Chaffin v. Ark. Game & Fish Comm'n

In Chaffin v. Ark. Game & Fish Comm'n, 296 Ark. 431, 757 S.W.2d 950 (Ark. 1988), the court was presented with a constitutional challenge to an appropriations bill. Specifically, the challenged legislation prohibited the Fish and Game Commission from entering into contracts for professional and consultant services which either extend more than 20 working days, or exceed $ 5,000.00, without first seeking the advice of the legislature. Chaffin, 757 S.W.2d at 956. After receiving a contract, a committee of the Legislative Council reviews the contract and stamps it favorable or unfavorable. Id. Although the stamp of approval or disapproval was not binding on the agency, the court found that "the 'advice' offered by the legislative committee to an agency is tantamount to a legislative order on how to execute a contract." Id. The court held the requirement that the agency submit its contracts for legislative advice to be in violation of the separation of powers doctrine, and therefore unconstitutional. Id.