About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.



Statute Text

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Article - General Provisions
§5–505.  
(a)    (1)   An official or employee may not solicit any gift.
(2)   An official may not directly solicit or facilitate the solicitation of a gift, on behalf of another person, from an individual regulated lobbyist described in § 5–701(a)(1) of this title.
(b)    (1)   In this subsection, “entity” does not include a governmental unit.
(2)   Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, an official or employee may not knowingly accept a gift, directly or indirectly, from an entity that the official or employee knows or has reason to know:
(i)   does or seeks to do any business of any kind, regardless of amount, with the official’s or employee’s governmental unit;
(ii)   engages in an activity that is regulated or controlled by the official’s or employee’s governmental unit;
(iii)   has a financial interest that may be affected substantially and materially, in a manner distinguishable from the public generally, by the performance or nonperformance of the official’s or employee’s official duties; or
(iv)   is a regulated lobbyist with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the official or employee.
(c)    (1)   Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, an official or employee may accept a gift listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection unless:
(i)   the gift would tend to impair the impartiality and independent judgment of the official or employee; or
(ii)   as to a gift of significant value:
1.   the gift would give the appearance of impairing the impartiality and independent judgment of the official or employee; or
2.   the official or employee believes or has reason to believe that the gift is designed to impair the impartiality and independent judgment of the official or employee.
(2)   Subject to paragraph (1) of this subsection, subsection (b) of this section does not apply to:
(i)    1.   except for officials of the Legislative Branch, meals or beverages received and consumed by the official or employee in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity;
2.   for officials of the Legislative Branch, food or beverages received and consumed by the official in the presence of the donor or sponsoring entity as part of a meal or reception to which all members of a legislative unit were invited;
3.   for a member of the General Assembly, food or beverages received from a donor or sponsoring entity, other than an individual regulated lobbyist described in § 5–701(a)(1) of this title, during a period when the General Assembly is not in session, at a location that is within a county that contains the member’s district, provided that the donor or sponsoring entity is located within a county that contains the member’s district; or
4.   for a member of the General Assembly, food or beverages received at the time and geographic location of a meeting of a legislative organization for which the member’s presiding officer has approved the member’s attendance at State expense;
(ii)   ceremonial gifts or awards of insignificant monetary value;
(iii)   except for a State official of the Executive Branch or Legislative Branch, unsolicited gifts of nominal value;
(iv)   for a State official of the Executive Branch or Legislative Branch, unsolicited gifts from a regulated lobbyist that are not meals or alcoholic beverages and that do not exceed $20 in cost;
(v)   trivial gifts of informational value;
(vi)   in return for participation on a panel or a speaking engagement at a meeting, reasonable expenses for food, travel, lodging, or scheduled entertainment of the official or employee if the expenses are associated with the meeting, except that, if such expenses for a State official of the Legislative Branch or Executive Branch are to be paid by a regulated lobbyist and are anticipated to exceed $500, the official shall notify the appropriate advisory body before attending the meeting;
(vii)   for a member of the General Assembly, reasonable expenses for food, travel, lodging, or scheduled entertainment to attend a legislative conference that has been approved by the member’s presiding officer;
(viii)   tickets or free admission extended to an elected constitutional officer from the person sponsoring or conducting the event, as a courtesy or ceremony to the office, to attend a charitable, cultural, or political event;
(ix)   a specific gift or class of gifts exempted from subsection (b) of this section by the Ethics Commission on a written finding that:
1.   acceptance of the gift or class of gifts would not be detrimental to the impartial conduct of government; and
2.   the gift is purely personal and private in nature;
(x)   a gift from:
1.   an individual related to the official or employee by blood or marriage; or
2.   any other individual who is a member of the household of the official or employee; or
(xi)   to the extent provided in subsection (d) of this section, honoraria.
(d)    (1)   Except as provided in subsection (c)(2)(vi) of this section, a member or member–elect of the General Assembly may not accept an honorarium.
(2)   Subject to subsection (c)(1) of this section, an official or employee who is not a member or member–elect of the General Assembly may accept an honorarium if:
(i)   the honorarium is limited to reasonable expenses for the official’s meals, travel, and lodging, and reasonable and verifiable expenses for care of a child or dependent adult, that are actually incurred;
(ii)   the honorarium consists of gifts described in subsection (c)(2)(ii) through (iv) of this section; or
(iii)   the official or employee is a faculty member of a State institution of higher education who does not hold another position as an official that precludes receiving the honorarium.
(3)   Other than as allowed by paragraph (2) of this subsection, an honorarium may not be accepted, even if allowed by subsection (c)(1) of this section, if:
(i)   the payor of the honorarium has an interest that may be affected substantially and materially, in a manner distinguishable from the public generally, by the performance or nonperformance of the official’s or employee’s official duties; and
(ii)   the offering of the honorarium is related in any way to the official’s or employee’s official position.
(e)   An official or employee may not accept a gift that is prohibited under § 13–211 of the State Finance and Procurement Article.
(f)   By regulation, the Ethics Commission may define further exemptions from this section as may be necessary.