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HB 1521 - Amends State Ethic Laws for Campaign Lobbying - North Dakota Key Vote


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Title: Amends State Ethic Laws for Campaign Lobbying

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Title: Amends State Ethic Laws for Campaign Lobbying

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends state ethic laws for campaign lobbying.



  • Requires a lobbyist who expends an amount greater than $200 file a report with the secretary of state that includes the known ultimate and true source of the funds for expenditure (Sec. 24).

  • Defines “ultimate and true source” as the person that knowingly contributed over $200 solely to lobby or influence state government action (Sec. 24).

  • Prohibits a lobbyist from knowingly giving, offering, soliciting, initiating, or facilitating a gift to a public official and prohibits the public official from knowingly accepting the gift from the lobbyist (Sec. 24).

  • Specifies that the above provisions to not apply when a lobbyist gives, offers, solicits, initiates, facilitates a gift to a public official from their family member (Sec. 24).

  • Authorizes the secretary of state to assess the following civil penalties on any individual who violates this act (Sec. 24):

    • For a $500 gift, a civil penalty of at least two times the value of the gift; or

    • For a gift of less than $500, the civil penalty must be no less than 2 times the value of the git.

  • Establishes an ethics commission within the state of North Dakota and specifies that complaints may be made to the commission either orally or in writing (Sec. 24).

  • Authorizes the ethics commission to do the following after hearing or receiving a complaint, including (Sec. 24):

    • Investigate the allegations in the complaint;

    • Attempt to negotiate or mediate an informal resolution between the accused individual and the compaintant;

    • Refer the complaint to the bureau of criminal investigation or other appropriate law enforcement agency;

    • Refer the complaint alleging violation of open meetings or open records requirements to the attorney general.

  • Requires that the ethics commission make public its written findings of fact at the conclusion of the hearing that state whether the ethics commission believes that a violation of law regarding transparency, corruption, elections, or lobbying occured (Sec. 24).

  • Authorizes the accused individual or complainant to appeal a finding of the ethics commission to the district court of the county where the accused individual resides (Sec. 24).

  • Establishes a penalty of $1,000 to any individual the ethics commissions finds to have knowingly violated the restriction on lobbying by public officials (Sec. 24).

  • Specifies that an ethics commission member may be removed for the following reasons by a majority vote of the governor, majority leader of the senate, and the minority leader of the senate (Sec. 24):

    • Substantial neglect of duty;

    • Gross misconduct in office;

    • Violation of the commission's code of ethics; or

    • Willful or habitual neglect or refusal to perform the duties of the member.

Title: Amends State Ethic Laws for Campaign Lobbying

Title: Amends State Ethic Laws for Campaign Lobbying