Ethics Tutorial - Colorado General Assembly
- Use of state resources - 12 of 25
The General Assembly, as an institution, is prohibited from making any contributions to a campaign involving the nomination, retention, or election of a person to a public office and from expending public moneys or making contributions to urge voters to vote for or against a ballot measure. See, Section 1-45-117 (1) and (4), C.R.S. This prohibition applies to the staff and resources of the General Assembly. A legislator may expend up to $50 of public moneys "in the form of letters, telephone calls, or other activities incidental to expressing his or her opinion" on a ballot measure. Thus, an expenditure of public moneys in this context generally includes utilization of legislative staff, equipment (phones, computers, copiers, etc.), and materials (paper, office supplies, postage, etc.). A legislator, as an elected official, can express a personal opinion on and may expend personal funds, make contributions, or use personal time to urge electors to vote in favor of or against a ballot measure. Additionally, the employee policies for the Colorado House of Representatives and Senate contain limitations and prohibitions on the use of legislative resources in election campaigns.
Use of state resources to arrange town hall meeting and campaign event
It's mid-session and you realize that several of the most controversial bills of the session will be coming before the body for consideration in the next few weeks. You are interested in holding a town hall meeting in your district to discuss these important issues with your constituents. Your home community will be celebrating its annual Chipmunk Days in two weeks and your staff has encouraged you to take advantage of that time to hold a town hall meeting at which you could also do some campaign fundraising. Your legislative aides are ready to prepare automatic phone calls to your constituents regarding the upcoming town hall meeting in your district and, using your state-issued laptop, to reach out to possible campaign contributors regarding the event.
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Last updated: 09 OCT 2015
The information on this page is presented as an informational service only and should not be relied upon as an official record of action or legal position of the State of Colorado, the Colorado General Assembly, or the Office of Legislative Legal Services.