Happy Holidays!

As we near the Holiday season, please keep in mind the following tips and guidance:

  • Holiday gifts of $25.00 or more provided to legislators/staff by lobbyists or their employers are reported on Activity & Expenditure Reports.  If a financial disclosure statement filer accepted a gift(s) valued at more than $25.00 from a lobbyist, they will report the lobbyist as the source of a gift on their 2013 financial disclosure statement.
  • Legislators & staff members are prohibited from accepting more than $75.00 in gifts from a lobbyist aggregated per year.
  • Receptions/holiday parties where all legislators or all legislators of a particular Chamber are invited are reported as any all-invited event would be.
  • There are no “staff all-invited” events; legislators must be invited for the exception to apply.
  • Holiday parties strictly for staff accrue towards the $75.00 aggregated per year limit if hosted by lobbyists.  Expenditures made on behalf, or for the benefit, of FDS filers are reportable according to standard reporting and disclosure guidelines.

Cookie trays, popcorn tins and fruit baskets

  • As long as these items are provided to the office (not an individual); placed in a public area for staff, legislators and visitors to enjoy and not converted to personal use they need not be reported by the lobbyist or their client as gifts.
  • An individual given a cookie tray by a lobbyist or their employer does not eliminate potential reporting, merely by placing the gift in a public setting for all to enjoy.  Depending upon the value, the individual may be subject to financial disclosure statement reporting as well as reporting by the lobbyist or lobbyist’s client.
  • Items provided to caucus or office (not an individual) that are converted to personal use (i.e. staff member re-gifts fruit basket to Grandma Betty) may be reportable.  Also, converting the gift to personal use could put the legislator/ staffer over the $75.00 limit on what they can accept from a lobbyist.
  • If the item is not provided by a lobbyist or their employer, but by an organization or entity that is not the employer of a lobbyist, a financial disclosure statement filer who converts the item to personal use may be required to disclose the source of the gift on their financial disclosure statement if it is valued at $75.00 or more.

If you have questions, please contact JLEC at 614-728-5100.