Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1340

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 36-1-20.

Synopsis: Government ethics. Authorizes a political subdivision to adopt an ordinance relating to the ethics of the officials, former officials, employees, former employees, appointees, and former appointees of the political subdivision. Provides that the ordinance may exceed the standards of the statute. Requires the ordinance to establish an ethics commission with powers to enforce the ordinance. Provides that the statute does not supersede an ethics ordinance adopted by a political subdivision before July 1, 2010, to the extent that the ordinance is not inconsistent with the statute. Requires the registration as lobbyists of individuals who act or communicate to promote, delay, oppose, or otherwise influence an action of an agency of a political subdivision. Requires local lobbyists to file annual reports. Authorizes the imposition of lobbyist registration fees. Provides that a local lobbyist may not give a gift of cash to an official, employee, or appointee of the political subdivision.

Effective: July 1, 2010.





Koch




    January 13, 2010, read first time and referred to Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures.







Introduced

Second Regular Session 116th General Assembly (2010)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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HOUSE BILL No. 1340



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning local government.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 36-1-20; (10)IN1340.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 36-1-20 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010]:
    Chapter 20. Ethics
    Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "advisory body" means an authority, a board, a commission, a committee, a task force, or another body designated by any name of the political subdivision that is authorized to make only nonbinding recommendations.
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "agency" means an authority, a board, a branch, a bureau, a commission, a committee, a council, a department, a division, an office, a service, or another instrumentality of a political subdivision.
    Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "agency action" means a decision of an agency regarding any of the following:
        (1) The drafting, filing, introduction, consideration, modification, enactment, or defeat of any proposal or other matter by any of the following:
            (A) The legislative body of the political subdivision.
            (B) A committee of the legislative body of the political subdivision.
            (C) A member or employee of the legislative body of the political subdivision in the member's or employee's official capacity.
        (2) The expenditure of the political subdivision's funds with respect to the award of a contract or lease, or any other financial arrangement under which funds are distributed or allocated.
        (3) The proposal, drafting, development, consideration, promulgation, amendment, rejection, or repeal of a rule, regulation, or policy by an agency.
    Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "appointee" means an individual, other than an official or employee, who is elected or appointed to an agency or advisory body.
    Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "clerk" refers to the following:
        (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2), the circuit court clerk of the county of a political subdivision that contains the greatest percentage of population of the political subdivision.
        (2) An agency other than the circuit court clerk designated by an ordinance adopted by the legislative body of the political subdivision to perform the functions of the clerk under this chapter.
    Sec. 6. As used in this chapter, "communication" means the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information by contact in person, telephone, letter, telegraph, facsimile, electronic mail, text messaging, or any other form of transmission of information.
    Sec. 7. (a) As used in this chapter, "employer" with respect to a lobbyist means a person that principally employs the lobbyist.
    (b) The term does not include a person that retains or contracts with a lobbyist only as an independent contractor and does not directly employ that lobbyist.
    Sec. 8. As used in this chapter, "employee" means an individual, other than an official or appointee, who is employed by an agency on a full-time, a part-time, a temporary, an intermittent, or an hourly basis. The term includes an individual who contracts with an agency for personal services.
    Sec. 9. As used in this chapter, "engagement" means an arrangement whereby a person receives financial consideration, in the form of salary, retainer, compensation, or other fee, for or on behalf of an employer or real party in interest to:
        (1) influence an agency action; or
        (2) conduct any lobbying activity.
    Sec. 10. As used in this chapter, "financial arrangement" means the purchase or acquisition of property, an interest in property, service, or other asset of an agency valued at more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
    Sec. 11. (a) As used in this chapter, "lobbying activity" means action or communication made to promote, delay, oppose, or otherwise influence an agency action.
    (b) The term does not include any of the following:
        (1) The application or negotiation of an award for a state or federal grant.
        (2) The resolution of an outstanding tax matter, including audits, assessments, administrative appeals, claims for refund, or collection activity.
        (3) Communication regarding the award of incentives related to an economic development project.
        (4) Paid advertising communications that are disseminated to the public by radio, television, or a newspaper or periodical of general circulation.
        (5) Any communications, including testimony submitted during a public hearing or submitted in writing, at a meeting conducted under IC 5-14-1.5.
        (6) A response to a request for proposal, an invitation for bid, a request for quote, or other solicitation made by an agency as provided in an applicable purchasing or public work statute or rules adopted under such a statute.
        (7) Other public or private testimony or communications solicited by an agency.
        (8) Action or communication made as a member of an advisory body.
    Sec. 12. (a) As used in this chapter, "lobbyist" means an individual who is primarily employed and receives payment, or who contracts for financial consideration, of more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) in a calendar year, for the purpose of engaging in lobbying activity.
    (b) The term does not include any of the following:
        (1) An official, appointee, or employee who attempts to influence an agency action that is within the scope of the individual's official duties or employment.
        (2) An attorney or any other individual who represents a client in:
            (A) a public hearing; or
            (B) the investigation of a criminal or civil matter or ordinance violation.
        (3) A person who represents a religious organization for the purpose of protecting the organization's constitutional rights.
        (4) A newspaper or other periodical of general circulation, book publisher, news wire service, or radio or television station (including an individual who owns, publishes, or is employed by a newspaper or periodical or radio or television station) that in the ordinary course of business publishes news items, editorials, or other comments or paid advertisements that directly or indirectly urge agency action, if the newspaper, periodical, book publisher, radio or television station, or individual engages in no additional activities in connection with agency action.
        (5) A person whose communication with an agency is for the sole purpose of gathering information relating to a bid, procurement, permit, or public work that is produced in a public record.
        (6) An individual acting under Article 1, Section 31 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana:
            (A) for the individual's own benefit; or
            (B) who assembles together with other individuals for the common good:
        to petition an agency for redress of grievances.
        (7) An individual employed as a salesperson to sell goods and services.
        (8) An individual who is invited by an agency or an official for the purpose of giving advice.
    Sec. 13. (a) As used in this chapter, "official" means an individual who holds a:
        (1) local office (as defined in IC 3-5-2-29); or
        (2) a school board office (as defined in IC 3-5-2-45).
    (b) The term does not include any of the following:
        (1) A judge of a circuit court.
        (2) A judge of a superior court.
        (3) A judge of a county court.
        (4) A judge of a probate court.
        (5) A prosecuting attorney.
    Sec. 14. As used in this chapter, "person" means an individual, a proprietorship, a partnership, an unincorporated association, a trust, a business trust, a group, a limited liability company, or a

corporation, whether or not operated for profit.
    Sec. 15. As used in this chapter, "real party in interest" means the person on whose behalf the lobbyist is acting, if that person is not the employer.
    Sec. 16. (a) A political subdivision may adopt an ordinance relating to the ethics of the officials, former officials, employees, former employees, appointees, and former appointees of the political subdivision.
    (b) An ordinance adopted under this section:
        (1) may impose requirements that exceed the requirements of this chapter; and
        (2) may not relieve the officials, employees, and appointees of the political subdivision of requirements imposed by this chapter.
    (c) An ethics ordinance adopted under this section must provide for the following:
        (1) The establishment of an ethics commission for the political subdivision.
        (2) Enforcement powers for the political subdivision's ethics commission.
    (d) An ethics ordinance adopted under this chapter may provide for the adoption of a local code of ethics.
    (e) An ethics ordinance adopted under this chapter may provide other details that:
        (1) the legislative body considers appropriate; and
        (2) are not inconsistent with this chapter.
    (f) This chapter does not supersede an ethics ordinance adopted by a political subdivision before July 1, 2010, to the extent that the ordinance is not inconsistent with this chapter.
    Sec. 17. Sections 18 through 23 of this chapter apply to a political subdivision and the officials, employees, and appointees of the political subdivision, even if the political subdivision has not adopted an ethics ordinance under this chapter.
    Sec. 18. Not later than fifteen (15) working days after making contact with an agency regarding an agency action, a lobbyist shall file with the clerk a registration statement that contains the following information on a form provided by the clerk:
        (1) The name, business address, telephone number, electronic mail address, and occupation of the lobbyist.
        (2) The name, business address, telephone number, and electronic mail address of the:
            (A) lobbyist's employer; and


            (B) any real party in interest on whose behalf the lobbyist is acting, if it is different from the employer.
        (3) A brief description of the subject matter to which the engagement or engagements relate.
        (4) The identity of the agency or agencies to which the engagement or engagements relate.
        (5) A verified statement that in the course of engaging in any lobbying activity, the lobbyist has read and will comply with any code of ethics adopted by the political subdivision.
    Sec. 19. (a) Not later than January 15 of each year, a lobbyist shall file with the clerk an annual report that contains the following information on a form provided by the clerk:
        (1) The name, business address, telephone number, electronic mail address, and occupation of the lobbyist.
        (2) The name, business address, telephone number, and electronic mail address of the lobbyist's principal employer.
        (3) The name, business address, and electronic mail address of each real party in interest represented by the lobbyist that has a continuing engagement described in the lobbyist's registration statement.
        (4) The total amount of payments received for each engagement during the previous calendar year.
        (5) A brief description of the subject matter for the lobbying activities in which the lobbyist was engaged during the previous calendar year.
        (6) The identity of the agency or agencies to which the lobbying activities during the previous calendar year were directed.
        (7) A description and the costs of any item of entertainment, food, drink, honoraria, travel expenses, and registration fees given or provided to an official, appointee, or employee. However, the following items need not be listed:
            (A) Items with a fair market value of less than fifty dollars ($50).
            (B) Items that are exempt under the political subdivision's code of ethics.
        (8) A verified statement certifying that in the course of engaging in any lobbying activity during the previous calendar year, the lobbyist has read and complied with the political subdivision's code of ethics, if any.
    (b) A political subdivision's code of ethics may prescribe a fee for a registration under this section. Registration fees shall be

deposited in the political subdivision's general fund.
    Sec. 19. (a) If there is a material change to any information contained in a registration statement or annual report under this chapter, the lobbyist shall file an appropriate written amendment with the clerk not later than fifteen (15) days after the change occurs.
    (b) A lobbyist shall file a written notice of termination with the clerk not later than fifteen (15) days after the end of an engagement. However, this notice does not relieve the lobbyist of the duty to file an annual report.
    Sec. 20. (a) The clerk shall review the accuracy of registration statements and other documents filed under this chapter, and may require the lobbyist to submit verified statements and other supporting documentation.
    (b) The clerk shall notify a lobbyist of any materially incorrect information or other deficiencies in the registration statements or other documents.
    (c) Not later than thirty (30) days after receipt of such a notice, the lobbyist shall file an amended statement or other document that satisfies all requirements set forth in this chapter.
    Sec. 21. (a) To facilitate public access to records regarding lobbying activity, the clerk shall compile and maintain an index of all registration statements and other documents filed under this chapter.
    (b) The clerk shall preserve registration statements and other documents filed under this chapter for a period of at least four (4) years after the date of receipt.
    Sec. 22. The clerk may suspend or revoke a lobbyist's registration as provided in the political subdivision's code of ethics.
    Sec. 23. A lobbyist may not give a gift of cash to an official, employee, or appointee of the political subdivision.