Full Disclosure Act

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Summary: The Full Disclosure Act requires [legislators] to publicly disclose any possible conflicts of interest.

Based on Maryland HB 879 (2017) starting on page 32

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Full Disclosure Act.”

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(A) FINDINGSThe legislature finds that:

  1. Whenever people move, they should register to vote or update their preexisting voter registration.

(B) PURPOSEThis law is enacted to increase voter participation and strengthen democracy.

SECTION 3. FULL DISCLOSURE

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:

Close economic association” means the association between a legislator and:

  1. The legislator’s employer; employee; or partner in a business or professional enterprise;
  2. A partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company in which the legislator has invested capital or owns an interest;
  3. A corporation in which the legislator owns the lesser of 10 percent or more of the outstanding capital stock or $25,000 or more
  4. A corporation in which the legislator is an officer, a director, or an agent; and
  5. An entity with which the legislator is negotiating employment or has arranged prospective employment.

“Close economic association” does not include a legislator’s ownership of stock directly through a mutual fund, an exchange-traded fund, a retirement plan, or any other similar commingled investment vehicle the individual investments of which the legislator does not control or manage.

(B) NO CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

  1. A conflict of interest disqualifies a legislator from participating in any legislative action, or otherwise attempting to influence any legislation, to which the conflict relates.
  2. It is presumed that an interest disqualifies a legislator from participating in legislative action whenever the legislator:
  3. Has or acquires a direct interest in an enterprise that would be affected by the legislator’s vote on proposed legislation, unless the interest is common to all members of a profession or occupation of which the legislator is a member, or the general public or a large class of the general public;
  4. Benefits financially from a close economic association with a person whom the legislator knows has a direct interest in an enterprise or interest that would be affected by the legislator’s participation in legislative action, differently from other like enterprises or interests;
  5. Benefits financially from a close economic association with a person who is lobbying for the purpose of influencing legislative action; or
  6. Solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept a loan, other than a loan from a commercial lender in the normal course of business, from a person who would be affected by or has an interest in an enterprise that would be affected by the legislator’s participation in legislative action.
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