OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
 
Here are the top six things you need to know from this past week:
 
·        Governor DeWine announced that Ohio’s declaration of emergency will be lifted today, Friday, June 18. This means that 30 days after today, on July 18, Sec. 29 of HB 197 will expire. This is the temporary provision instructing municipalities to continue withholding income tax at a taxpayer’s principle place of work, even if that taxpayer is working from home in a different local jurisdiction due to the pandemic. While the budget bill, Sub. HB 110, currently contains a provision extending Sec. 29 of HB 197 until the end of this year, the budget will not go into effect until the end of September. Read more in the article below.
 
·        Budget Watch: The Conference Committee on Sub. HB 110, the state operating budget bill met for the first time this week. The chairs, vice chairs and ranking members for the House and Senate Finance Committees have been appointed as the conferees. The committee will be co-chaired by Rep. Oelslager (R – Canton) and Sen. Dolan (R – Chagrin Falls), and includes Rep. Plummer (R – Dayton), Rep. Crawley (D – Columbus), Sen Gavarone (R – Bowling Green) and Sen. Sykes (D – Akron). The Conference Committee will work out the differences between the budget language and appropriations proposed by the Ohio House, Ohio Senate and the DeWine Administration. The legislature has until June 30 to complete the budget process in order to ensure the Governor can sign the budget into law by July 1.  
 
·        During the Conference Committee’s first meeting this week, Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks testified that OBM has updated revenue forecasts for fiscal years 2022-2023 by almost $3 billion. The Legislative Service Commission (LSC) also upped its forecasts from February by nearly $2.5 billion.
 
·        The League signed a letter along with the Ohio Mayors Alliance, the Central Ohio Mayors and Managers Association, the Mayors’ Partnership for Progress, the Hamilton County Municipal League the Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association, the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association and the Mayors Association of Portage, Summit and Stark Counties urging Ohio’s legislative leadership to remove two budget provisions that would have a substantial negative impact on municipalities. The letter outlines the associations’ opposition to budget language that would retroactively change the temporary municipal income tax withholding provision and a provision that prohibits municipal broadband systems. You can read the letter in full HERE. The League’s Board of Trustees also sent a letter to the Ohio General Assembly requesting that provisions in the budget bill that would harm municipalities be removed from the legislation. You can read that letter in full HERE.
 
·        As negotiations continue on federal infrastructure funding legislation, this week a group of 20 senators – 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans – released a bipartisan infrastructure plan. If signed into law, it would represent the largest infrastructure investment in American history. The plan includes $579 billion in new spending to rebuild America’s roads and bridges, improve public transit systems, invest in broadband infrastructure, and upgrade airports. The plan would be paid for in part by unspent COVID-19 relief funds, public-private partnerships and infrastructure revolving funds. To learn more about the proposal, you can find a two-page breakdown of proposed spending and funding sources HERE.
 
·        The Ohio House of Representatives voted to expel Rep. Larry Householder (R – Glenford) this week. Householder was arrested just over a year ago and charged with racketeering in relation to allegations of a $60 million bribery scheme involving the bailout of Ohio nuclear power plants in HB 6 from the 133rd General Assembly. This is the first time the House has expelled a member since the Civil War era.
 
 
 
 
TEMPORARY MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX WITHHOLDING PROVISION WILL EXPIRE JULY 18
 
On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that the Governor’s state of emergency would end today, June 18, thereby starting the 30-day countdown for the end of the current COVD-19 provisions for municipal income tax withholding on July 18.
 
This provision, Sec. 29 of HB 197, instructs municipalities to continue withholding municipal income tax at a taxpayer’s place of work, even if the taxpayer is currently working from home in a different local jurisdiction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation states that the provision ends 30 days after the Governor’s declaration of emergency is lifted.
 
The current version of Sub. HB 110, the state operating budget bill, includes language extending the continuation of the temporary withholding policy until December 30, 2021. However, the budget does not go into effect until 90 days after the Governor’s signature. The Governor must sign the budget bill by July 1. This means the extension of Sec. 19 of HB 197 will not go into effect until the end of September.
 
The League has been requesting that the legislature quickly pass legislation extending Sec. 29 of HB 197 to avoid the substantial and immediate impacts to both municipalities and business. The extension included in the current version of the budget bill creates more than a two-month gap between the expiration of the temporary withholding provision and the enactment of the budget. We ask that the legislature move quickly to address this gap and the chaos that would be caused for both businesses and municipalities due to the administrative burden of tracking and withholding municipal income tax based on where a taxpayer performs work, then withholding once again at the principle place of employment after the budget goes into effect.
 
We encourage our members to contact their state legislators and urge them to quickly ensure that there is enough time for municipalities to adjust to changes in revenue and that businesses have the time they need to ensure they are able to track, report and remit withholdings at the local jurisdiction of each employee that continues to work from home.

We also encourage our members to urge that the General Assembly remove language retroactively mandating municipalities to comply to refund requests back to tax year 2020. This proposal would fundamentally alter the purpose of the emergency authority which was intended to shield municipalities from the potential significant loss in municipal tax revenues, and will have potentially devastating consequences to the ability of Ohio cities and villages to support first responder services and other critical functions of municipal government.
 
 
 
 
THREE BILLS CONTAINING MUNICIPAL PREEMPTIONS RECEIVE COMMITTEE HEARINGS
 
Three Ohio House committees held hearings this week on legislation preempting municipal Home Rule authority. The first bill, HB 327, is sponsored by Rep. Grendell (R – Chesterland) and Rep. Fowler (R – Rock Creek) and is written to prohibit school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and state agencies from teaching, advocating, or promoting “divisive concepts”, such as critical race theory. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, substitute bill was adopted to clarify that "divisive concepts" includes all protected classes, not just race, included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
 
The bill’s prohibitions would also extend to local governments regarding the teaching, instruction or training on “divisive concepts” to any employees, contractors and staff members, and prohibits requiring the adoption or belief in those concepts. The bill would mandate that local government take measures to ensure compliance, including ensuring that grant funds will not be used to promote “divisive concepts”, reviewing employee training programs relating to diversity or inclusion, and ensuring that employees and contractors are continually in compliance with the legislation. You can read the bill analysis in full HERE.
 
HB 327 is a preemption of local control granted to Ohio’s cities and villages by the state constitution and incudes unfunded mandates to ensure compliance with the legislation.
 
The second bill, HB 248, is sponsored by Rep. Gross (R – West Chester) and is written to authorize an individual to decline a vaccination. The bill includes a preemption of municipal Home Rule authority by prohibiting any political subdivision from requesting or requiring an individual to disclose their vaccine status or participate in a vaccine passport system or registry. It also prohibits disclosing or making public an individual’s vaccination status. The bill also prohibits a municipality from issuing local orders that are deemed a violation of the bill’s provisions. You can read the bill analysis in full HERE.
 
Critically, HB 248 authorizes an individual who believes that any of the bill’s provisions have been violated to pursue relief either under Ohio’s anti-discrimination statutes, through a complaint submitted to the Attorney General, or through a civil action. This would open municipalities to frivolous civil actions that would require the use of taxpayer dollars in a city’s defense against such actions.
 
 
The third bill, HB 243, is sponsored by Rep. Cutrona (R – Canfield) and would retroactively repeal local rules issued by municipalities regarding knife restrictions. This bill disregards that the needs and priorities of one large urban city are not the same as those of a smaller rural village. HB 243 would strip municipal residents of the ability to ensure their local leaders can issue ordinances that work best for their own municipality. Cities and villages enjoy Home Rule authority because what it best for one municipality may not be best for another. You can read the bill analysis in full HERE.
 
These three bills are a violation of local control that include unfunded mandates and the risk of exposure to frivolous lawsuits. We encourage our members to contact their representatives and urge them to oppose these bills containing preemptions on Home Rule authority.
 
 
 
U.S. TREASURY UPDATES AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) FAQ TO CLARIFY USE OF FUNDS FOR BROADBAND
 
This week, the U.S. Treasury issued an updated FAQs on the broadband provision of the ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds' Interim Final Rule (IFR). The newly added FAQs are below, and you can access the updated FAQ document in full HERE.
 
League members should note that language in the current version of the budget bill, Sub. HB 110, prohibits municipalities from receiving federal money for broadband expansion and preempts the operation of municipal broadband systems. If this provision is signed into law, Ohio’s cities and villages will not be able to use their ARPA funds to ensure broadband access for their residents. We encourage our members to contact their legislators and urge that this broadband preemption be removed from the final version of the budget bill.
 
The FAQ update provides answers to questions raised by a number of stakeholders on eligible areas for broadband infrastructure investment. The update clarifies that states and localities may invest in areas where not all households or businesses are unserved or underserved, as long as an objective of the project is to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses. Further, it clarifies that the use of "reliably" in the broadband provision of the IFR provides states and localities with significant discretion to assess the actual experience of users on the ground.
 
Specifically, the updated FAQ addresses the following questions:
 
·        For broadband infrastructure investments, what does the requirement that infrastructure "be designed to" provide service to unserved or underserved households and businesses mean?
·        For broadband infrastructure to provide service to "unserved or underserved households or businesses," must every house or business in the service area be unserved or underserved?
·        For broadband infrastructure investments, what does the requirement to "reliably" meet or exceed a broadband speed threshold mean?
·        May recipients use payments from the Funds for "middle mile" broadband projects?
 
Treasury regularly updates FAQs to provide further clarification on the IFR in response to municipalities’ questions and concerns. Local leaders are encouraged to submit comments for the record HERE. The questions that have been added to the FAQ are in full below:
 
FAQs on the Broadband Provision of the Interim Final Rule – Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
 
For broadband infrastructure investments, what does the requirement that infrastructure "be designed to" provide service to unserved or underserved households and businesses mean?
 
Designing infrastructure investments to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses means prioritizing deployment of infrastructure that will bring service to households or businesses that are not currently serviced by a wireline connection that reliably delivers at least 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps of upload speed. To meet this requirement, states and localities should use funds to deploy broadband infrastructure projects whose objective is to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses. These unserved or underserved households or businesses do not need to be the only ones in the service area funded by the project.
 
For broadband infrastructure to provide service to "unserved or underserved households or businesses," must every house or business in the service area be unserved or underserved?
 
No. It suffices that an objective of the project is to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses. Doing so may involve a holistic approach that provides service to a wider area in order, for example, to make the ongoing service of unserved or underserved households or businesses within the service area economical. Unserved or underserved households or businesses need not be the only households or businesses in the service area receiving funds.
 
For broadband infrastructure investments, what does the requirement to "reliably" meet or exceed a broadband speed threshold mean?
 
In the Interim Final Rule, the term "reliably" is used in two places: to identify areas that are eligible to be the subject of broadband infrastructure investments and to identify expectations for acceptable service levels for broadband investments funded by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. In particular:
 
·        The IFR defines "unserved or underserved households or businesses" to mean one or more households or businesses that are not currently served by a wireline connection that reliably delivers at least 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps of upload speeds.
 
·        The IFR provides that a recipient may use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to make investments in broadband infrastructure that are designed to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses and that are designed to, upon completion: (i) reliably meet or exceed symmetrical 100 Mbps download speed and upload speeds; or (ii) in limited cases, reliably meet or exceed 100 Mbps download speed and between 20 Mbps and 100 Mbps upload speed and be scalable to a minimum of 100 Mbps download and upload speeds.
 
The use of "reliably" in the IFR provides recipients with significant discretion to assess whether the households and businesses in the area to be served by a project have access to wireline broadband service that can actually and consistently meet the specified thresholds of at least 25Mbps/3Mbps-i.e., to consider the actual experience of current wireline broadband customers that subscribe to services at or above the 25 Mbps/3 Mbps threshold. Whether there is a provider serving the area that advertises or otherwise claims to offer speeds that meet the 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed thresholds is not dispositive. 
 
When making these assessments, recipients may choose to consider any available data, including but not limited to documentation of existing service performance, federal and/or state-collected broadband data, user speed test results, interviews with residents and business owners, and any other information they deem relevant. In evaluating such data, recipients may take into account a variety of factors, including whether users actually receive service at or above the speed thresholds at all hours of the day, whether factors other than speed such as latency or jitter, or deterioration of the existing connections make the user experience unreliable, and whether the existing service is being delivered by legacy technologies, such as copper telephone lines (typically using Digital Subscriber Line technology) or early versions of cable system technology (DOCSIS 2.0 or earlier).
 
The IFR also provides recipients with significant discretion as to how they will assess whether the project itself has been designed to provide households and businesses with broadband services that meet, or even exceed, the speed thresholds provided in the rule. 
 
May recipients use payments from the Funds for "middle mile" broadband projects?
 
Yes. Under the Interim Final Rule, recipients may use payments from the Funds for "middle-mile projects," but Treasury encourages recipients to focus on projects that will achieve last-mile connections-whether by focusing on funding last-mile projects or by ensuring that funded middle-mile projects have potential or partnered last-mile networks that could or would leverage the middle-mile network.
 
 

 
TREASURY FAQ ON DISTRIBUTION OF AMERICAN RECUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) FUNDS TO NON-ENTITLEMENT UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT (NEU)
 
Below is the full FAQ for the distribution of funds for non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs) as update June 7, 2021. For more information on the timeline allowed for states to distribute ARPA funds to NEUs, please see question 7.5. Read the FAQ in full below:
 
This document contains answers to frequently asked questions regarding the distribution of funds to non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs) under the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSFRF/CLFRF, or Fiscal Recovery Funds). This document serves as a supplement to the main document of frequently asked questions, which is also available on the Department of the Treasury (Treasury)’s website. Treasury will be updating this document periodically in response to questions received from stakeholders. Recipients and stakeholders should consult the Interim Final Rule (IFR) for additional information.
·        For frequently asked questions on topics beyond distribution of funds to NEUs, please see the main FAQ document HERE.
 
·        For overall information about the program, including information on requesting funding, go to the U.S. Treasury website HERE.
 
·        For general questions about CSFRF / CLFRF, please email SLFRP@treasury.gov.
 
·        Treasury is seeking comment on all aspects of the Interim Final Rule. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal HERE on or before July 16, 2021. Please be advised that comments received will be part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not disclose any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

Questions updated or added 6/7/21: 7.4-7.15 (noted with “[6/7]”)
7. Non-Entitlement Units (NEUs)
 
7.1. Can states impose requirements or conditions on the transfer of funds to NEUs?
 
As the statute requires states to make distributions based on population, states may not place additional conditions or requirements on distributions to NEUs, beyond those required by the ARPA and Treasury’s implementing regulations and guidance.

For example, states may not impose stricter limitations than permitted by statute or
Treasury regulations or guidance on an NEU’s use of Fiscal Recovery Funds based on the NEU’s proposed spending plan or other policies, nor permitted to offset any debt owed by the NEU against its payment. Further, states may not provide funding on a reimbursement basis (e.g., requiring NEUs to pay for project costs up front before being reimbursed with Fiscal Recovery Fund payments), because this approach would not comport with the statutory requirement that states make distributions to NEUs within the statutory timeframe.

7.2. Can states transfer additional funds to local governments beyond amount allocated to NEUs?
 
Yes. The IFR permits states, territories, and Tribal governments to transfer Fiscal Recovery Funds to other constituent units of government or private entities beyond those specified in the statute, as long as the transferee abides by the transferor's eligible use and other requirements. Similarly, local governments are authorized to transfer Fiscal Recovery Funds to other constituent units of government (e.g., a county is able to transfer Fiscal Recovery Funds to a city, town or school district within it).

7.3. May states use funds to pay for the administrative costs of allocating and distributing money to the NEUs?
 
Yes. If necessary, states may use Fiscal Recovery Funds to support the administrative costs of allocating and distributing money to NEUs, as disbursing these funds itself is a response to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts.

7.4 What steps do states and territories need to undertake to receive their NEU payments? [6/7]

State or territorial governments that have made a request for their own funds in the Treasury Submission Portal will be considered by Treasury to have requested funding for their NEUs as well and should expect to receive their first tranche of payments for distribution to their NEUs within a few days of submission. No further action is required on the state or territory’s part to receive these payments from Treasury. State or territorial governments that have not submitted a request are encouraged to do so at their earliest convenience.

7.5 What are the specific deadlines for state governments in distributing funds? [6/7]

Section 603(b)(2)(C)(i) states that “[n]ot later than 30 days after a State receives a payment,” it “shall distribute” funds to each NEU in the state. Section 603(b)(2)(C)(ii) provides for a 30-day extension if a state certifies in writing an “excessive administrative burden,” and possible additional 30-day extensions at the discretion of the Secretary of
the Treasury if the state provides a written plan to the Secretary specifying “when the State expects to make such distribution and the actions the State has taken and will take in order to make all such distributions before the end of the distribution period.”

As outlined above, the statute expects state governments to allocate and disburse payments to all eligible NEUs within 30 days of receiving their NEU payment from Treasury. The statute also directs Treasury to grant a 30-day extension if a state certifies an “excessive administrative burden” in writing. Accordingly, Treasury will grant a 30- day extension for all states that complete and submit an extension form that will soon be available. Treasury encourages all states to expeditiously distribute funding to eligible NEUs.

At the end of the first 30-day extension (60 days after the date on which the state received an NEU payment), states that have not made all distributions of their NEU funding may request an additional 30-day extension, which may be granted at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. These states will be asked to provide a written plan that specifies the expected timing of the remaining distributions and efforts that the state has and will undertake to make these distributions. As part of this state plan, Treasury will
accept plans from states that detail “reasonable efforts” to contact non-responsive NEUs and propose issuing a subsequent distribution of unclaimed funds if the NEUs remain non-responsive.

As outlined in the guidance, a state may only issue a subsequent distribution if it has
made “reasonable efforts” to contact an NEU that remains unresponsive. As detailed in a different FAQ, states should not issue a subsequent distribution until at least 60 days after the state begins accepting and processing requests for funding from NEUs.

7.6 How long does a state have to wait until an NEU can be treated as “non-responsive” and the state can issue a subsequent distribution based on unclaimed funding? [6/7]

As outlined in the guidance, a state can issue a subsequent distribution of unclaimed funding allocated to an NEU after it has “made reasonable efforts” to contact an NEU that remains unresponsive. Treasury expects that states will undertake multiple outreach attempts to each unresponsive NEU before issuing a subsequent distribution. States should not determine that NEUs have been unresponsive, reallocate the remaining funds, and make a subsequent distribution until at least 60 days after the state begins accepting and processing requests for funding from NEUs.

7.7 How should a state treat a local government on the list posted on the Treasury website that is no longer in operation and has been dissolved? [6/7]

A state should consider a local government that is no longer in operation and has been dissolved as unresponsive and therefore ineligible for funding. As a result, the state should not allocate any funds to such local government.

In special circumstances where the local government is no longer in operation because it has been wholly annexed or otherwise wholly subsumed by another local government, the state may exercise discretion to re-allocate funding that had been allocated to the local government that is no longer in operation to the local government that annexed or otherwise subsumed such local government.

7.8 How should territories allocate and distribute payments to their NEUs? [6/7]

On May 24, 2021, Treasury issued guidance to assist states in allocating and distributing funds to NEUs. As part of this guidance, Treasury published a list of local governments for the states on their website, along with a step-by-step guidance document you can find HERE for states to use to determine eligible NEUs from this list.
 
However, since the U.S. Census Bureau lacks recent data about NEUs in the territories (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Treasury did not publish a list of local governments in these territories. In order to determine the eligibility of its NEUs, territories should follow the NEU definitions and standards set forth in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), the IFR, and the NEU Guidance.

·        All active and functioning incorporated places are eligible as NEUs.
·        In addition, the territories should consider active and functioning minor civil divisions as eligible, provided that each eligible minor civil division has the legal and operational capacity to accept ARPA funds and provides a broad range of services that would constitute eligible uses under ARPA. Please consult the NEU Guidance (attached above) and the definitional and data methodology document which you can find HERE for more information about how to conduct such a facts-and-circumstances analysis to make this determination.
·        States are not permitted by the statute to make NEU payments to cities that are eligible for a metropolitan city payment directly from Treasury under Section 603(b)(1) of the Social Security Act. The list of eligible metropolitan cities can be found HERE.
·        Territories should use the population data that it deems most appropriate. In evaluating the appropriateness of a data source, territories should give preference to the most recent and authoritative data available. Further, territories should publish a list of eligible NEUs on their website before issuing their first payments.

Territories should follow all other parts of the NEU Guidance (other than the subparts on identifying eligible NEUs from the list on Treasury’s website), including with respect to treatment of overlapping populations, application of the 75 percent budget cap, procedures around the initial and subsequent distributions, and reporting requirements to Treasury.
 
7.9 Can states pay entities that are not included in the list of local governments provided by Treasury? [6/7]

No. The list of local governments on the Treasury website includes the NEUs eligible for distribution based on data provided by, and after consultation with, the U.S. Census Bureau. The statutory definition of NEU is detailed in the Non-Entitlement Unit of Local Government Definitional and Data Methodology. States may not pay entities that are not included in the list of local governments without prior Treasury approval.

7.10 Is a Second Tranche payment guaranteed for NEUs, provided that they comply with the terms and conditions of the funding? [6/7]

Section 603 of the Social Security Act, as added by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, directs Treasury to make two Tranches of payments to states for distribution to NEUs. The statute does not require, and Treasury will not require, NEUs to provide additional substantive information or receive special approval in order to receive a distribution from their state for the Second Tranche payment.

7.11 How should states check to see whether an NEU is excluded or disqualified as outlined in the guidance? [6/7]

States should use SAM.gov to check whether an NEU is excluded or disqualified in accordance with 2 C.F.R. Part 180 and Treasury’s implementing regulations at 31 C.F.R. Part 19. Please contact the General Services Administration for further technical assistance with SAM.gov, including batch processing.

7.12 Are states required to collect key information from the NEU as outlined in the guidance (e.g., banking information or top-line budget totals) or may states rely on existing information in their systems? [6/7]

Provided that the existing information in a state’s system complies with the requirements set forth in Section 603 of the Social Security Act, as added by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and Treasury’s Guidance on Distribution of Funds to Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government (attached above), a state may rely on existing information from their systems. Prior to using the information, the state should confirm that the information is accurate and up to date with the NEU.

7.13 Do states have to collect actual budget documents to calculate the “75 percent budget cap,” or can they rely on a budget total? [6/7]

States can rely on a budget total from an NEU in order to calculate the “75 percent budget cap.” As part of their first report to Treasury, NEUs will be asked to submit the actual budget documents that validate the budget total.

7.14 Do states have to monitor NEUs for compliance with use of funds? [6/7]

NEUs are considered prime recipients of Treasury and states are not responsible for monitoring NEUs for compliance with use of funds, beyond distributing and collecting signed copies of the award terms and conditions and assurances of compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, if a state transfers funds to an NEU under Section 602 of the Social Security Act, as added by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (e.g., a transaction that is not a distribution of funds to the NEU as required by Section 603(b)(2)(C) of the Social Security Act) or otherwise establishes a subrecipient relationship with an NEU, the state will be obligated under the award terms to account for the uses of the funds and report on such uses.

7.15 Is there a requirement to distribute funds to NEUs electronically, or can funds be distributed via check? [6/7]
 
While Treasury encourages payment in the most efficient way possible, there is no requirement that funds must be distributed
  
LEAGUE MEMBERS ELIGIBLE FOR DISCOUNT FOR UPCOMING USA GRANT WRITING WORKSHOP
 
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and Grant Writing USA are holding a two-day grants workshop in Toledo on August 2 and 3. This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines. Attendees will learn how to find the funding sources and write winning grant proposals. Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as healthcare organizations, nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.
 
Grant Writing USA is offering Ohio Municipal League members a special tuition rate of $425 which includes two days of instruction, workbook, and access to the Alumni Forum with tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals. League members can use discount code "Assn" to receive this $30 discount off full price at registration. Groups of 5 or more receive a $50 discount per person. Discounts for Grant Writing USA alumni and nonprofits are also available. Please call for details at 888-290-6237. Payment is not required at the time of registration.
 
All health and safety guidelines will be followed. Class enrollment is limited to ensure proper distancing. Online classes are also available. More information including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration is available HERE.
 
  
 
BILLS IMPACTING MUNICIPALITIES PASSED BY THE OHIO SENATE
 
·        SB 176 – Sports Gaming. Sponsored by Sen. Antani (R – Miamisburg) and Sen. Manning (R – N. Ridgeville), would legalize and regulate sports gaming in this state, to levy a tax on businesses that provide sports gaming, and make other changes to the Gambling Law. The bill was passed by the Senate Select Committee on Gaming and sent to the full Senate for a vote, where it was amended on the Senate floor to include the owner of a major league soccer team in the definition of a professional sports organization, among other technical changes. The bill was then passed by the Senate by a vote of 30-2. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
 
 
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
·        SB 83 – Brownfield Sites. Sponsored by Sen. Williams (D – Cleveland) and Sen. Rulli (R – Salem), would require the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study to determine where brownfield sites are located in this state and make an appropriation. During its first hearing before the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee, the bill’s sponsor explained that the bill appropriates $150,00 in General Revenue Funds to the Ohio EPA for collaboration with Ohio public university in order to create a database for brownfield location sites. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
·        HB 201 – Natural Gas (Stephens (R – Kitts Hill), would prevent local governments from limiting use of natural gas. During its fourth hearing before the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, the bill was voted out of committee. It will be sent before the full Senate for a vote. The League is opposed to this preemption on constitutional Home Rule authority.
 
·        HB 23 – EMS Personnel. Sponsored by Rep. Plummer R – Dayton) and Rep. West (D – Canton), would require emergency medical service personnel and peace officers to undergo dementia-related training. During its second bearing before the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, proponents including AARP Ohio and the Ohio Alzheimer’s Association testified in support of the legislation. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
·        SB 185 – Emergency Powers. Sponsored by Sen. Schaffer (R – Lancaster), is regarding a political subdivision's emergency powers when suppressing a riot, mob, or potential riot or mob and the preservation of rights regarding firearms during an emergency. During its third hearing before the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee, the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violina testified against the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
·        HB 155 – Land Use. Sponsored by Rep. Upchurch (D – Cleveland) and Rep. Smith (D – Fairview Park), would create the Land Reutilization Nuisance Abatement Program and make an appropriation. During its fourth hearing before the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee, a representative from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy testified in support of the bill. The League is supportive of this legislation.