JLEC identifies more than $55,000 in unreported lobbying expenditures

Office of the Legislative Inspector General reviewing lobbying Activity & Expenditure Reports

Lobbyists and employers of lobbyists must file lobbying Activity & Expenditure Reports with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee/Office of the Legislative Inspector General three times annually. The OLIG monitors Statehouse news service calendars; social media; public space reservation lists; and receives tips on lobbying events. The OLIG compares this information to the submitted lobbying Activity & Expenditure Reports. As of June 7, the OLIG identified over $55,000 in unreported lobbying expenditures for the January – April 2017 reporting period.

In some cases, the filer reported some, but not all lobbying expenditures. In most cases, the filer submitted a statement with an affirmative declaration of “no expenditures”.  As lobbyists and employers work to amend their lobbying reports, the OLIG reminds all filers to review calendars, receipts and other records before submitting a lobbying Activity & Expenditure Report. Knowingly filing a false statement is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

With the exception of gifts valued at not more than $25.00, all lobbying expenditures made for the benefit of legislators, senior legislative staff and executive branch officials who file financial disclosure statements are reportable by lobbyists and lobbyist employers. This includes, but is not limited to gifts, plaques and other awards of over $25.00, and all meal and beverage expenditures regardless of amount.

A list of lobbyists and a list of lobbyist employers who failed to file Activity & Expenditure reports for the first period of 2017 are available at http://www.jlec-olig.state.oh.us/?p=4055 . Knowingly failing to file an Activity & Expenditure Report is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

For information on lobbying expenditure reporting, please visit www.ohiolobbying.com .