Columbus - 
The Ohio Senate this week passed legislation that closes a loophole in Ohio's campaign finance laws by preventing the use of public funds to benefit political campaigns. State Senator Larry Obhof (R- Medina) served as the floor manager for the bill. "Public funds should not be used for campaigns," Obhof said. "This bill will protect both our tax dollars and the integrity of the political system." Political subdivisions are prohibited from loaning or providing public money to a campaign committee, but currently there is no criminal penalty for government officers who knowingly do so. For example, in 2007-2008, a Toledo-area transit authority made more than $60,000 in interest-free loans to a political action committee. Although the State Auditor can demand repayment for such abuses, the officials involved in these types of activities face no criminal penalties. House Bill 326 will make such violations first-degree misdemeanors - carrying the same penalties as many other campaign law violations. The bill will help ensure that taxpayers' monies are used only for public services and not for political interests.
Senator Obhof represents the 22nd Ohio Senate District, which encompasses all of Medina, Holmes and Wayne counties as well as portions of Ashland County. For more information, please visit http://OhioSenate.gov/Obhof.
 
 
 
  
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