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CHAPTER VIII

6. POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

6.1 Use of System Funds, Personnel or Property.

No Regent shall expend or authorize the expenditure of any State appropriated funds for the purpose of influencing the outcome of any election, or the passage or defeat of any legislative measure.

6.2 Political Contributions.

Regents may make personal contributions to candidates for office and political organizations, with one exception. A Regent may not expend more than $100 for the cost of correspondence to aid or defeat the election of a Speaker candidate.

6.3 Entertainment.

If a System or Component employee provides tickets to a public official to allow the official and/or his guests to attend an event, an officer or employee of the System or a Component will serve as host to the official, and must attend the event.

6.4 Perishable Food Items.

System or Component employees may provide Public officials with small, infrequent gifts of perishable food items delivered to their offices. These are not considered to be "benefits" for purposes of the provisions of the Penal Code prohibiting such.

6.5 Expenses for Public Officials.

System Components may pay expenses in order to furnish information to state officials relevant to their official position, including presentations about the programs and services of The Texas State University System and its Components.

6.6 Use of Official Authority Prohibited.

No System or Component employee may use his or her official authority or influence, or permit the use of a program administered by the System to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination of a candidate or to achieve any other political purpose. No System or Component employee may do any act or attempt to interfere with anyone who seeks to pay, lend, or contribute private funds or private property to a person or political organization for political purposes. Any System or Component employee who violates either of these provisions is subject to immediate termination of employment, in accordance with the Government Code.

6.7 Use of System Funds or Property.

No System or Component employee shall expend or authorize the expenditure of any System or Component funds for the purpose of influencing the outcome of any election, or the passage or defeat of any legislative measure. No System or Component funds may be expended for the payment of full or partial salary of any employee who is also the paid lobbyist of any individual, firm, association, or corporation. System and Component facilities may be used as polling places for local, state, and national elections.

6.8 Voting and Political Participation.

As employees of the State of Texas, System and Component employees have the rights of freedom of association and political participation guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions, except as limited by valid state laws. System and Component employees shall be allowed sufficient time off to vote in public elections without a deduction from pay or from accrued leave time.

6.9 Political Campaign Events on System Property.

The Chief Executive Officers of the Components of The Texas State University System shall be responsible for promulgating rules for the regulation of political campaign meetings or speeches and other activities relating to political campaigns on property under their control. Such regulations shall be implemented by the Chancellor after approval by the Board of Regents.

6.10 Employees as Candidates and Officeholders.

System and Component employees may run for election and serve as members of the governing bodies of school districts, cities, towns, or other local governmental districts. No campaign activities may be conducted during official business hours unless the employee has requested and received permission to use leave time for such purpose. Any employee elected to such a position may not receive any salary for serving as a member of such governing bodies.

6.11 Political Contributions from Employees.

System and Component employees may make personal contributions to candidates for office and political organizations, with the exception that no state employee may contribute personal services, money, or goods of value to a candidate campaigning for speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.