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2014 SESSION

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SB 649 Conflicts of Interests Acts, State and Local Government & General Assembly; establishes Council.

Introduced by: Thomas K. Norment, Jr. | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS ENACTED WITH GOVERNOR'S RECOMMENDATION: (all summaries)

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act and General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act; Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council. Establishes the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council composed of 15 members: four appointments each by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Senate Committee on Rules, and Governor; one designee of the Attorney General; one representative of the Virginia Association of Counties; and one representative of the Virginia Municipal League. The Council will elect its chairman and vice-chairman. The Council will review and post online the disclosure forms filed by lobbyists and persons subject to the conflict of interests acts and provide formal opinions and informal advice, education, and training. The bill requires the filing of the disclosure forms twice a year. It provides that the Division of Legislative Services will staff the Council, and the Council will transmit complaints of conflict law violations to the ethics advisory panels of the House of Delegates and Senate. The bill prohibits tangible gifts with a value of more than $250 or a combination of tangible gifts with a value of more than $250 to certain officers and employees of state or local governmental or advisory agencies or to legislators from a lobbyist; a lobbyist's principal; or a person, business, or organization who is a party to or seeking to become a party to certain governmental contracts. The bill also clarifies the distinction between gifts and other things of value received for travel, reduces a number of disclosure provision thresholds from $10,000 to $5,000, and requires the disclosure of gifts to immediate family members. Gifts from a relative or personal friend are not subject to disclosure, but a lobbyist; a lobbyist's principal; or a person, business, or organization who is a party to or seeking to become a party to certain governmental contracts cannot be considered a personal friend. Finally, the bill provides that the provisions of the conflict of interests acts do not preclude prosecution for any criminal law violation, including bribery. This bill incorporates SB 20, SB 21, SB 23, SB 143, SB 149, SB 218, SB 219, SB 265, SB 274, SB 410, and SB 652 and is identical to HB 1211.


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