Conflict of Interests Act, State and Local Government, and General Assembly; prohibited gifts. (HB1689)

Introduced By

Del. Randy Minchew (R-Leesburg)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and the General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act; certain gifts prohibited; penalties. Prohibits state government officers and employees, constitutional officers, legislators, and candidates required to file the disclosure form prescribed in 2.2-3117 or 30-111 from soliciting, accepting, or receiving within any calendar year any single gift or any combination of gifts with a value exceeding $100 from any person, reduced from the current $250 limit. Such gift given to a member of the immediate family of an officer, employee, legislator, or candidate shall be considered a gift to the officer, employee, legislator, or candidate for purposes of the prohibition and the disclosure requirements if (i) the gift was given with his knowledge and acquiescence and (ii) he knows or has reason to know that the gift was given to the member of his immediate family because of his official position. The prohibition does not apply to gifts given by relatives, personal friends, or business associates who are acting without the intent to gain access to or influence the officer, employee, legislator, or candidate in his official duties. The bill permits the acceptance of a gift or a combination of gifts with a value exceeding $100 if the gifts are accepted while in attendance at a widely attended event, which is defined as a nonpartisan event to which at least 25 persons have been invited and are anticipated to attend, and does not include overnight accommodations and more than one meal. The bill also permits the acceptance of a travel-related thing of value that exceeds $100 in value and is provided by a third party if a written request for a waiver has been submitted to and has been approved by the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council. Waivers are not required for travel paid for or provided by the government of the United States, any of its territories, or another state in the United States or a political subdivision of such other state. Such gifts must still be disclosed on the prescribed form. The bill further prohibits any officer, employee, legislator, or candidate, or member of his immediate family, from soliciting, accepting, or receiving any gift of any value when he knows or has reason to know that such gift was offered or given with the intent to induce any conduct or action by him related to the performance of his official duties. A knowing violation of this prohibition is punishable by a civil penalty in an amount equal to $250, and any officer, employee, legislator, or candidate who knowingly commits a second or subsequent violation within four years of a previous violation is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill removes the distinction between tangible and intangible gifts and the five-year dollar adjustment to the limitation on annual gifts. Read the Bill »

Status

02/04/2015: Merged into HB2070

History

DateAction
01/10/2015Committee
01/10/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15102213D
01/10/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/16/2015Impact statement from VCSC (HB1689)
01/20/2015Assigned Courts sub: Ethics
02/03/2015Impact statement from DPB (HB1689)
02/04/2015Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB2070-Gilbert)
02/04/2015Incorporated by Courts of Justice (HB2070-Gilbert)