PA 10-101—sSB 330

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Labor and Public Employees Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENT EMPLOYEES, THE STATE ETHICS CODE AND WORKFORCE COMPETITIVENESS

SUMMARY: This act exempts student employees at public institutions of higher education from certain provisions of the State Code of Ethics. The exemptions cover students whose employment is derived from their status as students at those institutions but not to regular employees at a college or university who take classes on a part-time basis.

Specifically, the act exempts student employees from:

1. restrictions on expense-paid travel by allowing them to receive travel expenses, lodging, food, beverage, and other benefits customarily provided by a prospective employer in connection with bona fide employment discussions;

2. post-employment restrictions that require state officials and employees to wait one year after leaving state employment before (a) representing, for compensation, anyone besides themselves before their former office and (b) accepting employment with a party to a (i) contract or agreement with the state valued at $50,000 or more or (ii) written agreement for an automatic payroll deduction for a product or service if the student participated substantially in or supervised the negotiation of the award; and

3. provisions of the code concerning prohibited activities, disclosure, or use of confidential information, and conflicts of interest.

The latter exemption is only valid if the student's institution has (1) adopted written policies and procedures regulating student employees and conflicts of interest and (2) the policies and procedures have been approved by the Citizens Ethics Advisory Board. The act requires institutions to submit (1) their policies and procedures to the board triennially and (2) any significant revisions within 30 days of their adoption.

With several exceptions, existing law prohibits public officials, candidates for public office, and state employees from accepting gifts (generally anything of value over $10) from lobbyists. It also prohibits public officials and state employees from accepting gifts from people doing, or seeking to do, business with their agency; people engaged in activities regulated by their agency; or prequalified state contractors. The law also prohibits these people from giving gifts to public officials and employees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

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