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NO. 82. AN ACT RELATING TO MUNICIPAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICIES.

(H.839)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 24 V.S.A. § 2291 is amended to read:

§ 2291. ENUMERATION OF POWERS

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

* * *

(20) To establish a conflict of interest policy to apply to all elected and appointed officials of the town, city, or incorporated village.

Sec. 2. 24 V.S.A. § 1984 is added to read:

§ 1984. CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROHIBITION

(a) A town, city, or incorporated village, by majority vote of those present and voting at an annual or special meeting warned for that purpose, may adopt a conflict of interest prohibition for its elected and appointed officials which shall contain:

(1) A definition of "conflict of interest."

(2) A list of the elected and appointed officials covered by such prohibition.

(3) A method to determine whether a conflict of interest exists.

(4) Actions that must be taken if a conflict of interest is determined to exist.

(5) A method of enforcement against individuals violating such prohibition.

(b) Unless the prohibition adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section contains a different definition of "conflict of interest," for the purposes of a prohibition adopted under this section, "conflict of interest" means a direct personal or pecuniary interest of a public official, or the official's spouse, household member, business associate, employer, or employee, in the outcome of a cause, proceeding, application, or any other matter pending before the official or before the agency or public body in which the official holds office or is employed. "Conflict of interest" does not arise in the case of votes or decisions on matters in which the public official has a personal or pecuniary interest in the outcome, such as in the establishment of a tax rate, that is no greater than that of other persons generally affected by the decision.

Approved: April 13, 2000