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2019ELC-01

To:    Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties

         Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

You have requested an advisory opinion on three separate questions:

1.    Is an Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board required to create a political action committee (PAC) to receive money that will be utilized to promote the passage of its tax levy since ADAMH Boards have the unique authority under Ohio law to raise and expend funds to support their own levies and therefore do not meet the definition of a PAC under §3517.01 of the Revised Code?

2.    If an ADAMH Board does not utilize a political action committee for receipt and expenditure of money used to promote the passage of its levy because it is not required to pursuant to the first question, is it required to file campaign finance reports even though an ADAMH Board is not listed in the types of entities that are required to file such reports under §3517.10 of the Revised Code?

3.    When an ADAMH Board utilizes promotional materials to promote the passage of its levy, is the name of the ADAMH Board the entity that is required to be listed on levy promotional materials pursuant to §3517.105 of the Revised Code?

SYLLABUS: 

l.     An Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board (ADAMHB) is not required to create a political action committee (PAC) to receive money that will be utilized to promote the passage of its tax levy since ADAMHB's have the unique authority under Ohio law to raise and expend funds to support their own levies pursuant to the provisions of Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) §340.03(A)(7), read in concert with R.C. §9.03(C), and are not, therefore, a PAC pursuant to the provisions of R.C. §3517.01.

2.    An ADAMHB is not required to file campaign finance reports as outlined in R.C. §3517.10 et seq., if it does not utilize a PAC for receipt and expenditure of money used to promote the passage of its levy as it is not listed in the types of entities that are required to file such reports under R.C. §3517.10.

3.    As an 'entity', as defined in R.C. §3517.20, an ADAMHB is required to disclaim any and all materials for which it is responsible and for which it utilizes political publications for or against an issue or public political advertising to promote the passage of its levy and the name of the ADAMHB that is responsible for the materials is the name of the entity that is required to be listed on levy promotional materials.