2004 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 813 – Legislative officials, gifts/revise


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Bill Status

H0813......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
LEGISLATIVE OFFICIALS - GIFTS - Amends existing law relating to bribery and
corrupt influence to revise the definition for "pecuniary benefit"; to
revise the prohibition on improper gifts applicable to legislative
officials; and to set forth additional exceptions.
03/04    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/05    Rpt prt - to St Aff

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 Second Regular Session - 2004
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 813
                                 BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
  7    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  8        SECTION 1.  That Section 18-1351, Idaho Code, be, and the same  is  hereby
  9    amended to read as follows:
 10        18-1351.  BRIBERY AND CORRUPT PRACTICES -- DEFINITIONS. Unless a different
 11    meaning plainly is required in this chapter:
 12        (1)  "Benefit"  means gain or advantage, or anything regarded by the bene-
 13    ficiary as gain or advantage, including benefit to any other person or  entity
 14    in  whose welfare he is interested, but not an advantage promised generally to
 15    a group or class of voters as a consequence of public measures which a  candi-
 16    date engages to support or oppose.
 17        (2)  "Confidential  information"  means  knowledge gained through a public
 18    office, official duty or employment by a governmental entity which is not sub-
 19    ject to disclosure to the general public and which, if utilized  in  financial
 20    transactions  would  provide  the user with an advantage over those not having
 21    such information or result in harm to the governmental entity  from  which  it
 22    was obtained.
 23        (3)  "Government"  includes  any branch, subdivision or agency of the gov-
 24    ernment of the state or any locality within it and  other  political  subdivi-
 25    sions  including,  but  not limited to, highway districts, planning and zoning
 26    commissions and cemetery districts, and all other governmental districts, com-
 27    missions or governmental bodies not specifically mentioned in this chapter.
 28        (4)  "Harm" means loss, disadvantage or injury, including loss,  disadvan-
 29    tage  or  injury  to  any other person or entity in whose welfare he is inter-
 30    ested.
 31        (5)  "Official proceeding" means a proceeding heard or which may be  heard
 32    before  any legislative, judicial, administrative or other governmental agency
 33    or official authorized to take evidence under  oath,  including  any  referee,
 34    hearing  examiner,  commissioner,  notary  or other person taking testimony or
 35    deposition in connection with any such proceeding.
 36        (6)  "Party official" means a person who holds an elective  or  appointive
 37    post  in  a political party in the United States by virtue of which he directs
 38    or conducts, or participates in directing or conducting party affairs  at  any
 39    level of responsibility.
 40        (7)  "Pecuniary  benefit" is any benefit to a public official or member of
 41    his household in the form of money, property or commercial interests, the pri-
 42    mary significance of which is economic gain.
 43        (8)  "Public servant" means any officer or employee of government, includ-
  1    ing legislators and judges, and any person participating  as  juror,  advisor,
  2    consultant  or  otherwise, in performing a governmental function; but the term
  3    does not include witnesses.
  4        (9)  "Administrative proceeding" means any proceeding, other than a  judi-
  5    cial  proceeding,  the outcome of which is required to be based on a record or
  6    documentation  prescribed  by  law,  or  in  which  law   or   regulation   is
  7    particularized in application to individuals.
  8        SECTION  2.  That  Section 18-1356, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
  9    amended to read as follows:
 11    TION.  (1)  Regulatory and law enforcement officials. No public servant in any
 12    department or agency exercising regulatory functions,  or  conducting  inspec-
 13    tions or investigations, or carrying on civil or criminal litigation on behalf
 14    of  the  government,  or having custody of prisoners, shall solicit, accept or
 15    agree to accept any pecuniary benefit from a person known  to  be  subject  to
 16    such  regulation,  inspection,  investigation or custody, or against whom such
 17    litigation is known to be pending or contemplated.
 18        (2)  Officials concerned with government contracts and pecuniary  transac-
 19    tions.  No public servant having any discretionary function to perform in con-
 20    nection with contracts, purchases, payments, claims or other pecuniary  trans-
 21    actions of the government shall solicit, accept or agree to accept any pecuni-
 22    ary  benefit  from  any  person  known to be interested in or likely to become
 23    interested in any such contract, purchase, payment, claim or transaction.
 24        (3)  Judicial and administrative officials. No public servant having judi-
 25    cial or administrative authority and no public servant employed  by  or  in  a
 26    court  or  other  tribunal  having  such  authority,  or  participating in the
 27    enforcement of its decisions, shall solicit, accept or  agree  to  accept  any
 28    pecuniary  benefit from a person known to be interested in or likely to become
 29    interested in any matter before such public servant or a tribunal  with  which
 30    he is associated.
 31        (4)  Legislative  officials.  No  legislator or public servant employed by
 32    the legislature or by any committee or agency thereof shall solicit, knowingly
 33    accept, take, seek or agree to accept any  pecuniary  benefit  in  return  for
 34    action  on  a  bill,  legislation, proceeding or official transaction from any
 35    person known to be interested in a bill, legislation, official transaction  or
 36    proceeding, pending or contemplated before the legislature or any committee or
 37    agency  thereof solicit, directly or indirectly, for himself or another a gift
 38    of value or an economic benefit tantamount to a gift:
 39        (a)  That would tend improperly to influence a reasonable  person  in  the
 40        person's  position  to depart from the faithful and impartial discharge of
 41        the person's public duties;
 42        (b)  That the person knows or that a reasonable person  in  that  position
 43        should  know  under  the  circumstances  is  primarily  for the purpose of
 44        rewarding that person for official action taken; or
 45        (c)  If he recently has been, is  now,  or  in  the  near  future  may  be
 46        involved in any governmental action directly affecting the donor.
 47        (5)  Exceptions. This section shall not apply to:
 48        (a)  fFees  prescribed  by  law to be received by a public servant, or any
 49        other benefit for which the recipient gives legitimate consideration or to
 50        which he is otherwise legally entitled; or
 51        (b)  gGifts or other benefits conferred on account  of  kinship  or  other
 52        personal,  professional  or business relationship independent of the offi-
 53        cial status of the receiver; or
  1        (c)  tTrivial benefits not to exceed a value  of  fifty  dollars  ($50.00)
  2        incidental to personal, professional or business contacts and involving no
  3        substantial risk of undermining official impartiality; or
  4        (d)  Regional tours created and sponsored by chambers of commerce that are
  5        in  good standing with the secretary of state, the primary purpose of such
  6        tours being educational or informational for public officials; or
  7        (e)  Attendance at such events as are sponsored by a nonprofit corporation
  8        in good standing pursuant to chapter 3, title 30, Idaho Code, the  primary
  9        purpose  of which, as reflected in the nonprofit corporation's articles of
 10        incorporation, is to provide scholarships to residents of Idaho for atten-
 11        dance at Idaho colleges and universities. Any events attended pursuant  to
 12        this  exception  shall  occur  only  within  the state of Idaho. Officials
 13        attending such events pursuant to this exception  shall  be  permitted  to
 14        accept only reasonable costs of transportation, accommodations, meals, and
 15        registration  and participation fees. Receipt of any gift pursuant to this
 16        section may not be in return for any act or activity otherwise  prohibited
 17        by this chapter; or
 18        (f)  Such  other  events as approved by the legislative leadership in con-
 19        sultation, at their discretion, with appropriate legal counsel.
 20        (6)  Offering benefits prohibited. No person shall  knowingly  confer,  or
 21    offer or agree to confer, any benefit prohibited by the foregoing subsections.
 22        (7)  Grade  of offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor and
 23    shall be punished as provided in this chapter.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                             RS 14246

This legislation will amend section 18-1351, Idaho Code, to
revise the definition for "pecuniary benefit"; and amend section
18-1356, Idaho Code, to revise the prohibition on improper gifts
applicable to legislative officials, to set forth additional
exceptions and to make technical corrections

                          FISCAL IMPACT

There is no fiscal impact to the general fund

Name: Rep. Wendy Jaquet 
      Rep. John Campbell
Phone: 208/332-1000

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                       H 813