CHAPTER 6B. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; ETHICS; CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.

§6B-2B-1. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(a) “Advertising” means publishing, distributing, disseminating, communicating, or displaying information to the public through audio, visual, or other media tools with the purpose of promoting the public official or a political party. “Advertising” may include, but is not limited to, billboard, radio, television, mail, electronic mail, publications, banners, table skirts, magazines, social media, websites, and other forms of publication, dissemination, display, or communication.

(b) “Agent” means any volunteer or employee, contractual or permanent, serving at the discretion of a public official or public employee.

(c) “Educational materials” means publications, guides, calendars, handouts, pamphlets, reports, or booklets intended to provide information about the public official or governmental office. It includes information or details about the office, services the office provides to the public, updates on laws and services, and other informational items that are intended to educate the public.

(d) “Instructional material” means written instructions explaining or detailing steps for completion of a governmental agency document or form.

(e) “Likeness” means a photograph, drawing, or other depiction of an individual.

(f) “Mass media communication” means communication through audio, visual, or other media tools, including U.S. mail, electronic mail, and social media, intended for general dissemination to the public. Examples include mass mailing by U.S. mail, list-serve emails and streaming clips on websites. It does not include: (i) Regular responses to constituent requests or questions during the normal course of business; or (ii) communications that are authorized or required by law to be publicly disseminated, such as legal notices.

(g) “Press release” means a written, audio, or video communication issued by an official or agency to the public or to members and organizations of the news media to report specific but brief information about an event, circumstance, or other happening.

(h) “Public employee” means any full-time or part-time employee of any state, or political subdivision of the state, and their respective boards, agencies, departments, and commissions, or in any other regional or local governmental agency.

(i) “Public official” means any person who is elected or appointed to any state, county, or municipal office or position, including boards, agencies, departments, and commissions, or in any other regional or local governmental agency.

(j) “Public payroll” means payment of public moneys as a wage or salary from the state, or political subdivision of the state, or any other regional or local governmental agency, whether accepted or not.

(k) “Social media” means forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. It includes web and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication to interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals. Examples include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and YouTube.

(l) “Trinkets” means items of tangible personal property that are not vital or necessary to the duties of the public official’s or public employee’s office, including, but not limited to, the following: magnets, mugs, cups, key chains, pill holders, band-aid dispensers, fans, nail files, matches, and bags.