Ohio’s Pay-To-Play Law

On January 2, 2007, then Ohio Governor Taft signed into law Substitute House Bill 694, enacting changes to Ohio’s pay-to-play laws. The new law places restrictions on many political contributors who currently hold, or are competing for, a contract with the state or local government. The new law also extends these prohibitions to many local political subdivisions that were not covered under previous versions of the law, including county commissioners, city council members, township trustees, school board members, and other local boards, commissions, task/ forces, and other authorities.

The law is currently subject to litigation.

Ohio’s pay-to-play laws are primarily in R.C. 3517.13, are triggered when

  1. a partner or owner of an LLC, LLP or partnership, or an individual who owns 20% or more of the shares of a corporation contributes over $1,000; or
  2. if those business owners, their spouses, children, and the company’s affiliated political action committee (“PAC”) cumulatively contribute over $2,000 over the course of two years.