Oregon Amends Lobbying and Gift Laws
Several changes made by the Oregon Legislature to the state's lobbying and gift laws became effective on January 1, 2008. In addition to renaming the Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission as the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, the state made the following changes, among others:
- Instituted a quarterly reporting schedule for lobbyists (although the year-end report for 2007 is still due on January 31, 2008);
- Enacted a quarterly reporting schedule for lobbyist employers (although the 2007 year-end report is still due January 31, 2008);
- Increased the civil penalties for violations of the lobbying law;
- Reduced its yearly gift limit to $50;
- Eliminated its general gift rule exception for food and drink consumed in the presence of the purchaser;
- Instituted several new, detailed gift rule exceptions;
- Adjusted the honoraria provisions such that they apply more narrowly; and
- Instituted a post-employment lobbying ban on members of the legislative assembly.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission's website can be found at www.oregon.gov/OGEC/index.shtml and includes several proposed rules to implement the statutory changes.