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Archived 2012 Ethics Tutorial - Colorado General Assembly


Welcome to the online ethics tutorial for members of the Colorado General Assembly.  As a public official, it is important that you understand the major constitutional provisions, statutes, and legislative rules on ethics.  The Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS) created this online tutorial for members of the Colorado General Assembly.  The tutorial is designed to help you understand the legal provisions of Colorado's ethics laws and rules, and to apply them to similar situations that you may encounter.  Additionally, the tutorial is offered in furtherance of Senate Rule 41(h), which encourages each Senator, at least once every two years during the course of his or her term in the Senate, to attend a legislative ethics training offered by the OLLS, participate in ethics training offered by a nationally recognized organization, or successfully complete an online legislative ethics training course or tutorial.

The tutorial should take from 30 to 60 minutes to complete, depending on the speed of each individual learner.

It is important to keep in mind that the explanations, questions, and answers provided in the online tutorial are general in nature and should not be relied on definitively in connection with a particular ethics issue that may arise with an individual legislator.  As noted in the tutorial, legislators can seek an advisory opinion on a particular ethics question from the board of ethics for the General Assembly or the Independent Ethics Commission.  Legislators can also contact the OLLS with an ethics question that may arise.

Each page will have:

  1. A brief explanation of a particular provision or provisions of the laws and rules governing the ethical conduct of members of the Colorado General Assembly.
  2. A hypothetical scenario.
  3. A question and four answers.
  4. One or more links to the relevant ethics provisions.
If you choose an INCORRECT answer, you will get an X and brief explanation.  You must then return to the question and choose another answer.  When you choose the CORRECT answer you will get a check mark and can proceed to the next question in the tutorial.

There are a total of 25 questions in the tutorial.  If you cannot finish all the questions in one sitting, note where you stopped so you can begin there on your next visit.

No score is kept for your correct and incorrect answers. Upon completion of all 25 questions, you will have the opportunity to print a training participation certificate.


Table of Contents

Conflict of interest and voting on legislation

1.  Legislator's board membership and ownership interest in business that will derive financial benefit from legislation.
2.  Legislator's membership in a group affected by legislation.

Public official disclosure and reporting requirements

3.  Office account donations.
4.  Reporting General Assembly reimbursement for travel expenses.

Gift ban

5.  Sporting event tickets.
6.  Attendance at a conference sponsored by a nonprofit.
7.  Scholarships.
8.  Lunch with a lobbyist.
9.  Honoraria.

Post-legislative employment

10.  Post-legislative employment as a lobbyist or legislative liaison.
11.  Post-legislative position as cabinet member.

Use of state resources

12.  Mass mailing at legislative expense in support of ballot issue.
13.  Using legislative resources for town hall meetings.
14.  Use of state laptop and office phone to communicate with family and business associates.

Criminal Code Violations

15. Bribery.
16.  Compensation for past official behavior.
17.  Misuse of official information.

Contracts and claims

18.  General Assembly contract with business in which legislator is a minority shareholder.

Legislative immunity

19.  Defamation - legislator to legislator statements.
20.  Criminal prosecution - legislator to legislator statements.
21.  Defamation - legislator statement to legislative witness.
22.  Defamation - publication by legislative staff.

Legislative ethics complaint process

23.  Statements made in legislative debate.
24.  Independent Ethics Commission complaint process.
25.  Requests for advisory ethics opinions.

Last updated: 07 NOV 2012

Office of Legislative Legal Services, State Capitol Building, 200 E Colfax Ave Ste 091, Denver, Colorado 80203-1716
Telephone: 303-866-2045 | Facsimile: 303-866-4157
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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.