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Travel expenses for boards and commissions

If you are a member of a class 1, 2, 3 or 5 board, commission, council, committee or similar group, you are prohibited from receiving an allowance for subsistence, lodging or travel expenses if the allowance cost is funded by the state General Fund. However, you may be granted an exemption, and receive an allowance, if the expenses incurred are related to an agency’s critically necessary work.

Can I get an exemption?

If the expenses are …

Then … 

Related to meetings that are required by state law or are necessary to maintain or receive federal funds.

You have a blanket exemption, which is to be interpreted very narrowly by agencies. You do not have to apply for this exemption, but you must be able to demonstrate that a state or federal law, rule or grant specifically requires an in-person meeting.

Related to critically necessary work of an agency, but not required by state law or are necessary to maintain or receive federal funds.

Apply for an exemption. (See below.)


How do I get an exemption?

If your agency is under the purview of one of the following …

Request an exemption from …

  • Separately elected officials
  • Presidents of institutions of higher education
  • Chairs and executive directors of boards and commissions required by the Washington State Constitution.
  • Legislative branch
  • Judicial branch

Your governing official, president, chair or executive director.

None of the above.

OFM. Here’s how:

  1. Use the exemption form
  2. Have it signed by your agency director or group leader (e.g., commission or council chair)
  3. Email the signed form to
  4. The exemption takes effect immediately upon OFM approval.

Need to know more?


Contact us at 360-902-0534 or