Kamp, 061683 CAAGO, AGO 82-507

Docket Nº:AGO 82-507
Case Date:June 16, 1983
Court:California
 
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JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
JACK R. WINKLER Deputy Attorney General
AGO 82-507
No. 82-507
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
June 16, 1983
         THE HONORABLE ROBERT D. CURIEL, COUNTY COUNSEL OF THE COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT, has requested an opinion on the following question:          May the funds of a general law county be lawfully expended to reimburse county officers and employees for their expense in buying lunch for legislators or their aides at meetings to discuss legislation of interest to the county?          CONCLUSION          The funds of a general law county may not be lawfully expended to reimburse county officers and employees for their expenses in buying meals for legislators or their aides at meetings to discuss legislation of interest to the county.          ANALYSIS          We are advised that a former board of supervisors of a general law county enacted a county ordinance purporting to authorize the reimbursement of expenses of a county representative "in connection with preparation of legislation or material connected therewith, and for attendance at sessions of the State Legislature or meetings of committees of the State Legislature, for luncheon and dinner conferences in an amount not exceeding $100 per month." Government Code section 500231 is cited as authority for the ordinance.2 A controversy arose regarding whether expenses incurred in buying lunch for legislators or legislative aides with whom authorized county representatives meet to discuss legislation of interest to the county may be reimbursed by the county. For purposes of this opinion we assume that the luncheon meetings referred to in the question are informal gatherings and are not meetings of a committee of the Legislature convened to conduct legislative business in conformance with legislative rules.          Article XI, section 1(b) of the California Constitution3 provides:
"(b) The Legislature shall provide for county powers, an elected sheriff, and an elected governing body in each county. Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4 of this article, each governing body shall prescribe by ordinance the compensation of its members, but the ordinance prescribing such
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