General Rule: State employees may not accept or solicit a free or discounted meal worth more than $40 from a source outside state government. A "meal" does not include receptions where finger food and snacks are served and there is no sit-down meal service. Thus, state employees may attend such receptions under state ethics rules.
State employees may accept meals worth more than $40 only under the following circumstances:
- Meal is motivated by personal or family relationships; or,
- Meal is provided at widely attended event AND it is obvious the meal is not a pretext for exclusive access to the person; or,
- Meal is provided at public event in which person attends due to official capacity (the "rubber chicken dinner"); or,
- Meal is provided when it is obvious that it is not provided due to person's official position; or,
- It is refreshments such as soft drinks, coffee or snack foods that are not part of a meal.
- Fair market value of the meal is paid to the provider; or
- Meals provided to a person when the person's presence at the event or meeting at which the meal is provided serves a legitimate state purpose or interest and the agency of which such person is an officer or employee authorizes such person's attendance at such event or meeting; or
- Meals provided to the governor's spouse and members of the governor's immediate family at the event or meeting at which the meal is provided serve a legitimate state purpose or interest.
- Meal is not provided by a registered lobbyist.