113-226. Administrative authority of Department; administration of funds; delegation of powers.

(a) In the overall best interests of the conservation of marine and estuarine resources, the Department may lease or purchase lands, equipment, and other property; accept gifts and grants on behalf of the State; establish boating and fishing access areas; establish fisheries, fishery processing or storage plants, planted seafood beds, fish farms, and other enterprises related to the conservation of marine and estuarine resources as research or demonstration projects either alone or in cooperation with some individual or agency; sell the catch or processed fish or other marine and estuarine resources resulting from research fishing operations or demonstration projects; provide matching funds for entering into projects with some other governmental agency or with some scientific, educational, or charitable foundation or institution; condemn lands in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 40A of the General Statutes and other governing provisions of law; and sell, lease, or give away property acquired by it. Provided, that any private person selected to receive gifts or benefits by the Department be selected:

(1) With regard to the overall public interest that may result, and

(2) From a defined class upon such a rational basis open to all within the class as to prevent constitutional infirmity with respect to requirements of equal protection of the laws or prohibitions against granting exclusive privileges or emoluments.

(b) All money credited to, held by, or to be received by the Department in respect of the conservation of marine and estuarine resources must be deposited with the Department. In administering such funds and recommending expenditures, the Department must give attention to the sources of the revenues received so as to encourage disbursements to be made on an equitable basis; nevertheless, except as provided in this section, separate funds may not be established and particular projects and programs deemed to be of sufficient importance in the conservation of marine and estuarine resources may receive proportional shares of Department expenditures that are greater than the proportional shares of license and other revenues produced by such projects or programs for the Department.

(c) If as a precondition of receiving funds under any cooperative program there must be a separation of license revenues received from certain classes of licensees and utilization of such revenues for limited purposes, the Department is directed to make such arrangements for separate accounting or for separate funding as may be necessary to insure the use of the revenues for the required purposes and eligibility for the cooperative funds. In such instance, if required, such revenues may be retained by the Department until expended upon the limited purposes in question. This subsection applies whether the cooperative program is with a public or private agency and whether the Department acts alone on behalf of the State or in conjunction with the Wildlife Resources Commission or some other State agency.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1262, s. 28. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1973, c. 1262, s. 28; 1987, c. 827, s. 103; 1989, c. 727, s. 106.)