Columbus City Council Passes New Ethics Legislation - State and Federal Communications

March 30, 2016  •  

Columbus City Council Passes New Ethics Legislation

Columbus OH skylineThe Columbus City Council passed three new pieces of ethics legislation on Monday, March 28, strengthening financial disclosure provisions and amending city campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Ord. 0084-2016 requires lobbyists to file updated registration statements in January, May, and September of each year. Knowingly failing to register as a lobbyist will be a third degree misdemeanor, while knowingly filing a false statement will be a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Although state campaign finance laws apply to municipal elections, Ord. 0087-2016 requires additional election period communication disclosure statements to be filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections and with the city clerk if contributions or expenditures for the reporting period equal or exceed $10,000.

Among other changes, Ord. 0086-2016 expands financial disclosure requirements for public office holders and candidates, requiring a description of each gift or aggregate of gifts over $75 from certain sources.

All three ordinances go into effect September 28, 2016.


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