Ethics Tutorial - Colorado General Assembly
- Gift Ban - 6 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 or by a nonprofit entity that receives less than 5% of its funding from for-profit entities for attendance at a convention, fact-finding mission or trip, or other meeting. In order to qualify for the exception, the recipient must be scheduled to speak, make a presentation, participate on a panel, or represent the state or local government. The Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) has interpreted Amendment 41 as permitting a covered individual to accept travel expenses from organizations whose mission is to bring policymakers together at conferences for networking and exchanging ideas, referred to as government exchange organizations (GEO), if the government entity pays membership dues to the GEO that are invoiced expressly to cover travel and other expenses to attend its events. See, IEC PS 10-01.
Expenses paid by a government exchange organization for a legislator's attendance at a conference
You've just been asked by a representative of the National Association of State Legislatures (NASL) to participate on a one-hour panel discussion at their three-day fall forum in Washington D.C. The NASL representative explains to you that NASL will pay for your airfare, hotel accommodations, and the cost of the registration to attend and participate in the conference. You learn that NASL is a nonprofit entity; however, you also learn that it receives substantially more than 5% of its annual funding from for-profit entities, despite the fact that states, including Colorado, pay substantial annual membership dues to NASL.
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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.