Several rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament are taking place in Ohio cities this week. The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee would like to remind both lobbyists and the employers of lobbyists as well as Members of the General Assembly (“Members”) and legislative staff (“employees”) of the following prohibitions and reporting requirements:
- A Member or employee is prohibited from accepting a gift or gifts from a legislative lobbyist where the value of the gift or gifts, aggregated per calendar year, exceeds $75.
- Any gift provided to a spouse or other family member is for the use or benefit of the Member or employee (i.e. the spouse/family member is receiving the gift because he or she is the spouse of the Member) and therefore the amount of the gift must be added to the amount, if any, of the gift received by the Member or employee.
- Tickets provided to Members or employees by a lobbyist or lobbying client should be reported in the Gifts Section on the Jan – Apr. 2011 Activity & Expenditure Report.
- The value of the ticket is the face value.
- A financial disclosure statement filer who accepts a gift(s), valued at over $75, aggregated per year, must report the source of the gift on the 2011 financial disclosure statement.
- Members and employees are prohibited from accepting more than $75, aggregated per year, in meals and beverages from a legislative lobbyist. Meals and beverages provided to a Member or employee while attending the NCAA Basketball Tournament count towards the $75 limit.
- Meals and beverages provided by a lobbyist or the employer of a lobbyist will be reported on the Jan – Apr. 2011 Activity & Expenditure Report pursuant to normal reporting guidelines.