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Giving, Receiving and Reporting Food

Limitations on Giving and Receiving  Food and Beverage 

Updated June 2014

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State

Statutory Reference

Gift
Threshold

Food and beverage exempt

Alabama

Ala. Code §36-25-7;
§36-25-1 (34)(a);

34(b) (16-17)

 No threshold (“regardless of whether or not the thing solicited or received is a thing of value”).

Exempt if provided as ”an integral part of an educational function, economic development function, work session, or widely attended event” or less than twenty-five dollars ($25) per meal with a limit of one hundred fifty dollars($150) per year for lobbyists” and less than “fifty dollars ($50) per meal with a limit of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per year” for principals.

Alaska

Alaska Stat. §24.60.080(a)(1-2); §24.60.080(c)(3);§24.60.990

$0 
for lobbyists, unless the gift is tickets to a charity event.

 

$250/ gift
for non-lobbyists.

 

-Exempt for immediate consumption and food or “foodstuffs indigenous to the state that are shared generally as a cultural or social norm.”

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §38-504, §38-542 
d: §38-541(5)

d: §41-1231(9)(b)(ii); §41-1231.02(j)(1-2)

 $10/ year or $0 if designed “to influence the state officer's or state employee's official conduct”.

  Yes.

Arkansas

Ark. Stat. Ann. 
§21-8-801,  §21-8-607

D: §21-8-402

 $100/ gift

-Exempt if the food or beverage “bears a relationship to the public servant's office and when appearing in an official capacity” or “provided in return for participation in a bona fide panel, seminar, or speaking engagement at which the audience is a civic, social, or cultural organization or group.”

California

Ca. Govt. Code §86203, §89503

 $10/legislator per month

 

$250/year aggregate

Note: Per guidelines of the Fair Political Practices Commission, the gift aggregate limit is adjusted every year based on the consumer price index. For 2013-2014, it is  $440.

 No.

Colorado

Colo. Constitution Art. XXIX

$0 from professional lobbyists

 

$53/calendar year

Exempt if consumed at the event at which recipient appears to speak or to answer questions as part of a scheduled program and not paid for by a professional lobbyist.

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. 
§1-79; §1-84; §1-97

 $10/gift; $50 aggregate per year

-$50 limit on food and beverage given in presence of lobbyist with $150 /year aggregate.

-$50 limit per person  on food or beverage or both  consumed at a publicly noticed legislative reception to which all members of the General  Assembly are invited and which is hosted not more than once in any calendar year by a lobbyist or business organization.

-$1000 limit on food or beverage or both, provided by an individual who is not a member of the family of the recipient for the celebration of a major life event.

-Food or beverage provided at a hospitality suite at a meeting or conference of an interstate legislative association, by a person who is not a registrant or is not doing business with the state of Connecticut.

Delaware

Del. Code Ann. Tit. 29§5806, 29§5835

 No.

No.

Florida

Fla. Stat. 
§112.3148, §112.313(2)(4)

$100/gift

No.

Georgia

Ga. Code 
§45-10-3(6)(9), 
§21-5-11(c)
d: §21-5-3(12), 21-5-3 (14)
d: §21-5-70(1)(B.1) and 
§21-5-70(4.1)

$100/gift

 

$75/food or beverage

-Exempt for actual and reasonable expenses for food and beverages for a meeting which are provided to permit participation in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting.

-Exempt if food and beverages are produced in the state.

-Exempt if provided at "group events," to which all members of an "agency" are invited. "Agency" includes the House of Representatives, the Senate, standing committees of such bodies but not for more than one of such group events per committee per calendar year, caucuses of members of the majority or minority political parties of the House or Senate, other caucuses of the House or Senate as approved by the House Committee on Ethics or the Senate Ethics Committee, and the governing body of each political subdivision of this state.

-Exempt for public officer and staff members and spouse if attending educational, informational, charitable, or civic meetings or conferences that are held at locations within the United States and directly relate to the official duties of that public officer or the office of that public officer.

Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. 
§84-11

 No.

 No.

Idaho

Idaho Code 
§18-1356(4);
§67-6619

 $50/gift

 No.

Illinois

Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch 5 ILCS 425/10-10;

5 ILCS 425/10-15(8),(9),(12)

 $100/yr  per prohibited source

-Exempt if not exceeding $75 per person/day and  the food or refreshments are (i) consumed on the premises from which they were purchased or prepared or (ii) catered.

-Exempt if food  or beverage results from outside activities and  is not  offered because of the official position or employment of the individual and are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances

Indiana

Ind. Code §4-2-6; 2-7-3-3.3; 2-7-5-8; 2-7-5-9

$50/year lobbyist (without consent of recipient)

 No.

Iowa

Iowa Code §68B.22(4)(j),(p),(s)

$0

 

$3/day for nonmonetary items, including food and beverage

-Nonmonetary items, including food and beverage allowed up to $3/day.

-Food and beverages provided at a meal that is part of a bona fide event or program at which the recipient is being honored for public service.

-Gifts of food, beverages, travel, or lodging received by a public official or public employee if: (1) The public official or public employee is officially representing an agency in a delegation whose sole purpose is to attract a specific new business to locate in the state, encourage expansion or retention of an existing business already established in the state, or to develop markets for Iowa businesses or products; (2) The donor of the gift is not the business or businesses being contacted. However, food or beverages provided by the business or businesses being contacted which are consumed during the meeting are not a gift under section 68B.2, subsection 9, or this section; and(3) The public official or public employee plays a significant role in the presentation to the business or businesses on behalf of the public official's or public employee's agency.

-Gifts of food, beverage, and entertainment received at a function where every member of the general assembly has been invited to attend, when the function takes place during the regular session of the general assembly.

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. 
§46-237; §46-237(a)(c)(1)et. seq.

 $40/year

 

$100/year (gift in form of hospitality)

 

$25/meal

 -Hospitality in the form of food and beverages

-Meals motivated by a personal or family relationship.

-Beverages and snack foods not offered as part of a meal.

-Meals provided at public events in which the person is attending in an official capacity.

-Meals provided at the time a speech is made in the person’s state capacity.

-Meals provided to at an event or meeting when the attendance at that event or meeting serves a legitimate state interest and the individual’s  respective agency authorizes the attendance.

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. §6.611(2) (7),(8); Ky. Rev. Stat. §6.751(2)

$0

 

-Exempt. “Anything of value” does not include food or beverages extended to the party, consumed on premises, or at events.

*Per 2014 HB 28, which takes effect in July 2014, food and beverage will no longer be included in the definition of "thing of value," thereby prohibiting most gifts of food and beverage. Exemptions still exist for certain events.

 

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §42:1102(22)(a),
§42:1115, 
§42:1111A; 1115.1(A),(B)

$0

 

$50 food or beverage per event  by a person prohibited by  R.S. 42:1111 or 1115(A) or 1115(B)

-Food, drink, or refreshments consumed by a public servant, and incidental thereto, while the personal guest of some person, and, with reference to legislators and employees in the legislative branch of state government only, reasonable food and drink incidental thereto when organized primarily for educational or informational purposes

-Exempt if when making a public speech, the acceptance by a member of the legislature of food, refreshments, and lodging reasonably related to making such speech.

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 25§1012(4),
25§1014(1)(B),
§605

 $300 aggregate value/ source during the calendar year

 -Exempt if the meal is a prayer breakfast or a meal served during a meeting to establish a prayer breakfast.

-Exempt if the meal is provided by industry or special interest organizations as part of the informational program presented to a group of public servants.

Maryland

Md. State. Govt. Code Ann.
§15-505 et. seq.

$20/gift (not meals or alcoholic beverages)

-Exempt if food or beverages received from a donor or sponsoring entity, other than an individual regulated lobbyist described in § 15-701(a)(1) of this title, during a period when the General Assembly is not in session, at a location that is within a county that contains the member’s district, provided that the donor or sponsoring entity is located within a county that contains the member’s district (for members of the General Assembly)

-Exempt if food or beverages received at the time and geographic location of a meeting of a legislative organization for which the member’s presiding officer has approved the member’s attendance at State expense (for members of the General Assembly)

- Food or beverages received and consumed by the official in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity as part of a meal or reception, to which were invited all members of a legislative unit (for officials of the Legislative Branch)

-Meals or beverages received and consumed by the official or employee in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity (except for officials of the Legislative Branch)

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch.268B§1; ch.268B§6; 930 CMR 5.06; 930 CMR 5.09

$0 for lobbyists

 

$50 for non-lobbyists, if gift is deemed a "conflict of interest"

 No.

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws §15-342,
§4.414

$25/month

-Exempt if breakfast, luncheon, dinner, or other refreshment consisting of food and beverage provided for immediate consumption.

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. §10A.071(2)

$0 for lobbyists

-Exempt if the reception, meal, or meeting is held away from the recipient's place of work by an organization before whom the recipient appears to make a speech or answer questions as part of a program.

-Exempt if the recipient is a member or employee of the legislature and an invitation to attend the reception, meal, or meeting was provided to all members of the legislature at least five days prior to the date of the event.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. §25-4-101; §5-8-3

 No.

-Exempt if food and beverages for immediate consumption provided by a lobbyist up to a value of Ten Dollars ($10.00) in the aggregate during any calendar year.

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. §105.452;

105.470.

 No.

 No.

Montana

Mont. Code Ann. §2-2-101 to 104

 $50/gift

Exempt if food or beverage  are consumed by officers or employees at official functions or related charitable, civic, or community

Events.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. 
§49-1490;
§49-1423

$50/month

Exempt only for immediate consumption.

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 281A.400;
§281.571; 
§ 218H.060;
§ 218H.93;

§ 218H.060

 $100 aggregate/year

The cost of entertainment is exempt and includes the cost of food or beverages.

New Hampshire

N.H. General Court's Ethics Guidelines and Procedural Rules; NH Rev. Stat. § 15-B:2(10); § 15-B:3

 $0/ money gifts

 

$25/ all other gifts

-Meals, beverages, lodging, or transportation associated with attendance at any event for which the primary significance is ceremonial or celebratory, provided the event is public or, if by invitation only, is planned to have an attendance greater than 50 people.

-Meals, beverages, lodging, or transportation associated with attendance at any event where the person is attending in an official capacity representing the state and/or the senate, house, or the agency of which the person is a member

-Meals and beverages consumed at a meeting or event, the purpose of which is to discuss official business.

New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. §52:13D-14
§52:15D-24

$0/ non-lobbyists

$250/ year per lobbyist or legislative agent

  No.

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. Ann. §10-16B-1 et. seq.

 $250/gift


$1,000 aggregate total from lobbyist

 No.

New York

N.Y. Public Officers Law §73; N.Y Legislative Law § 1-c; N.Y Legislative Law § 1-m

 $15.00/food

 -Exempt if complimentary attendance, including food and beverage, at bona fide charitable or political events.

- Exempt if complimentary attendance, food and beverage offered by the sponsor of a widely attended event

-Exempt if food or refreshments when participating in a professional or educational program and the
meals or refreshments are provided to all participants.

-Exempt if food or beverages are valued at $15.00 or less

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. §120-86, 120C-303, 138A-32
 

 No.

 -Exempt if food and beverages for immediate consumption in connection with an open meeting of a public body, provided that the open meeting is properly noticed.

-Exempt if food and beverages for immediate consumption in connection with  a gathering of a persons or governmental units with at least 10 or more individuals in attendance open to the general public, provided that a sign or other communication containing a message that is reasonably designed to convey to the general public that the gathering is open to the general public is displayed at the gathering.

-Exempt if food and beverages for immediate consumption in connection with gathering of a person or governmental unit to which the entire board of which a public servant is a member, at least 10 public servants, all the members of the House of Representatives, all the members of the Senate, all the members of a county or municipal legislative delegation, all the members of a recognized legislative caucus with regular meetings other than meetings with one or more lobbyists, all the members of a committee, a standing subcommittee, a joint committee or joint commission of the House of Representatives, the Senate, or the General Assembly, or all legislative employees are invited, and one of the following applies:

  • At least 10 individuals associated with the person or governmental unit actually attend, other than the covered person or legislative employee, or the immediate family of the covered person or legislative employee or;
  • All shareholders, employees, board members, officers, members, or subscribers of the person or governmental unit located in North Carolina are notified and invited to attend

- Exempt if food and beverages for immediate consumption is given by a lobbyist principal and not a lobbyist; provided during a conference, meeting, or similar event and is available to all attendees of the same class as the recipient; and the recipient of the food or beverage  is a director, officer, governing board member, employee, or independent contractor of either the lobbyist principal giving the food and beverage or a third party that received the funds to purchase the food and beverages.

-Exempt if food and beverages are for immediate consumption at an organized gathering of a person, the State, or a governmental unit to which a public servant is invited to attend for purposes primarily related to the public servant's public service or position, and to which at least 10 individuals, other than the public servant, or the public servant's immediate family, actually attend, or to which all shareholders, employees, board members, officers, members, or subscribers of the person or governmental unit who are located in a specific North Carolina office or county are notified and invited to attend.

North Dakota

 N. D. Cent. Code §54-05.1-06

 No.

 No.

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §102.031; §102.03

$75 (if not cash)/year

 

$0 cash gift

-Exempt if meals and other food and beverages incurred for travel to destinations either inside or outside this state that is received by the member of the general assembly and that is incurred in connection with the member's official duties.

-Exempt if meals are in connection with conferences, seminars, and similar events related to official duties if the meals are not of such a character as to manifest a substantial and improper influence upon the public official or employee with respect to that person's duties.

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. Tit. 257§20-1-9;
257§1-1-2(2); 257§1-1-2(2)(U)

$100 aggregate/ year from lobbyist and parties with business interest or economic interest in the individual’s respective governmental agency

 

$10/ single item

-Exempt if consumed on the occasion when participating in a charitable, civic, or community event, and the officer or employee is attending in an official capacity.

-Exempt if modest item of food and refreshments, such as soft drinks, coffee, and donuts, offered other than as part of a meal.

-Exempt if provided by a governmental agency or governmental enterprise of a foreign nation as a gesture of hospitality.

-Exempt if served at a meeting at which the state officer or state employee is an invited guest.

-Exempt if provided at a meeting, conference, or seminar by sponsors, exhibitors, etc., the cost of which is not borne by a registrant to such meeting, conference, or seminar, and which is available to all registrants.

-Exempt if provided at any event to which all members of the Legislature are invited, provided this provision shall apply no more than one time per calendar year for any lobbyist principal.

-Exempt if provided at a meeting of the political caucus of either House of the Legislature, provided the House involved has not adjourned for the day, during a regular or special legislative session.

-Exempt if provided at a event to which all members of a committee or subcommittee of either House of the Legislature identified in the Rules or Journal of the respective House are invited and which is attended by a majority of members of the committee or subcommittee.

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. §244.040;
§244.020; §244.025

 $50 aggregate/year;

-Exempt if for the cost of food or beverage consumed when the public official represents state government as defined in ORS 174.111, a local government as defined in ORS 174.116 or a special government body as defined in ORS 174.117.

-Exempt if reasonable food expenses provided to a public official when representing state government as defined in ORS 174.111, a local government as defined in ORS 174.116 or a special government body as defined in ORS 174.117.

-Exempt if food or beverage consumed by a public official acting in an official capacity.

-Exempt if food or beverage  is consumed by a public official or candidate at a reception where the food or beverage is provided as an incidental part of the reception and no cost is placed on the food or beverage.

Pennsylvania

Pa. Cons. Stat. Tit.65 §1103;

4 P.A. C.S. §13A03

 No.

Meals and beverages exempt as “hospitality.”

Rhode Island

R.I. Commission Regulation
§36-14-5009; R.I. Gen. Laws  § 36-14-5; R.I. Gen. Laws  § 36-14-17

$25 per instance  from interested persons

 

$75/ year aggregate from interested persons

 No.

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. 
§8-13-705,
§8-13-100; §2-17-80; §

2-17-90

$50/day per person  by a lobbyist or their principal (lodging, transportation, entertainment, food, meals, or beverages)

 

$450 / year per  person by a lobbyist or their principal (lodging, transportation, entertainment, food, meals, or beverages)

 

Exempt if provided at approved event under § 2-17-90(A), including:

  • Functions to which a member of the General Assembly is invited if the entire membership of the House, the Senate, or the General Assembly is invited, or one of the committees, subcommittees, joint committees, legislative caucuses or their committees or subcommittees, or county legislative delegations of the General Assembly of which the legislator is a member is invited;
  • Functions  to which an official of a state agency, board, or commission is invited if the entire board or commission of which the public official is a member is invited;
  • Except for public employees of any statewide constitutional officer, a function to which a public employee is invited if a public official of the agency or department by which the public employee is employed also is invited under another provision of this section;
  • As to public employees of any statewide constitutional officer, a function to which all statewide constitutional officers are invited;
  • As to statewide constitutional officers, a function to which a statewide constitutional officer is invited or;
  • As to public officials or public employees, activities reasonably and directly related to state or local economic development efforts with prior written approval

South Dakota

 S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §2-12-9; §2-12-10

 No.

 No.

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. §3-6-305(a)(2);
§3-6-305(b)(1-11)

 

-$50/event per legislator (Entertainment, food, refreshments, meals, amenities, or beverages)

-Exempt if $50/event per legislator

(see 3-6-305(b)(8-10)).

Texas

Tex. Penal Code Ann. §36.07 to §36.10; Texas Gov. Code § 305.024

 $500/year per lobbyist 

 

$50/ item by non-lobbyist

Exempt if food or beverage in connection with a conference or similar event in which the public servant renders services, such as addressing an audience or engaging in a seminar, to the extent that those services are more than merely perfunctory, or from accepting meals in connection with such an event.

Utah

Utah Code Ann. § 67-16-5 (does not include legislators) 
Executive Order EO/003/2010
§ 36-11-304; § 36-11-102

 $50/gift (non-pecuniary)

-Exempt if “ food, refreshments, or meals of limited value." (except for legislators)

-Exempt if provided at an event to which the following are invited: all members of the Legislature; all members of a standing or interim committee; all members of an official legislative task force; all members of a party caucus; orall members of a group described in Subsections (7)(b)(vi)(A) through (D) who are attending a meeting of a national organization whose primary purpose is addressing general legislative policy.

-Exempt if provided to a public official (including legislators) at an event, who is giving a speech at the event; participating in a panel discussion at the event; or presenting or receiving an award at the event.

-Exempt if served at an approved meeting or activity, which is a meeting or activity to which a legislator is invited; and attendance is approved by: the speaker of the House of Representatives, if the public official is a member of the House of Representatives; or the president of the Senate, if the public official is a member of the Senate; or to which a public official who holds a position in the executive branch of state government is invited; and attendance at which is approved by the governor or the lieutenant governor.

Vermont

 2 V.S.A. § 261;
2 V.S.A. § 266.

 No.

 No.

Virginia

Va. Code 
§30-103(5)
d: §30-101

 No.

 No.

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code §42.52.140;
§42.52.150

$50/ aggregate year per single source

-Exempt if food and beverages consumed at hosted receptions where attendance is related to the state officer's or state employee's official duties.

-Exempt if for the cost of food and beverages consumed at, events sponsored by or in conjunction with a civic, charitable, governmental, or community organization.

-Exempt if food and beverages consumed at hosted receptions where attendance is related to the state officer's or state employee's official duties.

West Virginia

W. Va. Code 
§6B-2-5; W. Va. Commission  Leg. Rule § 158-7-4

 $25/ unsolicited gift

Meals and beverages are exempt.

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. §19.42(1),
§19.45, §13.625

$0

-Exempt if the official can show by clear and convincing evidence  that the meals, food or beverage were incurred or received on behalf of the state of Wisconsin and primarily for the benefit of the state and not primarily for the private benefit of the official or any other person

-Exempt if food or drink was also made available to the general public on like terms and conditions

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. 
§: §9-13-101(G),(H);9-13-103
d: §9-13-102(vi)

 $250/gift

-Food and beverage are exempt.

 

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