GOP using the budget to help campaign contributors?

The Ohio Statehouse is located in the capital of Columbus.

The Senate majority included a mysterious little change to campaign finance law in their version of the state operating budget (Amd. Sub. HB 64).

It appears that this change would make it easier for organizations like the Ohio Chamber of Commerce to contribute to political campaigns. Here’s the proposed change:

R.C. 3599.03 – Allows a nonprofit corporation that is a tax exempt business organization to transfer contributions received as part of regular dues payments from its unincorporated member businesses to its political action committee (PAC). Requires the PAC to itemize those contributions and allocate them to individuals in its campaign finance filings.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce PAC, of course, is one of the most generous campaign contributors to Ohio Republicans. Since 2011, they gave over $71,000 to Ohio legislative and judicial candidates.

The implications of this proposed change are not entirely clear yet, but what is clear is that this would make it a little easier for the Senate Republicans to collect campaign contributions.