The Ohio Legislature is currently on break and will not be back until May 15
th. The Ohio Municipal League wants to remind our members that the Ohio House of Representatives will be electing a new Speaker of the House in Republican caucus meeting on May 15
th, followed by an election held before the full House on May 16
OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
- The Ohio Tax Credit Authority announced last week that it will award $750,000 in incentives for three projects, so long as they create 105 new jobs, retain 139 positions and generate $8 million in new payroll. These projects are projected to trigger $1 million in additional investments.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is awarding $144,000 to farms and businesses for the purposes of rural development. The money was allocated in Congress's 2014 Farm Bill.
- Congressmembers from both sides of the political aisle, including Sen. Rob Portman (R - Terrace Park) and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D - Cleveland) are requesting full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. President Trump has issued repeated calls for essentially defunding the program by slashing 90% of its $300 million budget.
GOVERNOR SIGNS SMALL CELL INFRASTRUCTURE BILL, OTHER BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
This Wednesday, Governor Kasich signed HB 478, legislation regulating the deployment of small cell wireless infrastructure throughout municipal rights of way. The signing of this bill marks the achievement of both municipal leaders across the state and the telecommunications industry representatives who spent countless hours the past several months to reach a compromise of both parties. The final bill signed by the Governor retained the majority of provisions agreed to by both coalitions. Any amendments adopted into the bill were also agreed to by both parties. You can read a final version of the legislation
The League wants to once again thank all of those who tirelessly worked on this legislation the past several months and who ensured the bill survived the legislative process with each important compromise intact. We appreciate the leadership and guidance of Rep. Smith (R - Bidwell) and Rep. LaTourette (R - Chesterland) for sponsoring the bill and bringing both parties to the table.
Governor Kasich signed two other bills on Wednesday that also impact municipalities. The first is HB 122, sponsored by Rep. Hambley (R - Brunswick) and Rep. Rogers (D - Mentor-on-the-Lake), which will establish a Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee to study the benefits and challenges involved in creating regional economic development alliances. The second, HB 251, sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), will increase from five to ten years the maturity period of other political subdivision's bonds and obligations eligible for investment of a subdivision's interim moneys, a county's inactive moneys, and money in the county public library fund. We appreciate the work of these legislators for sponsoring legislation that will benefit municipalities in the long term, and we hope to see many more bill of this nature signed in the future.
NEW LEGISLATION OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST INTRODUCED
Here is the new legislation introduced this week of interest to municipalities:
- HB 625 - AUXILIARY CONTAINERS. Sponsored by Rep. Lang (R -West Chester Township) and Rep. Lipps (R - Franklin), this bill would authorize a person to use an auxiliary container for any purpose, to prohibit a municipal corporation, charter county, or limited home rule township from imposing a tax or fee on auxiliary containers, and to clarify that the existing anti-littering law applies to auxiliary containers. This bill is companion legislation to SB 210, sponsored by Sen Coley (Liberty Township). That bill is currently in the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee, where it has received two hearings. The League is opposed to both bills.
OML REGIONAL CONFERENCES COMING SOON
In the next few months, the OML will be holding regional conferences throughout the state to bring important elements of our Annual Conference right to the doorstep of the local leaders who serve Ohio's cities and villages.
The goal of these Regional Conferences is to provide an opportunity for League members prevented from attending our three-day Annual Conference held in downtown Columbus by either distance or time constraints but know it is important to receive the timely information and access to resources that the conference provides. In an attempt to reach our members unable to attend the Annual Conference, we have put together a single day program of general session topics with presentations by featured speakers who are experts in their municipal sectors.
The regional conferences are an invaluable opportunity for municipal officials statewide to have the ability to be presented with critical information directly related to the success of their own communities, as well as connect and network with other local leaders in their area. This opportunity is not limited to League members who cannot come to Columbus but is a great opportunity for all municipal and local government officials to refresh their skill sets and get the most recent information on critical topics.
Registration information including the conference agenda can be accessed HERE
The dates and locations for the four Regional Conferences are as follows:
- Southeast: Friday, May 18th at the Ohio University Conference Center in Athens.
- Southwest: Friday, June 8th at the Manor House Banquet Center in Mason.
- Northeast: Friday, June 29th at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
- Northwest: Friday, August 17th at the Hancock Hotel in Findlay.
We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible, as space will be limited, and we look forward to seeing you there!