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The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us)



Opinion No. 6475

October 23, 1987


Amounts for regional tourist association


Authority to appropriate funds for regional tourist associations


Limitation upon appropriations for associations

The Legislature may determine the amount of appropriations for regional tourist associations subject only to review by the Governor in accordance with Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 33.

Honorable Tom Alley

State Representative

The Capitol

Lansing, Michigan

You have requested my opinion whether the Legislature may appropriate an amount in excess of $90,000 to each of four regional tourist associations, in light of 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, as amended by 1975 PA 145; MCL 2.106; MSA 3.448(6), which provides:

"Out of the appropriation made by the legislature an amount not to exceed $90,000.00 shall be made available annually by the Michigan travel commission to each of the following regional associations: The upper Michigan tourist association, the west Michigan tourist association, the east Michigan tourist association and the southeast Michigan tourist association. On presentation of receipted vouchers showing the amount of money paid out by it for advertising the advantages of its region of the state, together with detailed information showing the various purposes for which the money was spent, payment shall be authorized in accordance with the accounting laws of the state to the association of 80% of the amount shown by such receipted vouchers. None of the funds in this section made available to the 4 regional associations shall be used to compensate any officers or employees of the association for salaries or expenses." (Emphasis added.)

1975 PA 145 purports to amend the title, and Secs. 1, 2, 3 and 6 of 1945 PA 106; MCL 2.101 et seq; MSA 3.448(1) et seq, and add Secs. 2a and 3a. The Act was approved July 9, 1975 and ordered to take immediate effect. As expressed in its title, 1975 PA 145 was enacted to enhance the economic viability of the state through development, improvement and promotion of the travel, tourism, and convention industry of the state by the creation of the Michigan Travel Commission and the Travel Bureau within the Department of Commerce. See, MCL 2.101; MSA 3.448(1).

Further, my review of the Legislature's grants to the four regional tourist associations contained in the appropriations bills for the Department of Commerce reveals that the total annual appropriations for all four associations has equalled or exceeded $360,000 in each year since 1975. See, 1976 PA 253, Secs. 1 and 22 ($360,000); 1977 PA 100, Sec. 1 ($500,000); 1978 PA 399, Sec. 1 ($540,000); 1979 PA 109, Sec. 1 ($640,000); 1980 PA 361, Sec. 1 ($445,400); 1981 PA 49, Sec. 1 ($620,000); 1982 PA 275, Sec. 1 ($599,300); 1983 PA 166, Sec. 1 ($629,300); 1984 PA 236, Sec. 1 ($630,800); 1985 PA 112, Sec. 1 ($630,800); 1986 PA 218, Secs. 1 and 12 ($630,800); and 1987 PA 127, Secs. 1 and 15 ($630,800).

1975 PA 145 amended 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, to increase the amount of money available to each of the regional tourist associations from $40,000 annually to $90,000 annually. However, in 1975 PA 145, enacting Sec. 3, the Legislature manifested its intent that this $90,000 limitation for each regional association apply only to one year by providing for the repeal of 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, effective July 1, 1976.

In that regard, it is noted that because the title to 1975 PA 145, in pertinent part, gave notice of the amendment of 1975 PA 145, Sec. 6, but gave no notice of its repeal on a future date, 1975 PA 145, enacting Sec. 3, was passed in violation of Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 24, and is of no force and effect. OAG, 1985-1986, No 6310, p 126 (July 29, 1985).

While 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, may be read as containing words of limitation upon the total amount that may be appropriated to the regional tourist associations in any one fiscal year, a study of the history of the appropriations for such purpose in the fiscal year 1974-1975 contained in 1974 PA 239 indicates an appropriation for regional grants in the sum of $360,000. At that time, 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, contained the sum of $40,000 to be paid to regional associations. Thus, 1975 PA 145 amended 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, to conform it to the appropriation actually made for that fiscal year.

Moreover, 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, as amended by 1975 PA 145, could only serve as an appropriation for one year only. Advisory Opinion on Constitutionality of 1975 PA 227 (Questions 2-10), 396 Mich 465, 501; 242 NW2d 3 (1976), citing Bd of Education of Oakland Schools v Superintendent of Public Instruction, 392 Mich 613, 620; 221 NW2d 345 (1974).

Thus, Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 25, which requires that sections of a statute be re-enacted and published before they may be amended, is inapplicable.

The more fundamental question which your inquiry presents is whether one legislature may bind the appropriations of a succeeding legislature. If the Legislature intended 1945 PA 106, Sec. 6, to be a limitation upon the amount of appropriations for regional associations after the 1975-1976 fiscal year, the law is settled that the act of one legislative body does not tie the hands of future legislatures, Cooper, Wells & County v City of St. Joseph, 232 Mich 255, 258; 205 NW 86 (1925), Atlas v Wayne County Bd of Auditors, 281 Mich 596, 599; 275 NW 507 (1937); nor can one legislature limit or restrict the power of its successor. Harsha v Detroit, 261 Mich 586, 590; 246 NW 849 (1933). Legislative acts, as distinguished from contracts, do not tie the hands of succeeding legislatures. Gale v Bd of Supervisors of Oakland County, 260 Mich 399, 404; 245 NW 363 (1932).

Thus, legislative appropriations which provide specific line item appropriations in excess of $90,000 to each regional tourist association are lawful. The Governor may, under authority vested by Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 33, veto the line item appropriation for such purposes.

It is my opinion, therefore, that the Legislature may determine the amount of appropriations for regional tourist associations subject only to review by the Governor in accordance with Const 1963, art 4, Sec. 33.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General

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