as introduced - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to ethics in government; providing that 1.3 acceptance of large campaign contributions by certain 1.4 elected officials creates a conflict of interest on 1.5 issues related to the contributor; imposing a penalty; 1.6 amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 10A.07, by 1.7 adding a subdivision; proposing coding for new law in 1.8 Minnesota Statutes, chapter 471. 1.9 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.10 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 10A.07, is 1.11 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 1.12 Subd. 4. [CONFLICTS BASED ON CONTRIBUTIONS.] (a) If a 1.13 legislator or constitutional officer, or that official's 1.14 principal campaign committee, accepts a contribution of more 1.15 than $100, during the legislator's or constitutional officer's 1.16 current term of office or within one year before the current 1.17 term of office, from an individual or association or an agent of 1.18 an individual or association, the legislator or constitutional 1.19 officer has a conflict of interest with regard to an action or 1.20 decision on any question coming before the legislator or 1.21 constitutional officer in which the contributing individual or 1.22 association has a financial interest that is of greater 1.23 consequence to the contributor than the general interest of all 1.24 residents or taxpayers of the state. 1.25 (b) If a conflict of interest arises under this 1.26 subdivision, the legislator or constitutional officer must 1.27 disclose it in the manner provided in subdivision 1 and take the 2.1 actions required by subdivision 2. 2.2 (c) An individual who knowingly violates this subdivision 2.3 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and is subject to a civil 2.4 penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000. 2.5 Sec. 2. [471.865] [CONFLICTS BASED ON CONTRIBUTIONS.] 2.6 Subdivision 1. [CONFLICT CREATED.] If an elected official 2.7 of a county, city, or school district, or the official's 2.8 campaign committee as defined in section 211A.01, subdivision 4, 2.9 accepts a contribution as defined in section 211A.01, 2.10 subdivision 5, of more than $100, during the official's current 2.11 term of office or within one year before the current term of 2.12 office, from a individual or association or an agent of an 2.13 individual or association, the elected official has a conflict 2.14 of interest with regard to an action or decision on any question 2.15 coming before the official in which the contributing individual 2.16 or association has a financial interest that is of greater 2.17 consequence to the contributor than the general interest of all 2.18 residents or taxpayers of the elected official's governmental 2.19 unit. 2.20 Subd. 2. [DISCLOSURE OF CONFLICT.] If a conflict of 2.21 interest arises under this section, the elected official must 2.22 prepare a written statement describing the matter requiring 2.23 action or decision and the amount of the contribution and 2.24 deliver a copy of the statement to the presiding officer of the 2.25 governing body. If a conflict of interest presents itself and 2.26 there is insufficient time to prepare a written statement, the 2.27 elected official must orally inform the governing body or 2.28 committee of the governing body of the conflict. 2.29 Subd. 3. [REQUIRED ACTIONS.] After disclosing the conflict 2.30 of interest, the elected official must abstain from 2.31 participating in the action or decision, except as provided in 2.32 this subdivision. If the elected official is the county 2.33 attorney or county sheriff, the elected official must assign the 2.34 action or decision to a subordinate. If the elected official is 2.35 a member of the governing body, the official must not chair a 2.36 meeting or offer a motion or discussion on the question giving 3.1 rise to the conflict of interest. The official must not vote on 3.2 the question unless abstention would prevent the body from 3.3 obtaining a quorum. 3.4 Subd. 4. [PENALTY.] An individual who knowingly violates 3.5 this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.