Jean Schmidt Introduces
Financial Disclosure Transparency Bill
By Chuck Gibson
COLUMBUS, OH (June 8, 2021) – Transparency is the key word as Ohio State Representative Jean Schmidt begins process to make access to financial disclosure records of elected officials more readily available to the public.
Here is the statement released from Schmidt’s office earlier today (Tuesday, June 8, 2021):
State Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) yesterday introduced House Bill 335, which would require elected officials’ financial disclosure statements (FDS) be readily available to the public via an online database.
Schmidt said that, while financial disclosure statements are already public record, members of the public must still contact the Ohio Ethics Commission to obtain copies of the records, which could take weeks.
“This bill eliminates the need to request copies of these records and instead makes it easier for the public to access the financial interests of the public officials they elect to office,” said Schmidt. “Filing financial disclosures is part of our responsibility as elected officials. We should be constantly advocating for transparency and accountability in government.”
The database will include the FDS of all elected officials in Ohio who are required to file under current law, as well as all administrative department heads who annually file.
Currently in Ohio, ethics law requires that certain elected officials, candidates for elected office, certain public employees, and appointees to public positions annually file FDS with the Ohio Ethics Commission.
“I’ve been working on this bill already for several months,” said Schmidt. “I’m proud to see its introduction and look forward to the hearings and input it will receive in committee.”
H.B. 335 now awaits referral to a House committee.
State Representative Jean Schmidt is serving her first term in the Ohio House of Representatives. She represents the 65th house district, which includes northwestern Clermont County.