A new ethics bill, passed by the General Assembly in response to the charges against former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, states no government official can receive a gift valued at more than $100. Gifts valued at over $50 must be disclosed within 6 weeks of their receipt. [read_more]These rules apply to lobbyists and anyone seeking contracts with the state. Covered under the bill are all state employees, all elected officials, and all members of state boards.
Also covered under the new bill are ‘intangible gifts’ like trips and travel. A nine member ethics panel must approve any trips and travel plans that exceed the $100 limit. The $100 limit also covers functions where a government official is in attendance. Their food and beverages cannot exceed $100.
The bill now goes to the Governor for signature. If the Governor chooses to modify the bill it is likely that the General Assembly will consider his modifications when they reconvene on April 15th.