September 11, 2018 •
Joint Ethics Committee Issues Opinion on Lawmaker Travel
The Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee (JLEC) issued an opinion this week prohibiting legislators and legislative employees from accepting travel expenses from a lobbyist in the form of transportation in a ride-sharing vehicle, unless such travel expenses are incurred for participation in a panel, seminar, or speaking engagement; or were incurred at a meeting or convention of a national organization of which any state agency or state institution of higher education is a dues paying member.
The opinion also states legislators and legislative employees may ride with a lobbyist in a ride-sharing vehicle for personal travel, if the legislator or employee reimburses the lobbyist for the legislator or employee’s portion of the total fare within seven days of accepting the ride or directly pays the ride-sharing service for the legislator or employee’s portion of the fare.
This advisory opinion stemmed from an ongoing federal investigation into former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and his ties to payday lending lobbyists.
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