State Representatives Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) attended Governor Kasich’s bill signing of House Bill 326, which imposes a criminal penalty on public officials who knowingly use public funds for political purposes.

Sponsored by Reps. McClain and Hill, House Bill 326 institutes a penalty of a first-degree misdemeanor, similar to the penalty for other campaign finance law violations. The need for this legislation came to light after an audit of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) revealed that in 2007 and 2008, TARTA illegally loaned nearly $67,000 to Citizens for TARTA, the political action committee that gathers resources to fund TARTA levy campaigns.

“Elections have consequences, and it is good that the people will now be driven by their beliefs and not swayed by a misuse of their own tax dollars,” said Rep. McClain.

“This bill sends an important message that public funds are to be used responsibly and if they aren’t, there will be consequences,” said Rep. Hill. “I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished with this legislation and thank Auditor Yost for his support and dedication throughout the legislative process.”

House Bill 326 had passed with strong bipartisan support in the Legislature.


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