Travel, Entertainment At Issue For JobsOhio Board

An apparent loophole in legislation creating Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s new semi-private job creation board could allow panel members to enjoy job-seeking junkets without having to report the trips to the public.

The bill establishing JobsOhio requires that only “actual expenditures” on travel be reported. That phrasing would seem to exclude plane rides, dinners, and hotel rooms paid for by corporations.

The legislation approved by the Ohio House this week and sent to the Senate exempts Kasich and any public employee he designates for JobsOhio from state conflict-of-interest and other laws limiting gifts of travel, food, drinks, and lodging. It appears Kasich would still have to report those gifts, but others may not.

The Ohio Ethics Commission is scheduled to review the bill on Thursday.