Weekly Legislative Report: House and Senate move slew of bills, including OSBA probate reform bill

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​June 28, 2018

Heading into the July 4 holiday week, the Ohio House and Senate took action on more than 50 bills this week, but these do not include the much-watched payday lending (House Bill 123) and energy standards bills (House Bill 114). Pledging to complete its work on both bills, the Senate, in releasing its session schedule for the second half of the year, has scheduled pre-election "if needed" sessions for July 10, Aug. 22, Sept. 20 and Sept. 25, in addition to a session for Sept. 26.

What did pass this week was House Bill 595, an OSBA priority bill conceived by the Estate Plan​ning, Trust and Probate Law Section (EPTPL) and jointly sponsored by Representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Jeffery Rezabeck (R-Clayton) that would continue efforts to streamline probate law in Ohio. You can read more in our previous report. A testament to the hard work of the EPTPL and sponsors, the bill passed unanimously. Now on to the Senate!

Here are some other notable bills among all those passed this week:

House Bill 7, sponsored by Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima), changing medical liability laws, passed 71-16.

House Bill 36, sponsored by Representative Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), known as the "Pastor Protection Act," would define when clergy and churches can refuse to perform or celebrate marriages. The bill passed 59-29 after attaching an amendment stating that in the event of a conflict with the state's general public accommodation law, HB 36 would take precedence.

House Bill 92, sponsored by Representative Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), would require sex offender classification for those who knowingly expose themselves to minors for sexual gratification. The bill passed 80-0. 

House Bill 349, sponsored by Representative Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland), would set the same penalty for harming search-and-rescue animals as is now set for harming police animals. The bill passed 69-11.

House Bill 355, sponsored by Representatives Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) and Jeffery Rezabek (R-Clayton) — a "second chance bill" we've discussed previously that would prohibit sexting by those under age 19 but creates a diversion program to allow dismissal of charges so people aren't saddled with criminal records or sex offender status for mistakes made at a young age. The bill passed unanimously.

House Bill 425, sponsored by Representatives Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) classifies police body camera footage as a public record but specifies several exemptions to prevent release of footage in certain circumstances. The bill passed unanimously.

House Bill 428, sponsored by Representatives Timothy Ginter (R-Salem) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) — the "Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2018" — which seeks to protect the right of students to engage in religious activities to the same extent secular activities are allowed in school, and have the same access to school facilities. The bill passed 62-20.

House Bill 497, sponsored by Representatives John Rogers (D-Mentor on the Lake) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), which criminalizes revenge porn. The bill passed unanimously. 

House Bill 511, sponsored by Representatives Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) and John Rogers (D-Mentor on the Lake), would make changes to the laws governing the ages at which persons may marry. The bill passed 87-0.

House Bill 543, sponsored by Representatives Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) and Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick), which would allow a county prosecuting attorney to enter into a contract with a regional airport authority, port authority, or regional planning commission to be its legal adviser. The bill passed 79-0. 

Senate Bill 66, sponsored by Senators John Eklund (R-Munson Township) and Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus), which would specify the promotion of rehabilitation as a purpose of felony sentencing, passed 84-2, following a floor amendment to specify that the cap on the number of convictions that can be sealed applies to felonies, not misdemeanors.  

Senate Bill 220, sponsored by Senators Bob Hackett (R-London) and Kevin Bacon (R-Westerville), would provide a legal safe harbor to covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program. The bill passed unanimously.

Senate Bill 221, sponsored by Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township), which would reform agency rule-making and legislative review thereof. The bill passed 73-19.

House Bill 95, sponsored by Representatives Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), which would establish an enhanced penalty for committing a moving violation while distracted. The bill passed 31-1.  

House Bill 336, sponsored by Representatives John Barnes, Jr. (D-Cleveland) and Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake), which would require the registrar of motor vehicles to establish a six-month driver's license reinstatement fee debt reduction and amnesty program known as the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative. The bill passed 32-0. 

Week Ahead

Next week our nation celebrates the anniversary of its independence, and there are no legislative sessions scheduled. As a result, OSBA Weekly Legislative Report will be taking a break as well. Happy 4th of July!

Tracking OSBA Legislation

You can always track bills we are watching and OSBA priority legislation via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.

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