Gift Made with Intent to Influence
No current state statute or regulation falls under the category of “Gift Made with Intent to Influence.”
Extra Compensation for Official Duties
(a) A person commits the offense of soliciting unlawful compensation if he or she requests a benefit for the performance of an official action as a public servant knowing that he or she is required to perform that action:
- Without compensation, other than authorized salary or allowances; or
- At a level of compensation lower than that requested.
- Soliciting unlawful compensation is a Class A misdemeanor.
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-52-104.
Gift Regardless of Giver Status
(a) No public servant shall:
- Receive a gift or compensation as defined in § 21-8-401 et seq., other than income and benefits from the governmental body to which he or she is duly entitled, for the performance of the duties and responsibilities of his or her office or position . . .
(b) (1) No person shall confer a gift or compensation as defined in § 21-8-401 et seq. to any public servant, the receipt of which is prohibited by subdivision (a)(1) of this section.
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-8-801.
Gift from Lobbyist or Regulated Entity
Persons elected or appointed to the following offices shall not knowingly or willfully solicit or accept a gift in violation of Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, § 30, from a lobbyist, a person acting on behalf of a lobbyist, or a person employing or contracting with a lobbyist:
- Lieutenant Governor;
- Secretary of State;
- Treasurer of State;
- Auditor of State;
- Attorney General;
- Commissioner of State Lands;
- Member of the General Assembly;
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court;
- Justice of the Supreme Court;
- Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals;
- Judge of the Court of Appeals;
- Circuit court judge;
- District court judge;
- Prosecuting attorney; and
- Member of the independent citizens commission for the purpose of setting salaries of elected constitutional officers of the executive department, members of the General Assembly, justices, and judges under Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, § 31.
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-8-310. See also Ark. Const. art. 19 § 30; Ark. Const. art. 30; Ark. Const. amend. 94, § 2.
Definitions and Exceptions
Gift Defined and Definition Exceptions
(5)(A) “Gift” means any payment, entertainment, advance, services, or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or greater value has been given therefor.
(B) The term “gift” does not include:
- (a)Informational material such as books, reports, pamphlets, calendars, or periodicals informing a public servant regarding his or her official duties.
- (b) Payments for travel or reimbursement for any expenses are not informational material;
- The giving or receiving of food, lodging, or travel which bears a relationship to the public servant’s office and when appearing in an official capacity;
- Gifts which are not used and which, within thirty (30) days after receipt, are returned to the donor;
- Gifts from an individual’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, niece, aunt, uncle, or first cousin, or the spouse of any of these persons, unless the person is acting as an agent or intermediary for any person not covered by this subdivision (5)(B)(iv);
- Campaign contributions;
- Any devise or inheritance;
- (a) Anything with a value of one hundred dollars ($100) or less.
- (b) The value of an item shall be considered to be less than one hundred dollars ($100) if the public servant reimburses the person from whom the item was received any amount over one hundred dollars ($100) and the reimbursement occurs within ten (10) days from the date the item was received;
- Wedding presents and engagement gifts;
- A monetary or other award presented to an employee of a public school district, the Arkansas School for the Blind, the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, a university, a college, a technical college, a technical institute, a comprehensive life-long learning center, or a community college in recognition of the employee’s contribution to education;
- Tickets to charitable fund-raising events held within this state by a nonprofit organization which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- A personalized award, plaque, or trophy with a value of one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) or less;
- An item which appointed or elected members of a specific governmental body purchase with their own personal funds and present to a fellow member of that governmental body in recognition of public service;
- Food or beverages provided at a conference-scheduled event that is part of the program of the conference;
- Food or beverages provided in return for participation in a bona fide panel, seminar, or speaking engagement at which the audience is a civic, social, or cultural organization or group;
- (a) A monetary or other award publicly presented to an employee of state government in recognition of his or her contributions to the community and State of Arkansas when the presentation is made by the employee’s supervisors or peers, individually or through a nonprofit organization which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the employee’s receipt of the award would not result in or create the appearance of the employee using his or her position for private gain, giving preferential treatment to any person, or losing independence or impartiality.
- (b) The exception in subdivision (5)(B)(xv)(a) of this section shall not apply to an award presented to an employee of state government by a person having economic interests which may be affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties or responsibilities; and
- Anything of value provided by a political party under § 7-1-101 or § 7-7-205 when serving as the host of the following events to all attendees as part of attendance at the event:
- (a) The official swearing-in, inaugural, and recognition events of constitutional officers and members of the General Assembly; and
- (b) An official event of a recognized political party so long as all members of either house of the General Assembly affiliated with the recognized political party are invited to the official event;
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-8-402(5). See also Ark. Const. Art. 19, § 30(2).
(a) The following persons shall file a written statement of financial interest: . . . [list of specific positions required to file] . . .
(d) The statement of financial interest shall include the following: . . .
(9) The source, date, description, and a reasonable estimate of the fair market value of each gift of more than one hundred dollars ($100) received by the public servant or candidate or his or her spouse or more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) received by his or her dependent children . . . .
Ark. Code Ann. § 21-8-701(d)(9).