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In its 2022 Annual Report, the Ohio Ethics Commission provides statistics and lists on several of the Commission’s activities for the year including a breakdown of the top five categories for investigations last year.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, Ohioans, like the rest of the country, cast ballots in the 2022 General Election. Ohioans voted on all statewide constitutional offices, one U.S. Senate seat, and several important statewide and local ballot issues. Early turnout for the 2022 General Election was greater than the previous statewide 2018 general ...

Ohio held the state’s second Primary Election on August 2, 2022, featuring partisan primaries for State House and Senate candidates and also central committee seats for state political parties. As expected, turnout was low at only 7.93 percent according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s unofficial tallies.

Please be reminded that because of Ohio’s bifurcated Primary Elections, today is the Pre-Primary campaign finance filing deadline for the August 2 Primary Election,  to disclose activity through July 13, 2022. If your political action committee (PAC) engaged in any activity related to the primary elections for State House or State Senate, you may ...

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and returns to the new normal, in-person conferences have also returned from their hiatus. Accordingly, it is an appropriate time to review ethics laws regarding public officials and employees at conferences. 

In its 2021 Annual Report, the Ohio Ethics Commission provides statistics and lists on several of the Commission’s activities for the year including a breakdown of the top five categories for investigations last year.

The Ohio General Assembly finished the first half of 2022 with a rush of lawmaking, appropriating billions of dollars in infrastructure spending, and making policy changes in a range of subjects. 

On Tuesday, May, 3, 2022, Ohioans cast their ballots in the state’s Primary Election. May’s Primary Election did not include candidates for state legislative districts, due to the ongoing litigation regarding the new maps for state legislators created through the redistricting process. Candidates for state legislative districts will have a ...

On February 17, 2022, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 51 into law. House Bill 51 includes an uncodified provision authorizing public meetings to be held by teleconference, video conference or other similar electronic technology through June 30, 2022. 

The Ohio Elections Commission recently issued an advisory opinion addressing whether a foreign national can contribute to a ballot issue political action committee (PAC) in Ohio.

In its January 26, 2022, press release, the Ohio Ethics Commission is urging the Ohio General Assembly to enact enhanced penalties for persons or entities convicted of giving unlawful gifts or payments to any public official or employee in Ohio state or local government. 

After failing to meet the Ohio Supreme Court’s ordered deadline for submitting House and Senate district maps, the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed its third version of district boundaries by a 4-3 vote on February 24, 2022. Auditor of State Keith Faber (R) joined the commission’s two Democratic members opposing the maps.

If you are thinking about using Venmo to accept campaign donations, you now have guidance from the Ohio Elections Commission to permissibly do so. 

With a busy state and federal election cycle coming up this year, spring is an ideal time to give your Political Action Committee (PAC) a thorough cleaning. These checklist items should be part of your regular PAC maintenance. If you haven’t asked yourself these questions in a while, now is an ideal time. 

On February 7, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court invalidated the state House and Senate district boundaries that were recently adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. The majority, in a per curiam decision, ruled that the commission’s revised maps still favored Republican candidates instead of adhering to the proportionality favored by ...

While most were watching the Bengals defeat the Titans in the NFL playoffs on January 22, 2022, the Ohio Redistricting Commission adopted new state House and Senate district boundaries. The commission faced a midnight deadline to comply with the Ohio Supreme Court’s order. The party line vote, 5-2, establishes the districts for four years. A ...

On January 14, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court invalidated the state’s newly redrawn congressional districts.

On January 12, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court, by a vote of 4-3, found the newly drawn state House and Senate district maps did not comply with Ohio’s Constitution, specifically Article XI, Section 6, which states that no plan shall be drawn primarily to favor a political party.

In the second half of 2021, the 134th Ohio General Assembly focused on the state legislative and congressional redistricting process and finishing work on a wide variety of legislation dealing with topics such as sports gaming, COVID-19 and telehealth. The legislature returns in mid-January for a busy winter and spring schedule with priorities ...

Election day 2021 featured two special congressional elections, as well as mayoral races in several large cities, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo. City councils, judicial seats and ballot issues were also decided.

On September 14, 2021, the Ohio Supreme Court found that the Trumbull County Board of Elections erred in rejecting a part-petition submitted by Mark Ferrara to appear on the ballot as a candidate for township trustee.

Many companies like to send small holiday gifts or tokens of appreciation to valued customers, clients and contacts. The question is, does your company’s list of recipients include any public officials or employees? Then you better watch out (and maybe consider checking that list twice).

The Ohio General Assembly will soon begin work on the state’s capital budget, which is typically passed in every even-numbered year. Expect the legislative process to begin on the capital bill during early winter and finish by spring in 2022.

United States President Joe Biden announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement applicable to private sector employers who employ 100 or more employees on September 9, 2021. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed an executive order requiring face masks in any indoor space accessible to the public on September 10, 2021.  

Ohioans in the 11th and 15th congressional districts participated in special primary elections for two congressional vacancies on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

The Ohio General Assembly recently completed an exhaustive and comprehensive first half of 2021. The legislature tackled the state’s two-year operating budget, COVID-19 relief funding, residential broadband expansion, reforms to the Ohio Power Siting Board for wind and solar projects, and much more. Below is an overview of the major policy and ...

Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio House Bill (H.B.) 2 into law on Monday, May 17, 2021. H.B. 2 was drafted similarly to H.B. 13 from the last general assembly. H.B. 2 creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program.

On May 12, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine addressed Ohioans regarding Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders, stating that with the vaccine as a weapon to combat COVID-19, he is confident that it is time to rescind Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders. 

Shana M. Broussard, Sean J. Cooksey and Allen Dickerson were sworn in as members of the Federal Election Commission, Friday, December 18, after having been nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate on December 9. On Tuesday, December 22, Broussard was elected by the Commission to serve as Chair, while Dickerson was elected as Vice ...

On November 17, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the administration is issuing a statewide curfew that takes effect on Thursday, November 19, 2020. 

On September 14, 2020, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 606, a measure that provides widespread qualified immunity to Ohio’s healthcare providers and others, including Ohio businesses, for liability related to COVID-19. The new law will become effective on December 13, 2020. 

At his July 7, 2020, press conference, Governor DeWine announced that the administration is taking additional steps to curb the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. Utilizing the public health advisory alert system announced the week prior, DeWine said that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a new mask requirement for counties that reach Level 3 or ...

The Bricker & Eckler government relations team has compiled a comprehensive review of Governor DeWine’s latest announcements, including the surprise resignation of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, General Assembly actions, including a marathon floor session by the Ohio House, and a look ahead through the end of June 2020 and ...

On May 20, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a revised Director’s Order that rescinded or amended parts of the “Stay Safe Ohio Order” that has been in effect since April 30. Dr. Acton also signed an “Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans.”

On May 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced another round of openings for Ohio including, childcare providers, Ohio BMV's, campgrounds, fitness and recreational activities.

RestartOhio, the state’s reopening plan during the COVID-19 pandemic, is in full swing, and Governor DeWine announced reopening dates for restaurants, bars, hair salons, nail salons and barber shops. In addition, the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate held session on May 6, 2020, and continue to introduce COVID-19-related legislation.

On May 5, 2020, Governor DeWine announced a reduction of $775 million in General Revenue Fund (GRF) expenditures for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year. Tax receipts were lagging due to declining economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 30, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed and extended Ohio’s stay-at-home order until May 29, 2020, called the “Stay Safe Ohio Order.” The order keeps the stay at home order in effect but permits certain business sectors to resume operations. 

Ohio’s primary election cycle concluded on April 28, 2020. Here are election results for the U.S. President, U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio Supreme Court, and key Ohio Senate and Ohio House races.

On April 27, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his administration’s plan for a phased reopening of Ohio’s economy.

On April 16, 2020, Governor DeWine began outlining his expectations for how Ohio may begin to allow nonessential businesses to resume operating when the current stay at home order expires on May 1. 

On April 2, 2020, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio’s Stay At Home Order is extended until May 1, 2020. The new order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020. 

Governor Mike DeWine has postponed his annual State of the State address, originally scheduled for March 31, 2020, due to the coronavirus.

During Governor DeWine’s March 16, 2020, COVID-19 press briefing, Ohio officials announced the difficult decision to postpone the state’s Primary Election, scheduled for March 17, to June 2, 2020.

The Ohio Secretary of State is taking coronavirus (COVID-19) related precautions for the upcoming March 17 primary election. 

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has adjusted coordinated party expenditure limits for 2020.

With the start of a new decade, our team wants to share an overview of the past year and a look ahead to the coming months. Here is a review of relevant legislation that the General Assembly passed in 2019, a summary of predictions for 2020 legislative priorities and a political preview of the 2020 statewide election.

Recently, the Ohio Ethics Commission, in Advisory Opinion Number 2019-01, provided additional guidance on ceremonial gifts for public officials and employees. 

Prisoners awaiting trial “must be given same voting rights as other citizens,” U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson recently found, ruling on a case filed by two men incarcerated in Montgomery County last year, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

Introduced on October 26, 2019, House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR 2), titled the “Ohio Critical Infrastructure Protection Amendment,” seeks to place a constitutional amendment before Ohio voters prohibiting foreign businesses and individuals from having a majority ownership interest in critical infrastructure located in Ohio.

On August 14, 2019, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously struck down the use of secret ballots during a public meeting in its decision in State ex rel. More Bratenahl v. Bratenahl

The recount of the Alexander Local School District's May levy vote is a win.

A yearlong investigation involving the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the IRS resulted in the indictment of Steve Stenger, St. Louis County Executive. 

The Ohio Ethics Commission offers several training opportunities to help public officials and employees comply with the law. CLE credit is available.

On March 5, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine (R) delivered his first State of the State address during a joint House and Senate session. Governor DeWine returned to past tradition and spoke from the Ohio House chamber in the Statehouse.

As Ohio’s governor-elect nears his January 14 swear-in date, Mike DeWine recently announced several new appointees to his cabinet agencies. 

During the limited federal government shutdown, many businesses responded by offering discounts and freebies to federal employees to help them cope during the difficult time.

With a new year comes a new General Assembly. Bills that the 132nd General Assembly did not pass will have to be reintroduced if legislators want to pursue those issues in the 133rd General Assembly.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Ohioans cast ballots in the 2018 general election. Bricker has compiled an overview of the 2018 general election results and details on races of particular interest.

Protected Voices, an FBI initiative established to prevent cyber influence targeting U.S. elections, recently released informational videos designed to educate and raise awareness among political campaigns. 

PACs, candidates and political parties that plan to make contributions to candidates running for the 12th Congressional District should be reminded of additional reporting requirements associated with this special election. 

A government watchdog group, Common Cause, recently filed two complaints related to President Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels.

In Holmes v. FEC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously rejected an argument that the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (FECA) base limits on individual contributions to candidates violated First Amendment rights. The D.C. Circuit upheld Congress’s choice of the timeframe in which particular amounts of ...

Local citizen group Everyday People for Positive Change has collected enough signatures to put a proposed charter amendment on the May 2018 ballot. 

One Ohio city recently found itself in an untenable position at the end of a three-year legal battle that included multiple trips to the board of elections, the Ohio Supreme Court and the federal courts. A citizen-initiated charter amendment attempting to stop a development project in Powell, Ohio, was ultimately ruled unenforceable by a federal ...

In an effort to increase accountability in the Ohio political system, Secretary of State Jon Husted recently announced the launch of FACE Ohio.

On November 1, 2017, Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) introduced House Joint Resolution 5 (HJR 5) to increase the number of required signatures needed to place initiated statutes and constitutional amendments on the ballot. 

Advertising policies of many social media platforms are under intense scrutiny after alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election using online political ads.

On November 7, 2017, Ohioans voted on two statewide ballot issues, as well as numerous local issues and candidates.

After a nonprofit legal center challenged the constitutionality of a sign ordinance, the Ohio city of Perrysburg decided to stop enforcing it.

President Trump recently announced his nomination of attorney James Trainor to finish the six-year Federal Election Commission (FEC) term of Republican commissioner Matthew Peterson. 

Two Ohio gubernatorial candidates’ use of their personal Twitter accounts to promote their current campaigns is raising legal questions.

Laverne Jones-Gore, an individual interested in running for Cleveland’s next mayor, missed the filing deadline by three minutes, according to elections officials.

A recent study by the Ohio Coalition for Open Government (OCOG) reveals that Ohio Supreme Court rulings in favor of open government issues have been trending upwards.

Ruling protects court documents from new public records appeals process

According to a recent Ohio Inspector General report, Alan Atalah, a professor and associate dean at Bowling Green State University, was investigated after “erotic literature” was found on his state-owned computer. 

Trade associations and their political action committees (PACs) should consider registering for the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) full-day online seminar on Wednesday, April 26.

The Ohio Secretary of State released new campaign contribution limits.

A new kind of “political” entity that is leaving potential contributors skeptical and disappointed has recently emerged -- a "Scam PAC."

The Supreme Court of Ohio announced several changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct.

On November 16, President-elect Trump’s transition team revealed two important lobbying-related announcements. 

Bricker & Eckler has prepared an overview of the highlights from the general election and details on races of particular interest. 

A full summary of important local, state and federal races will be available tomorrow morning.

The Compliance Connections team welcomes new associate Mandi Grandjean and is excited to introduce her to the Compliance Connections blog.

If you struggle with getting employees to disclose conflicts of interest, there may be different reasons as to why that is happening.

Bilal Shehu of New jersey pleaded guilty to funneling $80,000 from overseas into campaign contributions.

The chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey got in trouble when he and the lobbyist for United Airlines teamed up to make sure the chairman's trip to his vacation home was more convenient.

Anju Vallabhaneni, former CEO of Ohio-based United Software Group, and Jatinder Singh, a former solution manager for the State of Ohio, were recently indicted for their participation in a complex wire fraud and conspiracy scheme.

As a reminder, early voting in Ohio begins today, October 12. More information regarding early in-person voting, as well as absentee voting, can be found on the Secretary of State website.

Addressing the problem of inconsistencies within Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports, the commission has standardized the formatting of names within its electronic filing tool.

Ohio’s “Golden Week,” the six-day period before an election when an individual could both register and vote early on the same day, was eliminated by the Ohio General Assembly in Senate Bill 238 but then promptly challenged in the federal courts. Last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the legislation, reversing a lower court ...

Ohio’s public records appeals process will soon become quicker, cheaper and easier.

John Boehner’s resignation from Congress triggered an unusual special primary and special general election in Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. Now, with the withdrawal of Democrat Corey Foister from the November ballot, the district will see another special election on September 13, 2016. 

The Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) recently published the third quarter issue of its "The Voice of Ethics" newsletter. The issue focuses on Ohio's ethics laws and the private sector. Read the full issue here.

Many public officials maintain outside employment, sometimes at nonprofit corporations that receive financial support from the public agencies they serve. In response to a number of questions it has received over the years, the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) recently issued Advisory Opinion No. 2016-01 to offer guidance for public officials who ...

Expected to once again be a crucial swing state in the 2016 general election, Ohio has already become a heated battleground as Republicans and Democrats stake their claim on Buckeye State voters.

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