Ohio Municipal League Legislative Bulletin

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Committee Schedule

April 11 , 2014

MID BIENNIAL REVIEW BILLS SENT TO SENATE

The majority of work that took place in the Ohio House of Representatives this week centered around various committees putting the finishing touches to 9 of the 14 Mid Biennial Review (MBR) bills recently unveiled by the administration, before adjourning for a two week Spring Break recess. The House collectively moved the bills from their assigned committees and to the House floor Wednesday, some by party line vote and some unanimously. Below is the list of the MBR bills sent to the Ohio Senate.

HB483 

MBR-OPERATION OF STATE PROGRAMS (AMSTUTZ) To make operating and other appropriations and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.

HB369 

MBR-MEDICAID-OPIOID ADDICTIONS (SPRAGUE) To require the Medicaid program and health insurers to cover certain services for recipients with opioid addictions.

HB484 

MBR-HIGHER EDUCATION (ROSENBERGER, BROWN) With respect to the coordination and administration of higher education programs.

HB485 

MBR-OFFICE OF HUMAN SERVICES INNOVATION (SMITH, JOHNSON T.) To establish the Office of Human Services Innovation in the Department of Job and Family Services.

HB486 

MBR-WORKFORCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (BAKER, STEBELTON) Regarding various workforce development and economic development programs.

HB487 

MBR-K-12 EDUCATION PROGRAMS (BRENNER) With regard to education provisions for students in grades kindergarten through twelve.

HB488 

MBR-HIGHER EDUCATION-MILITARY VETERANS (DOVILLA, LANDIS) To require state institutions of higher education to award credit for military training, and to make other changes regarding state support and benefits for veterans and their spouses.

HB492 

MBR-TAXATION (SCHERER) To provide authorization and conditions for the levy and administration of taxes in this state.

HB493 

MBR-WORKERS' COMPENSATION (SEARS, HENNE) To make changes to Ohio's Workers' Compensation Law and to make an appropriation.

Following the break and through next month, the Senate will turn their attention to what the House has sent for their consideration and make whatever changes they deem appropriate. It is expected that the Senate will work on the bills with an eye toward getting as much done on the proposals before adjourning at the end of May and returning to their districts for the summer recess.

JEDZ BILL CONTINUES TO EVOLVE WHILE RECEIVING THIRD SENATE HEARING

 

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a third hearing on sub.HB 289, legislation introduced by Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) that would modify Ohio's Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) law.

As we have previously reported, the current version of the bill will prohibit the renewal of a JEDZ contracts after December 31, 2014 and terminates, on January 1, 2015, the authority of municipal corporations, or of municipal corporations and townships, to create new or to substantially amend existing joint economic development zones (JEDZs), in addition to other changes. The bill’s analysis can be found HERE.

The bill’s sponsor presented testimony to finance committee members to share with them the most current status of different language proposals being considered, as another substitute version of the bill continues to evolve. Rep. Schuring explained the new proposals being explored, which are being vetted by the league and various stakeholders of the bill, as including new language that would delete a provision stipulating that adding a contracting party to an existing JEDZ agreement constitutes a "substantial amendment", language maintaining that no substantial amendment may be made after December 31st and the removal of the prohibition on renewing an existing JEDZ contract after that same date.

As part of prepared testimony, the senate committee heard from the Ohio Township Association (OTA) who shared with Senators concerns and issues they have identified with the current version of the substitute bill. Other witnesses included various township officials from around the state who shared with committee members present the impact the proposed changes in the bill would have to current and future joint economic development projects in their communities.

The Senate Finance Committee will not be meeting the next two weeks, as the Ohio legislature will be away from Columbus on a Spring Break recess, so there will not be another hearing on the bill at least until May. The league appreciates the time and energy that has been dedicated by Rep. Schuring to work with municipalities that have identified concerns with aspects of the bill and his willingness to address those concerns. We will be sure to keep our membership aware of the continued work being put towards addressing the concerns that exist with the current JEDZ program and the progress of sub. HB 289.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PREPARES TO RECESS FOR SPRING BREAK

As mentioned above, the Ohio General Assembly will be away from the Statehouse beginning next week, hopefully enjoying spring weather and blue skies while they take a two week recess. The Ohio House of Representatives schedule indicates that the lower chamber will hold floor sessions every Wednesday of May, with every Tuesday listed as being in session on a “if needed” basis. Currently, the Ohio Senate has scheduled session dates for May 7, 13, 21 and 28 th with “if needed” dates listed as June 3, 4, 10 and 11th. Even though the session dates are getting fewer as we near the summer, committee meetings will continue to take place during the week so bills will continue to receive attention and an opportunity to be properly vetted in anticipation of the conclusion of the 130 th General Assembly and the year’s end. The second half of the 2014 legislative schedule has not been released yet, but it is anticipated legislators will break for the summer, returning sometime in the Fall.

Since the General Assembly will be away from the Statehouse on their two week recess, unless there is something unexpected that takes place next week, the league will not be sending out a legislative bulletin next Friday, April 18 th. We will resume the bulletin Friday, April 25 th, with a rundown of the committee schedule for the first week of May and any information that may have developed while the legislature was away.

Have a great weekend~

Preliminary Committee Schedule

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