler:
This is in response to your letter of March i, 1983, in which you requested our opinion as to the constitutionality of LB 44. Your concern was whether there was a violation of the prohibition against~ a bill containing more than one subject.
Article III, Section .14, of the Constitution of Nebraska provides :a part: bill that shall contain more than one subject, and the same shall be clearly expressed in the title."
It is necessary to look at the bill and determine if the amendatory sections or repealing sections are part of the subject matter of the bill. According to Van Horn v. State, 46 Neb. 62, 74 (1895), legislation is "single" in subject matter so long as the act has but a single main purpose and object." In determining what that main object is, we must look to the bill itself to ascertain whether or not it contains more than one subject. Id. at 72; and Midwest Popcorn Co. v. Johnson, 152 Neb. 867, 871-72 (1950).
The repeal of obsolete sections is the purpose set out in the title, but a review of the repealed sections fails to show any common thread of a single main purpose other than the elimination of purportedly obsolete programs. The programs eliminated by repeal of the statutes would appear to make up more than one comprehensive subject. It is our opinion that the possibility of obsolescence does not create subject matter commonality among otherwise unrelated statutes. We therefore conclude that there is a question as to the constitutionality of LB 44.
Although your request for an opinion was confined to the issue of subject matter, the fact that there ~'as an error in the spelling of ."bedding" in the repeal of §71-507 to §71-715 also causes us some concern. One of the purposes of the title is notice and the connotation of the word "bidding" as compared to the word Such an error in the title contents of the bill.
Very truly yours,
PAUL L. DOUGLAS