(LFC Comments: We found this information on the State’s website, and we thought it might be of interest to our readers. It provides the rules on how the legislators must conduct themselves when dealing with lobbyists (a.k.a. “legislative agents”)
State of Ohio Legislative Benefits, Privileges, and Restrictions of Office
Relationships with Lobbyists
The Revised Code refers to lobbyists who lobby members of the General Assembly as “legislative agents.” The Ethics Law places restrictions on a member’s relationship with legislative agents.
Members who have certain business relationships with a legislative agent may not vote on any legislation that the legislative agent or legislative agent’s employer actively advocates.
Relationships that preclude a member from voting are those in which the member is an employee; a business associate; or a person, other than an employee, who is hired under contract to perform certain services and the position involves the formulation of public policy.
A member of the General Assembly may not knowingly accept any of the following from a legislative agent:
The payment of any expenses for travel or lodging, except in specified circumstances;
The payment of more than $75 per calendar year for meals and other food and beverages, other than meals and other food and beverages provided in specified circumstances. A member may avoid violating this prohibition if, within 60 days after
receiving notice from a legislative agent that the member has exceeded the $75 limit, the member returns to the legislative agent the amount received in excess of $75.
A gift of anything with a value of more than $75.
The Legislative Code of Ethics more clearly limits what members may accept from a legislative agent per calendar year. The Legislative Code of Ethics specifies that a member may not knowingly accept from a legislative agent a gift of any amount in the
form of cash or the equivalent of cash, or a gift or gifts of any other thing of value if the value of the gift or gifts aggregated per calendar year exceeds $75.
For the purposes of this prohibition, “gift” does NOT include campaign contributions or gifts of meals and other food and beverages or the payment of travel expenses incurred in connection with the member’s official duties. (Emphasis added by LFC)
(LFC Comments: Not including campaign contributions?. Or food and beverages in connection with the member’s official duties?…..
We wonder if the local “watering holes” are an integral part of the legislator’s official duties?
Hmmm, what could go wrong there?)