Conflicts of Interests Acts, State & Local Government & General Assembly, lobbyist; filing. (HB1854)

Introduced By

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Lobbyist reporting, the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, and the General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act; filing of required disclosures; registration of lobbyists; candidate filings; judges; definition of gift; informal advice; civil penalties; technical amendments. Makes numerous changes to the laws governing lobbyist reporting, the conflict of interest acts, and the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council (the Council) including (i) allowing the Secretary of the Commonwealth to suspend any penalty that could be assessed against a lobbyist's principal for failing to file the required disclosure if such failure is beyond the control of the principal; (ii) clarifying the procedures for terminating the services of a lobbyist; (iii) requiring that lobbyist registration forms be filed electronically; (iv) eliminating the requirement that a lobbyist list the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all other lobbyists representing the same principal; (v) creating a separate statement for a lobbyist's principal to waive the principal signature requirement on the lobbyist disclosure form; (vi) granting the clerk of the local governing body or school board the same power as the Council to redact from any disclosure form released to the public any residential address, personal telephone number, or signature; (vii) eliminating the minimum duration of the mandatory refresher ethics orientation session for General Assembly members; (viii) allowing written informal advice from the Council to be admitted into evidence in any trial of a person for violating the conflict of interest acts; (ix) clarifying the Council's authority to grant extensions from the filing deadline and imposing a $250 civil penalty on agency heads or local clerks who fail to provide the disclosure forms to filers in a timely manner; and (x) directing that candidates for statewide or constitutional office and the General Assembly are required to file a disclosure form with the State Board of Elections and not the Council. The bill also extends the filing deadline for disclosure forms from January 15 to February 1 and clarifies the reporting period covered by the disclosure forms. The bill also eliminates events open to individuals who share a common interest from the definition of a "widely attended event," attendance at which was not subject to the gift cap. The bill also exempts from the definition of a "gift" (a) gifts from a person's child-in-law; (b) gifts related to a person's volunteer service; (c) meals provided for attendance at an official meeting of the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or certain other entities; and (d) gifts given on a special occasion by an individual in a bona fide personal relationship with the donee. The bill also exempts members of the judiciary from certain provisions governing prohibited gifts and prohibited personal interests in a transaction where such members are already subject to similar or greater prohibitions under the Canons of Judicial Conduct for the State of Virginia. Finally, the bill contains technical amendments. The bill contains an emergency clause that applies to the changes described in clause (x). Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/10/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17102775D
01/10/2017Prefiled and ordered printed with emergency clause; offered 01/13/16 17102775D
01/10/2017Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/17/2017Referred from General Laws
01/17/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/23/2017Assigned Courts sub: Ethics
01/27/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1854)
01/27/2017Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendments (9-Y 0-N)
02/01/2017Assigned Courts sub: Ethics
02/03/2017Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (19-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2017Committee substitute printed 17105218D-H1
02/04/2017Read first time
02/06/2017Read second time
02/06/2017Committee substitute agreed to 17105218D-H1
02/06/2017Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1854H1
02/06/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1854H1)
02/07/2017Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (97-Y 0-N)
02/07/2017VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (97-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2017Constitutional reading dispensed
02/08/2017Referred to Committee on Rules
02/10/2017Reported from Rules with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2017Committee substitute printed 17105400D-S1
02/13/2017Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1854S1)
02/14/2017Read third time
02/14/2017Reading of substitute waived
02/14/2017Committee substitute agreed to 17105400D-S1
02/14/2017Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB1854S1
02/14/2017Passed Senate with substitute (39-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2017Placed on Calendar
02/16/2017Senate substitute rejected by House 17105400D-S1 (0-Y 97-N)
02/16/2017VOTE: REJECTED EMERGENCY (0-Y 97-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2017Senate insisted on substitute (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2017Senate requested conference committee
02/21/2017House acceded to request
02/22/2017Conferees appointed by Senate
02/22/2017Senators: Norment, Howell, Saslaw
02/23/2017Conferees appointed by House
02/23/2017Delegates: Gilbert, Minchew, James
02/23/2017C Amended by conference committee
02/24/2017Conference report agreed to by Senate (39-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2017Conference report agreed to by House (94-Y 0-N)
02/24/2017VOTE: ADOPTION EMERGENCY (94-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2017Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1854ER)
03/07/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1854ER)
03/07/2017Signed by Speaker
03/10/2017Signed by President
03/13/2017Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 3/13/17
03/13/2017G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017
03/27/2017Governor's recommendation received by House
04/05/2017Placed on Calendar
04/05/2017House rejected Governor's recommendation (36-Y 62-N)
04/05/2017VOTE: REJECTED EMERGENCY (36-Y 62-N) (see vote tally)
04/05/2017Communicated to Governor
04/05/2017G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, May 5, 2017
04/26/2017G Approved by Governor-Chapter 829 (effective - see bill)
04/26/2017G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0829)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 4 clips in all, totaling 13 minutes.


This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

penalties, technical amendments. Has emergency clause on. The conference report has emergency clause within it and distribute the and available online and the conference report is available before the body.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from shenandoah, Mr. Gilbert.

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock): this is the ethics clean up bill for this year. The conference report is like wise in the same posture as the bill when it left the house and I would move that the conference report be adopted.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from charlottesville, Mr. Toscano.

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville): thank you, Mr. Speaker. question? will the gentleman yield for a

[Unknown]: does the gentleman yield?

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville): I yield.

[Unknown]: the gentleman yields. thank you, Mr. Speaker. I asked gentleman, I got a copy of the letter that the governor sent to leadership and I don't snow that you had received it about this bill. Did you receive that letter? Mr. Speaker, I received a similar inquiry yesterday and noted to the reporter who was inquiring about it that I did see the governor's letter about this important topic well after we had agreed on the conference report. And, suggested to the reporter that the timeliness of the better was questionable. But yes, I saw it after we agreed to the report. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield for a question? will the gentleman yield for a question? I yield. I don't know when these things are conferred. This says February 23. I don't even know what day it is today. Be that as it May, has the gentleman had an taunt to lack at the concerns raised by the governor's office? We go through a process And the bill will go to the governor and May tweak it or not. Had a chance to take a lack at the concerns and does he -- does he feel that seem of these things might be legitimate? I had a chance to look at it. I did not have a chance to full play absorb and think critically about the governor's thoughts because of the timeliness issue regarding the letter and the fact we had already agreed on the conference report. And, I would suggest to the gentleman and to the third floor that certainly if the governor has concerns about that he can weigh in on them as is his prerogative. But what I saw, I do take issue with some of the logic that is embodied in the letter. And further more, Mr. Speaker, I -- I would welcome the opportunity to have -- to either myself or those who fully understand this issue to brief the governor's office on maybe why they don't fully understand those issues.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): thank you, Mr. Speaker. Speaking briefly to the conference report the gentleman has the floor.

[Unknown]: thank you. Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the house, as we well know this is a process that we go through and alodge the way in the process people identify certain things that might improve a bill and what I'm hearing from the gentleman is he is always interested in hearing from the governor's office or any other concerns that people have and I hear him say that he is open to reasonable recommendations that might make sense and, of course, if he didn't think they would make sense he would object to them if the governor puts recommendations on the bill. And with that, I would suggest that we vote for the conference report and it to the governor and if he has some reasonable requests we will consider them and perhaps incorporate them in the bill. Mr. Speaker.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from shenandoah.

[Unknown]: speaking to the conference report.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman has the floor.

[Unknown]: the gentleman, as is generally the case, kindly and eloquently explained my willingness to work with the governor's office on this or anything else. My frustration in not stating my position as well as the gentleman did is borne of the fact we have been working on this bill for the entire session. The concepts embodied in the bill are not new and the concepts embodied in the conference report are not new and it wasn't until yesterday that the governor's office took exception with a couple aspects of the bill. They are very busy just lake we are very busy but I am willing to hear any legitimate concern and would welcome any opportunity to disabecause abuse the governor's office about any concerns.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): shall the conference report be adopted? The clerk will close the roll.

[Unknown]: ayes 94, nos 0. ayes 94, nose Members please sake your seats.