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Ethics Tutorial - Colorado General Assembly

- Gift Ban - 5 of 25


Article XXIX of the state constitution (commonly referred to as Amendment 41) establishes a "gift ban" that prohibits a member of the General Assembly from accepting a gift worth more than $59 from any one person in a given year.  There are 8 exceptions to the gift ban, including (provided for purposes of this scenario) an exception for the payment of reasonable expenses by a state or local government for attendance at a convention, fact-finding mission or trip, or other meeting.  In order to qualify for this exception, the recipient must be scheduled to speak, make a presentation, participate on a panel, or represent the state or local government.


Sporting event tickets

You are a brand new legislator from Larimer County and you are delighted to receive a letter from the President of Colorado State University offering you two tickets to the highly anticipated CU-CSU football game.  You know that the tickets have a value of approximately $150 per ticket.  You also know that they are having a difficult time selling enough tickets to fill the stadium for this game.


May you accept the complimentary football tickets?

Select Yes, because the big game is going to be at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and the school sponsors have not sold nearly enough tickets to fill the stadium.  You would be providing a huge benefit to CSU and CU, and really the state of Colorado, by spending your valuable time at this nationally televised football game.  In fact, you consider your contribution of time to be worth at least as much, if not more than, the value of the tickets you are receiving.

Select No, because the value of the tickets exceeds $59 and none of the exceptions to the gift ban applies, accepting the tickets would violate the Amendment 41 gift ban.

Select Yes, because the following statement is printed on the bottom of the letter, "Because these tickets are provided by the University, which is a public entity and is not considered a 'person' under Colorado Amendment 41, this courtesy is not governed by Amendment 41."

Select Yes, because one of the exceptions to the Amendment 41 gift ban allows a state government to pay the reasonable expenses for you to attend a convention, fact-finding mission or trip, or other meeting.  A CU-CSU football game could be considered a "meeting" under this exception.

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Last updated: 09 OCT 2015

Office of Legislative Legal Services, State Capitol Building, 200 E Colfax Ave Ste 091, Denver, Colorado 80203-1716
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