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2015 SESSION

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SB 696 Conflict of Interests Acts, State & Local Government, & General Assembly; certain gifts prohibited.

Introduced by: J. Chapman Petersen | Richard H. Stuart | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:

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 with a value exceeding $100 from any person. 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 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 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 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. 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. This bill was incorporated into SB 1424.


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