Type Advisory Opinion 
Date 8/8/2002 
Number 02-01 
Topic Appearance in a public capacity - gift exemption 
Respondent  
Issue/Question
The Ethics Act recognizes an exemption from the definition of "gift" for some expenses related to an appearance by a legislator in an "official capacity."  Under what circumstances may a third party pay these expenses?
Summary
The Board will make the following inquires: (1)Has the Legislature analyzed the travel request to determine if legislative duties are involved? (2) Would the Legislature view the expenses as a proper expenditure of public funds, even though a third party has offered to pay? (3) Is the legislative purpose of the trip substantive and not minor?  The Board emphasizes that this opinion was restricted to "an appearance in an official capacity" and the gift exemption.  Other issues could still be present even if the travel was not a "gift," including the "reasonable expectation" analysis, involvement of lobbyists, solicitiation of travel and excessive travel costs. RCW's 42.52.010(d) and 42.52.150(2)(g).
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