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General Laws

Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise have the following meanings:

“Amount”, a category of value, rather than an exact dollar figure, as follows: greater than $1,000 but not more than $5,000; greater than $5,000 but not more than $10,000; greater than $10,000 but not more than $20,000; greater than $20,000 but not more than $40,000; greater than $40,000 but not more than $60,000; greater than $60,000 but not more than $100,000; greater than $100,000.

“Business”, any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, franchise, association, organization, holding company, joint stock company, receivership, business or real estate trust or any other legal entity organized for profit or charitable purposes.

“Business with which he is associated”, any business in which the reporting person or a member of his immediate family is a general partner, proprietor, officer or other employee, including one who is self-employed or serves as a director, trustee or in any similar managerial capacity and any business more than 1 per cent of any class of the outstanding equity of which is beneficially owned in the aggregate by the reporting person and members of his immediate family.

“Candidate for public office”, any individual who seeks nomination or election to public office; provided, however, that, an individual shall be deemed to be seeking nomination or election to public office if he has: (1) received a political contribution or made an expenditure, or has given his consent for any other person or committee to receive a political contribution or make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing his nomination or election to such office, whether or not the specific public office for which he will seek nomination or election is known at the time the political contribution is received or the expenditure is made; or (2) taken the action necessary under the laws of the commonwealth to qualify himself for nomination or election to such office.

“Commission”, the state ethics commission established by section 2;

“Equity”, any stock or similar ownership interest in a business.

“Executive agent”, an executive agent as defined in section 39 of chapter 3.

“Gift”, a payment, entertainment, subscription, advance, services or anything of value, unless consideration of equal or greater value is received; provided, however, that “gift” shall not include a political contribution reported as required by law, a commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business, anything of value received by inheritance or a gift received from a member of the reporting immediate family or from a relative within the third degree of consanguinity of the reporting person or of the reporting person’s spouse or from the spouse of any such relative.

“Governmental body”, a state or county agency, authority, board, bureau, commission, council, department, division or other entity, including the general court and the courts of the commonwealth.

“Immediate family”, a spouse and any dependent children residing in the reporting person’s household.

“Income”, income from whatever source derived, whether in the form of a fee, salary, allowance, forebearance, forgiveness, interest, dividend, royalty, rent, capital gain or any other form of recompense or any combination thereof; provided, however, that interest from savings accounts or from government obligations other than those of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or any public agency or authority created by the general court, alimony and support payments, proceeds from a life insurance policy, retirement or disability benefits and social security payments shall not be considered income for the purposes of this chapter.

“Legislative agent”, a legislative agent as defined in section 39 of chapter 3.

“Major policymaking position”, the executive or administrative head of a governmental body, all members of the judiciary, any person whose salary equals or exceeds that of a state employee classified in step 1 of job group XXV of the general salary schedule contained in section 46 of chapter 30 and who reports directly to said executive or administrative head, the head of each division, bureau or other major administrative unit within such governmental body and persons exercising similar authority.

“Person”, a business, individual, corporation, union, association, firm, partnership, committee or other organization or group of persons.

“Political contribution”, a contribution of money or anything of value to an individual, candidate, political committee or person acting on behalf of an individual, candidate or political committee, for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of the individual or candidate or for the purpose of promoting or opposing a charter change, referendum question, constitutional amendment or other question submitted to the voters and shall include any: (1) gift, subscription, loan, advance, deposit of money, or thing of value, except a loan of money to a candidate by a national or state bank made in accordance with the applicable banking laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business; (2) transfer of money or anything of value between political committees; (3) payment, by any person other than a candidate or political committee, or compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to such candidate or committee; (4) purchase from an individual, candidate or political committee, or person acting on behalf of an individual, candidate or political committee, whether through the device of tickets, advertisements, or otherwise, for fund-raising activities, including testimonials, held on behalf of said individual, candidate or political committee, to the extent that the purchase price exceeds the actual cost of the goods sold or services rendered; (5) discount or rebate not available to other candidates for the same office and to the general public; and (6) forgiveness of indebtedness or payment of indebtedness by another person; provided, however, that political contribution shall not include the rendering of services by speakers, editors, writers, poll watchers, poll checkers or others, or the payment by those rendering such services of such personal expenses as may be incidental thereto, or the exercise of ordinary hospitality.

“Public employee”, a person who holds a major policymaking position in a governmental body; provided, however, that a person who receives no compensation other than reimbursements for expenses, or any person serving on a governmental body that has no authority to expend public funds other than to approve reimbursements for expenses shall not be considered a public employee for the purposes of this chapter; provided, further, that the members of the board of bar examiners shall not be considered public employees for the purposes of this chapter.

“Public office”, a position for which one is nominated at a state primary or chosen at a state election, excluding the positions of senator and representative in congress and the office of regional district school committee member elected district-wide.

“Public official”, a person who holds a public office.

“Reporting person”, a person required to file a statement of financial interest pursuant to section 5.

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