In West Virginia, a number of ethics bills are being considered for action. One bill reads as follows:
One change closed a potential ethics gap related to public officials channeling funds to nonprofit boards they serve on. Under current law, it is OK for an official to funnel money to a nonprofit board he or she sits on, so long as the nonprofit’s board is unpaid. HB 2001 requires that in such cases, public officials must recuse themselves from any votes related to that funding, regardless of whether they were paid or unpaid. - See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/daily-mail-editorials/20170306/guest-editorial-ethics-reform-a-good-step-to-rebuild-confidence#sthash.JxV6t6d0.dpuf
This proposed bill raises for me an interesting question: for a nonprofit board member, where does the fiduciary duty of loyalty begin and end?
As a reminder, the duty of loyalty is effectively the duty having to do with conflict of interest: a nonprofit board member must not take or participate in actions that will ultimately be self-serving. Duty of care principally requires that a board member treat their organization as though it was their own doing what they can to ensure its success.
So, back to the legislative ethics proposal I would suggest that a board member with the opportunity to bring-in resources for their nonprofit should absolutely do so. But, if passed, this legislative mandate would say they could not, effectively challenging their duty of loyalty as a legislator and their duty of care as a nonprofit board member. The same of course would be true should an individual be siting on two boards and experience such an opportunity.
At very minimum, one takeaway from this discussion: don't sit on more than one nonprofit board simultaneously. It's difficult to fulfill your fiduciary duty to "two masters".