State Attorney General Bill Schuette says the Legislature cannot fund projects from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund that have not been recommended by the fund.
In an opinion released Monday and dated Nov. 3, Schuette also says lawmakers lack the authority to require the fund to spend a mandated amount of development funds on a specific type of development.
The opinion was issued in response to questions from a state senator and the director of the state Department of Natural Resources.
The fund consists of royalties paid by oil and gas companies for mineral rights. Earlier this year, the Republican-led Senate tried to add an additional $7.7 million in spending for 43 more projects on top of 114 recommended by the fund's board.