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Can we provide dinner at a work session prior to a board meeting? Are there any reporting requirement? What if the board wants to have a dinner not connected to a meeting and not for discussing board business? Is it allowable for the agency to pay for that?

Last year the Oregon legislature passed new legislation regarding Oregon's ethics laws. Rules regarding this legislation are still being written and interpreted. Many of the details of how various parts of the law will be implemented are still uncertain.

OSBA has asked the Government Ethics Commission for clarification and interpretations on a number of ethics issues as they apply to school board members and employees. We do not know when we will receive a response from GEC. OSBA is advocating for flexibility for our member districts so they are able to continue with legitimate practices that facilitate their work as volunteers.

There is a pending lawsuit filed by a private lobbyist that could change the course of the legislation that created changes to ethics laws. Until there is more clarity, we advise our members to be very cautious in accepting meals or gifts of any kind from the district, vendors or any patrons related to your school district service.

For more information on this question, Ask Betsy's Team.