The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 001 : General Provisions; State Code of Ethics(Cite as: 3 V.S.A. § 1203g)
§ 1203g. Gifts
(a) Gift limitations and exceptions. A public servant shall not solicit or accept a gift unless permitted under this section. For purposes of this subchapter, “gift” means anything of value, tangible or intangible, that is given for less than adequate consideration. A public servant may accept:
(1) A devise or inheritance. A public servant may accept a devise or inheritance.
(2) Gifts to the State. A public servant may accept goods or services that are provided to a State agency for use on State agency property or for use by the public servant while serving in an official capacity.
(3) Ceremonial awards. A public servant may accept a certificate, plaque, or other ceremonial award, provided the cost does not exceed the limit established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(4) Rebates, discounts, and promotions. A public servant may accept a rebate, discount, or promotional item that is available to the general public or to a definable subset of the general public.
(5) Printed or recorded material. A public servant may accept printed or recorded informational or educational material germane to State action or functions.
(6) Food or beverages. A public servant may accept food or beverages, or both, under the following circumstances:
(A) The food or beverage, or both, is consumed on an occasion or occasions at which the person paying, directly or indirectly, for the food or beverage or the person’s representative is in attendance, provided the cost does not exceed the limit established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(B) The food or beverage, or both, is incidental to the performance of a legitimate State function.
(C) The food or beverage, or both, is provided at a charitable, cultural, political, or civic event at which the public servant participates in the public servant’s official capacity.
(7) Admission fees and tickets. A public servant may accept free attendance to a widely attended charitable, cultural, political, or civic event at which a public servant participates in the public servant’s official capacity, provided such tickets or admission is provided by the primary sponsoring entity. Free attendance may include all or part of the cost of admission; transportation to and from the event; and food, refreshments, entertainment, and instructional materials provided to all event attendees.
(8) Private employment gifts. A public servant may accept anything of value provided by an employer of the public servant, provided such benefits are customarily and ordinarily provided to others in similar circumstances.
(9) Public-servant-to-public-servant gifts. A public servant may accept a gift from another public servant under the following circumstances:
(A) If the recipient is not in a supervisor-supervisee relationship with the giver, the public servant may accept a gift for a holiday or occasion of significance.
(B) If the recipient is in a supervisor-supervisee relationship, the public servant may accept a gift for a holiday or occasion of significance, provided the value does not exceed the limit established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(10) Training or education. A public servant may accept attendance to training or similar events determined to be in the interest of the public servant’s agency or department.
(11) Gifts of de minimis value. A public servant may accept an unsolicited gift having a de minimis market value as established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(12) Personal gifts. A public servant may accept gifts clearly motivated by an outside relationship, family relationship, or personal friendship rather than the position of the public servant. Relevant factors in making such a determination include the history and nature of the relationship and whether the individual, family member, or a friend personally pays for the gift.
(13) Loans. A public servant may accept a commercially reasonable loan made on terms not more favorable than loans made in the ordinary course of business.
(14) Gifts otherwise permitted and legal. A public servant may accept a gift that is otherwise expressly permitted under State law.
(b) Gift valuation. For purposes of this subchapter, the value or cost limit for gifts described in subsection (a) of this section shall be:
(1) Beginning on July 1, 2022:
(A) Ceremonial awards: Less than $100.00.
(B) Food or beverages, or both: Less than $100.00 in the aggregate per recipient, per source, in a calendar year.
(C) A supervisor-supervisee relationship gift: Less than $100.00 for any single gift, and the value of all gifts does not exceed $200.00 in the aggregate per year.
(D) De minimis gift: $50.00 or less per source per occasion, provided that the aggregate market value of individual gifts received from any one person does not exceed $150.00 in a calendar year.
(2) On or after July 1, 2026, the State Ethics Commission may increase the value or cost limit set in subdivision (1) of this subsection, provided:
(A) the State Ethics Commission presents its proposed increase to the House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on Government Operations at least 180 days prior to proposed implementation and after consultation with the Department of Human Resources and the Judicial Branch;
(B) the cost or value limit is not increased more than once in a five- year period; and
(C) the increased cost or value limit is posted on the State Ethics Commission website and the Commission sends a notice of increase to public servants not less than 60 days prior to the increase’s effective date. (Added 2021, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2022.)