Ethics Board Settles On 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals Per Year

Aug 19, 2014

Washington lawmakers will be allowed to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year but no more. That was the vote Tuesday from the state’s Legislative Ethics Board.

Washington state's Legislative Ethics Board voted Tuesday to allow lawmakers to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year.
Credit masaccio / Wikimedia Commons

On the low side, one Board member proposed a limit of three free meals a year. On the high side, there was a proposal to allow two dozen free meals a year. Even the compromise of 12 lobbyist-paid meals per year did not receive a unanimous vote.

It’s also not a final rule. That will come this October when the Ethics Board meets again.

Bottom line though, it appears that for the first time, Washington lawmakers will have clear guidance on what it means when state law says they can accept free meals on an ‘infrequent’ basis. Until now, the word ‘infrequent’ had not been defined. Now it is.

The Ethics Board took up the issue of free meals for lawmakers following our reporting with the Associated Press last year.

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