Public officials who knowingly use public funds for political purposes could now face criminal penalty with the introduction of House Bill 326.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 9.03, "no governing body of a political subdivision shall use public funds to support or oppose the passage of a levy or bond issue." While this statute makes it illegal to use tax dollars for political purposes, currently there is no criminal penalty. House Bill 326, jointly sponsored by Rep. McClain and Rep. Hill, amends the Ohio Revised Code to institute a penalty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, a similar punishment to other violations of campaign finance laws.
Auditor of State Dave Yost was joined by Secretary of State Jon Husted, Rep. Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky), Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville), and Rep. Lynn Slaby (R-Akron).