Ohio is long overdue to update its campaign finance laws. Back in 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States, in part, ruled that corporations and other entities could not be prohibited from contributing to campaigns, citing the First Amendment right to free speech. Ohio’s current campaign finance rules need to be updated to track these monies being contributed by organizations, corporations and the like. Without requirements for transparency of these donations, this “dark money” can be donated without exposure to voters.
There was a bill (Senate Bill 240) introduced in 2010 by then Sen. and now Lt. Gov. John Husted to correct this problem, but it was never passed into law. Now that we are living through the fallout of House Bill 6, there should be no further delay in updating our laws to create transparency in campaign donations made by corporations, entities and the like.
This is why I have introduced House Bill 737, which is nearly identical to Senate Bill 240 proposed in 2010. This legislation is needed now more than ever to increase transparency when it comes to campaign finance laws, so that “dark money” is no more.
To push this legislation forward, I am working with several of my colleagues – including State Rep. Jessica Miranda, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted – and with interested organizations. Because we have seen legislation identical to this fail before (i.e., Senate Bill 240), we must ensure bipartisan collaboration and obtain community input, as this is the best way to get this bill through the legislative process and signed into law.
It’s truly unfortunate that we had to witness a racketeering scheme occur with House Bill 6 before many legislators would work together to finally address this issue. It’s beyond time to put differences aside on campaign finance reform and do what’s best for Ohioans. Faith and trust in our system must be restored and House Bill 737 is a healthy first step in the right direction. So far, the collective work on House Bill 737 is an example that we can put these differences aside and it shows our constituents that we have your best interests in mind.
I will continue to work hard to ensure that House Bill 737 passes the State House and Senate and is signed into law.