The Ohio Municipal League recently welcomed Bevan Schneck as its new Director of Public Affairs. Bevan comes to OML from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. In addition to his local government experience with MORPC and personal involvement with the City of Hilliard, he has past experience at the Ohio Statehouse. Learn More

OML's upcoming regional conference taking place in Mason on June 24 is a great opportunity to network with other elected officials and staff members from nearby cities and villages, while also learning more about topics relevant to municipalities, including policy issues, ethics, public records, home rule, cybersecurity, and economic development. Register HERE before the June 22 deadline.

These regional conference offer an impactful day of networking and information. The next regional conference will take place in Findlay on Aug. 5.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed the $3.5 billion capital budget bill, HB 687, on Tuesday, June 14. The capital budget includes money for improvements to public facilities and communities, but this one is unique because it allocates federal COVID-relief funding and, out of the $2.8 billion that can be bonded, the state intends to pay for part, or possibly all of it, with cash – thanks to the state's revenues exceeding estimates. Bill Analysis

Among other items, the budget includes:

  • $422 million in funding for local governments and $500 million for Appalachian areas from federal COVID-relief funding
  • A $600 million "onshoring" incentive for Intel
  • $101 million for local water and wastewater capacity upgrades, $95 million for local roads, $110 million for state roads and $300 million for a "state-of-the-art" water reclamation facility – all Intel-related
  • $515 million for state parks
  • $92 million for mental health and addiction services, including support for renovations and improvements at state behavioral health hospitals, and funding for local supportive and recovery housing, mental health treatment facilities and community program spaces
  • $100 million to cover a new round of school safety grants
  • $25 million to fund the Community Capital Assistance program, which builds, buys and renovates homes to create independent living options for Ohioans with developmental disabilities
  • $22 million for the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of State Fire Marshal to invest in modern training facilities for firefighters.
  • $403 million for jails and prisons

In addition to the capital appropriations bill, Gov. DeWine signed numerous other bills into law this week. Those of interest to municipalities include:

  • HB 99 – Grants local boards of education authority to decide whether to allow their teachers and school workers to carry firearms Bill Analysis
  • HB 427 – Prohibits the use of a controlled substances or manipulation of controlled substance addiction as a method of human trafficking or to compel prostitution Bill Analysis
  • SB 15 – Changes the circumstances in which certain fiscal officers may be held liable for a loss of public funds Bill Analysis
  • SB 61 – Eliminates market barriers for solar development by preventing homeowner associations from imposing restrictions on homeowners that want to go solar Bill Analysis
  • SB 156 – Prohibits any local ordinance or regulation inhibiting a person’s ability to own or carry a knife Bill Analysis
  • SB 224Makes changes to the laws governing the funeral industry, including authorizing a funeral hearse and a funeral escort vehicle to be equipped with and display a flashing, oscillating, or rotating purple or amber light while traveling down a street or highway as part of a funeral procession Bill Analysis
  • SB 225 – Modifies the historic rehabilitation and the opportunity zone investment tax credits and adjusts the applicability of certain recently-enacted provisions related to tax increment financing and downtown redevelopment districts Bill Analysis
  • SB 231 – Expressly authorizes the issuance of an income tax refund in the name of a deceased taxpayer's fiduciary Bill Analysis
  • SB 246 – Levies a tax on a pass-through entity's income apportioned to Ohio and authorizes a refundable income tax credit for an owner for such tax paid Bill Analysis

On Monday, Senate Bill 215 took effect, allowing qualifying adults in Ohio to carry a concealed handgun they legally own without the need for a concealed carry license. Motorists are no longer required to inform peace officers that they have a gun but must answer truthfully if asked and are encouraged to volunteer the information. Bill Analysis

Attorney General Dave Yost issued a statement saying – although not legally required – Ohioans should learn how to handle their firearms from a qualified instructor. He also noted that “constitutional carry” rights in Ohio for those 21 and older are not, in fact, unlimited and end at the door of certain establishments, including all government buildings, schools and mental hospitals and those employers, businesses, universities, places of worship and other institutions that wish to ban them.

Rep. Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) and Rep. Rodney Creech (R-W. Alexandria) introduced HB 698, which aims to make it easier for landowners to receive compensation for property taken by local or state governments. Bill Text
Current law requires a landowner to sue and then embark on a separate eminent domain challenge process through which they must show through clear and convincing evidence the entity that seized the property failed to follow the law. The bill, in contrast, streamlines that process through a single court by adopting an "inverse condemnation" approach to legal challenges. Under the legislation, a court would determine whether the owner is owed compensation. If so, the same court would oversee the trial to set the amount.

The U.S. Treasury published distribution guidance to states on the second tranche to eligible NEU local governments. There is no application process to receive the second tranche. If you received the first tranche, you will receive the second tranche of funding in the next few weeks, in the amount of your first payment plus the subsequent redistribution amount. According to statute, the second tranche payment for local governments will be made available no earlier than 12 months after the first tranche payment was made. 

Sixteen local law enforcement agencies will receive $3.9 million to help address violence in their communities, Gov. Mike DeWine announced. DeWine announced the third round of awards from his administration's Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program during a visit to Springfield. Learn More

The Ohio EPA announced water quality project grant proposals are now being accepted through July 6. About $500,000 in grant funding through the federal Clean Water Act will be available to local governments, park districts, oil and water conservation districts, and other organization to implement projects to improve and protect water resources in Ohio. Learn More