Conflict of Interests Act, State and Local Gov't, and General Assembly; prohibited gifts. (SB1278)

Introduced By

Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-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 and local government officers and employees and legislators and candidates for the General Assembly required to file the disclosure form prescribed in 2.2-3117 or 30-111 from soliciting, accepting, or receiving any single tangible or intangible gift, or any combination of tangible or intangible gifts, with a value exceeding $100 from any person, organization, or business within any calendar year. For purposes of the prohibition and the disclosure requirements, 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 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. However, an intangible gift with a value exceeding $100 may be accepted if a written request has been submitted to and has received the written approval of the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council (the Council). The Council may approve those requests that provide a public benefit and do not raise the appearance of impropriety. The bill further prohibits any officer, employee, legislator, or candidate, or a member of his immediate family, from soliciting, accepting, or receiving any tangible or intangible 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 of $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. For purposes of this limitation, the bill defines "tangible gift" as a thing of value that can be sold at retail, including currency, securities, and other financial instruments, and defines "intangible gift" as those services, transportation, lodgings, meals, and other things of value that may be enjoyed but cannot be resold. 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 removes the five-year dollar adjustment to the limitation on annual gifts. Amends § 2.2-3117, § 2.2-3120, § 2.2-3124, § 30-111, § 30-123, § 30-126, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

02/06/2015: Merged into SB1424

History

DateAction
01/14/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15102252D
01/14/2015Referred to Committee on Rules
01/18/2015Impact statement from VCSC (SB1278)
02/02/2015Assigned Rules sub: Ethics and Conflict of Interest
02/05/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB1278)
02/06/2015Incorporated by Rules (SB1424-Norment) (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)