Weekly Legislative Report: State capital budget on its way to the governor

​March 22, 2018

By a vote of 32-1, the Ohio Senate sent the state's $2.6 billion capital budget — House Bill 529 — to Governor John Kasich. This is the bricks-and-mortar spending bill, which in addition to funding K-12 and higher education facility construction, state and local infrastructure projects and community projects between now and the end of the biennium (June 30, 2020), includes a specific allotment to address the addiction crisis. Through this funding, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will sponsor $20 million in competitive grants for "opioid community resilience projects" that focus on youth.

Legislature passes eclectic assortment of bills dealing with taxing-exempting, dog-breeding, bee-keeping, disease-curing, and traffic camera-curbing, among MANY other things

The capital bill was one of more that 20 legislative proposals that passed through the House and Senate floors this week in the traditional cram session before legislators begin their spring break. 

Among them: 
House Bill 343, sponsored by Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), requiring local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners, passed the Ohio House 59-38. 

House Bill 345, sponsored by Representative Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), which would adopt the Solemn Covenant of the States to award prizes for curing diseases, passed the Ohio House 90-6.

House Bill 351, sponsored by Representatives Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) and Representative Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) requiring municipal corporations to exempt from taxation the military pay of members of the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Public Health Service passed the Ohio House 95-0. 

House Bill 392, sponsored by Representative Dick Stein (R-Norwalk), granting bee keepers immunity in personal injury or property damage cases involving bee stings, passed the Ohio House 86-7. 

House Bill 405, sponsored by Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), creating the offense of counterfeiting and to include counterfeiting within the definition of “corrupt activity” under the Corrupt Activities Law, passed the Ohio House 92-1. 

House Bill 506, sponsored by Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville), establishing standards for high volume dog breeders, passed the Ohio House 75-22. 

Senate Bill 22, sponsored by Representative Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House), which would incorporate changes in the IRS code since Feb. 14, 2016, into Ohio law, passed the Ohio Senate 32-1.  

Senate Bill 158, sponsored by Senator Steve Wilson (R-Maineville), which develops best practices and educational opportunities to combat elder fraud and the exploitation and to fine and require full restitution from offenders who are found guilty of certain fraud-related crimes against the elderly, passed the Ohio Senate 33-0. 

Senate Bill 226, sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park), which would provide for a permanent three-day sales tax "holiday" each August during which the sales of clothing and school supplies are exempt from sales and youth tax, passed the Ohio Senate 32-1. 

Senate Bill 244, sponsored by Senators Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), which would amend the penalties for promoting prostitution, passed the Senate 33-0.

House Bill 410, sponsored by Representatives Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) and Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), is the latest effort to restrict automated traffic cameras employed by local governments. The bill does not ban or regulate cameras, but would strip municipalities of their local government funding for any revenue they earn through the use of the cameras. This money would be deposited into a new highway safety fund to pay for road improvements. The sponsors say this would test the argument that the cameras are being used for public safety and not for profit. It is also in answer to the Ohio Supreme Court ruling which found that a previous effort violated home rule provisions of the Ohio Constitution. It passed the Ohio House 71-24.  

House Bill 451, sponsored by Representative Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton), which would exclude from the definition of public record under the Public Records Law any depiction by photograph, film, videotape, or digital, visual, or printed material of victims of crime under specified circumstances dealing with the victims' bodily privacy, passed the Ohio House 71-23.  

Book Todd Book 

If you want to hear about these and MANY other bills currently pending in the Ohio General Assembly, you can book Assistant Executive Director of Policy and Public Affairs Todd Book to speak to your firm, local bar association and/or organization. CLE credit is possible. This week, Todd traveled to Portsmouth, and he's in Butler County today giving legislative updates. Don't miss out! You can reach Todd at tbook@ohiobar.org.

Week Ahead    

The General Assembly begins its spring break and will resume voting sessions on April 11, 2018.

Tracking OSBA Legislation

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


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