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50 State Chart Honorarium Restrictions

Honorarium Restrictions

Updated March 2013

This table is intended to provide general information and does not necessarily address all aspects of this topic.  Because the facts of each situation may vary, this information may need to be supplemented by consulting legal advisors. 

 50-state-table

Most states address whether state legislators can receive an honorarium. Generally speaking, an honorarium is a payment for a service on which custom or propriety forbids a set price. Such services usually include giving a speech, making an appearance, participating on a panel or writing articles or publications. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics Agency defines the term "honorarium" as a payment or money or anything of value for a "series of appearances, speeches, or articles if the subject matter is directly related to the individual's official duties or the payment is made because of the individual's status with the Government." Some states, including Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington specifically define what is or is not an honorarium. A few states such as Minnesota and South Carolina include honorarium in their definition of a "gift" or "anything of value."

States are almost equally divided between prohibiting and allowing honorarium for legislators. Twenty seven states prohibit honorarium if it is offered in connection with a legislator's official duties, meaning a legislator could accept honorarium for services performed in relation to their private profession or occupation if unrelated to the legislator's duties as a member of the Legislature. Additionally, most states which prohibit honorarium do allow for reimbursement for travel, lodging and necessary expenses.

Twenty three states and the District of Columbia allow honorarium or do not specifically address honorarium in statute. These states typically allow honorarium as long as it does not influence a legislator's official duties. Georgia and Missouri are two states that only allow honorariums up to a certain amount. At least 16 states that allow honorariums do require that they be disclosed.    

AL| AK| AZAR| CA| CO| CT| DE| DC | FL|GA| HI| ID| IL| IN| IA| KS| KY| LA| ME| MD| MA| MI| MN| MS| MO| MT| NE| NV| NH| NJ| NM| NY| NC| ND| OH| OK| OR| PA|RI| SC| SD| TN| TX| UT| VT| VA| WA| WV| WI| WY

State

Policy

Statutory Reference

Alabama

Honorarium allowed only if received in an "official capacity" for advice or assistance on matters concerning the legislature or if it is not given with the purpose of "influencing legislation or official action".

Ala. Code
§36-25-7

Alaska

Honorarium prohibited for official duties, but reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Legislator should not seek or accept compensation for personal services that is significantly greater than the value of the services rendered taking into account the higher rates generally charged by specialists in a profession. Legislators may accept honoraria if given for an appearance or speech that is not connected to legislative service.

Alaska Stat.
§24-60-030
§24-60-085

Arizona

Honorarium allowed unless it is given "to influence official action". It is generally restricted by §38-542 and Senate Rule 29. Legislator shall not accept any financial benefit, including any gift, upon an agreement or understanding that his or her vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion or other action as a public official will be influenced. Lobbyist must disclose if above $20. Lobbyist principle must disclose if above $10.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann.
§41-1232.02
§38-542

Arkansas

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties.

Ark. Stat. Ann. §5-52-108 §21-8-701(d)(8)

California

Honorarium prohibited for official duties, but reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses.

Ca. Govt. Code §89501, §89502

Colorado

Honorarium allowed but limited to $50 per calendar year

Colo.State Constitution
Article XXIX

Connecticut

Honorarium prohibited but reimbursement allowed for necessary expenses.

Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-84 (k)

Delaware

Honorarium allowed but it must be disclosed. Honorarium does not include reimbursement for expenses.

Del. Code Ann. Tit. 29, § 5813

District of Columbia Honorarium allowed but neither the mayor, the Chairman of the Council, nor any member of the Council, nor any member of his or her immediately family shall receive honoraria exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate during any calendar year. Honoraria does not include any reimbursement for or payment of actual and necessary travel expenses. For the purpose of this section, any royalty or part of a royalty, or any honorarium paid to a charitable organization by or on behalf of any of the forgoing public officials shall not be calculated as part of an aggregate total. DC ST §1-1108.01

Florida

Honorarium prohibited for official duties, but reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses.

Fla. Stat. §112.3149

Georgia

Honorarium allowed up to $100 for a speech or service related to the performance of public duties. Actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging and registration for a meeting which are pvoided to permit participation in a panel or speaking engagement are exempted. Honorarium must be disclosed if related to official duties. Public officers who are elected state wide are prohibited from receiving honorarium. 

Ga. Code
§21-5-11 and
§21-5-50(b)

Hawaii

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited for state legislators. But, 84-13(2) places restrictions on the acceptance of compensation given for the performance of the legislator's official duties.

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §84-13.

Idaho

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators.

NA

Illinois

Honorarium prohibited unless given by a 501(c)(3), but reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Honorarium does not include cash payments from 501(c)(3)'s or funds reported under Article 9 of the Election Code.. Honorarium valued above $50 must be disclosed. Any honorarium or honorarium accepted in violation of this

Section shall be surrendered to the State Treasurer and deposited into the General Revenue Fund.

5 ILCS 420/2-110)

Indiana

Honorarium Prohibited. A member of the general assembly may not receive honorarium for appearance or speech made or given in his or her capacity as legislator. Honorarium does not include payment or reimbursement of travel expenses.

IC 2-2.1-3-9.5

Iowa

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses.

Iowa Code §68B.23

Kansas

Honorarium prohibited, but reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Reimbursement expenses must be disclosed.

Kan. Stat. Ann. §46-237

Kentucky

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses, if approved ahead of time by LRC. Reimbursement or honoraria received in connection with personal profession must be disclosed.

Ky. Rev. Stat. §6.787(2)(f) and §6.747

Louisiana

Honorarium allowed, if the speech is given in the US or Canada., but it must be disclosed.

La. Rev. Stat. Ann.

§42:1111

§42:1123(16)

Maine

Honorarium allowed but it must be disclosed. Honorarium does not include reimbursement for actual and necessary travel expenses for an appearance or speech.

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 1§1016A

Maryland

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties except for food and beverage given by a legislative organization approved by a presiding officer of the legislature. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Reimbursement expenses must be disclosed.

Md. State Govt. Code Ann.
§15-505(d)

Massachusetts

Honorarium allowed but must be disclosed if aggregating more than one hundred dollars if the source of such honoraria is a legislative agent, or if the recipient is a public official and the source of such honoraria is a person having a direct interest in legislation, legislative action, or a matter before a governmental body.

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 268b, Section 5

Michigan

Honorarium prohibited

for legislators.

Mich. Comp. Laws §169.250

Minnesota

Honorarium prohibited, but reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Minnesota Rules part 4501.0100, subp.5 includes honorarium under the definition of a gift

Minn.Stat.
§10A.071(2), §10A.09(6)

Mississippi

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators. Honorarium must be disclosed if determined to be outside income. Lobbyists must report it if valued over $10.

Miss. Code Ann. §25-4-27

Missouri

Honorarium allowed but must be disclosed if in excess of two hundred dollars in value per source.

Mo. Rev. Stat. §105.485

Montana

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators.

NA

Nebraska

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators.

NA

Nevada

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Reimbursement or payment allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Allowed for a speech delivered to an organization of legislatures, legislators or other elected officers or if provided for duties outside the legislature if: (1) Other members of the profession or occupation are ordinarily compensated for such a speech; and (2) The fee paid to the public officer or public employee is approximately the same as the fee that would be paid to a member of the private sector whose qualifications are similar to those of the officer or employee for a comparable speech. If honorarium is received, it must be disclosed. A public officer or public employee who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and, upon conviction, forfeits the amount of the honorarium.

Nev. Rev. Stat. §281A.510

New Hampshire

Honorarium allowed but must be disclosed. An elected official, public official, public employee, or legislative employee who receives an honorarium or expense reimbursement shall file a report with the secretary of state no later than the last day of the month following the month during which the, honorarium or expense reimbursement was received. Honoarium prohibited from certain persons. No public official or public employee shall accept an honorarium from a person who is subject to or likely to become subject to or interested in any matter or action pending before, or contemplated by, the public official, public employee, or the governmental body with which that person is affiliated. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-B

New Jersey

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators, but it must be disclosed.

N.J. Rev. Stat. §52:13C 21b

New Mexico

Honorarium prohibited if offered for services related to performance of public duties. An honorarium is defined as payment of money, or any other thing of value worth more than $100. Reasonable reimbursement for travel, lodging or associated expenses is allowed, as is compensation for services rendered in the normal course of a private business pursuit.   

N.M. Stat. Ann.
§10-16-4.1

New York

Honorarium prohibited for legislator or legislative employeee while holding elected office or employment, other than honorarium paid in consideration for a speech given on a topic unrelated to the individual's current public employment or as earned income for personal services that are customarily provided in connection with the practice of a bona fide business, trade or profession, such as teaching, practicing law, medicine or banking, unless the sole or predominant activity thereof is making speeches. Honorarium shall mean any payment made in consideration for any speech  given at a public or private conference, convention, meeting, social event, meal or like gathering.

N.Y. Public Officers Law §73-5-a (c)

North Carolina

Honorarium allowed unless  the legislator is attending the event on work time or is reimbursed by the state for meeting expenses or the activity is related to the person's official job duties. 

N.C. Gen. Stat.
138A-32(h)

North Dakota

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators.

NA

Ohio

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Honorarium does not include unsolicited gifts, awards, or trivial items of nominal value. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. These items must be disclosed. "Honorarium" does not include ceremonial gifts or awards that have insignificant monetary value; unsolicited gifts of nominal value or trivial items of informational value; or earned income from any person, other than a legislative agent, for personal services that are customarily provided in connection with the practice of a bona fide business, if that business initially began before the public official or employee conducting that business was elected or appointed to his office or position of employment.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §102.03(h)

Oklahoma

Honorarium prohibited for an article, appearance or speech, or for participation at an event unless made as part of the normal course of business in the member's private occupation.

Okla. Stat. Tit. 257§20-1-9(h)

Oregon

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties, or any member of the household of the official, unless received for services performed in relation to the private profession or occupation or an honorarium valued at $50 or less. Public officials or candidates shall disclose all honoraria with a value exceeding $15 during the proceeding year.

Or. Rev. Stat. §244.042 §244.060

Pennsylvania

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Honorarium does not include tokens presented or provided which are of de minimis economic impact.

Pa. Cons. Stat. Tit. 11§1103(d)

Rhode Island

Honorarium prohibited unless a public offiical does not exercise authority over the source and uses own time and does not make any improper use of public resources in preparing for or engaging in the activity.

No person subject to this code of ethics shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business, employment, transaction, or professional activity, or incur any obligation of any nature, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his or her duties or employment in the public interest and of his or her responsibilities. No person subject to this code of ethics shall use in any way his or her public office or confidential information received through his or her holding any public office to obtain financial gain, other than that provided by law, for him or herself or any person within his or her family, any business associate, or any business by which the person is employed or which the person represents.

Pursuant to Commission Regulation 36-14-5010

, a public official shall not accept an honorarium, fee or reward or other compensation for any activity which directly relates to her official duties unless 1) she does not exercise decision making authority over the source; and 2) she uses her own time and does not make improper use of public resources when engaging in or preparing for the activity.

R.I. Gen. Laws §36-14-5 (a), (d)

Ethics Commission Regulation 5010

South Carolina

Honorarium prohibited. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses, but expenses must be disclosed. A legislator is allowed to accept a meal as honorarium provided in conjunction with a speaking engagement. Reimbursement for expenses incurred out of state must receive prior written approval from either the President Pro Tempore or Speaker of the House, depending on which assembly the member belongs. Honorarium is included in the definition of "anything of value".

S.C. Code Ann.
§8-13-715
§2-17-110

Op S. C. St Ethics Comm., SEC AO92-061, Feb 26, 1992.

South Dakota

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed.

NA

Tennessee

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses.

Tenn. Code Ann.
§2-10-116

Texas

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties.

Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses, but expenses and the identity of any person providing transportation, meals, or lodging expenses permitted under Section 36.07(b), Penal Code, must be disclosed.

Note: Attorney General Opinions may prohibit honorarium as a "gift" depending on circumstances.

Tex. Penal Code Ann. §36.07

See Attn. Gen. Op. 1975, No. H-551, 1979, No. MW-90

Utah

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed for state legislators. The Judicial Code prohibited honorarium above a specified amount.

NA

Vermont

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed.

NA

Virginia

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses.

Honorarium is included in the definition of a "gift" (2 V.S.A. § 261 (6)(A)(v)). 2 V.S.A. § 264 (b)(3) requires lobbyists to disclose an itemized list of every gift, the value of which is greater than $15.00, made by or on behalf of a lobbyist to or at the request of one or more legislators or administrative officials or a member of the legislator's or administrative official's immediately family.

Va. Code
§30-103

Washington

Honorarium prohibited if offered in connection with legislator's official duties.

Wash. Rev. Code
§42-52-103

West Virginia

Honorarium prohibited for full-time elected officials unless he or she donates it to a recognized charity or the State Treasury and files a notice with the Ethics Commission identifying the honorarium, the date received and the date received and the group to whom it was donated.

A part-time elected public official may accept an honorarium if it is given for an appearance, speech or presentation made of a professional nature not related to the official's public position.

Legislative Rules
158-78-2.3 and .4

Wisconsin

Honorarium allowed or is not specifically prohibited or addressed. Reimbursement allowed for reasonable and related actual travel, lodging, or subsistence expenses. Honorarium valued above $50 must be disclosed.

Wis. Stat. §19.56

Wyoming

Honorarium allowed in the form of a certificate or commemorative token up to $250. Honorarium in monetary form is not specifically prohibited. Honorarium is included under the definition of "anything of value"

Wyo. Stat.
§9-13

 

 

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