2019 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 5 - Ethics in Government
Article 4 - Public Officials' Conduct and Lobbyist Disclosure
§ 21-5-70. Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 21-5-70 (2019)
  • As used in this article, the term:
    • (1) "Expenditure":

      • (A) Means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or conveyance of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the actions of any public officer, specifically including any such transaction which is made on behalf of or for the benefit of a public employee for the purpose of influencing a public officer;

      • (B) Includes any other form of payment when such can be reasonably construed as designed to encourage or influence a public officer;

      • (B.1) Includes reimbursement or payment of expenses exceeding $75.00 provided to a public officer from any individual lobbyist for transportation, travel, lodging, registration, food, and beverages;

      • (C) Includes any gratuitous transfer, payment, subscription, advance, or deposit of money, services, tickets for admission to athletic, sporting, recreational, musical concert, or other entertainment events, or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or greater than face value is received;

      • (D) Includes reimbursement or payment of expenses for recreational or leisure activities; and

      • (E) Does not include anything defined in paragraph (4.1) of this Code section as a lobbying expenditure, the provisions of subparagraphs (A) through (D) of this paragraph notwithstanding.

    • (2) "Filed" means the delivery to the commission, as specified in this article, of a document that satisfies the requirements of this article. A document is considered delivered when it is electronically delivered to the commission or placed in the United States mail within the required filing time, properly addressed to the commission, as specified in this article, with adequate postage affixed.

    • (3) "Identifiable group of public officers" means a description that is specifically determinable by available public records.

    • (4) "Lobbying" means the activity of a lobbyist while acting in that capacity.

    • (4.1) "Lobbying expenditure" means:

      • (A) Promotional items generally distributed to the general public or to public officers and food and beverages produced in Georgia;

      • (B) An award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient's civic, charitable, political, professional, or public service;

      • (C) Discounts, upgrades, memberships, or other accommodations extended by a business to a bona fide customer; or legitimate salary, benefits, fees, commissions, or expenses associated with a recipient's nonpublic business, employment, trade, or profession;

      • (D) Food, beverages, and registration at group events to which all members of an agency, as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 21-5-30.2, are invited. For purposes of this subparagraph, an agency shall also include the House of Representatives, the Senate, standing committees of such bodies but not for more than one of such group events per committee per calendar year, caucuses of members of the majority or minority political parties of the House or Senate, other caucuses of the House or Senate as approved by the House Committee on Ethics or the Senate Ethics Committee, and the governing body of each political subdivision of this state;

      • (E) Campaign contributions or expenditures as defined by Code Section 21-5-3 and reported as required by Article 2 of this chapter;

      • (F) Reimbursement or payment of actual and reasonable expenses provided to a public officer and his or her necessary public employee staff members for such public officer's and staff members' individual transportation, lodging, travel, and registration for attending educational, informational, charitable, or civic meetings or conferences that are held at locations within the United States and directly relate to the official duties of that public officer or the office of that public officer, plus food and beverages for such public officer, his or her necessary public employee staff members, and spouse while attending such educational, informational, charitable, or civic meetings or conferences;

      • (G) Anything which:

        • (i) Does not qualify as a lobbying expenditure under subparagraphs (A) through (F) of this paragraph; and

        • (ii) Would qualify as an expenditure under subparagraph (B.1) of paragraph (1) of this Code section except that it does not exceed an amount or value of $75.00 per person.

    • (5) "Lobbyist" means:

      • (A) Any natural person who, either individually or as an employee of another person, receives or anticipates receiving more than $250.00 per calendar year in compensation or reimbursement or payment of expenses specifically for undertaking to promote or oppose the passage of any legislation by the General Assembly, or any committee of either chamber or a joint committee thereof, or the approval or veto of legislation by the Governor;

      • (B) Any natural person who makes a lobbying expenditure of more than $1,000.00 in a calendar year, not including the person's own travel, food, lodging expenses, or informational material, to promote or oppose the passage of any legislation by the General Assembly, or any committee of either chamber or a joint committee thereof, or the approval or veto of legislation by the Governor;

      • (C) Reserved;

      • (D) Any natural person who, either individually or as an employee of another person, is compensated specifically for undertaking to promote or oppose the passage of any ordinance or resolution by a public officer specified under subparagraph (F) or (G) of paragraph (22) of Code Section 21-5-3, or any committee of such public officers, or the approval or veto of any such ordinance or resolution;

      • (E) Any natural person who makes a lobbying expenditure of more than $1,000.00 in a calendar year, not including the person's own travel, food, lodging expenses, or informational material, to promote or oppose the passage of any ordinance or resolution by a public officer specified under subparagraph (F) or (G) of paragraph (22) of Code Section 21-5-3, or any committee of such public officers, or the approval or veto of any such ordinance or resolution;

      • (F) Any natural person who as an employee of local government engages in any activity covered under subparagraph (D) of this paragraph;

      • (G) Any natural person who, for compensation, either individually or as an employee of another person, is hired specifically to undertake influencing a public officer or state agency in the selection of a vendor to supply any goods or services to any state agency but does not include any employee or independent contractor of the vendor solely on the basis that such employee or independent contractor participates in soliciting a bid or in preparing a written bid, written proposal, or other document relating to a potential sale to a state agency and shall not include a bona fide salesperson who sells to or contracts with a state agency for goods or services and who does not otherwise engage in activities described in subparagraphs (A) through (F) or (H) through (I) of this paragraph;

      • (H) Any natural person who, either individually or as an employee of another person, is compensated specifically for undertaking to promote or oppose the passage of any rule or regulation of any state agency;

      • (I) Any natural person who, either individually or as an employee of another person, is compensated specifically for undertaking to promote or oppose any matter before the State Transportation Board; or

      • (J) Any natural person who makes a lobbying expenditure of more than $1,000.00 in a calendar year, not including the person's own travel, food, lodging expenses, or informational material, to promote or oppose any matter before the State Transportation Board.

    • (6) "Public officer" means a member of the State Transportation Board and those public officers specified under paragraph (22) of Code Section 21-5-3, except as otherwise provided in this article and also includes any public officer or employee who has any discretionary authority over, or is a member of a public body which has any discretionary authority over, the selection of a vendor to supply any goods or services to any state agency.

    • (7) "State agency" means any branch of state government or any agency, authority, department, board, bureau, commission, council, corporation, entity, or instrumentality of this state or of a local political subdivision of this state.

    • (8) "Vendor" means any person who sells to or contracts with any state agency for the provision of any goods or services.

History:

Code 1981, § 21-5-70, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1075, § 16; Ga. L. 1994, p. 258, § 13; Ga. L. 1994, p. 277, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 859, § 20/HB 48; Ga. L. 2008, p. 261, § 1/SB 456; Ga. L. 2009, p. 41, § 1/SB 47; Ga. L. 2010, p. 1173, § 20/SB 17; Ga. L. 2011, p. 19, § 7/HB 232; Ga. L. 2011, p. 569, § 3/SB 160; Ga. L. 2013, p. 540, § 2/HB 142; Ga. L. 2016, p. 173, §§ 9, 10/SB 199.

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