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42.52.140  <<  42.52.150 >>   42.52.160

RCW 42.52.150

Limitations on gifts.

(1) No state officer or state employee may accept gifts, other than those specified in subsections (2) and (5) of this section, with an aggregate value in excess of fifty dollars from a single source in a calendar year or a single gift from multiple sources with a value in excess of fifty dollars. For purposes of this section, "single source" means any person, as defined in RCW 42.52.010, whether acting directly or through any agent or other intermediary, and "single gift" includes any event, item, or group of items used in conjunction with each other or any trip including transportation, lodging, and attendant costs, not excluded from the definition of gift under RCW 42.52.010. The value of gifts given to an officer's or employee's family member or guest shall be attributed to the official or employee for the purpose of determining whether the limit has been exceeded, unless an independent business, family, or social relationship exists between the donor and the family member or guest.

     (2) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the following items are presumed not to influence under RCW 42.52.140, and may be accepted without regard to the limit established by subsection (1) of this section:

     (a) Unsolicited flowers, plants, and floral arrangements;

     (b) Unsolicited advertising or promotional items of nominal value, such as pens and note pads;

     (c) Unsolicited tokens or awards of appreciation in the form of a plaque, trophy, desk item, wall memento, or similar item;

     (d) Unsolicited items received by a state officer or state employee for the purpose of evaluation or review, if the officer or employee has no personal beneficial interest in the eventual use or acquisition of the item by the officer's or employee's agency;

     (e) Informational material, publications, or subscriptions related to the recipient's performance of official duties;

     (f) Food and beverages consumed at hosted receptions where attendance is related to the state officer's or state employee's official duties;

     (g) Gifts, grants, conveyances, bequests, and devises of real or personal property, or both, in trust or otherwise accepted and solicited for deposit in the legislative international trade account created in RCW 43.15.050;

     (h) Gifts, grants, conveyances, bequests, and devises of real or personal property, or both, in trust or otherwise accepted and solicited for the purpose of promoting the expansion of tourism as provided for in *RCW 43.330.090;

     (i) Gifts, grants, conveyances, bequests, and devises of real or personal property, or both, solicited on behalf of a national legislative association, 2006 official conference of the national lieutenant governors' association, or host committee for the purpose of hosting an official conference under the circumstances specified in RCW 42.52.820 and section 2, chapter 5, Laws of 2006. Anything solicited or accepted may only be received by the national association or host committee and may not be commingled with any funds or accounts that are the property of any person;

     (j) Admission to, and the cost of food and beverages consumed at, events sponsored by or in conjunction with a civic, charitable, governmental, or community organization; and

     (k) Unsolicited gifts from dignitaries from another state or a foreign country that are intended to be personal in nature.

     (3) The presumption in subsection (2) of this section is rebuttable and may be overcome based on the circumstances surrounding the giving and acceptance of the item.

     (4) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (5) of this section, a state officer or state employee of a regulatory agency or of an agency that seeks to acquire goods or services who participates in those regulatory or contractual matters may receive, accept, take, or seek, directly or indirectly, only the following items from a person regulated by the agency or from a person who seeks to provide goods or services to the agency:

     (a) Unsolicited advertising or promotional items of nominal value, such as pens and note pads;

     (b) Unsolicited tokens or awards of appreciation in the form of a plaque, trophy, desk item, wall memento, or similar item;

     (c) Unsolicited items received by a state officer or state employee for the purpose of evaluation or review, if the officer or employee has no personal beneficial interest in the eventual use or acquisition of the item by the officer's or employee's agency;

     (d) Informational material, publications, or subscriptions related to the recipient's performance of official duties;

     (e) Food and beverages consumed at hosted receptions where attendance is related to the state officer's or state employee's official duties;

     (f) Admission to, and the cost of food and beverages consumed at, events sponsored by or in conjunction with a civic, charitable, governmental, or community organization; and

     (g) Those items excluded from the definition of gift in RCW 42.52.010 except:

     (i) Payments by a governmental or nongovernmental entity of reasonable expenses incurred in connection with a speech, presentation, appearance, or trade mission made in an official capacity;

     (ii) Payments for seminars and educational programs sponsored by a bona fide governmental or nonprofit professional, educational, trade, or charitable association or institution; and

     (iii) Flowers, plants, and floral arrangements.

     (5) A state officer or state employee may accept gifts in the form of food and beverage on infrequent occasions in the ordinary course of meals where attendance by the officer or employee is related to the performance of official duties. Gifts in the form of food and beverage that exceed fifty dollars on a single occasion shall be reported as provided in chapter 42.17A RCW.

[2011 c 60 § 29; 2006 c 5 § 3; 2003 1st sp.s. c 23 § 2. Prior: 2003 c 265 § 3; 2003 c 153 § 6; 1998 c 7 § 2; 1994 c 154 § 115.]

Notes:

     *Reviser's note: RCW 43.330.090 was amended by 2007 c 228 § 201, deleting subsection (2) which directly related to "expansion of tourism."

     Effective date -- 2011 c 60: See RCW 42.17A.919.

     Findings -- 2006 c 5: "The legislature finds that due to the massive devastation inflicted on the city of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005, the city of New Orleans will not be able to meet its obligation to host the national lieutenant governors' association's annual conference scheduled for July 17 through July 19, 2006. As a result of this unfortunate situation, the members of the national lieutenant governors' association officially pressed to have Washington state host the next annual conference in Seattle, Washington, and lieutenant governor Brad Owen has agreed to do so. The legislature further finds, in recognition of the unprecedented situation created by this natural disaster, the high national visibility of this important event, and due to the limited amount of time remaining for planning and fund-raising, it is necessary to initiate fund-raising activities for this national conference as soon as possible." [2006 c 5 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 2006 c 5: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [February 7, 2006]." [2006 c 5 § 4.]

     Findings -- 2003 c 153: See note following RCW 43.330.090.