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Senate Passes Bill Closing Foreign Money Loophole

May 31, 2024
Rob McColley News

COLUMBUS—The Ohio Senate passed legislation today during the special session called by Governor DeWine to close a foreign contribution loophole for statewide issue campaigns. This effort was championed by State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green).

House Bill 1 extends the current law banning foreign contributions to candidates running for office by eliminating the loophole allowing foreign donations to statewide issue campaigns.

"It's imperative we protect our democratic republic from foreign influence, and at its core, this should be an issue where we all find common ground," McColley said. "Our efforts will close this loophole in Ohio's law to better protect Ohio’s elections from foreign nationals hiding behind dark money entities."

Multiple states have similar laws already in place (or legislation pending) to prohibit foreign contributions to ballot initiative campaigns. Bipartisan legislation has also been introduced in the U.S. Congress to prohibit these contributions in state and local ballot initiative campaigns.

"Ohio's elections are meant for Ohioans, not foreign billionaires who wish to exert their influence on our state. Everyone regardless of party affiliation should agree on this basic tenet in order to protect our elections from outside interests," said Gavarone. "Today, the Senate succeeded in its mission, and I look forward to the Governor signing this bill into law."

House Bill 1 now goes to the Governor's desk for his signature.