by Andy Brownfield
State Senate President wants to see legislation focusing on disclosure, transparency
The Ohio State Senate’s top Republican wants to beef up ethics laws for state lawmakers.
Senate President Tom Niehaus tells The Columbus Dispatch
that he plans on rolling out a new ethics bill within a few weeks. He
didn’t offer specifics on what it would cover, but said disclosure and
transparency would be the main themes.
Ohio’s ethics laws governing the relationship between
public officials and lobbyists haven’t seen significant updates in more
than 17 years. Niehaus told the newspaper he wants to see lawmakers vote
on it before his legislative career ends this year.
The last major overhaul of Ohio ethics laws came in 1994,
when the legislature banned public officials from receiving money to
appear at dinners and receptions and required disclosure of all gifts
costing more than $25.
The law also banned gifts costing more than $75, but
oftentimes lobbyists will split up more expensive gifts among a number