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A guide for the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a member of the Legislature, an employee of the Governor, an employee of the Lieutenant Governor, an employee of a Legislator, an employee of a Legislative Agency.

Revised October 25, 2016


RULE NO. 1: You May Never Take Anything As Consideration For An Official Act. The bribery law prohibits payments or gifts made in exchange for an official act. An official act includes a vote, a recommendation, and any other exercise of official discretion.

RULE NO. 2: You May Not Accept An Honorarium For Services You Would Not Have Been Asked To Provide But For Your Official Status. This means, for example, that you may not accept a gift or payment for giving a speech if your official position was a reason for your being asked to give the speech. You may, however, accept meals, transportation, and lodging in connection with a speech as long as your speech is more than merely perfunctory. Also, you may accept a gift that is not a "benefit" such as a plaque or something of minimal value like a coffee cup, key chain, or "gimme" cap.

THE OTHER RULES: If acceptance of a gift or payment is permissible under Rule Nos. 1 and 2, the next step is to determine whether or not the person making the offer is a registered lobbyist.

A. IF THE PERSON MAKING THE OFFER IS A REGISTERED LOBBYIST:

1. You may not accept:

2. You may accept:

Note: You can find out if someone is a registered lobbyist by doing a search on our website https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/search/lobby.

Please Note: Your name will appear on a lobbyist’s activities report:


B. IF THE PERSON MAKING THE OFFER IS NOT A REGISTERED LOBBYIST:

You are subject to a general prohibition on taking any benefit from anybody. (A "benefit" is anything reasonably regarded as pecuniary gain or advantage.) There are, however, many exceptions to this general rule. You may accept a gift, payment, or contribution as long as the gift, payment, or contribution fits into any one of the following categories.


Donations to Charity:  If you receive an unsolicited benefit that you are prohibited from accepting, you may donate the benefit to a recognized tax-exempt charitable organization formed for educational, religious, or scientific purposes.



NOTICES

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