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Home > Legislators > Conflicts of Interest > Situations Involving Conflict of Interest

Situations Involving Conflict of Interest
(1 M.R.S.A. § 1014(1))

A Legislator engages in a violation of legislative ethics if that Legislator votes on a question in connection with a conflict of interest in committee or in either body of the Legislature or attempts to influence the outcome of that question unless a presiding officer in accordance with the Joint Rules of the Legislature requires a Legislator to vote or advises the Legislator that there is no conflict in accordance with section 1013, subsection 2, paragraph K. A conflict of interest includes:

A. When a Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family has or acquires a direct substantial personal financial interest, distinct from that of the general public, in an enterprise that would be financially benefited by proposed legislation, or derives a direct substantial personal financial benefit from close economic association with a person known by the Legislator to have a direct financial interest in an enterprise affected by proposed legislation;

B. When a Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family accepts gifts, other than campaign contributions duly recorded as required by law, from persons affected by legislation or who have an interest in an entity affected by proposed legislation and the Legislator knows or reasonably should know that the purpose of the donor in making the gift is to influence the Legislator in the performance of the Legislator's official duties or vote or is intended as a reward for action on the Legislator's part;

C. Receiving compensation or reimbursement not authorized by law for services, advice or assistance as a Legislator;

D. Appearing for, representing or advocating on behalf of another before the Legislature, unless without compensation and for the benefit of a citizen;

E. When a Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family accepts or engages in employment that could impair the Legislator's judgment, or when the Legislator knows that there is a substantial possibility that an opportunity for employment is being afforded the Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family with intent to influence the performance of the Legislator's official duties, or when the Legislator or a member of his immediate family stands to derive a personal private gain or loss from employment, because of legislative action, distinct from the gain or losses of other employees or the general community; and

F. When a Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family has an interest in legislation relating to a profession, trade, business or employment in which the Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family is engaged and the benefit derived by the Legislator or a member of the Legislator's immediate family is unique and distinct from that of the general public or persons engaged in similar professions, trades, businesses or employment.