Expenditures Made for the Benefit of Spouses or Other Immediate Family Members

In many instances, lobbyists or their employers must report the value of gifts or meals and beverages provided to the spouse, or other immediate family member, of a legislator or staff person who files a financial disclosure statement. Additionally, the legislator or staff person will often need to disclose gifts or meals and beverages provided to his or her spouse or other immediate family member, on a financial disclosure statement.

Legislators are required to report the source of gifts, which exceed $75 aggregated per calendar year, or gifts, which exceed $25 from a legislative agent. The requirement for reporting and disclosing gifts or meals and beverages provided to a spouse, or other immediate family member, is based upon the view that but for the fact that the recipient is related to the legislator, the recipient would not have been offered the gift or meal and beverage by the lobbyist or lobbyist employer. Therefore, the value incurs to the legislator, because it was actually provided for his or her benefit. However, this is not true in all cases.

In those circumstances where the spouse, or other immediate family member, has an independent relationship with a lobbyist or the employer of a lobbyist, the receipt of gifts or meals and beverages is not considered to be for the specific benefit of the legislator and does not qualify as a reportable expenditure by either the source or the legislator.