190292-2:n:02/12/2018:PMG/tgw LSA2018-433R1




SB343
By Senator Marsh
RFD Constitution, Ethics and Elections
Rd 1 22-FEB-18


SYNOPSIS:This bill would substantially revise the law relating to ethics of public officials and public employees to, among other things: revise the definition of business and business with which the person is associated; revise the definition of principal; revise the definition of thing of value to specify the circumstances in which gifts, proceeds from the sale of property, and prospective or actual compensation from an employer are not a thing of value; revise the definition of a minor violation; exempt certain public education employees, law enforcement employees, and first responder employees from the requirements of filing a statement of economic interest and prohibitions on asking for or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or principal; allow caucuses to solicit or receive meals and beverages from a lobbyist or principal, subject to limitations; authorize the creation of a legal defense fund for a public official or public employee being investigated for or arrested or indicted for a violation of the Code of Ethics or the Fair Campaign Practices Act or is the subject of a pending complaint with the commission or a matter that has been referred to the commission by the Attorney General or a district attorney; increase the circumstances under which the commission can use the process of administrative resolution for violations of the ethics act; prohibit a public official or public employee from using his or her mantle of office, as defined, for personal gain; create the crime of extortion of a public official or public employee by persons attempting to corruptly influence the action of a public official or public employee; revise the filing requirements for the statement of economic interests for public officials to expand the businesses from which income is required to be reported, require disclosure of family relationships with lobbyists and principals, and require a list of economic development functions, educational functions, and widely attended events attended; similarly revise the statement of economic interests for public employees except for the disclosure of economic development functions, education functions, and widely attended events; specify procedures including criminal sanctions when statements of economic interests are not filed timely; to specify criminal sanctions for filing statements of economic interests that are intentionally false; provide for redacting of filed statements of economic interests in limited instances for limited purposes; and prohibit a person convicted of a violation of the code of ethics after the effective date of the bill from being registered as a lobbyist.
 Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose.
 The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of the amendment. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in the amendment.

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

Relating to ethics; to amend Sections 36-25-1, 36-25-2, 36-25-3, 36-25-4, 36-25-4.2, 36-25-5, 36-25-5.1, 36-25-7, 36-25-8, 36-25-9, 36-25-10, 36-25-11, 36-25-12, 36-25-13, as amended by Act 2017-364 of the 2017 Regular Session, 36-25-14, 36-25-15, 36-25-17, 36-25-18, 36-25-19, 36-25-23, 36-25-24, 36-25-26, and 36-25-27, of the Code of Alabama 1975; to add Sections 36-25-3.1, 36-25-3.2, 36-25-3.3, 36-25-4.4, 36-25-7.1, and 36-25-7.2, to the Code of Alabama 1975, and to repeal Sections 36-25-1.1 and 36-25-6 of the Code of Alabama 1975, to substantially amend the Alabama Ethics Act; to revise existing definitions and add new definitions; to specify when gifts or other income are not a thing of value; to exempt certain public education and police and first responder employees from specified provisions of the code of ethics; to allow caucuses to solicit and receive meals from a lobbyist or principal in limited circumstances; to authorize the creation of legal defense funds; to prohibit use of the mantle of office, as defined, for personal gain; to create the crime of extortion of a public official or public employee; to revise the filing requirements for statements of economic interests for public officials and public employees; to provide for redacting of statements of economic interests; to prohibit a person convicted of a violation of the code of ethics from being registered as a lobbyist; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. Sections 36-25-1, 36-25-2, and 36-25-3 of the Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§36-25-1.

"(a) This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Alabama Ethics Act.

"(b) Whenever used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

"(1) BUSINESS. Any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, self-employed individual person, business, union, committee, club, or other organization, or any other legal entity of any kind or character, non-profit or for-profit. The term includes a given entity's subsidiaries, affiliates, parent corporations, related companies, or holding companies.

"(2) BUSINESS WITH WHICH THE PERSON IS ASSOCIATED. Any business of which the person or a member of his or her family is an officer,; owner,; partner,; board of director member,; employee, including an independent contractor or a consultant; or holder of more than five percent of the fair market value of the business.

"(3) CANDIDATE. This term as used in this chapter shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 17-22A-2 17-5-2.

"(4) COMMISSION. The State Ethics Commission.

"(5) COMPLAINT. Written allegation or allegations that a violation of this chapter has occurred.

"(6) COMPLAINANT. A person who alleges a violation or violations of this chapter by filing a complaint against a respondent.

"(7) CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. Information that is available to a public official or public employee by virtue of his or her public position and is not generally available to the public. A complaint filed pursuant to this chapter, together with any statement, conversations, knowledge of evidence, or information received from the complainant, witness, or other person related to such complaint.

"(8) CONFLICT OF INTEREST. a. A conflict on the part of a public official or public employee between his or her private interests and the official responsibilities inherent in an office of public trust. A conflict of interest involves any action, inaction, or decision by a public official or public employee in the discharge of his or her official duties which would materially affect his or her financial interest or those of his or her family members or any business with which the person is associated in a manner different from the manner it affects the other members of the class to which he or she belongs. A conflict of interest shall exist when a public official or public employee, family member of the public official or public employee, or any business with which the person is associated is uniquely affected by any pending or proposed legislation, official action or withholding of official action, or decision by a public official or public employee in the discharge of his or her official duties. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "uniquely affected" means affected individually or as a member of a small class, but not equally with other members of a large class or in the same manner as the entire community.

"b. A conflict of interest shall not include any of the following:

"a. 1. A loan or financial transaction made or conducted in the ordinary course of business and on terms generally available to the public.

"b. 2. An occasional nonpecuniary award publicly presented by an organization for performance of public service.

"c. 3. Payment of, or reimbursement for, actual and necessary transportation and lodging expenses, as well as waiver of registration fees and similar costs, to facilitate the attendance of a public official or public employee, and the spouse of the public official or public employee, at an educational function or widely attended event of which the person is a sponsor, provided that:

"(i) The public official or public employee meaningfully participates in the event as a speaker or a panel participant by presenting information related to his or her agency or matters pending before his or her agency;

"(ii) The public official or public employee performs a ceremonial function appropriate to his or her official position; or

"(iii) The public official’s or public employee's attendance at the event is appropriate to the performance of his or her official duties or representative function. Payment of or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenditures for travel and subsistence for the personal attendance of a public official or public employee at a convention or other meeting at which he or she is scheduled to meaningfully participate in connection with his or her official duties and for which attendance no reimbursement is made by the state.

"d. 4. Any contribution reported under Chapter 5 of Title 17, a contribution to an inaugural or transition committee, a campaign contribution for a federal election which is otherwise lawful, or a contribution to a legal defense fund. Any campaign contribution, including the purchase of tickets to, or advertisements in journals, for political or testimonial dinners, if the contribution is actually used for political purposes and is not given under circumstances from which it could reasonably be inferred that the purpose of the contribution is to substantially influence a public official in the performance of his or her official duties.

"(9) CORRUPTLY INFLUENCE or CORRUPT PURPOSE. A bad or improper purpose, motive, or action in connection with an expected or actual breach of some official responsibility to the government or the public at large.

"(10) CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. The term shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 13A-2-2.

"(9)(11) DAY. Calendar day.

"(10)(12) DEPENDENT. Any person, regardless of his or her legal residence or domicile, who receives 50 percent or more of his or her support from the public official or public employee or his or her spouse or any person who resided with the public official or public employee for more than 180 days during the reporting period. The term includes any person claimed as a dependent on the state or federal tax return of the public official or public employee or his or her spouse.

"(11)(13) DE MINIMIS. A value twenty-five dollars ($25) fifty dollars ($50) or less per occasion and an aggregate of fifty dollars ($50) two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less in a calendar year from any single provider, or such other amounts as may be prescribed by the Ethics Commission commission from time to time by rule pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act or adjusted each four years from August 1, 2012 2017, to reflect any increase in the cost of living as indicated by the United States Department of Labor Consumer Price Index or any succeeding equivalent index.

"(12)(14) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUNCTION. Any function reasonably and directly related to the advancement of a specific, good-faith economic development or trade promotion project or related objective.

"(15) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONAL. A person employed full-time to advance specific, good-faith economic development or trade promotion projects or related objectives for his or her employer. The term does not include public officials, employees of lobbyists, or persons who are otherwise lobbyists.

"(13)(16) EDUCATIONAL FUNCTION. A meeting, event, or activity held within the State of Alabama, or if the function is predominantly attended by participants from other states, held within the continental United States, which is organized around a formal program or agenda of educational or informational speeches, debates, panel discussions, or other presentations concerning matters within the scope of the participants' official duties or other matters of public policy, including social services and community development policies, economic development or trade, ethics, government services or programs, or government operations, and which, taking into account the totality of the program or agenda, could not reasonably be perceived as a subterfuge for a purely social, recreational, or entertainment function.

"(17) FAIR MARKET VALUE. The fair market price or value of the same or a like thing, if purchased or sold by a member of the general public. For purposes of this definition, the average retail value of a thing is the fair market value of that thing.

"(14)(18) FAMILY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE. The spouse or a dependent of the public employee.

"(15)(19) FAMILY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL. The spouse, a dependent, an adult child and his or her spouse, a parent, a spouse's parents, a sibling and his or her spouse, of the public official.

"(16)(20) GOVERNMENTAL CORPORATIONS AND AUTHORITIES. Public or private corporations and authorities, including but not limited to, hospitals or other health care corporations, corporations, authorities, boards, and commissions established pursuant to state law by state, county or municipal governments for the purpose of carrying out a specific governmental function. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all employees, including contract employees, of hospitals or other health care corporations and authorities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

"(17)(21) HOUSEHOLD. The public official, or public employee, and his or her spouse and dependents.

"(22) INTENTIONAL. The term shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 13A-2-2.

"(23) KNOWINGLY. The term shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 13A-2-2.

"(18)(24) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. An officer, employee, or agent of the State of Alabama or any political subdivision thereof who is required by law to: a. maintain public order; b. make arrests for offenses, whether that duty extends to all offenses or is limited to specific offenses; and c. investigate the commission or suspected commission of offenses. A full-time employee of a governmental unit responsible for the prevention or investigation of crime who is authorized by law to carry firearms, execute search warrants, and make arrests.

"(25) LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. All contributions received, held, or expended for the legal defense of a public official or public employee pursuant to Section 36-25-4.4.

"(19)(26) LEGISLATIVE BODY. The term "legislative body" includes the following:

"a. The Legislature of Alabama, which includes both the Senate of Alabama and the House of Representatives of Alabama, unless specified otherwise by the express language of any provision herein, and any committee or subcommittee thereof.

"b. A county commission and any committee or subcommittee thereof.

"c. A city council, city commission, town council, or other municipal council or commission, and any committee or subcommittee thereof.

"(20)(27) LOBBY or LOBBYING. The practice of promoting, opposing, or in any manner influencing or attempting to influence the introduction, defeat, or enactment of legislation before any legislative body; opposing or in any manner influencing the executive approval, veto, or amendment of legislation; or the practice of promoting, opposing, or in any manner influencing or attempting to influence the enactment, promulgation, modification, or deletion repeal of regulations before any regulatory body. The term includes promoting, or otherwise attempting to influence, the award of a grant or contract with any department or agency of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government. The term does not include providing public testimony before a legislative body or regulatory body or any committee thereof. or otherwise lawful activities of economic development professionals.

"(21)(28) LOBBYIST.

"a. The term lobbyist includes any of the following:

"1. A person who receives compensation or reimbursement from another person, group, or entity to lobby.

"2. A person who lobbies as a regular and usual part of employment, whether or not any compensation in addition to regular salary and benefits is received.

"3. A consultant to the state, county, or municipal levels of government or their instrumentalities, in any manner employed to influence legislation, or regulation, or the award of a grant or contract with any department or agency of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government, regardless of whether the consultant is paid in whole or in part from state, county, municipal, or private funds.

"4. An employee, a paid consultant, or a member of the staff of a lobbyist, whether or not he or she is paid, who regularly communicates with members of a legislative body regarding pending legislation and other matters while the legislative body is in session.

"b. The term lobbyist does not include any of the following:

"1. An elected A public official acting on a matter which involves that person's official duties and is not done for compensation other than that provided by law.

"2. A person or attorney rendering professional services in drafting bills or in advising clients and in rendering opinions as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislation, executive action, or rules or regulations, where those professional services are not otherwise connected with legislative, executive, or regulatory action.

"3. Reporters and editors while pursuing normal reportorial and editorial duties.

"4. Any citizen not lobbying for compensation who contacts a member of a legislative body, or gives public testimony on a particular issue or on particular legislation, or for the purpose of influencing legislation and who is merely exercising his or her constitutional right to communicate with members of a legislative body.

"5. A person who appears before a legislative body, a regulatory body, or an executive agency to either sell or purchase goods or services.

"6. A person whose primary duties or responsibilities do not include lobbying, but who may, from time to time, organize social events for members of a legislative body to meet and confer with members of professional organizations and who may have only irregular contacts with members of a legislative body when the body is not in session or when the body is in recess.

"7. A person who is a member of a business, professional, or membership organization by virtue of the person's his or her contribution to, or payment of dues to, the organization, even if though the organization engages in lobbying activities.

"8. A state governmental agency head or his or her designee who provides public employee designated by the agency head to provide or communicates, or both, information relating to policy or positions, or both, affecting the governmental agencies which he or she represents.

"9. Economic development professionals.

"(29) MANTLE OF OFFICE. The prestige, power, and influence inherent in one's public office or position.

"(22)(30) MINOR VIOLATION.

"a. Any violation of this chapter in which the public official or public employee receives an economic gain in an amount less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) or the governmental entity has an economic loss of less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).

"b. Any violation of this chapter by a public employee as determined in the discretion of the commission and the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction based upon consideration of the following factors:

"1. The public employee has made substantial or full restitution to the victim or victims.

"2. The violation did not involve multiple participants.

"3. The violation did not involve great monetary gain to the public employee or great monetary loss to the victim or the victims.

"4. The violation did not involve a high degree of sophistication or planning; did not occur over a lengthy period of time, or did not involve multiple victims and did not involve a single victim which was victimized more than once.

"5. The public employee has resigned or has been terminated from the position occupied during which the violation occurred and is otherwise not a current public employee.

"c. The Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction must approve the determination of a minor violation by the commission.

"(31) OFFICIAL ACTION OR OFFICIAL ACT. Any decision, action, promise, withholding of an action, or exercise of discretion made in a public official's or public employee's official capacity, the course of the official duties or responsibilities of a public official or public employee, or placed in such public official's or public employee's trust, duty, or responsibility. The term includes decisions, actions, or promises to act that a reasonable person would believe to be within the public official's or public employee's official capacity or the course or scope of the official duties or responsibility of the official or employee.

"(23)(32) PERSON. A business, A human being individual, corporation, partnership, union, association, firm, committee, club, or other organization or group of persons human beings.

"(24)(33) PRINCIPAL. A

"a. The term includes:

"1. A person or business which who employs, hires, or otherwise retains a lobbyist.

"2. A business that employs, hires, or otherwise retains a lobbyist.

"3. A person who individually has the authority to hire, fire, or direct the activities of a lobbyist either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a business with which the person is associated, including a business for which the person performs compensated work in any capacity, or a business on whose board of directors the person serves. For purposes of this subparagraph, the business may expressly grant or confer authority upon the person or his or her position, or the person may demonstrate his or her authority in fact by his or her actions or conduct.

"b. The term does not include a person or business that is merely a member of an association unless the person or business otherwise meets the criteria of paragraph a.

"A principal is not a lobbyist but is not allowed to give a thing of value.

"(25)(34) PROBABLE CAUSE. A finding that the allegations are more likely than not to have occurred.

"(26)(35) PUBLIC EMPLOYEE. Any person employed at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities, including governmental corporations and authorities, but excluding employees of hospitals or other health care corporations including contract employees of those hospitals or other health care corporations, who is paid in whole or in part from state, county, or municipal funds. For purposes of this chapter, a public employee does not include a person employed on a part-time basis whose employment is limited to providing professional services other than lobbying, the compensation for which constitutes less than 50 percent of the part-time employee's income. The term does not include employees of hospitals or other health care corporations, including contract employees of the hospitals or other health care corporations.

"(27)(36) PUBLIC OFFICIAL. Any person elected to public office, whether or not that person has taken office, by the vote of the people at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities, including governmental corporations, and any person appointed to a position at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities, including governmental corporations. For purposes of this chapter, a public official includes the chairs and vice-chairs or the equivalent offices of each state political party as defined in Section 17-13-40. The term does not include persons who are officials of hospitals or other health care corporations.

"(37) RECKLESSLY. The term shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 13A-2-2.

"(28)(38) REGULATORY BODY. A state agency which issues regulations in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act or a state, county, or municipal department, agency, board, or commission, or governmental corporation or authority which controls, according to rule or regulation, the activities, business licensure, or functions of any group, person, or persons. The term includes, but is not limited to, the commission, the State Board of Adjustment, and the Public Service Commission.

"(29)(39) REPORTING PERIOD. The reporting official's or employee's fiscal tax year as it applies to his or her United States personal income tax return.

"(30)(40) REPORTING YEAR. The reporting official's or employee's fiscal tax year as it applies to his or her United States personal income tax return.

"(31)(41) RESPONDENT. A person alleged to have violated a provision of this chapter and against whom a complaint has been filed with the commission.

"(42) SERVICES. The term shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 13A-8-10.

"(32)(43) STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTERESTS. A financial disclosure form made available adopted by the commission which shall be completed and filed with the commission prior to before April 30 of each year covering the preceding calendar year by certain public officials and public employees.

"(33)(44) SUPERVISOR. Any person having authority to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, or discipline other public employees, or any person responsible to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or to recommend personnel action, if, in connection with the foregoing, the exercise of the authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature but requires the use of independent judgment.

"(34)(45) THING OF VALUE.

"a. Any money or lawful United States currency; gift,; benefit,; favor,; service,; gratuity,; tickets or passes to an entertainment, social or sporting event,; unsecured loan, other than those loans and forbearances made in the ordinary course of business and on terms generally available to the public;, reward,; employment or promise of future employment,; or honoraria; a contribution to a legal defense fund; or other item of monetary value.

"b. The term includes anything offered, provided, solicited, or received either where the recipient expressly or impliedly agrees to accept anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing any decision, official action, or the withholding of official action by the recipient in the recipient's official capacity, or with the expectation that the recipient will be corruptly influenced. The term, thing of value, does not include any of the following, provided that no particular course of action is required as a condition to the receipt thereof:

"c. Subject to paragraph b., the term does not include the following:

"1. Gifts or reciprocal expressions of friendship offered or provided by a friend of the recipient, so long as the circumstances make it clear that the gift or reciprocal expression of friendship was offered or provided for reasons motivated by friendship and was not offered or provided for reasons related to the recipient's official position; or gifts or reciprocal expressions of friendship solicited or received from a friend of the recipient, so long as the circumstances make it clear that the gift or reciprocal expression of friendship was solicited or received for reasons motivated by friendship and was not solicited or received for reasons related to the recipient's official position. This exception does not apply to business or professional dealings of any kind. It shall be prima facie evidence that the circumstances are not clear when the person offering or providing the thing of value has direct and specific interests before the recipient in the recipient's official capacity.

"2. Money or lawful United States currency offered or provided in exchange for an item sold or conveyed, as long as the item was sold or conveyed at fair market value and under circumstances that make it clear the reasons for the sale or conveyance are not related to the recipient's official position. It shall be prima facie evidence that the circumstances are not clear if the item is not available for purchase by the general public and the sale or conveyance was not conducted in the ordinary course of business.

"3. Prospective or actual compensation and other benefits earned from an employer, vendor, client, prospective employer, or other business relationship for services rendered in the ordinary course of employment or business activities, as long as the circumstances make it clear that the compensation and other benefits are provided for reasons unrelated to the recipient's official position. It shall be prima facie evidence that the circumstances are not clear if any of the following exist:

"(i) The services rendered are consulting services or other similar on-demand or as-needed services, except for the services of an attorney representing a client before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying.

"(ii) The services rendered are outside the recipient's field of expertise.

"(iii) The amount of compensation and other benefits earned by the recipient are substantially different from the amount of compensation and other benefits customarily earned by a private citizen for the same or similar services.

"(iv) The employer or prospective employer has direct and specific interests before the recipient in the recipient's official capacity.

"(v) The employer or prospective employer did not make the position generally available to potential recipients other than the public official or public employee.

"(vi) The services are for fundraising of any kind or character and the compensation and other benefits include a commission, bonus, or other incentive based in whole or in part on the amount of funds raised by the recipient.

"(vii) The services are related to the recipient's service as a public official or public employee.

"d. Subject to paragraph b., the term also does not include:

"1. A contribution reported under Chapter 5 of Title 17, or a contribution to an inaugural or transition committee, or a campaign contribution for a federal election which is otherwise lawful.

"2. Anything given offered or provided by a family member of the recipient under circumstances which make it clear that it is was motivated by a family relationship or anything solicited or received from a family member of the recipient under circumstances that make it clear that the offer, provision, solicitation, or receipt was motivated by a family relationship.

"3. Anything given by a friend of the recipient under circumstances which make it clear that it is motivated by a friendship and not given because of the recipient's official position. Relevant factors include whether the friendship preexisted the recipient's status as a public employee, public official, or candidate and whether gifts have been previously exchanged between them.

"4.3. Greeting cards,; flowers for funerals; and other items, services with little intrinsic value which are intended solely for presentation, such as plaques, certificates, and trophies,; promotional items commonly distributed to the general public,; and items or services of de minimis value.

"5.4. Loans from banks and other financial institutions made in the ordinary course of business on terms generally available to the public.

"6.5. Opportunities and benefits, including favorable rates and commercial discounts, available to the public or to a class consisting of all government employees.

"7.6. Rewards and prizes given to competitors in contests or events, including random drawings, which are open to the entire class of people invited to an educational function or to the public.

"8. Anything that is paid for by a governmental entity or an entity created by a governmental entity to support the governmental entity or secured by a governmental entity under contract, except for tickets to a sporting event offered by an educational institution to anyone other than faculty, staff, or administration of the institution.

"9. Anything for which the recipient pays full value.

"10. Compensation and other benefits earned from a non-government employer, vendor, client, prospective employer, or other business relationship in the ordinary course of employment or non-governmental business activities under circumstances which make it clear that the thing is provided for reasons unrelated to the recipient's public service as a public official or public employee.

"11.7. Any assistance provided or rendered in connection with a safety or a health emergency.

"12.8. Payment of or reimbursement for actual and necessary transportation and lodging expenses, as well as waiver of registration fees and similar costs, to facilitate the attendance of a public official or public employee, and the spouse of the public official or public employee, at an educational function or widely attended event of which the person is a primary sponsor. This exclusion applies only if any of the following occur:

"(i) The the public official or public employee meaningfully participates in the event as a speaker or a panel participant, by presenting information related to his or her agency or matters pending before his or her agency., or by performing

"(ii) The public official or public employee performs a ceremonial function appropriate to his or her official position.; or if the

"(iii) The public official's or public employee's attendance at the event is appropriate to the performance of his or her official duties or representative function.

"13.9. Payment of, or reimbursement for, actual and necessary transportation and lodging expenses to facilitate a public official's or public employee's participation in an economic development function.

"14.10. Hospitality, meals, and other food and beverages provided to a public official or public employee, and the spouse of the public official or public employee, as an integral part of an educational function, economic development function, work session, or widely attended event, such as a luncheon, banquet, or reception hosted by a civic club, chamber of commerce, charitable or educational organization, or trade or professional association.

"15.11. Any function or activity pre-certified by the Director director of the Ethics Commission commission as a function that meets any of the above criteria.

"16.12. Meals and other food and beverages provided to a public official or public employee in a setting other than any of the above functions not to exceed for a lobbyist or a principal twenty-five dollars ($25) per meal with a limit of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) per year; and not to exceed for a principal fifty dollars ($50) per meal with a limit of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per year. For purposes of this subparagraph, if a principal is a business, the limit applies regardless of how many persons at that business qualify as principals. A business that is a principal and any person within that business who qualifies as a principal by virtue of his or her position within that business may not aggregate or stack his or her spending limit to avoid the limitation in this subparagraph. Any spending by a lobbyist counts toward his or her own limit, whether or not the principal reimburses the lobbyist. A person employed by a principal, who is not himself or herself a principal or a lobbyist, is not limited by this subparagraph unless the principal is directly or indirectly acting through the person to avoid the limits in this subparagraph. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the lobbyist's limits herein shall not count against the principal's limits and likewise, the principal's limits shall not count against the lobbyist's limits.

"17.13. Anything either (i) provided by an association or organization to which the state or, in the case of a local government official or employee, the local government pays annual dues as a membership requirement or (ii) provided by an association or organization to a public official who is a member of the association or organization and, as a result of his or her service to the association or organization, is deemed to be a public official. Further included in this exception is payment of reasonable compensation by a professional or local government association or corporation to a public official who is also an elected officer or director of the professional or local government association or corporation for services actually provided to the association or corporation in his or her capacity as an officer or director.

"18.14. Any benefit received as a discount on accommodations, when the discount is given to the public official because the public official is a member of an organization or association whose entire membership receives the discount.

"15. Any tax-deductible contribution, charitable donation, or other donation to a charity or other non-profit, except where the public official, public employee, or family member of the public official or public employee benefits financially, directly or indirectly, from the donation or contribution.

"16. Prospective or actual compensation and other benefits earned by a public official or public employee in his or her official capacity and as provided by law.

"17. A ticket or pass to an entertainment, social, or sporting event bought or purchased with money or lawful United States currency by a public official or public employee at the face value printed on the ticket.

"18. An item bought or purchased with money or lawful United States currency by a public official or public employee at a fair market value.

"19. Anything that is solicited, received, offered, or provided by a governmental entity or an entity created by a governmental entity to support the governmental entity or secured by a governmental entity under contract, provided that the thing solicited, received, offered, or provided is reasonably related to the performance of the recipient's official duties or the administration of the recipient's public office. This exception does not include tickets to a sporting event offered by an educational institution to anyone other than faculty, staff, or administration of the institution.

"c.e. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to limit, prohibit, or otherwise require the disclosure of gifts through inheritance received by a public employee or public official.

"f. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as shifting the burden of proof in a criminal case to the defendant.

"(35) VALUE. The fair market price of a like item if purchased by a private citizen. In the case of tickets to social and sporting events and associated passes, the value is the face value printed on the ticket.

"(36)(46) WIDELY ATTENDED EVENT. A gathering, dinner, reception, or other event of mutual interest to a number of parties at which it is reasonably expected that more than 12 a significant number of persons individuals will attend, and that the persons individuals present will have with a diversity of views or interests, and that the event's activities will be integral to the event and not merely collateral to the event present. The commission shall develop, adopt, and implement, pursuant to administrative rule, the criteria for widely attended events.

§36-25-2.

"(a) All provisions of this chapter shall be interpreted consistent with the following provisions, which the The Legislature hereby finds and declares:

"(1) It is essential to the The proper operation of democratic government requires that public officials be independent, and impartial, and responsible to the people.

"(2) Governmental decisions and policy should be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure.

"(3) No public office should be used for personal or private gain other than the remuneration compensation provided by law.

"(4) It is important that there be public Public confidence in the integrity of government is essential.

"(5) A conflict of interest between the private interests of a public official or a public employee and the duties of the public official or public employee impairs the attainment of the ends set forth in this subsection. The attainment of one or more of the ends set forth in this subsection is impaired whenever there exists a conflict of interest between the private interests of a public official or a public employee and the duties of the public official or public employee.

"(6) The public interest requires that the law protect against such conflicts of interest and establish appropriate ethical standards with respect to the conduct of public officials and public employees in situations where conflicts exist.

"(7) The proper operation of government also requires that those best qualified be encouraged to serve in government.

"(8) Accordingly, legal safeguards against conflicts of interest shall be so designed as to not unnecessarily or unreasonably impede the service of those persons who are elected or appointed to a position of public trust.

"(9) Although public officials and public employees should not be denied the opportunity, available to all other citizens, to acquire and retain private economic and other interests, conflicts between those interests and public officials' and public employees' responsibility to the public must be avoided.

"(10) The operation of responsible democratic government also requires that the fullest opportunity be afforded to the people to petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely to the legislative bodies and to officials of the Executive Branch their opinions on legislation, on pending governmental actions, and on current issues.

"(11) To preserve and maintain the integrity of the legislative and administrative processes, it is necessary that the identity, expenditures, and activities of certain persons who engage in efforts to persuade members of the legislative bodies or members of the Executive Branch to take specific actions, either by direct communication to these officials, or by solicitation of others to engage in such efforts, be publicly and regularly disclosed.

"(b) The Legislature declares that it is the policy and purpose of this chapter to implement these objectives of protecting the integrity of all governmental units of this state and of facilitating the service of qualified personnel by prescribing essential restrictions against conflicts of interest in public service without creating unnecessary barriers thereto. It is also essential to the proper operation of government that those best qualified be encouraged to serve in government. Accordingly, legal safeguards against conflicts of interest shall be so designed as not to unnecessarily or unreasonably impede the service of those men and women who are elected or appointed to do so. An essential principle underlying the staffing of our governmental structure is that its public officials and public employees should not be denied the opportunity, available to all other citizens, to acquire and retain private economic and other interests, except where conflicts with the responsibility of public officials and public employees to the public cannot be avoided.

"(c) This chapter shall be liberally construed to promote complete disclosure of all relevant information, to ensure that the public interest is fully protected, and to discourage corrupt practices by those in public service. The Legislature declares that the operation of responsible democratic government requires that the fullest opportunity be afforded to the people to petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely to the legislative bodies and to officials of the Executive Branch, their opinions on legislation, on pending governmental actions, and on current issues. To preserve and maintain the integrity of the legislative and administrative processes, it is necessary that the identity, expenditures, and activities of certain persons who engage in efforts to persuade members of the legislative bodies or members of the Executive Branch to take specific actions, either by direct communication to these officials, or by solicitation of others to engage in such efforts, be publicly and regularly disclosed. This chapter shall be liberally construed to promote complete disclosure of all relevant information and to insure that the public interest is fully protected.

"(d) It is the policy and purpose of this chapter to implement these objectives of protecting the integrity of all governmental units of this state and of facilitating the service of qualified personnel by prescribing essential restrictions against conflicts of interest in public service without creating unnecessary barriers thereto.

§36-25-3.

"(a) There is hereby created a State Ethics Commission composed of five members, each of whom shall be a fair, equitable citizen of this state and of high moral character and ability. The following persons shall not be eligible to be appointed as members: (1) a public official; (2) a candidate; (3) a registered lobbyist and his or her principal; or (4) a former employee of the commission. No member of the commission shall be eligible for reappointment to succeed himself or herself. The members of the commission shall be appointed by the following officers: The Governor;, the Lieutenant Governor, or in the absence of a Lieutenant Governor, the Presiding Officer of the Senate;, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Appointments shall be subject to Senate confirmation and persons appointed shall assume their duties upon confirmation by the Senate. The members of the first commission shall be appointed for terms of office expiring one, two, three, four, and five years, respectively, from September 1, 1975. Successors to the members of the first commission shall serve for a term of five years beginning service on September 1 of the year appointed and serving until their successors are appointed and confirmed. If at any time there should be a vacancy on the commission, a successor member to serve for the unexpired term applicable to such vacancy shall be appointed by the Governor. The commission shall elect one member to serve as chair of the commission and one member to serve as vice chair. The vice chair shall act as chair in the absence or disability of the chair or in the event of a vacancy in that office.

"Beginning with the first vacancy on the Ethics Commission commission after October 1, 1995, if there is not a Black member serving on the commission, that vacancy shall be filled by a Black appointee. Any vacancy thereafter occurring on the commission shall also be filled by a Black appointee if there is no Black member serving on the commission at that time.

"Beginning with the first vacancy on the State Ethics Commission commission after January 1, 2011, the commission shall always have as a member a State of Alabama-licensed attorney in good standing.

"Beginning with the first vacancy on the State Ethics Commission commission after January 1, 2016, the commission shall always have as a member a former elected public official who served at least two terms of office.

"(b) A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the commission, and three members thereof shall constitute a quorum.

"(c) The commission shall at the close of each fiscal year, or as soon thereafter as practicable, report to the Legislature and the Governor concerning the actions it has taken;, the name, salary, and duties of the director;, the names and duties of all persons individuals in its employ;, the money it has disbursed;, other relevant matters within its jurisdiction;, and such recommendations for legislation as the commission deems appropriate.

"(d) Members of the commission, while serving on the business of the commission, shall be entitled to receive compensation at the rate of fifty dollars ($50) per day, and each member shall be paid his or her travel expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the commission as other state employees and officials are paid when approved by the chair. If for any reason a member of the commission wishes not to claim and accept the compensation or travel expenses, the member shall inform the director, in writing, of the refusal. The member may at any time during his or her term begin accepting compensation or travel expenses; however, the member's refusal for any covered period shall act as an irrevocable waiver for that period.

"(e) All members, officers, agents, attorneys, and employees of the commission shall be subject to this chapter. The director, members of the commission, and all employees of the commission may not engage in partisan political activity, including the making of campaign contributions, on the state, county, and local levels. The prohibition shall in no way act to limit or restrict such persons' ability to vote in any election.

"(f) The commission shall appoint a full-time director. Appointment of the director shall be subject to Senate confirmation, and the person appointed shall assume his or her duties upon confirmation by the Senate. If the Senate fails to vote on an appointee's confirmation before adjourning sine die during the session in which the director is appointed, the appointee is deemed to be confirmed. No appointee whose confirmation is rejected by the Senate may be reappointed. The director shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and shall appoint such other employees as needed. All such employees, except the director, shall be employed subject to the state Merit System law, and their compensation shall be prescribed pursuant to that law. The employment of attorneys shall be subject to subsection (h). The compensation of the director shall be fixed by the commission, payable as the salaries of other state employees. The director shall be responsible for the administrative operations of the commission and shall administer this chapter in accordance with the commission's policies. No rule shall be implemented by the director until adopted by the commission in accordance with Sections 41-22-1 to 41-22-27, inclusive, the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act.

"(g) The director may appoint part-time stenographic reporters or certified court reporters, as needed, to take and transcribe the testimony in any formal or informal hearing or investigation before the commission or before any person authorized by the commission. The reporters are not full-time employees of the commission, are not subject to the Merit System law, and may not participate in the State Retirement System.

"(h) The director, with the approval of the Attorney General, may appoint competent attorneys as legal counsel for the commission. Each attorney so appointed shall be of good moral and ethical character, licensed to practice law in this state, and be a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar Association. Each attorney shall be commissioned as an assistant or deputy attorney general and, in addition to the powers and duties herein conferred, shall have the authority and duties of an assistant or deputy attorney general, except, that his or her entire time shall be devoted to the commission. Each attorney shall act on behalf of the commission in actions or proceedings brought by or against the commission pursuant to any law under the commission's jurisdiction or in which the commission joins or intervenes as to a matter within the commission's jurisdiction or as a friend of the court or otherwise.

"(i) The director shall designate in writing the chief investigator, should there be one, and a maximum of eight full-time investigators who shall be and are hereby constituted law enforcement officers of the State of Alabama with full and unlimited police power and jurisdiction to enforce the laws of this state pertaining to the operation and administration of the commission and this chapter. Investigators shall meet the requirements of the Alabama Peace Officers' Standards and Training Act, Sections 36-21-40 to 36-21-51, inclusive, and shall in all ways and for all purposes be considered law enforcement officers entitled to all benefits provided in Section 36-15-6(f). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the investigators shall only exercise their power of arrest as granted under this chapter pursuant to an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction."

Section 2. Sections 36-25-3.1, 36-25-3.2, and 36-25-3.3 are added to the Code of Alabama 1975, to read as follows:

§36-25-3.1.

(a) An employee of an educational institution is not subject to Section 36-25-5.1, Section 36-25-14, and Section 36-25-23.

(b) For purposes of this section, an "employee of an educational institution" means a public employee employed by a pre-school, elementary school, middle or junior high school, high school, kindergarten through twelfth grade educational institution, or other secondary school, or a public employee employed as a coach or subordinate of a coach of an athletic team of any institution of higher education that receives state funds. The term does not include persons identified in Subdivisions (8) and (9) of subsection (a) of Section 36-25-14 or a public employee that is also a public official.

(c) Notwithstanding Sections 36-25-5.1 and 36-25-23, a full-time public employee employed by a university, institution of higher education that receives state funds, community college, or other post-secondary educational institution, may perform fundraising activities in his or her official duties as a public employee or board of trustees member.

(d) A member of a board of trustees of an institution described in subsection (c) is not subject to Section 36-25-14. Notwithstanding Sections 36-25-5.1 and 36-25-23, a board of trustees member may perform fundraising activities in his or her official duties as a board of trustees member.

§36-25-3.2.

(a) Except for persons occupying a chief or deputy chief position, a law enforcement officer or a first-responder employee who is not otherwise a public official is not subject to Section 36-25-5.1, Section 36-25-14, or Section 36-25-23.

(b) For purposes of this section, a "first-responder employee" means a public employee employed as a full-time firefighter, emergency medical technician, certified first responder, emergency medical responder, medical first responder, or paramedic.

§36-25-3.3.

(a) Notwithstanding Section 36-25-1(b)(45)d., the caucuses of each state political party, as defined in Section 17-13-40, in the Senate of Alabama or the House of Representatives of Alabama may solicit or receive meals and other food and beverages from a lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal, so long as all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The items are provided during an event where a majority of the caucus members are present.

(2) The event occurs while the Legislature is in session.

(3) The event occurs within the geographical limits of Montgomery County, Alabama.

(4) The fair market value of the items does not exceed twenty five dollars ($25) per caucus member for each event, with a yearly limit of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) per caucus member.

(5) An integral part of the event involves presenting information by the lobbyist, a subordinate of a lobbyist, or a principal related to matters pending before members of the caucus in their official capacities.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 36-25-1(b)(45)d., a lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal may offer or provide the items referenced in subsection (a), so long as the criteria set forth in subdivisions (a)(1) through (a)(5) are satisfied.

(c) For purposes of this section, if a principal is a business, this limit applies regardless of how many persons at that business qualify as principals. A business that is a principal and any persons within that business who qualify as principals by virtue of their position within that business may not aggregate or stack their spending limit to avoid the limitations in this subsection. Any spending by a lobbyist counts toward his or her own limit, whether or not the principal reimburses the lobbyist. A person employed by a principal, who is not himself or herself a principal or a lobbyist, is not limited by this subsection unless the principal is directly or indirectly acting through the person to avoid the limits in this section.

(d) The lobbyist or principal shall report any expenditure pursuant to this section to the commission including the date, time, and location of the event; the name of the caucus; the members of the caucus who attended the event; the total amount paid for the items; and a general description of the information provided by the lobbyist, subordinate of the lobbyist, or principal. Such report shall be made a public record and shall be filed no later than the end of the month following the month in which the event was held.

Section 3. Section 36-25-4 and 36-25-4.2, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§36-25-4.

"(a) The commission shall do all of the following:

"(1) Prescribe forms for statements required to be filed by this chapter and make the forms available to persons required to file such statements.

"(2) Prepare guidelines setting forth recommended uniform methods of reporting for use by persons required to file statements required by this chapter.

"(3) Accept and file any written information voluntarily supplied that exceeds the requirements of this chapter.

"(4) Develop, where practicable, a filing, coding, and cross-indexing system consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

"(5) Make reports and statements filed with the commission available during regular business hours and online via the Internet to public inquiry subject to such regulations as the commission may prescribe.

"(6) Preserve reports and statements for a period consistent with the statute of limitations as contained in this chapter. The reports and statements, when no longer required to be retained, shall be disposed of by shredding the reports and statements and disposing of or recycling them, or otherwise disposing of the reports and statements in any other manner prescribed by law. Nothing in this section shall in any manner limit the Department of Archives and History from receiving and retaining any documents pursuant to existing law.

"(7) Make investigations with respect to statements filed pursuant to this chapter, and with respect to alleged failures to file, or omissions contained therein, any statement required pursuant to this chapter and, upon complaint by any individual person, with respect to alleged violation of any part of this chapter to the extent authorized by law. When in its opinion a thorough audit of any person or any business should be made in order to determine whether this chapter has been violated, the commission shall direct the Examiner of Public Accounts to have an audit made and a report thereof filed with the commission. The Examiner of Public Accounts, upon receipt of the directive, shall comply therewith.

"(8) Report suspected violations of law to the appropriate law-enforcement authorities.

"(9) Issue and publish advisory opinions on the requirements of this chapter, based on a real or hypothetical set of circumstances. Such advisory opinions shall be adopted by a majority vote of the members of the commission present and shall be effective and deemed valid until expressly overruled or altered by the commission or a court of competent jurisdiction. The written advisory opinions of the commission shall protect the person at whose request the opinion was issued and any other person reasonably relying, in good faith, on the advisory opinion in a materially like circumstance from liability to the state, a county, or a municipal subdivision of the state because of any action performed or action refrained from in reliance of on the advisory opinion. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to protect any person relying on the advisory opinion if the reliance is not in good faith, is not reasonable, or is not in a materially like circumstance. The commission may impose reasonable charges for publication of the advisory opinions, and monies shall be collected, deposited, dispensed, or retained as provided herein. On October 1, 1995, Further, the director or general counsel of the commission may provide informal advice or guidance to a public official or public employee at the request of the public official or public employee only if a previous formal written opinion of the commission applies to the request on its face. Such informal advice or guidance shall be in writing. The commission, by rule, shall develop and implement a written questionnaire form for the purpose of facilitating the good faith disclosure of all material facts by requestors seeking formal or informal opinions. Before a formal or informal opinion may be issued by the commission, an affidavit or other statement under oath must be submitted by the requestor which certifies that, to the best of the requestor's knowledge, all material facts have been fully disclosed and are true and accurate. On the effective date of the act adding this amendatory language, all prior advisory opinions of the commission in conflict with this chapter, shall be ineffective and thereby deemed invalid and otherwise overruled. unless there has been any action performed or action refrained from Notwithstanding the foregoing, a prior opinion in conflict with this chapter is effective with respect to a person who has taken or refrained from any action in reliance of on a prior advisory the opinion.

"(10) Initiate and continue, where practicable, programs for the purpose of educating candidates, officials, employees, and citizens of Alabama on matters of ethics in government service.

"(11) In accordance with Sections 41-22-1 to 41-22-27, inclusive, the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, prescribe, publish, and enforce rules to carry out this chapter.

"(b) Additionally, the commission shall work with the Secretary of State to implement the reporting requirements of the Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act and shall do all of the following:

"(1) Approve all forms required by the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

"(2) Suggest accounting methods for candidates, principal campaign committees, and political action committees in connection with reports and filings required by the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

"(3) Approve a retention policy for all reports, filings, and underlying documentation required by the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

"(4) Approve a manual for all candidates, principal campaign committees, and political action committees, describing the requirements of the Fair Campaign Practices Act that shall be published by the Secretary of State.

"(5) Investigate and hold hearings for receiving evidence regarding alleged violations of the Fair Campaign Practices Act as set forth in this chapter that demonstrates a likelihood that the Fair Campaign Practices Act has been violated.

"(6) Conduct or authorize audits of any filings required under the Fair Campaign Practices Act if evidence exists that an audit is warranted because of the filing of a complaint in the form required by this chapter or if there exists a material discrepancy or conflict on the face of any filing required by the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

"(7) Affirm, set aside, or reduce civil penalties as provided in Section 17-5-19.2.

"(8) Refer all evidence and information necessary to the Attorney General or appropriate district attorney for prosecution of any criminal violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act as set forth in this chapter.

"(9) Make investigations with respect to statements filed pursuant to the Fair Campaign Practices Act, and with respect to alleged failures to file, or omissions contained therein, any statement required pursuant to the Fair Campaign Practices Act and, upon complaint by any individual person, with respect to alleged violation of any part of that act to the extent authorized by law. When in its opinion a thorough audit of any person or any business should be made in order to determine whether the Fair Campaign Practices Act has been violated, the commission shall may direct the Examiner of Public Accounts to have an audit made and a report thereof filed with the commission. The Examiner of Public Accounts, upon receipt of the directive, shall comply therewith.

"(10) Issue and publish advisory opinions on the requirements of the Fair Campaign Practices Act, based on a real or hypothetical set of circumstances. Such advisory opinions shall be adopted by a majority vote of the members of the commission present and shall be effective and deemed valid until expressly overruled or altered by the commission or a court of competent jurisdiction. The written advisory opinions of the commission shall protect the person at whose request the opinion was issued and any other person reasonably relying, in good faith, on the advisory opinion in a materially like circumstance from liability of any kind because of any action performed or action refrained from in reliance of on the advisory opinion. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to protect any person relying on the advisory opinion if the reliance is not in good faith, is not reasonable, or is not in a materially like circumstance. The director or general counsel of the commission may provide informal advice or guidance to a public official or public employee at the request of the public official or public employee only if a previous formal written opinion of the commission applies to the request on its face. Such informal advice or guidance shall be in writing. The commission, by rule, shall develop and implement a written questionnaire form for the purpose of facilitating the good faith disclosure of all material facts by requestors seeking formal or informal opinions. Before a formal or informal opinion may be issued by the commission, an affidavit or other statement under oath must be submitted by the requestor which certifies that, to the best of the requestor's knowledge, all material facts have been fully disclosed and are true and accurate. On the effective date of the act adding this amendatory language, all prior advisory opinions of the commission in conflict with Chapter 5 of Title 17 shall be ineffective and thereby deemed invalid and otherwise overruled. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a prior advisory opinion in conflict with Chapter 5 of Title 17 is effective with respect to a person who has taken or refrained from any action in reliance on the opinion. The commission may impose reasonable charges for publication of the advisory opinions and monies shall be collected, deposited, dispensed, or retained as provided herein.

"(11) In accordance with Sections 41-22-1 to 41-22-27, inclusive, the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, prescribe, publish, and enforce rules to carry out this section.

"(c) (1) The commission may disclose or provide to the Attorney General or a district attorney any information or evidence concerning the investigation of any complaint initiated in accordance with this chapter. All disclosures pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the restrictions set forth in subdivision (2).

"(2) Except as necessary to permit the sharing of information and evidence with the Attorney General or a district attorney, a A complaint filed pursuant to this chapter or the Fair Campaign Practices Act, together with any statement, evidence, or information received from the complainant, witnesses, or other persons shall be protected by and subject to the same restrictions relating to secrecy and nondisclosure of information, conversation, knowledge, or evidence of Sections 12-16-214 to 12-16-216, inclusive, except that a violation of this section shall constitute a Class C felony. Such restrictions shall apply to all investigatory activities taken by the director, the commission, or a member thereof, staff, employees, or any person engaged by the commission in response to a complaint filed with the commission and to all proceedings relating thereto before the commission. Such restrictions shall also apply to all information and evidence supplied to the Attorney General or district attorney. Such restrictions shall also apply to the complainant regarding all proceedings before the commission, unless and until any investigation of the complaint has concluded or until a finding of probable cause has been made by the commission.

"(3) Notwithstanding any provision in the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure, any and all of the commission's law enforcement investigative reports; related investigative material; records; field notes; witness statements or prospective witness statements; memoranda; witness lists; communications among or between the commission or its staff and any law enforcement officer or agency or any prosecutor; and other investigative writings or recordings, in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a matter are privileged communications protected from disclosure, except where the material is requested by the Attorney General or district attorney or is subpoenaed by a state or federal grand jury. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the discovery of exculpatory material or other material to which a defendant in a criminal case is entitled under constitutional provisions.

"(d) The commission shall not take any investigatory action on a telephonic or written complaint against a respondent so long as the complainant remains anonymous. Investigatory action on a complaint from an identifiable source shall not be initiated until the true identity of the source has been ascertained and written verification of such ascertainment is in the commission's files. The complaint may only be filed by a person who has or persons who have credible and verifiable information supporting the allegations contained in the complaint. A complainant may not file a complaint for another person or persons in order to circumvent this subsection. Before Prior to commencing any investigation, the commission shall: (1) receive a written and signed complaint which sets forth in detail the specific charges against a respondent, and the factual allegations which support such charges; and (2) the director shall conduct a preliminary inquiry in order to make an initial determination that the complaint, on its face alleges facts which if true, would constitute a violation of this chapter or the Fair Campaign Practices Act and that reasonable cause exists to conduct an investigation. If the director determines that the complaint does not allege a violation or that reasonable cause does not exist, the charges shall be dismissed, but such action must be reported to the commission. The commission shall be entitled to authorize an investigation upon written consent of four commission members, upon an express finding that probable cause exists that a violation or violations of this chapter or the Fair Campaign Practices Act have occurred. Upon the commencement of any investigation, the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure as applicable to the grand jury process promulgated by the Alabama Supreme Court shall apply and shall remain in effect until the complaint is dismissed or disposed of in some other manner. A complaint may be initiated by a vote of four members of the commission, provided, however, that the commission shall not conduct the hearing, but rather the hearing shall be conducted by three active or retired judges, who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, at least one of whom shall be Black. The three-judge panel shall conduct the hearing in accordance with the procedures contained in this chapter and in accordance with the rules of the commission. If the three-judge panel unanimously finds that a person covered by this chapter has violated it or that the person covered by the Fair Campaign Practices Act has violated that act, the three-judge panel shall forward the case to the district attorney for the jurisdiction in which the alleged acts occurred or to the Attorney General. In all matters that come before the commission concerning a complaint on a person an individual, the laws of due process shall apply.

"(e) Not less than 45 days before prior to any hearing before the commission, the respondent shall be given notice that a complaint has been filed against him or her and shall be given a summary of the charges contained therein. Upon the timely request of the respondent, a continuance of the hearing for not less than 30 days shall be granted for good cause shown. The respondent charged in the complaint shall have the right to be represented by retained legal counsel. The commission may not require the respondent to be a witness against himself or herself.

"(f) The commission shall provide discovery to the respondent pursuant to the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure as promulgated by the Alabama Supreme Court.

"(g)(1) All fees, penalties, and fines collected by the commission pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the State General Fund.

"(2) All monies collected as reasonable payment of costs for copying, reproductions, publications, and lists shall be deemed a refund against disbursement and shall be deposited into the appropriate fund account for the use of the commission.

"(h) In the course of an investigation, the commission may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance and may also require the production of books, papers, documents, and other evidence. If any person fails to comply with any subpoena lawfully issued, or if any witness refuses to produce evidence or to testify as to any matter relevant to the investigation, it shall be the duty of any court of competent jurisdiction or the judge thereof, upon the application of the director, to compel obedience upon penalty for contempt, as in the case of disobedience of a subpoena issued for such court or a refusal to testify therein. A subpoena may be issued only upon the vote of four members of the commission upon the express written request of the director. The subpoena shall be subject to Rules 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, and 17.4 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure. The commission upon seeking issuance of the subpoena shall serve a notice to the recipient of the intent to serve such subpoena. Upon the expiration of 10 days from the service of the notice and the The proposed subpoena shall be attached to the notice. Any person or entity served with a subpoena may serve an objection to the issuance of the subpoena within 10 days after service of the notice on the grounds set forth under Rule 17.3(c) of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure, and in such event the subpoena shall not issue until an order to dismiss, modify, or issue the subpoena is entered by a state court of proper jurisdiction, the order to be entered within 30 days after making of the objection. Any vote taken by the members of the commission relative to the issuance of a subpoena shall be protected by and subject to the restrictions relating to secrecy and nondisclosure of information, conversation, knowledge, or evidence of Sections 12-16-214 to 12-16-216, inclusive.

"(i) After receiving or initiating a complaint, the commission has 180 days to determine whether probable cause exists. At the expiration of 180 days from the date of receipt or commencement of a complaint, if the commission does not find probable cause, the complaint shall be deemed dismissed and cannot be reinstated based on the same facts alleged in the complaint. Upon good cause shown from the general counsel and chief investigator, the director may request from the commission a one-time extension of 180 days. Upon the majority vote of the commission, the staff may be granted a one-time extension of 180 days in which to complete the investigation. If the commission finds probable cause that a person covered by this chapter has violated it or that the person covered by the Fair Campaign Practices Act has violated that act, the case and the commission's findings shall be forwarded to the district attorney for the jurisdiction in which the alleged acts occurred or to the Attorney General. The case, along with the commission's findings, shall be referred for appropriate legal action. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit the commission's ability to take appropriate legal action when so requested by the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction or by the Attorney General.

"(j) Within 180 days of receiving a case referred by the commission, the Attorney General or district attorney to whom the case was referred may, upon written request of the commission notify the commission, in writing, stating whether he or she intends to take action against the respondent, including an administrative disposition or settlement, conduct further investigation, or close the case without taking action. If the Attorney General or district attorney decides to pursue the case, he or she, upon written request of the commission, may inform the commission of the final disposition of the case. The written information pursuant to this section shall be maintained by the commission and made available upon request as a public record. The director may request an oral status update from the Attorney General or district attorney from time to time.

§36-25-4.2.

"(a) At the beginning of each legislative quadrennium, the State Ethics Commission commission shall provide for and administer training programs on the State Ethics Law, in the format determined by the director, for members of the Legislature, state constitutional officers, cabinet officers, executive staff, municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, county commissioners, and lobbyists.

"(1) The training program for legislators shall be held at least once at the beginning of each quadrennium for members of the Legislature. An additional training program shall be held if any substantial changes are made to this chapter, and shall be held within three months of the effective date of the changes. The time and place of the training programs shall be determined by the Executive Director director of the State Ethics Commission commission and the Legislative Council. Each legislator must attend the training programs. The State Ethics Commission commission shall also provide a mandatory program for any legislator elected in a special election within three months of the date that the legislator assumes office in the format determined by the director.

"(2) The training program for the state constitutional officers, cabinet members, and executive staff, as determined by the Governor, shall be held within the first 30 days after the Governor has been sworn into office. An additional training program shall be held if any changes are made to this chapter, and shall be held within three months of the effective date of the changes. The specific date of the training program shall be established by the Executive Director director of the State Ethics Commission commission with the advice of the Governor and other constitutional officers.

"(3) The training program for lobbyists shall be held four times annually as designated by the Executive Director director of the State Ethics Commission commission, the first of which shall be held within the first 30 days of the year. Each lobbyist must attend a training program within 90 days of registering as a lobbyist., and at least one training program during the first calendar year of each legislative quadrennium. A lobbyist who fails to attend a training program required by this section shall not be allowed to lobby the Legislature, Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, public officials, or public employees. After attending one training program, until that lobbyist re-registers with the commission and attends a training program within 90 days after re-registering. Except for the mandatory initial and quadrennial training programs set forth in this subdivision, a lobbyist shall not be required to attend an additional training program unless any substantial changes are made to this chapter. Such additional mandatory training program shall be mandatory and shall be held within three months of the effective date of the changes. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the director may permit any lobbyist, in lieu of physical attendance for a training program, to attend virtually, online, or through a webinar.

"(4) All municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, county commissioners, and members of any local board of education in office as of January 1, 2011, shall obtain training within 120 days of that date. Thereafter, all municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, and county commissioners shall obtain training within 120 days of being sworn into office. Training shall be available online and may be conducted either online or in person. Evidence of completion of the training shall be provided to the commission via an electronic reporting system provided on the official website. The scheduling of training opportunities for municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, and county commissioners shall be established by the Executive Director director of the State Ethics Commission commission with the advice and assistance of the Alabama League of Municipalities and the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. Any provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, the training for county commissioners required by this subdivision shall be satisfied by the successful completion of the 10-hour course on ethical requirements of public officials provided by the Alabama Local Government Training Institute established pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 11. The Alabama Local Government Training Institute shall quarterly provide written notice to the State Ethics Commission commission the names of those county commissioners completing the institute's program.

"(b) The curriculum of each session and faculty for the training program shall be determined by the Executive Director director of the State Ethics Commission commission. The curriculum shall include, but not be limited to, a review of the current law, a discussion of actual cases and advisory opinions on which the State Ethics Commission commission has ruled, and a question and answer period for attendees. The faculty for the training program may include the staff of the State Ethics Commission commission, members of the faculties of the various law schools in the state, and other persons deemed appropriate by the Executive Director director of the State Ethics Commission commission, and shall include experts in the field of ethics law, persons affected by the ethics law, and members of the press and media.

"(c) Except as provided herein, attendance at any session of the training program shall be mandatory, except in the event the person is suffering a catastrophic illness.

"(d) This section shall not preclude the penalizing, prosecution, or conviction of any member of the Legislature, any public official, or public employee prior to before such person attending a mandatory training program.

"(e) All public employees required to file the Statement of Economic Interests required by Section 36-25-14, no later than May 1, 2011, shall participate in an online educational review of the Alabama Ethics Law provided on the official website of the commission. Employees hired after January 1, 2011, shall have 90 days to comply with this subsection. Evidence of completion of the educational review shall be provided to the commission via an electronic reporting system provided on the official website."

Section 4. Section 36-25-4.4 is added to the Code of Alabama 1975, to read as follows:

§36-25-4.4

(a) A public official or public employee may file with the commission a written request to form a legal defense fund. The request shall contain all of the following:

(1) The name, street address, telephone number, and public office or public position of the public official or public employee who is the beneficiary of the legal defense fund.

(2) The name, street address, and telephone number of the person designated as the treasurer of the legal defense fund. The treasurer of the legal defense fund may not be the public official or public employee or an attorney who represents the public official or public employee.

(3) A sworn statement of the public official or public employee verifying that he or she is a person under investigation for a violation of this chapter, or Chapter 5 of Title 17, has been arrested or indicted for a violation of this chapter or Chapter 5 of Title 17, is the subject of a pending complaint filed with the commission, or is the subject of a matter which has been referred by the commission to the Attorney General or a district attorney.

(4) The name, street address, and telephone number of the legal defense fund. The name of the legal defense fund shall include the words "legal defense fund" and the full name of the public employee or public official who is the beneficiary of the legal defense fund.

(b) The director shall approve the request to form a legal defense fund upon receipt of information that satisfies all the requirements of subsection (a). The commission shall require a statement of organization to be filed with the commission within ten days of approval of the request. The statement of organization shall contain the information in subsection (a) and is a public record.

(c) If any of the information required in a statement of organization under this section changes, the legal defense fund shall file an amended statement of organization containing the updated information within ten days.

(d) When a legal defense fund is dissolved, the public employee or public official shall file a statement of dissolution with the commission and shall return any unexpended funds pro rata to the contributors of the funds or forward the unexpended funds to the State Treasurer for deposit into the state General Fund. A legal defense fund is dissolved by operation of law upon the conclusion of any of the matters set forth in subdivision (a)(3), upon expiration of the time for filing a notice of appeal of a conviction, or, if an appeal is taken from the judgment of conviction, the completion of the person's direct appeal.

(e) The treasurer of a legal defense fund shall file a monthly report with the commission. The report is a public record and shall contain the following information:

(1) All contributions received by the fund for the preceding month; the name, address, and telephone number of any contributor; the amount of the contribution; the date on which the contribution was made; the cumulative amount contributed by that contributor; and the contributor's occupation, employer, and principal place of business.

(2) All expenditures of the fund for the preceding month; the name, address, and telephone number of the person or business to whom the expenditure was made; the amount of the expenditure; the date of the expenditure; and the purpose of the expenditure.

(f) No public official, public employee, or any other person or business may solicit or receive a contribution for the purpose of defending the public official or public employee in a matter in which the public official or public employee is a person under investigation for a violation of this chapter or Chapter 5 of Title 17; has been arrested or indicted for a violation of this chapter or Chapter 5 of Title 17; is the subject of a pending complaint filed with the commission; or is the subject of a matter which has been referred by the commission to the Attorney General or a district attorney, unless the contribution is made to a legal defense fund that complies with the requirements of this section.

(g) No person or business may offer or provide an anonymous contribution. The treasurer of a legal defense fund may not solicit or receive an anonymous contribution. An anonymous contribution to a legal defense fund shall not be deposited in the fund, but shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer for deposit into the State General Fund.

(h)(1) A lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal may not offer or provide a contribution, directly or indirectly, to any legal defense fund.

(2) A person or business may not solicit or receive a contribution, directly or indirectly, to a legal defense fund from a lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal.

(3) A person or business may not solicit or receive a contribution, directly or indirectly, to a legal defense fund from a principal campaign committee as defined in Section 17-5-2, an inaugural or transition committee, any campaign account organized under Chapter 5 of Title 17, any campaign account organized for a federal election, or any state or federal political action committee.

(i) Contributions to a legal defense fund may be used only for the following items or services:

(1) The services of an attorney representing the public official or public employee in a matter in which the public official or public employee is a person under investigation for a violation of this chapter or Chapter 5 of Title 17, has been arrested or indicted for a violation of this chapter or Chapter 5 of Title 17, is the subject of a pending complaint filed with the commission, or is the subject of a matter which has been referred by the commission to the Attorney General or a district attorney.

(2) The services of an expert witness, a jury consultant, or other litigation support staff retained by the public official or public employee in a matter specified in subdivision (1).

(3) Any item reasonably related to providing the services set forth in subdivision (1) or (2).

(j) Contributions to a legal defense fund may not be used for any purpose other than those expressly set forth in this section. Prohibited expenditures include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Legal services for a public official or public employee who has not received approval from the commission to organize a legal defense fund.

(2) The services of an attorney or any other person representing a witness in a criminal investigation or an indicted criminal case.

(3) Any civil, administrative, or impeachment matter.

(4) The services of any public relations, media, or press consultants.

(5) Any advertising or promotional material communicated by television, radio, newspaper, magazine, internet, or other media.

(6) Any state or federal campaign activities.

(k) Contributions may only be made in the form of money or lawful United States currency.

(l) Neither the attorney-client privilege nor the attorney work-product doctrine applies to any information related to a legal defense fund's contributions, expenditures, or compliance with this section.

(m) The commission shall adopt rules and procedures consistent with this section.

Section 5. Section 36-25-5, 36-25-5.1, and 36-25-7, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§36-25-5.

"(a) No public official or public employee shall use, or cause to be used, his or her official position or office, including his or her mantle of office, to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or his or her family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law. Personal gain is achieved when the public official, public employee, or a family member thereof receives, obtains, exerts control over, or otherwise converts to personal use the object constituting such personal gain.

"(b) Unless prohibited by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a public official from introducing bills, ordinances, resolutions, or other legislative matters, serving on committees, or making statements or taking action in the exercise of his or her duties as a public official. A No member of a legislative body may not vote on or participate in for any legislation matter in his or her official capacity, which he or she knows, or should have known, that he or she has a conflict of interest.

"(c) No public official or public employee shall use misuse or cause to be used misused equipment, facilities, time, materials, human labor, or other public property under his or her discretion or control. for the private benefit or business benefit of the public official, public employee, any other person, or principal campaign committee as defined in Section 17-22A-2, which would materially affect his or her financial interest, except as otherwise provided by law or as provided pursuant to a lawful employment agreement regulated by agency policy. For purposes of this subsection, the term "misuse" means to act with a corrupt purpose or to act in a way that materially affects the financial interest of the public official, public employee, the family member of the public official or public employee, any business with which the public official or public employee is associated, the public official's or public employee's principal campaign committee as defined in Section 17-5-2, or any other person or business. Provided, however, nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to limit or otherwise prohibit communication between public officials or public employees and eleemosynary or membership organizations or such organizations communicating with public officials or public employees.

"(d) No person shall solicit corruptly influence a public official or public employee to use, or cause to be used, equipment, facilities, time, materials, human labor, or other public property for such person's private benefit or business benefit, which would materially affect his or her financial interest, except as otherwise provided by law.

"(e) No public official or public employee shall, other than in the ordinary course of business, solicit a thing of value from a subordinate or person or business with whom that he or she directly inspects, regulates, or supervises in his or her official capacity.

"(f) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit, or otherwise prohibit, communication between public officials or public employees and charitable or membership organizations or such organizations communicating with public officials or public employees. A conflict of interest shall exist when a member of a legislative body, public official, or public employee has a substantial financial interest by reason of ownership of, control of, or the exercise of power over any interest greater than five percent of the value of any corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation; or who is an officer or director for any such corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation.

§36-25-5.1.

"(a)(1) No lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or principal shall offer or provide a thing of value, directly or indirectly, to a public employee, or a public official, or to a family member of the public employee, or a family member of the public official;.

"(2) and no No public employee, or public official, or family member of the public employee, or family member of the public official shall solicit or receive a thing of value, directly or indirectly, from a lobbyist, a subordinate of a lobbyist, or a principal. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a lobbyist, or principal may offer or provide and a public official, public employee, or candidate may solicit or receive items of de minimis value.

"(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a lobbyist or principal may offer or provide items of de minimis value, and a public official or public employee may solicit or receive items of de minimis value. A lobbyist does not provide a thing of value, for purposes of this section, merely by arranging, facilitating, or coordinating with his or her principal that is providing and paying for those items.

§36-25-7.

"(a) No person or business shall offer or give provide anything to a public official, or a public employee, or a member of the household of a public employee or a member of the household of the public official a family member of a public official or public employee, or a business with which a public official or public employee is associated, and none of the aforementioned shall solicit or receive anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action, or withholding of official action by the public official or public employee in his or her official capacity. regardless of whether or not the thing solicited or received is a thing of value.

"(b) No public official, public employee, family member of a public official or public employee, or a business with which a public official or public employee is associated shall solicit or receive anything from any person or business for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action or withholding of official action by the public official or public employee in his or her official capacity. No public official or public employee shall solicit or receive anything for himself or herself or for a family member of the public employee or family member of the public official for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action, regardless of whether or not the thing solicited or received is a thing of value.

"(c) No person shall offer or give a family member of the public official or family member of the public employee anything for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action, regardless of whether or not the thing offered or given is a thing of value.

"(d)(c) No public official or public employee, shall solicit or receive any money, lawful United States currency, in addition to that received by the public official or public employee in an official capacity or item of monetary value from any person or business in exchange for any of the following:

"(1) Consulting services, for advice, or assistance on matters concerning the Legislature, or any committee or subcommittee thereof.

"(2) lobbying Lobbying a legislative body or any committee or subcommittee thereof.,

"(3) Lobbying the Office of the Governor, including any other an executive department or agency.

"(4) Lobbying any state, county, or municipal governmental agency, board, regulatory body, governmental corporation or authority, or commission.

"(5) Lobbying any governmental body any public regulatory board, commission or other body of which he or she is a member.

"(6) Lobbying governmental departments, agencies, offices, or public officials or employees of other states or the Federal government.

"(7) Performing any other official duty or responsibility of the public official or public employee.

"(d) Nothing in subsection (c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a public official or public employee from in the performance of his or her official duties or responsibilities. from soliciting or receiving compensation from the State of Alabama in an official capacity.

"(e) For purposes of this section, to act corruptly means to act voluntarily, deliberately, and dishonestly to either accomplish an unlawful end or result or to use an unlawful method or means to accomplish an otherwise lawful end or result. it shall be prima facie evidence that the thing provided or received was for a corrupt purpose, or that the money or item of monetary value was exchanged for the conduct in subsection (c), under either of the following circumstances:

"(1) The providing or receiving occurs within six months of the decision, official action, or the withholding of official action by the public official or public employee.

"(2) The exchange occurs within six months of the conduct in subsection (c)."

Section 6. Section 36-25-7.1 and 36-25-7.2 are added to the Code of Alabama 1975, to read as follows:

§36-25-7.1.

No member of the Legislature, for a fee, reward, or other compensation in addition to that received in his or her official capacity, shall represent any person or business before the Office of Governor of the State of Alabama or any other executive department or agency.

§36-25-7.2.

(a) A person commits the crime of extortion of a public official or public employee if he or she, by use of a threat, attempts to corruptly influence the vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion, or other action of a public official or public employee in his or her official capacity.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term "threat" shall have the same meaning ascribed to it in Section 13A-8-1.

(c) A violation of subsection (a) shall be a Class B felony.

Section 7. Sections 36-25-8, 36-25-9, 36-25-10, 36-25-11, 36-25-12, 36-25-13, as amended by Act 2017-364 of the 2017 Regular Session, 36-25-14, 36-25-15, 36-25-17, 36-25-18, 36-25-19, 36-25-23, 36-25-24, 36-25-26, and 36-25-27 Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§36-25-8.

"(a) No public official, public employee, former public official, or former public employee, for a period consistent with the statute of limitations as contained in this chapter, shall use or disclose confidential information gained in the course of, or by reason of, his or her position or employment in any way that could result in financial gain other than his or her regular salary as such public official or public employee for himself or herself, a family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or for any other person or business.

"(b) Nothing in this section prohibits a public official or public employee from receiving any compensation or other benefits earned in his or her official capacity from the State of Alabama.

§36-25-9.

"(a) Unless expressly provided otherwise by law, no person shall serve as a member or employee of a state, county, or municipal regulatory board or commission or other body that regulates any business with which he or she is associated. Nothing herein shall prohibit real estate brokers, agents, developers, appraisers, mortgage bankers, or other persons in the real estate field, or other state-licensed professionals, from serving on any planning boards board or commissions commission, housing authorities authority, zoning board, board of adjustment, code enforcement board, industrial board, utilities board, state board, or commission.

"(b) All county or municipal regulatory boards, authorities, or commissions currently comprised of any real estate brokers, agents, developers, appraisers, mortgage bankers, or other persons in the real estate industry may allow these persons individuals to continue to serve out their current term if appointed before December 31, 1991, except that at the conclusion of such term subsequent appointments shall reflect that membership of real estate brokers and agents shall not exceed more than one less than of a majority of any county or municipal regulatory board or commission effective January 1, 1994.

"(c) No member of any county or municipal agency, board, council, or commission shall vote or participate in any matter in his or her official capacity which the member knows or should have known that he or she has a conflict of interest or family member of the member has any financial gain or interest.

"(d) All acts, actions, and votes taken by such local boards and commissions between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 1993 are affirmed and ratified.

§36-25-10.

"If a public official or public employee, or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or a business with which the person is associated, represents a client or constituent for a fee before any quasi-judicial board or commission, regulatory body, or executive department or agency, notice of the representation shall be given within 10 days after the first day of the appearance. Notice shall be filed with the commission in the manner prescribed by it. No member of the Legislature, shall for a fee, reward, or other compensation, shall represent any person or business, firm, or corporation before the Public Service Commission, or the State Board of Adjustment any regulatory body. Nothing in this section prohibits a member of the Legislature who is an attorney from representing a client, including himself or herself, before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the representation does not include lobbying.

§36-25-11.

"(a) Unless exempt pursuant to Alabama competitive bid laws or otherwise permitted by law, no public official, or public employee, or a member of the household of the public employee or the public official or public employee, and no or business with which the person is associated public official or public employee is an officer; owner; partner; board of director; member; employee; or holder of more than five percent of the fair market value of the business, shall enter into any contract to provide goods or services which is to be paid in whole or in part out of state, county, or municipal funds unless the contract has been awarded through a process of competitive bidding and a copy of the contract is filed with the commission. All such contract awards shall be made as a result of original bid takings, and no awards from negotiations after bidding shall be allowed.

"(b) A copy of each contract referenced in subsection (a), regardless of the amount, entered into by a public official, public employee, a member of the household of the public employee or the public official, and any business with which the person is associated shall be filed with the commission within 10 days after the contract has been entered into and is a public record with the commission. The commission may make appropriate redactions to such contracts consistent with the procedures set forth in Section 36-25-14.

§36-25-12.

"(a) No person or business shall offer or give provide, directly or indirectly, a thing of value to a member or employee of a regulatory body, governmental agency, board, or commission, or to any family member of the member or employee that regulates such person or business a business with which the person is associated.

"(b), and nNo member or employee of a regulatory body, governmental agency, board, or commission, shall solicit or accept receive, directly or indirectly, a thing of value from a person or business with which the person is associated which is regulated by the regulatory body, governmental agency, board, or commission. while the member or employee is associated with the regulatory body other than in the ordinary course of business.

"(c) No member or employee of a regulatory body, governmental agency, board, or commission, or a family member of the member or employee, shall solicit or receive, directly or indirectly, a thing of value from any person or business that has a substantial financial interest or substantial business relationship with a business regulated by the regulatory body, governmental agency, board, or commission. For purposes of this subsection, it shall be prima facie evidence that the person or business has a substantial financial interest if they are a holder of more than five percent of the fair market value of the business. Additionally, for purposes of this subsection, it shall be prima facie evidence that the person or business has a substantial business relationship if they receive more than 50 percent of their gross income or gross revenue from a regulated business.

"(d) No member of a regulatory body, governmental agency, board, or commission shall vote or participate in any matter in his or her official capacity which the member knows, or should have known, that he or she has a conflict of interest, unless specifically authorized by law.

"(e) In addition to the foregoing, the The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries and a any candidate for the office of commissioner may not accept solicit or receive a campaign contribution from a person or a business with which the person is associated with a business which is regulated by the department.

§36-25-13.

"(a) No former public official shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer before the board, agency, commission, department, regulatory body, or legislative body, of which he or she is a former member for a period of two years after he or she leaves such membership. For the purposes of this subsection, such the prohibition shall not include an attorney representing a client before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying a former member of the Alabama judiciary who as an attorney represents a client in a legal, non-lobbying capacity.

"(b) No former public official who leaves office before the expiration of the term to which he or she was elected or appointed shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer, before the board, agency, commission, department, regulatory body, or legislative body of which he or she is a former member during the remainder of the term for which the former public official was previously elected or appointed to serve. Nor shall the public official serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer, before the board, agency, commission, department, regulatory body, or legislative body of which he or she is a former member for two years after the expiration of the term of office for which the public official was elected or appointed to serve, whether or not the public official served the entire term. For purposes of this subsection, this prohibition shall not include an attorney representing a client before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), no public official elected to a term of office shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer, before the board, agency, commission, department, or legislative body of which he or she is a former member for a period of two years following the term of office for which he or she was elected, irrespective of whether the member left the office prior to the expiration of the term to which he or she was elected. For the purposes of this subsection, such prohibition shall not include a former member of the Alabama judiciary who as an attorney represents a client in a legal, non-lobbying capacity.

"(c) No former public employee shall serve for a fee as a lobbyist or otherwise represent clients, including his or her employer, before the board, agency, commission, or department, or regulatory body of which he or she is a former public employee or worked pursuant to an arrangement such as a consulting agreement, agency transfer, loan, or similar agreement, for a period of two years after he or she leaves such public employment or working arrangement. For the purposes of this subsection, such prohibition shall not include an attorney representing a client before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying a former employee of the Alabama judiciary who as an attorney represents a client in a legal, non-lobbying capacity.

"(d) Except as specifically set out in this section, no public official,; director,; assistant director,; department or division chief,; purchasing or procurement agent having the authority to make purchases,; or any person who participates in the negotiation or approval of contracts, grants, or awards; or any person who negotiates or approves contracts, grants, or awards shall enter into, solicit, or negotiate a contract, grant, or award with the governmental agency of which the person was a member or employee for a period of two years after he or she leaves the membership or employment of such governmental agency. Notwithstanding the prohibition in this subsection, a person serving full-time as the director or of a department or a division chief who has retired from a governmental agency may enter into a contract with the governmental agency of which the person was an employee for the specific purpose of providing assistance to the governmental agency during the transitional period following retirement, but only if all of the following conditions are met:

"(1) The contract does not extend for more than three months following the date of retirement.

"(2) The retiree is at all times in compliance with Section 36-27-8.2.

"(3) The compensation paid to the retiree through the contract, when combined with the monthly retirement compensation paid to the retiree, does not exceed the gross monthly compensation paid to the retiree on the date of retirement.

"(4) The contract is submitted to and approved by the Director director of the Ethics Commission commission as satisfying the above conditions prior to before the date the retiree begins work under the contract.

"(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d), a municipality may rehire a retired law enforcement officer or a retired firefighter formerly employed by the municipality at any time to provide public safety services if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

"(1) A local law is enacted authorizing the rehire of retired law enforcement officers or firefighters formerly employed by the municipality.

"(2) The municipality rehiring a retiree provides a copy of the local law referenced in subdivision (1) to the Director director of the Ethics Commission commission.

"(3) Upon a determination to rehire a retired law enforcement officer or firefighter, the municipality immediately provides notice to the Director of the Ethics Commission director that the former employee is being rehired.

"(f) No public official or public employee who personally participates in the direct regulation, audit, or investigation of a private business, corporation, partnership, or person individual shall, within two years of his or her departure from such employment, shall solicit or accept employment with receive a thing of value from such the private business, corporation, partnership, or person individual. For the purposes of this subsection, Section 36-25-1(b)(45)c.3. does not apply.

"(g) No former public official or public employee of the state may, within two years after termination of office or employment, act as attorney for any person other than himself or herself or the state, or aid, counsel, advise, consult or assist in representing any other person, in connection with any judicial proceeding or other matter in which the state is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and in which the former public official or public employee participated personally and substantially as a public official or employee or which was within or under the public official or public employee's official responsibility as an official or employee. This prohibition shall extend to all judicial proceedings or other matters in which the state is a party or has a direct and substantial interest, whether arising during or subsequent to the public official or public employee's term of office or employment.

"(h)(g) Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to limit the right of a public official or public employee to publicly or privately express his or her support for or to encourage others to support and contribute to any candidate, political committee as defined in Section 17-22A-2 [sic], referendum, ballot question, issue, or constitutional amendment.

"(h) No former member of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the State of Alabama shall be extended floor privileges of either body in a lobbying capacity.

§36-25-14.

"(a) In accordance with this chapter, all persons who met any of the following qualifications during any part of the preceding calendar year shall complete and file with the commission a statement of economic interests for the preceding calendar year by April 30: A statement of economic interests shall be completed and filed in accordance with this chapter with the commission no later than April 30 of each year covering the period of the preceding calendar year by each of the following:

"(1) All elected public officials at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities.

"(2) Any person appointed as a All public employees official and any person employed as a public employee at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities who occupyies a position whose the base pay of which is seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) or more annually, as adjusted by the commission by January 31 of each year to reflect changes in the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index, or a successor index.

"(3) All candidates, provided the statement is filed on the date the candidate files his or her qualifying papers or, in the case of an independent candidate, on the date the candidate complies with the requirements of Section 17-9-3.

"(4) All Members members of the Alabama Ethics Commission;.

"(5) All members of any state appointed members of boards board and or commissions commission, having statewide jurisdiction (but excluding not members of state boards or commissions that are exclusively advisory in nature or operation solely advisory boards).

"(5)(6) All full-time nonmerit employees, but not those employed in maintenance, janitorial, other than those employed in maintenance, clerical, secretarial, or other similar positions.

"(7) All employees of the Legislature, Judicial Branch, and Office of the Governor, but not those employed in maintenance, janitorial, or similar positions.

"(8) All city or county school superintendents, school board members, principals, or school administrators.

"(9) Any person who is a public official or public employee, regardless of his or her base pay, who occupies a position in which any of the following circumstances exist:

"a. The person's primary duty is to invest public funds, but not a public employee that merely handles money, lawful United States currency, or checks as part of his or her job duties.

"b. The person has the power to grant or deny land development permits.

"c. The person is a purchasing or procurement agent having the authority to make any purchase, but not a public employee who merely handles money, lawful United States currency, or checks as part of his or her job duties.

"d. Any portion of the person's responsibilities include the awarding of grants.

"e. 1. Subject to subparagraph 2., the person serves full-time as a supervisor, including, but not limited to, an employee serving as a chief county or municipal clerk, a chief county or municipal manager, a chief county or municipal administrator, a chief county or municipal administrative officer, a chief or assistant county or municipal building inspector, a chief of police, a fire chief, a director or an assistant director of a state agency, a chief financial or accounting director, a chief grant coordinator, or other similar supervisory position.

"2. Except where otherwise required by this section, the commission may exempt any class of public employee supervisor from the requirements of this section, so long as the commission unanimously votes to exempt the class of supervisors and the Attorney General provides written approval, and the commission determines all of the following factors exist:

"(i) The average base pay for the class of supervisor is substantially less than seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000).

"(ii) The number of persons occupying the class of supervisor is substantially greater than other classes.

"(iii) The class of supervisor is limited to public employees at the county or municipal level of government.

"(iv) The class of supervisors consists of intermediate or middle level management.

"3. The commission shall publish a document setting forth its consideration of the factors specified in subparagraph 2. Following the written approval of an exemption for a class of supervisor. The document, the vote of the commission, and the written approval of the Attorney General are public records.

"(6) Chief clerks and chief managers.

"(7) Chief county clerks and chief county managers.

"(8) Chief administrators.

"(9) Chief county administrators.

"(10) Any public official or public employee whose primary duty is to invest public funds.

"(11) Chief administrative officers of any political subdivision.

"(12) Chief and assistant county building inspectors.

"(13) Any county or municipal administrator with power to grant or deny land development permits.

"(14) Chief municipal clerks.

"(15) Chiefs of police.

"(16) Fire chiefs.

"(17) City and county school superintendents and school board members.

"(18) City and county school principals or administrators.

"(19) Purchasing or procurement agents having the authority to make any purchase.

"(20) Directors and assistant directors of state agencies.

"(21) Chief financial and accounting directors.

"(22) Chief grant coordinators.

"(23) Each employee of the Legislature or of agencies, including temporary committees and commissions established by the Legislature, other than those employed in maintenance, clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.

"(24) Each employee of the Judicial Branch of government, including active supernumerary district attorneys and judges, other than those employed in maintenance, clerical, secretarial, or other similar positions.

"(25) Every full-time public employee serving as a supervisor.

"(b) Unless otherwise required by law, no public employee occupying a position earning less than seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) per year shall be required to file a statement of economic interests, as adjusted by the commission by January 31 of each year to reflect changes in the U.S. Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index, or a successor index. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) or any other provision of this chapter, no coach of an athletic team of any four-year institution of higher education which receives state funds shall be required to include any income, donations, gifts, or benefits, other than salary, on the statement of economic interests, if the income, donations, gifts, or benefits are a condition of the employment contract. Such statement shall be made on a form made available by the commission. The duty to file the statement of economic interests shall rest with the person covered by this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to exclude any public employee or public official from this chapter regardless of whether they are required to file a statement of economic interests. The commission shall adopt a statement of economic interest form for public officials and candidates by rule. The form shall be submitted under penalty of perjury by the person making the filing. The form, at a minimum, The statement shall contain also require, the following information on the person public official or candidate making the filing:

"(1) Name, and residential address, business; name, and address, and business of living spouse and dependents; name of living adult children,; name of parents, and siblings,; name of and living parents of spouse.; Undercover law enforcement officers may have their residential addresses and the names of family members removed from public scrutiny by filing an affidavit stating that publicizing this information would potentially endanger their families. the public office currently held by the public official, including the date the public official was elected or appointed to the public office; the date of expiration of the public official's current term of office; and, if the public official has resigned or been removed from public office, the date of the resignation or removal.

"(2) A list of each entity of which the public official, candidate, or a family member of the official or candidate is an officer, owner, partner, board of director member, employee, independent contractor, consultant, or the holder of more than five percent of the fair market value of the business. occupations to which one third or more of working time was given during previous reporting year by the public official, public employee, or his or her spouse.

"(3) A listing list of any income, salaries, fees, dividends, profits, commissions, and other compensation to the public official, candidate, or spouse of the public official or candidate, from any business with which the public official or candidate is associated, in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500). total combined household income of the public official or public employee during the most recent reporting year as to income from salaries, fees, dividends, profits, commissions, and other compensation and listing the names of each business and the income derived from such business in the following categorical amounts: less than one thousand dollars ($1,000); at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) and less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000); at least ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000); at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000); at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) and less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); or at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more. The person reporting shall also name any business or subsidiary thereof in which he or she or his or her spouse or dependents, jointly or severally, own five percent or more of the stock or in which he or she or his or her spouse or dependents serves as an officer, director, trustee, or consultant where the service provides income of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) and less than five thousand dollars ($5,000); or at least five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more for the reporting period.

"(4) A list of any consulting or other similar services rendered by the public official or spouse of the public official on behalf of any person or business, regardless of whether the services rendered were performed inside or outside the State of Alabama. This list does not include the services of an attorney representing a client before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying. This list shall include a description of the services, the identity of the person or business who paid for the services, and the amount paid for the services rendered by the public official or the spouse of the public official.

"(5) A disclosure of family relationships with lobbyists and principals in a manner set forth by the commission in accordance with this section. If the filing public official or public employee, or his or her spouse, has engaged in a business during the last reporting year which provides legal, accounting, medical or health related, real estate, banking, insurance, educational, farming, engineering, architectural management, or other professional services or consultations, then the filing party shall report the number of clients of such business in each of the following categories and the income in categorical amounts received during the reporting period from the combined number of clients in each category: Electric utilities, gas utilities, telephone utilities, water utilities, cable television companies, intrastate transportation companies, pipeline companies, oil or gas exploration companies, or both, oil and gas retail companies, banks, savings and loan associations, loan or finance companies, or both, manufacturing firms, mining companies, life insurance companies, casualty insurance companies, other insurance companies, retail companies, beer, wine or liquor companies or distributors, or combination thereof, trade associations, professional associations, governmental associations, associations of public employees or public officials, counties, and any other businesses or associations that the commission may deem appropriate. Amounts received from combined clients in each category shall be reported in the following categorical amounts: Less than one thousand dollars ($1,000); more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000); at least ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000); at least twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000); at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000); at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) and less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000); at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) and less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); or at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more.

"(5) If retainers are in existence or contracted for in any of the above categories of clients, a listing of the categories along with the anticipated income to be expected annually from each category of clients shall be shown in the following categorical amounts: Less than one thousand dollars ($1,000); at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) and less than five thousand dollars ($5,000); or at least five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more.

"(6) The fair market value of any real estate owned by the public official, the total amount of any rent or lease income received by the public official from any real estate that is held for investment or revenue production by the public official or for the benefit of the public official, and the counties in which the real estate is located. For real estate owned by the public official that is used for commercial purposes, but not residential purposes, the public official shall also disclose the name of any business which is located on the real estate. Any real estate associated with the homestead of the person filing is exempted from this disclosure requirement. If real estate is held for investment or revenue production by a public official, his or her spouse or dependents, then a listing thereof in the following fair market value categorical amounts: Under fifty thousand dollars ($50,000); at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000); at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) and less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000); at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) and less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more. A listing of annual gross rent and lease income on real estate shall be made in the following categorical amounts: Less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000); at least ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000); fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more. If a public official or a business in which the person is associated received rent or lease income from any governmental agency in Alabama, specific details of the lease or rent agreement shall be filed with the commission.

"(7) A listing of any debt in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), of the public official or the spouse of the public official to any bank, credit union, savings and loan association, insurance company, mortgage firm, financial institution, and any other person or business, including the amount of the original debt, the current balance, and identity of the creditor. The listing shall also include any loan or line of credit personally guaranteed, in whole or in part, by the public official. indebtedness to businesses operating in Alabama showing types and number of each as follows: Banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, mortgage firms, stockbrokers and brokerages or bond firms; and the indebtedness to combined organizations in the following categorical amounts: Less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000); twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) and less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000); fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000); one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) and less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000); one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) and less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000); two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more. The commission may add additional business to this listing. Indebtedness associated with the homestead of the person filing is exempted from this disclosure requirement.

"(8) A list of any contracts, including real estate or lease agreements, the parties to which include both the public official, family member of the public official, or entity specified pursuant to subdivision (2) and any federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, board, commission, department, or any other governmental entity. The listing shall include the identity of the parties to the contract, the amount agreed to or paid under the terms of the contract, and a description of the contract.

"(9) A list of all matters in which the public official did not vote or participate because of a conflict of interest, including a description of the matter, a description of the conflict of interest, and the date on which the public official knew the conflict of interest existed.

"(10) A list of economic development functions, educational functions, or widely attended events the public official attended if a person or business, other than the State of Alabama, or the public official making the filing, paid in excess of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500), in whole or in part, for the public official to attend. This listing shall include the name and date of the event, the address of the event, the identity of the person or business that paid for the public official to attend, and the amount paid by the person or business for the public official to attend.

"(c) The commission shall adopt a statement of economic interest form for public employees by rule. The form shall be submitted under penalty of perjury by the person making the filing. The form, at a minimum, shall contain the following information on the public employee making the filing:

"(1) The name and residential address of the public employee and family members of the public employee.

"(2) A list of each entity of which the public employee or a family member of the public employee is an officer, owner, partner, board of director member, employee, independent contractor, consultant, or the holder of more than five percent of the fair market value of the business.

"(3) For each entity listed in subdivision (2), whether the amount of income, salaries, fees, dividends, profits, commissions, and other compensation to the public employee or family member of the public employee was greater than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

"(4) A list of any contracts, including real estate or lease agreements, the parties to which include both the public employee, family member of the public employee, or any entity specified pursuant to subdivision (2) and any federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, board, commission, department, or any other government entity. The listing shall include the identity of the parties to the contract and whether the contract is in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

"(5) A list of any consulting or other similar services rendered by the public employee or spouse of the public employee on behalf of any person or business, regardless of whether the services rendered were performed inside or outside the State of Alabama. The list is not required to include the services of an attorney representing a client before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying. This list shall include a description of the services, the identity of the person or business who paid for the services, and whether the amount paid for the services rendered by the public employee or the spouse of the public employee was in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

"(6) The public employee shall also disclose family relationships with lobbyists and principals in a manner set forth by the commission in accordance with this section.

"(c)(d) Filing required by this section shall reflect information and facts in existence at the end of the reporting year.

"(d)(e) If the information required herein is not filed as required, the commission shall do all of the following: notify the public official or public employee concerned as to his or her failure to so file and the public official or public employee shall have 10 days to file the report after receipt of the notification. The commission may, in its discretion, assess a fine of ten dollars ($10) a day, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), for failure to file timely.

"(1) No later than August 1 of each calendar year, notify, in writing, the public official, public employee, or candidate, with a copy to the head of the state, county, or municipal agency with which the person is employed, as to his or her failure to file the information required in this section. The public official or public employee shall have until midnight on September 20 of that calendar year to file the required information.

"(2) No later than October 1 of each calendar year, release publicly a list of the public officials, public employees, and candidates that have not filed the required information.

"(3) No later than December 1 of each calendar year, order any public official, public employee, or candidate who has not filed the required information to appear at the next regular open meeting of the commission to show good cause for his or her failure to file the required information. If the required information is filed before the date on which the person was ordered to appear, the person is excused from his or her appearance.

"(4) At the next regular open meeting occurring after December 31 of each calendar year, identify any person who either failed to appear pursuant to subdivision (3) or failed to show good cause and vote to refer such matter to the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction. The commission may also impose a fine on any public official or candidate, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or on any public employee, not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars ($250), who fails to appear or fails to show good cause. If a person appears before the commission and shows good cause, the commission may grant an extension for the person to file the required information, but the extension shall not be later than the next regular open meeting following the person's appearance.

"(5) No later than March 1 of each calendar year, vote to refer to the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction all matters where a person has failed to file the required information.

"(e)(f) Any person who unintentionally neglects to include any information relating to the financial disclosure filing requirements of this chapter shall have 90 days to file an amended statement of economic interests without penalty. Any person who intentionally makes a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in his or her statement of economic interest, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

"(g) Except as provided in subsection (f), A any public employee person who intentionally violates any provision of this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. financial disclosure filing requirement of this chapter shall be subject to administrative fines imposed by the commission, or shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, or both.

"(h) Except as provided in subsection (f), any public official or candidate who intentionally violates any provision of this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

"(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the venue for any violation of this section shall be in Montgomery County, Alabama.

"(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the statute of limitations for failing to file the required information shall not begin to run until the commission has voted to refer the matter to the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction. If the matter was not referred by the commission, then the statute of limitations shall begin to run on the date that the commission was required to refer the matter pursuant to this section.

"(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a public official or candidate may not use any funds from any contribution reported under Chapter 5 of Title 17 or a contribution to an inaugural or transition committee, any funds from any campaign contribution for a federal election which is otherwise lawful, or funds from any legal defense fund to pay any fine levied by the commission under this section.

"(l) The commission may develop and implement statement of economic interest forms that are consistent with the requirements of this section, including, but not limited to, requiring supplemental or additional information reasonably related to the requirements of this section. The commission may not excuse or exempt any person from any filing requirement, except as otherwise provided in this section.

"(m) The commission shall implement reasonable measures to ensure the safety of minor children and law enforcement personnel and to protect against identity theft, including the following:

"(1) Redacting certain information submitted by any person in law enforcement, including a prosecutor and a member of his or her staff.

"(2) Redacting the street number and street name, but not the city, county, state, or zip code, from any address submitted by any person.

"(3) Redacting any information that directly relates to minor children.

"(4) Redacting any information that has a substantial likelihood of exposing any person to identify theft.

"(5) Redacting any other information from public scrutiny which would potentially endanger any person; subject any person to identity theft; irreparably harm the business or professional activity of a person; or violate any person's constitutional rights, so long as the redaction is approved in writing by a unanimous vote of all of the members of the commission and by the Attorney General.

"(n) Any person may request, in writing with a copy to the Attorney General, that the commission redact any information required to be disclosed under this section if the disclosure of such information would potentially endanger any person, irreparably harm the business or professional activities of the person, or violate the person's rights under the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, or the United States Constitution. Such a request must be approved in writing by a unanimous vote of all of the members of the commission and by the Attorney General.

"(o) The commission may require the head of any state, county, or municipal agency or department to provide the commission with a list of persons employed by the agency or department who are required to complete a statement of economic interest form for each calendar year.

"(p) For purposes of this section, the redaction of any information exempts the information from the requirements of Section 36-12-40.

"(q) For purposes of this section, a person who is not otherwise a public official who is appointed to an unelected and uncompensated position at the county or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities, including governmental corporations, shall file a form pursuant to subsection (c).

§36-25-15.

"(a) Candidates at every level of government shall file a completed statement of economic interests form for the previous calendar year with the State Ethics Commission commission simultaneously with the date such candidate files his or her qualifying papers with the appropriate election official or in the case of an independent candidate, the date the person complies with the requirements of Section 17-9-3. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require a second filing of the person's statement of economic interests if a current statement of economic interests is on file with the commission.

"(b) Each election official who receives a declaration of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot for election from a candidate shall, within five days of the receipt, notify the commission of the name of the candidate, as defined in this chapter, and the date on which the person became a candidate. The commission shall, within Within five business days of receipt of such notification, the commission shall notify the election official whether the candidate has complied with the provisions of this section.

"(c) Other provisions of the law notwithstanding, if a candidate does not submit a statement of economic interests or, when applicable, an amended statement of economic interests in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, the name of the person shall not appear on the ballot and the candidate shall be deemed not qualified as a candidate in that election. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the commission may, for good cause shown, allow the candidate an additional five days to file such statement of economic interests. If a candidate is deemed not qualified, the appropriate election official shall remove the name of the candidate from the ballot.

§36-25-17.

"(a) Every governmental agency head shall, within 10 days, shall file reports with the commission on any matters that come to his or her attention in his or her official capacity which constitute a violation of this chapter. Nothing in this chapter prohibits the director or a member of the commission from reporting to the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction any matter that constitutes a violation of this chapter which comes to his or her attention in his or her official capacity.

"(b) Governmental agency heads shall cooperate in every possible manner in connection with any investigation or hearing, public or private, which may be conducted by the commission.

§36-25-18.

"(a) A person may not lobby unless registered pursuant to this section.

"(a)(b) Every lobbyist shall register by filing a form prescribed by the commission no later than January 31 of each calendar year or within 10 days after the first undertaking requiring such registration. Each lobbyist, except public employees who are lobbyists, shall pay an annual fee of one hundred dollars ($100) on or before January 31 of each calendar year or within 10 days of the first undertaking requiring such registration.

"(b)(c) The commission shall adopt a registration form. The form, at minimum, shall require The registration shall be in writing and shall contain the following information:

"(1) The registrant's full name and business address.

"(2) The registrant's normal business and address.

"(3) The full name and address of the registrant's principal or principals.

"(4) The listing of the categories of subject matters on which the registrant is to communicate directly with a member of the legislative body to influence legislation or legislative action.

"(5) If a registrant's activity is done on behalf of the members of a group other than a corporation, a categorical disclosure of the number of persons of the group as follows: 1-5; 6-10; 11-25; over 25.

"(6) A statement signed by each principal that he or she has read the registration, knows its contents and has authorized the registrant to be a lobbyist in his or her behalf as specified therein, and that no compensation will be paid to the registrant contingent upon passage or defeat of any legislative measure.

"(c)(d) A registrant shall file a supplemental registration indicating any substantial change or changes in the information contained in the prior registration within 10 days after the date of the change.

"(e) After the effective date of the act adding this subsection, a person convicted of a felony violation of this chapter may not register as a lobbyist, regardless of whether a pardon has been issued by the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and a person registered as a lobbyist who is convicted of a felony violation of this chapter shall forfeit his or her registration immediately upon conviction.

§36-25-19.

"(a) Every person registered as a lobbyist pursuant to Section 36-25-18 and every principal employing any lobbyist shall file with the commission a report provided by the commission pertaining to the activities set out in that section. The commission may require or permit a principal to file one report that includes all who are principals by virtue of their role within the entity. The report shall be filed with the commission no later than January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31 for each preceding calendar quarter, and contain, but not be limited to, the following information:

"(1) The cost of those items excluded from the definition of a thing of value which are described in Section 36-25-1(b)41 c. and d. and which are expended within a 24-hour period on a public official, public employee, and members of his or her respective household in excess of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) with the name or names of the recipient or recipients and the date of the expenditure.

"(2) The nature and date of any financial transaction between the public official, candidate, or member of the household of such public official or candidate and the lobbyist or principal of a value in excess of five hundred dollars ($500) in the prior quarter, excluding those financial transactions which are required to be reported by candidates under the Fair Campaign Practices Act as provided in Chapter 22A 5 (commencing with Section 17-22A-1 17-5-1) of Title 17.

"(3) A detailed statement showing the exact amount of any loan given or promised to a public official, candidate, public official or candidate.

"(4) A detailed statement showing any direct business association or partnership with any public official, candidate, or members of the household of such public official or candidate; provided, however, that campaign expenditures shall not be deemed a business association or partnership.

"(b) Any person not otherwise deemed a lobbyist pursuant to this chapter who negotiates or attempts to negotiate a contract, sells or attempts to sell goods or services, engages or attempts to engage in a financial transaction with a public official or public employee in their official capacity and who within a calendar day expends in excess of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) on such public employee, public official, and his or her respective household shall file a detailed quarterly report of the expenditure with the commission.

"(c) Any other provision of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, no organization whose officer or employee serves as a public official under this chapter shall be required to report expenditures or reimbursement paid to such officer or employee in the performance of the duties with the organization.

§36-25-23.

"(a) No public official elected to a term of office shall serve for a fee, reward, or other compensation, in addition to that received in his or her official capacity, as a lobbyist or otherwise represent a client, including his or her employer, before any legislative body, the Office of the Governor for the State of Alabama, any executive department or agency, any regulatory body, any governmental agency, any board, any commission, the judicial branch, or a county or municipal government, or agency thereof. or any branch of state or local government, including the executive and judicial branches of government, and including the Legislature of Alabama or any board, agency, commission, or department thereof, during the term or remainder of the term for which the official was elected. For purposes of this subsection, such prohibition shall not include an attorney representing clients before the judicial branch or a regulatory body, provided that the attorney's representation of his or her client does not include lobbying. a former member of the Alabama Judiciary who as an attorney represents a client in a legal, non-lobbying capacity.

"(b) No former member of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the State of Alabama shall be extended floor privileges of either body in a lobbying capacity.

"(c)(b) No public official, public employee, or group of public officials or public employees shall solicit any lobbyist to give any thing offer or provide anything, whether or not the thing solicited is a thing of value, to any person or entity for any purpose, other than a campaign contribution. except for either of the following:

"(1) A contribution reported under Chapter 5 of Title 17 or a contribution to an inaugural or transition committee, or a campaign contribution for a federal election which is otherwise lawful.

"(2) Items of de minimis value.

"(d)(c) No principal or lobbyist shall accept compensation for, or enter into, a contract to provide lobbying services which is contingent upon the passage or defeat of any legislative action.

"(d) Except where the privilege against self-incrimination under the Constitution of the State of Alabama or the United States applies, any member of the Legislative or Executive Branch, lobbyist, subordinate of a lobbyist, or a principal, who intentionally fails to report a violation of this section to the commission, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

§36-25-24.

"(a) A supervisor shall not discharge, demote, transfer, or otherwise discriminate against a public employee regarding such employee's compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on the employee's reporting a violation, or what he or she believes in good faith to be a violation, of this chapter or giving truthful statements or truthful testimony concerning an alleged ethics violation.

"(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed in any manner to prevent, or prohibit, or otherwise limit a supervisor from disciplining, discharging, transferring, or otherwise affecting the terms and conditions of a public employee's employment so long as the disciplinary action does not result from, or is in no other manner connected with, the public employee's filing a complaint with the commission, giving truthful statements, and truthfully testifying.

"(c) No public employee shall file a complaint or otherwise initiate action against a public official or other public employee without a good faith basis for believing the complaint to be true and accurate.

"(d) A supervisor who is alleged to have violated this section shall be subject to civil action in the circuit courts of this state pursuant to the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure as promulgated by the Alabama Supreme Court.

"(e) A public employee who files a complaint against a supervisor without a good faith belief in the truthfulness and accuracy of a the complaint filed against a supervisor, shall be subject to a civil action in the circuit courts in the State of Alabama pursuant to the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure as promulgated by the Supreme Court. Additionally, a public employee who files a complaint against a supervisor without a the good faith belief in the truthfulness and accuracy of a complaint as filed against a supervisor shall be subject to appropriate and applicable personnel action.

"(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow a public employee to file a false complaint to prevent, mitigate, lessen, or otherwise to extinguish existing or anticipated personnel action by a supervisor. A public employee who willfully intentionally files such a complaint against a supervisor shall, upon conviction, be guilty of the crime of false reporting.

§36-25-26.

"(a) No person, for the purpose of influencing legislation, may do either of the following:

"(1) Knowingly or willfully intentionally make any false statement or misrepresentation of the facts to a member of the Legislative or Executive Branch.

"(2) Knowing With knowledge that a document to contains a false statement, cause a copy of the document to be received by a member of the Legislative or Executive Branch without notifying the member in writing of the truth.

"(b) Any member of the Legislative or Executive Branch who acts or refrains from acting in his or her official capacity in reliance on a materially false statement, material misrepresentation, a document containing a materially false statement, or other conduct constituting a violation of subsection (a) shall report the violation to the commission upon discovery of the falsity of such statement, representation, or document. For purposes of this subsection, any member who intentionally fails to comply with this subsection, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

§36-25-27.

"(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided, any person subject to in this chapter, the following penalties apply to any violation of this chapter:

"(1) Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally violates any provision of this chapter other than those for which a separate penalty is provided for in this section shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class B felony.

"(2) Any person subject to this chapter who knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence violates any provision of this chapter other than those for which a separate penalty is provided for in this section shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"(3) Any person subject to this chapter who knowingly violates any disclosure requirement of this chapter shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"(4) Any person who knowingly makes or transmits a false report or complaint pursuant to this chapter shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and shall be liable for the actual legal expenses incurred by the respondent against whom the false report or complaint was filed.

"(5) Any person who knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence makes false statements to an employee of the commission or to the commission itself pursuant to this chapter without reason to believe the accuracy of the statements shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"(6) Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally violates this chapter relating to secrecy shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

"(7) Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally fails to disclose information required by this chapter shall, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"(b) The commission, if petitioned or agreed to by a respondent and the Attorney General or district attorney having jurisdiction, by unanimous vote of the members present, If a respondent petitions the commission or if the respondent and the Attorney General or district attorney having jurisdiction agree, the commission, by unanimous vote of the members present, may administratively resolve a complaint filed pursuant to this chapter for minor violations. The commission may levy impose an administrative penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) six thousand dollars ($6,000) for any minor violation of this chapter including, but not limited to, the failure to timely file a complete and correct statement of economic interests. In addition to any administrative penalty, The the commission shall, in addition to any administrative penalty, order restitution in the amount of any economic loss to the state, county, and municipal governments and their instrumentalities and such, when collected, the restitution shall when collected be paid by the commission, to the entity having the economic loss. In any case in which an administrative penalty is imposed, the administrative penalty shall not be less than three times the amount of any economic loss to the state, county, and municipal governments or their instrumentalities or any economic gain or benefit to the public official or public employee, or whichever sum is greater. The commission, through its attorney, shall institute proceedings to recover any penalties or restitution or other such funds so ordered pursuant to this section which are not paid by, or on behalf of, the public official or public employee or other person who has violated this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be deemed in any manner to prohibit the commission and the respondent from entering into a consent decree settling a complaint which has previously been designated by the commission for administrative resolution, so long as the consent decree is approved by the commission. If the commission, the respondent, and the Attorney General or district attorney having jurisdiction, all concur that a complaint is deemed to be handled administratively, the action shall preclude any criminal prosecution pursuant to this chapter at the state, county, or municipal level.

"(c) The enforcement of this chapter shall be vested in the commission; provided, however, nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to limit or otherwise prohibit the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction from enforcing any provision of this chapter as they deem appropriate. In the event the commission, by majority vote, finds that any provision of this chapter has been violated, the alleged violation and any investigation conducted by the commission shall be referred to the district attorney of the appropriate jurisdiction or the Attorney General. The commission shall provide any and all appropriate assistance to such district attorney or Attorney General. Upon the request of such district attorney or the Attorney General, the commission may institute, prosecute, or take such other appropriate legal action regarding such violations, proceeding therein with all rights, privileges, and powers conferred by law upon assistant attorneys general. The fact that the commission declined to investigate a complaint for any reason, investigated a complaint before closing the matter for any reason, did not hold a vote determining probable cause, or voted that there was not probable cause for a violation shall not be a prerequisite or a bar to obtaining an indictment from any grand jury of this state for any violation of this chapter. Nor shall any of those facts constitute a defense to a violation of this chapter in a criminal case or constitute the legal basis for the dismissal of an indictment. No evidence of these facts is admissible at a trial in any criminal case for a violation of this chapter, provided that an indictment was returned by a grand jury of this state.

"(d) Nothing in this chapter limits the power of the state to punish any person for any conduct which otherwise constitutes a crime by statute or at common law.

"(e) The penalties prescribed in this chapter do not in any manner limit the power of a legislative body to discipline its own members or to impeach public officials and do not limit the powers of agencies, departments, boards, or commissions to discipline their respective officials, members, or employees.

"(f) Each circuit court of this state shall have jurisdiction of in all cases and actions relative to judicial review, violations, or the enforcement of this chapter, and the venue of any action pursuant to this chapter shall be in the county in which the alleged violation occurred, or in those cases where the violation or violations occurred outside the State of Alabama, in Montgomery County. In the case of judicial review of any administrative decision of the commission, the commission's order, rule, or decision shall be taken as prima facie just and reasonable and the court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the commission as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact except where otherwise authorized by law.

"(g) Any felony prosecution brought pursuant to this chapter shall be commenced within four six years after the commission of the offense.

"(h) Any misdemeanor prosecution brought pursuant to this chapter shall be commenced within two years after the commission of the offense.

"(i) Nothing in this chapter is intended to, nor is to be construed as, repealing in any way the provisions of any of the criminal laws of this state.

"(j) It is not a defense to any prosecution under this chapter that the violation or any part thereof occurred outside the State of Alabama or involved non-public funds.

"(k) All things of value and all personal gain that form the basis for a criminal charge under this chapter shall be recoverable as restitution to the state upon conviction. Any restitution ordered pursuant to this section shall be paid to the state General Fund."

Section 8. Although this bill would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds, the bill is excluded from further requirements and application under Amendment 621, now appearing as Section 111.05 128 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, because the bill defines a new crime or amends the definition of an existing crime.

Section 9. Sections 36-25-1.1, relating to lobbying, and 36-25-6, relating to the use of contributions, of the Code of Alabama 1975, are repealed.

Section 10. This act shall become effective immediately following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.


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