THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT
GIFTS, HONORARIUMS, AND EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENTS REQUIREMENTS FOR LEGISLATORS AND LEGISLATIVE EMPLOYEES
In this chapter:
I. "Ceremonial event" means an event held by a recognized civic organization to present awards.
II. "Charitable event" means an event sponsored by a charitable organization that is registered with the division of charitable trusts, department of justice, or which is a charitable organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code held for the purpose of raising charitable donations.
III. "Expense reimbursement" shall mean any price, charge, fee, expense, or other cost which is waived, forgiven, reduced, prepaid, or reimbursed in any form for the reasonable expenses of attendance, registration, travel, meals, or lodging related to a bona fide conference, meeting, seminar, or educational, cultural, or informational program, or an event to which the recipient is invited in his or her official capacity as a representative of the senate or the house of representatives of which the recipient is a member. "Expense reimbursement" shall not include any expense reimbursement made by the general court to a legislator, legislative officer, or legislative employee.
IV. (a) "Gift" means:
(1) Money in any amount, whether in the form of cash, check, or any other negotiable or non-negotiable instrumentality for the transfer of money.
(2) Any other tangible thing, intangible thing, service, or the use thereof having an individual value of greater than $50. For purposes of this section, "service" shall not include acceptance of legal services on an individual basis when the legislator enters into an attorney-client relationship with the attorney for the purposes of addressing a complaint or petition if the attorney is not a registered lobbyist.
(3) Multiple tangible things, intangible things, services, or the use thereof having an individual value $50 or less with an aggregate value greater than $250 from any single source during any calendar year.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a), "gift" shall not include:
(1) A political contribution as defined in RSA 664.
(2) A commercially reasonable loan, made in the ordinary course of business.
(3) Repayment to a legislator or legislative employee of a bona fide loan made by such a person.
(4) A ceremonial plaque, award, or other commemorative object, which is personally inscribed to the recipient and which has a value of $150 or less.
(5) Objects or services which primarily serve an informational purpose provided in the ordinary course of business, such as reports, books, maps, or charts.
(6) Money in any form, an object, or any tangible or intangible thing or service of economic value, where the donor's act of giving is purely private and personal in nature and the money, object, or tangible or intangible thing or service of economic value would have been given and received even if the person were not a legislator or legislative employee.
(7) Wages, salary, benefits, mileage, or payment for expenses received by the person in his or her regular course of employment or business which is unrelated to the legislative position held.
(8) Wages, salary, benefits, mileage, or payment for expenses paid to the person by the state, a county, or the United States of America related to performance of official duties.
(9) Tickets or free admission from any source to a political, charitable, or ceremonial event provided that acceptance of any tickets or free admission as permitted by this subparagraph shall be limited to $250 in the aggregate from any single source during any calendar year and:
(A) The proceeds of the event are subject to the political contributions and expenditure reporting law, RSA 664, or the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 as amended, provided that the recipient reports the source of the tickets or free admission pursuant to RSA 14-C:4; or
(B) The event is sponsored by a charitable organization that is registered with the division of charitable trusts, department of justice, or which is a charitable organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, provided that the recipient reports the source of the tickets or free admission pursuant to RSA 14-C:4; or
(C) The event is primarily ceremonial or celebratory in nature and is public or, if by invitation only, is planned to have an attendance greater than 50 people, provided that the recipient reports the source of the tickets or free admission pursuant to RSA 14-C:4; or
(D) The event is published as an event open for attendance by any legislator or legislative employee in the calendar of the senate or the house of representatives.
(10) An expense reimbursement.
(11) An honorarium.
(12) Meals and beverages having a value of more than $50 consumed at a meeting or event, the purpose of which is to discuss official business, provided that acceptance of such meals and beverages as permitted by this subparagraph shall be reported pursuant to RSA 14-C:4 and limited to $250 in the aggregate from any single source during any calendar year.
(13) Monetary or non-monetary awards or recognition issued under the suggestion and extraordinary service award program under RSA 99-E.
(14) Any expense reimbursements made by the general court to a legislator, legislative officer, or legislative employee.
(15) Gifts, grants, or donations to legislative employees or legislative officers for the underwriting of expenses associated with an official meeting, conference, or event of a state or national legislative association to which the general court pays dues and which includes among its membership the New Hampshire general court, officers, or staff.
V. "Honorarium" means a payment in any form to a legislator or legislative employee for an appearance, speech, written article or other document, service as a consultant or advisor, or participation in a discussion group or similar activities. Honorarium does not include a payment for such activities for which the person is being compensated by the state, a county, the United States of America, or any other employer or client, where the activity giving rise to the honorarium is not related to or associated with any legislative office or employment.
VI. "Household member" shall mean any person living in the same domicile as the legislator or legislative employee, who shares a common economic interest in the expenses of daily living, including, but not limited to, a spouse, child, or parent.
VII. "Legislative employee" means any person employed by the legislative branch.
VIII. "Legislator" means a member of the general court.
IX. "Official business" means the discussion or transaction of legislative business, namely, any official action or non-action with regard to any potential pending or existing bill, resolution, amendment, report, or study, any other matter pending or proposed in a committee or in either body of the general court, or an issue of public policy which is or may be the subject of legislative attention, or any other matter which is within the official jurisdiction or cognizance of the general court.
X. "Political event" means an event of any kind or nature including, but not limited to, receptions, breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, dances, testimonials, or picnics, held for the sole purpose of raising political contributions.
XI. "Value" means the amount at which property or services would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller when neither is under any compulsion to buy or sell and both have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.
Source. 2016, 328:9, eff. Dec. 7, 2016. 2018, 314:2-4, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2019, 206:1, eff. July 12, 2019.