W. Va Ban on Trinkets Touting Elected Officials Now Effective

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia ban on publicly funded trinkets bearing an elected official’s name or likeness is becoming effective.

The law prohibiting elected officials from using taxpayer money for certain products and services took effect Thursday.

It says public funding can’t be used to put an elected official’s name or likeness on a public vehicle, trinket or advertisement, such as a billboard.

The law prohibits using public money or employees for entertainment activities within 45 days of an election in which the elected official is a candidate.

The bill says magnets, mugs, cups, key chains, pill holders, band-aid dispensers, fans, nail files, matches and bags are examples of trinkets.

The Republican-led Legislature passed the ban. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed it.

The state Ethics Commission is crafting rules regarding the law.