Current Legislative Bulletin
December 7, 2018
OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
- The Ohio Senate Republicans have announced they have selected Rep. Brian Hill (R - Zanesville) to fill the 20th District seat vacated by the Congressman-elect Troy Balderson.
- The Kasich administration announced that income tax withholdings will be dropped to match a rate cut previously approved in the 2015 biennial budget. Taxpayers will see just a few more dollars on average in their paychecks, and this change will equal a one-time $153 million reduction in government revenue. Of that amount, $147 million would have gone to the General Revenue Fund.
- DriveOhio, the Kasich administration's initiative to accelerate the implementation of autonomous and connected vehicles in Ohio, announced that Columbus, Athens, Dublin and Marysville have all signed agreements to allowed the Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program to test autonomous vehicles within their jurisdictions.
GUN BILL CONTANING LOCAL PREEMPTION VOTED OUT OF SENATE
HB 228, the bill regarding "stand-your-ground" gun laws that contains a local preemption, was passed by the Senate today by a vote of 19 to 10. The bill had four hearings just this week. During its second hearing before the Senate Government and Oversight Committee, opponents testified against the bill. Organizations opposed to the bill include the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Ohio Conference of the NAACP, the City of Columbus, the Ohio Mayor's Alliance, the Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police. The League also submitted written opponent testimony, which you can read HERE.
During its fourth and final committee hearing, a substitute bill was adopted overhauling several provisions of the bill. As the bill stands now, the bill still shifts the burden of proof to disprove a self-defense claim to the prosecution. However, the bill no longer contains provisions expanding "castle doctrine", or the stand-your-ground measures that defined the bill previously.
Most notably for municipalities, the local preemptions remain in the substitute bill. These provisions will prevent a municipality from passing gun restrictions in their ordinances, and grant citizens the right to sue municipalities if the citizen feels the municipalities has restricted their 2nd Amendment Rights. However, a new provision in the adopted substitute bill delays the local preemptions by 9 months from the effective date to allow municipalities the time to change their local ordinances. Additionally, a provision to codify state law was added, stipulating that law enforcement officers are always on duty, whether they are on or off the clock.
The bill was concurred upon by the House with a 59-12 vote. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for his signature. The League will report on any action Governor Kasich takes regarding this bill.
BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTERESTED VOTED OUT OF THE SENATE
Here are the bills impacting municipalities that were passed by the Senate this week:
- HB 38 - AGGRAVATED MURDER. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would provide that purposely causing the death of a first responder or military member is aggravated murder and to require an offender to serve the prison term imposed for felonious assault on a peace officer, investigator, first responder, or military member consecutively to the prison term imposed for any related offense. During its 6th hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill was amended to remove a provision that increased a penalty for felonious assault on a first responder or military member. The bill was then passed unanimously on the floor of the Senate. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- HB 531 -SPORTS GRANTS. Sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton) and Rep. Greenspan (R - W3estlake), this bill would remove limitations on the amount of sports events grants that may be awarded in a fiscal year or for a specific grant, to modify eligibility requirements for such grants, and to fund the grant program from state sales tax receipts. During its second hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, the bill was voted out of committee. The bill was then passed by the Senate 29-1.
- HB 291 - GOVERNMENT INSURANCE. Sponsored by Rep. Wiggam (R - Wooster), would authorize counties, townships, and municipal corporations to purchase an employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty insurance policy, instead of a bond, for protection from loss due to the fraudulent or dishonest actions of, and the failure to perform a duty prescribed by law by, an officer, official, employee, or appointee for which a bond is required by law. During its fourth hearing before the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee, the bill was voted unanimously out of committee. It was then passed on the floor of the Senate 29 to 0. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- HB 522 - LIQUOR PERMITTING. Sponsored by Rep. Lanese (R - Grove Coty), would allow an outdoor refreshment area to include F liquor permit holders. During its third hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee, the bill was voted unanimously out of committee. The bill was then passed on the floor of the Senate 29 to 0. The League is supportive of this legislation.
BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST INTRODUCED THIS WEEK
Here are the bills that would impact municipalities that were introduced this week:
- HB 783 - SUNDAY LIQUOR SALES. Sponsored by Rep. Becker (R - Union Township) and Rep. DeVitis (R - Green), would authorize sales of beer and intoxicating liquor on Sunday for liquor permit holders and liquor agency stores, and to eliminate provisions of law governing local option elections for such Sunday sales, and to name the bill the "Sunday Alcohol, Liquor, and Especially Spirits Act."
- HB 784 - PREVAILING WAGE. Sponsored by Rep. Becker, would repeal the Prevailing Wage Law, distribute an additional $25 million annually among townships in equal amounts through the Local Government Fund, and make an appropriation.
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
Here are the bills that would impact municipalities that received committee hearings this past week:
- HB 142 - CONCEALED WEAPONS. Sponsored by Rep. Wiggam (R - Wooster) and Rep. Holmes (D - McDonald), would modify the requirement that a concealed handgun licensee notify a law enforcement officer that the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun when stopped. The bill had four separate hearings this week. During its fifth and final hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, no action was taken on the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 425 - POLICE BODY CAMERAS. Sponsored by Re. Antani (R - Miami Township) and Rep. Craig (D - Columbus), would provide that specified portions of peace officers' body-worn camera recordings and the infrastructure record of a public school are not public records for purposes of the Public Records Law. During its third hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, the bill was voted out unanimously. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- HB 500 - TOWNSHIP LAW. Sponsored by Rep. Cargafna (R - Genoa Township), would make various changes to township law. During its third hearing before the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee, two amendments were adopted: one removing zoning language and the other a technical change. The bill was then voted unanimously out of committee. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- SB 51 - LAKE ERIE. Sponsored by Sen. Skindell (D - Lakewood) and Sen. Eklund (R - Chardon), would authorize the creation of a special improvement district to facilitate Lake Erie shoreline improvement. During its second hearing before the House Finance Committee, proponents from the League of Women Voters and the Lake County Port and Economic Development Authority testified in support of the bill. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- HB 86 - MINIMUM WAGE. Sponsored by Rep. Smith (D - Euclid) and Rep. Craig (D - Columbus), this bill would increase the state minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents per hour beginning January 1, 2019. During its first hearing before the House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee, the bill's sponsors said the bill would put more money in the hands of Ohioans and thereby help the economy. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 343 - PROPERTY VALUES. Sponsored by Rep. Merrin (R - Monclova Township), would require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. During its fifth hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, opponents from several local school districts testified against the bill while a representative from the Ohio Association of Realtors submitted written testimony in support of the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 469 - MIXED-USE BUILDINGS. Sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton) and Rep. Patton (R - Strongsville), would authorize a nonrefundable insurance company tax credit for contributions of capital to transformational mixed-use development projects. During its third hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, opponents protested the measure, claiming tax cuts damage the economy and do not generate the revenue to make up for those losses. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- HB 361 - PROPERTY TAX COMPLAINTS. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would increase the time within which boards of revision must decide property tax complaints. During its second hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, a representative from the Cuyahoga County Board of Revisions testified in support of this bill. The League also submitted written testimony supporting this bill, which you can read HERE.
- HB 668 - PUBLIC FACILITIES. Sponsored by Rep. Patton (R - Strongsville), would authorize state agencies, state institutions of higher education, counties, townships, municipal corporations, school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and college-preparatory boarding schools to enter into public-private initiatives with a private party through a public-private agreement regarding public facilities. During its third hearing before the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, a representative from the Associated General Contractors of Ohio submitted interested party testimony, expressing the need to make the application of public construction law clear under public-private partnerships. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- SB 228 - SOLID WASTE FEES. Sponsored by Sen. Eklund (R - Chardon) and Sen. Skindell (D - Lakewood), would increase one of the state fees levied on the transfer or disposal of solid waste in Ohio, the proceeds of which are deposited into the Soil and Water Conservation District Assistance Fund, and make an appropriation. During its first hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bill's sponsor said the bill would support agriculture within the state. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 484 - HEALTH DISTRICTS. Sponsored by Rep. Brenner (R - Powell), would authorize city and general health districts to use credit cards in accordance with prescribed requirements. During its fifth hearing before the house State and Local Government Committee, no testimony was heard on this bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 470 - STATE BONDS. Sponsored by Rep. Arndt (R - Port Clinton) and Rep. Miller (D - Columbus), would authorize the Treasurer of State to issue revenue obligations of the state for the purpose of making loans to port authorities, community improvement corporations, or community development corporations through the Treasurer's purchase of those authorities' and corporations' revenue obligations. During its third hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, opponents from the Park National Bank and the Ohio Bankers League said they would prefer for these entities to secure loans through existing baking and financial structures. The League is supportive of this legislation.
STATE MEDICAL BOARD RELEASES MASSAGE THERAPY LICENSE GUIDE
Many municipalities are beginning to require that massage businesses only hire licensed massage therapists. For this reason, the state has developed a guide for those in your communities interested in getting a massage therapy license. If this would be helpful for your community, you can access that guide HERE.