March 29, 2022
Ohio House Advances Senate Bill 47 
On March 23, the Ohio House passed Senate Bill 47 by a vote of 56-37. The legislation, which is an Ohio Chamber Top 10 priority bill, seeks to help employers who have employees working from home avoid frivolous wage and hour lawsuits for failing to compensate for working hours they did not know were performed.

The legislation adopts into Ohio law, longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedent which does not require insignificant and insubstantial amounts of time spent working to be compensated. The Ohio Chamber pushed for this reform because as more hourly employees are working in unsupervised settings and have access to work materials on their phones, the risk of an employer facing a wage and hour lawsuit for unpaid overtime increases since the employer has a diminished ability to properly track an employee’s working time.

During the House committee process, two amendments were added to the bill. The first amendment adopted more provisions of a federal statute that accounts for collective bargaining agreements. The other amendment reforms the process for bringing class actions for unpaid overtime under Ohio law. Under this new procedure, an employee must affirmatively opt-in as a member of the class rather than current law which presumes similarly situated employees are automatically a part of the class action lawsuit.

Senate Bill 47 now will go back to the Ohio Senate for a concurrence vote due to the inclusion of the amendments and the Ohio Chamber will continue to advocate for its passage. 
Ohio Department of Transportation External Advisory Committee
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce was invited to take part in the ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) External Advisory Committee to study alternative revenue sources for ODOT. The first meeting was held last week.

The committee will continue to meet periodically over the next 18 months to hear reports on the current revenue sources, trends in highway and road usage and studies on alternative sources of revenue. ODOT is taking this step to prepare for the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles by Ohioans which will impact the amount of revenue produced from the gasoline tax.

If any Ohio Chamber of Commerce member would like more information on this committee or pass along ideas for this topic, please reach out to Tony Long at
Ohio Redistricting Update
Late Monday night the Redistricting Commission voted 4-3 to approve a slightly altered version of the third map to be ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, bypassing the independent mapmakers hired by the commission to draw new maps.

The new maps are likely to face more legal challenges, as they are less competitive than the previous sets of maps. 
Innovation and Technology Committee Update
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Innovation and Technology Committee met last week. During the meeting the committee heard an update on the state of 5G and how soon we may achieve faster connectivity, an ability to connect devices and the impact of all of this on general businesses.

The committee also discussed several pending bills in the Ohio legislature and discussed using showcase events to connect members with legislators. The showcases may start in the fall and be paired with coffee and commerce events at the Ohio Chamber. Stay tuned for more details this summer during the next Innovation & Technology Committee meeting.
House Bill 515 & 519
Last week the House Ways & Means Committee voted out two bills of note. House Bill 515 would exempt from income tax certain gains from the sale of an ownership interest in a business. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Tax Committee will discuss this bill on Thursday.

The second bill is House Bill 519 which adjusts penalties for late filing of municipal income tax returns. The Ohio Chamber is monitoring this legislation.

Both bills head to the whole House for a vote.  
Senate Bill 264 and House Bill 230
The Senate Financial Institutions & Technology Committee held third hearings for two bills the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is following.

Senate Bill 264, which allows remote working for mortgage loan originators under certain circumstances and with certain controls required by the Residential Mortgage Loan Law. This makes permanent a practice first allowed during the health pandemic of 2020.

House Bill 230 improves the state of Ohio’s IT systems and services. It would catalogue the IT systems used by state agencies, recommend migration of applications to cloud storage solutions and create a Cybersecurity and Fraud Advisory Board. That Board would make recommendations on best practices to enhance computer security protocols. 

House Bill 230 received no opposition testimony. Senate Bill 264 is back on the calendar this week and may move to the full Senate for a vote. 
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