46-237

Chapter 46.--LEGISLATURE
Article 2.--STATE GOVERNMENTAL ETHICS

      46-237.   Gifts to state agencies, state officers and employees, candidates for state office and state officers elect; limitations and prohibitions; exceptions; hospitality; honoraria; gifts from foreign governments; reimbursement of legislators for travel and subsistence expenses by certain national and international organizations and foreign governments. (a) Except as provided by this section, no state officer or employee, candidate for state office or state officer elect shall accept, or agree to accept any (1) economic opportunity, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, favor, hospitality or service having an aggregate value of $40 or more in any calendar year or (2) hospitality in the form of recreation having an aggregate value of $100 or more in any calendar year from any one person known to have a special interest, under circumstances where such person knows or should know that a major purpose of the donor is to influence such person in the performance of their official duties or prospective official duties.

      (b)   Except as provided by this section, no person with a special interest shall offer, pay, give or make any (1) economic opportunity, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, favor, hospitality or service having an aggregate value of $40 or more in any calendar year or (2) hospitality in the form of recreation having an aggregate value of $100 or more in any calendar year to any state officer or employee, candidate for state office or state officer elect with a major purpose of influencing such officer or employee, candidate for state office or state officer elect in the performance of official duties or prospective official duties.

      (c)   No person licensed, inspected or regulated by a state agency shall offer, pay, give or make any economic opportunity, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, favor, hospitality or service having an aggregate value of $40 or more in any calendar year to such agency or any state officer or employee, candidate for state office or state officer elect of that agency.

      (d)   Hospitality in the form of food and beverages is presumed not to be given to influence a state officer or employee, candidate for state office or state officer elect in the performance of official duties or prospective official duties, except when a particular course of official action is to be followed as a condition thereon.

      (e)   Except when a particular course of official action is to be followed as a condition thereon, this section shall not apply to: (1) Any contribution reported in compliance with the campaign finance act; or (2) a commercially reasonable loan or other commercial transaction in the ordinary course of business.

      (f)   No state officer or employee shall accept any payment of honoraria for any speaking engagement except that a member of the state legislature or a part-time officer or employee of the executive branch of government shall be allowed to receive reimbursement in the preparation for and the making of a presentation at a speaking engagement in an amount fixed by the commission prior to the acceptance of the speaking engagement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the reimbursement of state officers and employees for reasonable expenses incurred in attending seminars, conferences and other speaking engagements.

      (g)   The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to or prohibit the acceptance of gifts from governmental agencies of foreign nations except that any gift accepted from such foreign governmental agency, having an aggregate value of $100 or more, shall be accepted on behalf of the state of Kansas.

      (h)   No legislator shall solicit any contribution to be made to any organization for the purpose of paying for travel, subsistence and other expenses incurred by such legislator or other members of the legislature in attending and participating in meetings, programs and activities of such organization or those conducted or sponsored by such organization, but nothing in this act or the act of which this act is amendatory shall be construed to prohibit any legislator from accepting reimbursement for actual expenses for travel, subsistence, hospitality, entertainment and other expenses incurred in attending and participating in meetings, programs and activities sponsored by the government of any foreign nation, or any organization organized under the laws of such foreign nation or any international organization or any national, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established for the purpose of serving, informing, educating and strengthening state legislatures in all states of the nation, when paid from funds of such organization and nothing shall be construed to limit or prohibit the expenditure of funds of and by any such organization for such purposes.

      History:   L. 1974, ch. 353, § 23; L. 1983, ch. 172, § 11; L. 1990, ch. 122, § 18; L. 1991, ch. 150, § 26; L. 1995, ch. 172, § 3; L. 1998, ch. 117, § 19; L. 2000, ch. 124, § 4; July 1.

Cross References to Related Sections:

      Legislators and nonexecutive branch officers and employees, see 46-236.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

      "Ethical Dilemmas for the Kansas Government Lawyer," Brian J. Moline, 5 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y, No. 1, 105, 106 (1995).

Governmental Ethics Commission Opinions:

      Conflict of interest statutes; governor cannot accept temporary country club membership. 87-1.

      Acceptance of gift by a state agency when gift giver not licensed, regulated or inspected by the agency is permissible. 88-3.

      Acceptance of referral fee by state employee. 88-10.

      Conference for training in legislative management attended by representative of legislature is not a special interest in itself. 89-17.

      Employee of registered lobbying association rendering volunteer service to governor-elect transition team; permissible under statutes. 90-30.

      Kansas legislator who is also Wichita state university trustee board member may receive free basketball season tickets as trustee board member. 91-4.

      Legislative doctor of the day providing free medical service to legislative member should limit such service to less than $100 per calendar year. 91-16.

      Corporations providing items for gifts by legislators to foreign dignitaries is proper. 91-24.

      1991 HB 2454, subsection (c); limitations on hospitality provided to officers and employees of state agencies involved in licensing, regulating or inspecting functions. 91-33.

      Funds expended by a trade association for hospitality are not subject to same limitations applied to lobbyists. 91-37.

      State officer or employee giving a speech may receive a free meal provided at or near time of speech if price of meal is reasonable. 91-38.

      Speaking engagement by state officer or employee; "honoraria" defined and discussed. 91-39.

      Travel by personally owned or operated motor vehicle of donor is not assessed as a cost of hospitality event. 91-43.

      Kansas highway patrol may receive gasoline donations from independent oil marketers who are not licensed, regulated or inspected by KHP. 92-2.

      State agency officer or employee requested or required to attend federally sponsored conferences may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses. 92-3.

      Gifts to spouses of state officers and employees are attributable to the $40 limitation. 92-4.

      Gift of the use of a room from KSAB for legislative hearing on school finance is permissible. 92-5.

      State agency may include payment by vendor of reasonable expenses for on-site inspections in bid specifications. 92-11.

      The bar association's publication distributed at no cost to legislators and senior executive branch officers subject to gift limitations under statutes. 92-35.

      Board of healing arts member; speaking and writing fees; honoraria discussed; see opinion No. 91-39. 93-2.

      Funds received by KDHE from businesses it licenses, used to support Kansas Safe Kids Coalition does not create conflict of interest. 93-5.

      Governor, governor's spouse and chief of staff may accept airfare and lodging costs from Taiwanese government who invited governor to visit. 93-10.

      State agency employee may accept travel and accommodation expenses from company for inspection trip if such company is not licensed, regulated or inspected by the state agency. 93-26.

      Limitations on contributions to special fund established by legislator to promote enactment of certain legislation. 93-31.

      Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) is a state agency; limitation on gifts from KTA to legislators. 93-38.

      Producer's association not licensed, inspected or regulated by state agency may provide funding for agency inspector's attendance at national association's national meeting. 94-2.

      Limitations on acceptance of travel and lodging expenses from outside organizations and persons by legislators and staff, other elected officials and other state employees. 94-9.

      State agency may accept donations and apply for grants but may not solicit funds from outside associations or persons to cover publication expenses. 94-13.

      State legislator may not use campaign funds to defray legal expense for defending against criminal charges; establishing separate defense fund for such purpose is subject to severe limitations. 94-19.

      State employee may not accept computer software package won in drawing sponsored by vending company which is potential supplier to employee's agency; state agency may accept the prize. 94-20.

      Whether state lottery employee can give a testimonial to manufacturer of products sold to state lottery is a decision to be made by the lottery agency; permissibility or travel expense provided by manufacturer to state employee depends on policy decision regarding testimonial. 94-26.

      Shotgun worth in excess of $40 and presented to governor by a gun manufacturer for use at governor's one shot turkey hunt is state property and is not a personal gift to governor. 95-2.

      Contest by unsuccessful candidate on certification of successful opponent's election; candidate defined; campaign contributions; special interests. 95-5.

      Private entity representatives may voluntarily reimburse state agency for part of air transportation expenses. 95-7.

      Acceptance of complimentary tickets to training seminar; agency would have paid cost; state not employee is benefitted. 95-16.

      Sentencing commission attorney speaking at continuing legal education program sponsored by Washburn university; conflicts of interests considered. 95-20.

      Acceptance of airline tickets won as door prize; company donating tickets did not have a special interest. 95-21.

      State department cosponsoring a professional conference with nongovernmental organizations; question of special interest of cosponsoring organizations and vendors. 95-23.

      Hallmark cards giving to KDHE, greeting cards encouraging immunization of children. 96-10.

      Director of bureau of disease control invited by private company to be a consultant at conference on use of vaccine; acceptance of reimbursement for expenses. 96-23.

      Honoraria; membership on executive committee and participation on panel for discussion at meetings of organization. 96-28.

      Private foundation providing funds for grants to aid state agency in fulfilling state public function. 96-39.

      Legislator serving on advisory committee for private organization; payment of expenses and honorarium. 96-40.

      Employee in division of property valuation; acceptance of complementary seminar registration from a county. 97-10.

      Acceptance of gifts, free or discounted meals and travel; limitations, prohibitions and exceptions. 97-20.

      Acceptance of gifts and free or discounted meals; limitations. 97-21.

      Acceptance of door prizes. 97-26.

      Acceptance of honorarium by legislator; travel expenses. 97-30.

      Acceptance of honorarium by legislator; travel expense. 97-36.

      "Thank you" and "holiday and special occasion" gifts; luncheons with personal friends. 97-38.

      State employees; acceptance of reimbursement for mileage and lodging; meals. 97-40.

      Application of limitations and prohibitions prescribed by 46-237 and 46-237a distinguished. 97-43.

      Acceptance of free meal by state employees; "widely attended" event. 97-46.

      Acceptance of gifts on behalf of the state; cab fare and meals. 97-47.

      Assistant professor at university; acceptance of free copies of books and newspapers from publishers. 97-49.

      Acceptance of honorarium by state legislator. 97-51.

      State agency providing gifts, including travel to other state officers and employees including members of legislature. 98-2.

      State officer or employee; acceptance of items of value from an organization whose programs the officer or employee participates in or of which the officer or employee is a member. 98-9.

      State legislator making keynote address at annual meeting of business association; acceptance of honoraria. 98-14.

      Compensating state legislators for serving on SRS advisory council. 1998-23.

      Senior official in state agency accepting gift from such official's parents, of more than 5% of stock of holding company regulated by the state agency. 1998-31.

      State historical society providing legislators and their staff a discount on sale of merchandise from tourist information center. 1998-32.

      Department of corrections personnel; solicitation of donations for employee wellness programs; acceptance of discounts from department store. 1999-2.

      Superintendent of veterans home; acceptance or solicitation of donations for state agency. 1999-7.

      Acceptance of honorarium for speaking before national organization; legality of. 1999-26.

      State legislator may attend "tuition-free leadership education program" sponsored by Kansas University. 1999-35.

      Acceptance of unsolicited gift by state employee; prohibitions against. 1999-43.

      Ability of elected officials to solicit funds for dedication ceremony. 1999-47.

      Gifts to state officials and employees; meaning of "official position." 1999-50.

      Conference sponsored by state agency; registration fees, charge for exhibition booths, solicitation of sponsorship moneys. 1999-52.

      Charity sponsoring conference; ability of state officials and employees to accept travel, lodging and meals (modified by 2000-33). 2000-01.

      State agency sponsoring conference may offer free registration to governor, governor's cabinet and legislators. 2000-06.

      Painting valued in excess of $40 may be given to state senator under circumstances given. 2000-12.

      Gifts to legislators by lobbyist are attributed to client of lobbyist. 2000-22.

      Attendance at workshop where travel, meals and lodging are paid by private organization when attendance is prerequisite for participation in grant. 2000-30.

      Lobbyist representing divisions of company which are separate legal entities; requirement to register for each company; ability to provide gifts and hospitality for each company. 2000-32.

      Modification of 2000-01; classified state employee may accept all expenses associated with conference from private organization if employee's presence serves legitimate state purpose. 2000-33.

Attorney General's Opinions:

      Open public records; use of names and addresses by publishing company to solicit advertising in newsletter published on behalf of state agency. 97-79.