OSBA's Weekly Legislative Report for Sept. 28, 2017

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​Sept. 28, 2017

BTA Appeals to Courts of Appeals

Beginning this Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, appeals from Board of Tax Appeals decisions should no longer be filed with the Ohio Supreme Court, but instead with appropriate court of appeals for the county in which the taxed property is located or where the taxpayer resides.

This is per a provision tucked into the FY18/19 state budget bill – House Bill 49 (See for yourself - Sec. 5717.04 on pg. 2153 of the act.)

Under the new law, only if an appellant can successfully convince the Justices that the case involves "a substantial constitutional question or question of great general or public interest," will the Supreme Court directly hear the case, otherwise, the appeal will follow the traditional path to the high court. You can read more via Court News Ohio.

Speaking of the Supremes…

The 2018 election for the Ohio Supreme Court is starting to take shape. This Friday, the State Central Committee of the Ohio Republican Party is expected ​to endorse Seventh District Court of Appeals Judge Mary DeGenaro of Poland and Fifth District Court of Appeals Judge Craig Baldwin of Licking County for the state's highest court on the recommendation of a party screening committee.

Justices Terrence O'Donnell and William O'Neill cannot run next year due to statutory age-limits for judges.

Introduction of Reagan Tokes Act

Responding to the February rape and murder of an Ohio State student allegedly by a convicted sex offender out on parole, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced the Reagan Tokes Act at a Statehouse press conference on Wednesday morning.

You can review Senate Bill 201 and Senate Bill 202, both jointly sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) and Senator Sean O'Brien (D-Bazetta). Representative Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington) and Representative Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) will be carrying similar legislation in the Ohio House.

Noting that the offender in question was subject to GPS monitoring at the time of Reagan's death, the legislators are looking to address shortfalls in the criminal justice system that they believe could have prevented it, including:

  • Allowing for indeterminate prison terms for first- or second-degree felonies and specifically violent third-degree felony offenses.
  • Allowing reduced minimum sentences for good behavior and increased sentences up to the maximum for bad behavior.
  • Establishing a reentry program for released inmates not accepted to halfway houses.
  • Requiring the Adult Parole Authority to create maximum case-loads for parole officers.
  • Setting restrictions for offenders released from prison who are subject to ankle monitoring, including inclusionary and exclusionary zones. 
  • Creating new requirements for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in monitoring released offenders.   ​

Thank You, John Murphy!

As the General Assembly prepares to take up the Reagan Tokes Act and many other criminal justice issues, they will soon be doing so without the seasoned opinions and unwavering advocacy of John Murphy, an OSBA member and the longtime Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association. John will be retiring on October 2 after 41 years of service. We look forward to joining with countless others to pay tribute to him at a special Statehouse reception tonight!

Traveling Todd

OSBA Director of Policy and Government Affairs Todd Book has been on the road, most recently in Canton and Lancaster, and he'll be making an appearance in Toledo on Friday. His popular Statehouse updates will not only bring you up to speed on what's happening in Columbus, but they can earn you CLE credit as well. If you would like to book Todd for an upcoming meeting or event, contact him directly at tbook@ohiobar.org or (614) 487-4464.

Tracking OSBA Legislation

As always, track OSBA priority bills via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.

Week Ahead

No voting sessions are scheduled for next week.

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