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State Ethics Board

Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Questions is being added to all the time. Please check back again for new entries.

  • 2005 Wis Eth Bd 08 - LOBBYING LAW

    The Ethics Board advises that a candidate for the Legislature may, consistent
    with Wisconsin’s lobbying law:

      (1) remain employed as a lobbyist by the candidate’s employer while a
            candidate for election to the Legislature;

  • 2007 Wis Eth Bd 02 - DISQUALIFICATION

    The Ethics Board has no basis for believing that the bill will promote your
    business’s sale of items. If our understanding is correct, then:
      • your action on the bill will not result in a substantial benefit for your
          business [§19. 45 (2)];

      • your business does not have a substantial financial interest in the bill [§19.
          46 (1) (a)]; and

  • 2006 Wis Eth Bd 05 - GIFTS

    In determining whether a gift is of “substantial value,” the Ethics Board
    looks at the totality of the circumstances.* Here, the value of the gifts is small in
    comparison to the time you devoted to the two organizations, the sentimental
    value of the gifts is greater than their monetary value, and the gifts are, in
    essence, commemorative in nature. In these circumstances, we conclude that
    the gifts are not of “substantial value” as that term is used in the Ethics Code,
    and you may keep them.

  • 2007 Wis Eth Bd 10 - DISQUALIFICATION


     The provision of the Ethics Code most pertinent to your inquiry is §19.46
    (1) (a), Wisconsin Statutes. That section provides, in relevant part, that a state
    government official may take no official action substantially affecting a matter in
    which the official or the official’s spouse has a substantial financial interest.1 The
    statute pertains regardless of whether an official is party to a marital property
    agreement that provides for the separation of the official’s and spouse’s income.

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