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November 9, 2018

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
 
The Midterm Elections are over and the "lame duck" session is about to begin in the legislature. We want to remind our members to talk to their legislative delegations regarding the critical issues facing their communities, such as the restoration of the LGF, fixing local infrastructure and protecting local control from any more preemptions. The voices of local leaders have a big impact at the Statehouse, so contact your legislators today.
 
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
  • The Ohio Secretary of State's office reports that 1.5 million ballots were requested for early voting ahead of Tuesday's election. By the time early voting closed Monday, 1.3 million of those ballots had been cast. Comparatively, during the last two gubernatorial races, 1 million early ballots were cast in 2010 and 846,000 were cast in 2014.
  • Ohio's Controlling Board approved the spending of approximately $55.8 million in federal grant money to be used in fighting the ongoing opioid crisis. The money will go towards efforts including workforce development, family services, educational programs and recovery housing.
  • Infrastructure: Ohio is the 7th most populous state and 35th in territory, yet it has the second largest inventory of bridges, the third largest freight payload, the fourth largest interstate highway system (8,318 lane miles compared to 11,143 lane miles of Ohio U.S. state routes), the sixth highest vehicle miles traveled (118.6 million), and the eighth total road miles.
 
 
OHIO ELECTION RESULTS

On Tuesday, the Midterm Elections were held across the nation. Below are the results from some of the key races in Ohio:
  • Mike DeWine (R) edged out Richard Cordray (D) to become Ohio's next Governor with 50.66% of the vote.
  • Dave Yost (R) beat out Steve Dettlebach (D) for Attorney General with 52.42% of the vote.
  • Frank LaRose (R) will become Ohio's next Secretary of State over Kathleen Clyde (D), winning 50.92% of the vote.
  • Keith Faber (R) is Ohio's next Auditor of State, winning 49.93% of the vote over Zack Space (D).
  • Robert Sprague (R) beat out Rob Richardson (D) to become Ohio's next Treasurer of State with 53.53% of the vote.
  • Ballot Issue 1 was defeated by 63.40% of the vote.
  • Michael Donnelly (D) and Melody Stewart (D) were both elected to become Supreme Court Justices.
  • You can access a list of the winners of the U.S. Senate and Congressional races HERE.
  • You can find the list of the winner of the Ohio House of Representative races HERE.
  • You can read a list of the winners of the Ohio State Senate races HERE.
The League wants to extend our sincere congratulations to all the candidates who secured a victory in Tuesday's election. We look forward to meeting with all candidates as they are sworn in as public officials and we are eager to work with all of them to strengthen Ohio and build a bright future by investing in the local communities across our state.

 
GOVERNOR-ELECT, LEGISLATORS TALK ABOUT STATE-LOCAL GOVERNMENT RELATIONSHIP

This week, Governor-elect DeWine and several legislators spoke on the importance of rebuilding the state-local government relationship at the Impact Ohio Post Election Conference.

During his keynote address, Governor-elect Mike DeWine announced the Lieutenant Governor-elect John Husted will head up Innovate Ohio, a new initiative created by the incoming administration that will in part focus on how best to help local governments. In addition, Governor-elect DeWine stated that his administration will be characterized by a "culture of respect" for local governments. He stated that he wants his administration to be good partners with local officials and that he will be actively seeking their input on issues. "This is going to be an administration that understands that local is where it happens," he said.

Later during the programming, a panel of legislators also addressed issues pertaining to local governments. Rep. Scott Ryan (R-Granville Township), Chair of the House Finance Committee, spoke to collaborating with local governments on infrastructure. Sen. Dolan (R - Chagrin Falls) commented on the need to examine the entirety of how Ohio funds infrastructure, stating the gas tax alone is insufficient and that a conversation about fees and other revenue sources needed to happen. He continued by saying locals must be brought in on the conversation surrounding both the transportation budget and the state operating budget, as infrastructure is crucial to economic development. Sen. Sykes (D - Akron) also spoke to the need to properly fund local infrastructure, including raising the gas tax.
The legislators also discussed the idea of restoring the Local Government Fund (LGF). Rep. Ryan said that while he is open to discussing with local governments about how to efficiently deliver services, he does not support the reinstating of the LGF, calling the distribution method outdated. He suggested a new method of funding that is tied to the amount of services a local government provides.

Sen. Dolan spoke to the need of local officials to be heard, reiterating the importance of local partnerships. He disagreed with the idea that cities are asking for a "blank check" and said that distributing money to local governments will be strategic. He continued, saying perhaps the state will begin to help local governments with infrastructure, public safety and similar services, as both the state and local governments share in those responsibilities.

The League is grateful to hear such refreshing comments from the incoming administration and from legislators. Rebuilding the relationship between local governments in the state is crucial, and we appreciate that the Governor-elect and legislators alike are committed to doing just that. We also appreciate the discussion surrounding the need to properly fund municipalities so they can deliver efficient services to Ohioans across the state.

We want to thank our members for the conversations they are having with their legislators. The voices of our local leaders are being heard at the Statehouse, and they are making a substantial impact. We want to urge our members to continue these discussions with their legislative delegation - especially with the newly-elected members of the legislature. These remarks show the impact municipal voices are having on the state government, and it is imperative to keep that momentum going.
The League looks forward to working with the administration of Governor-elect DeWine and the legislature alike to build a better future for Ohio by investing in one of our most valuable assets: our municipalities.
 
ANNUAL CONFERENCE THANK YOU

Another OML Annual Conference is behind us! We want to give a big "thank you" to each person who attended. We hope you found each session, workshop and networking opportunity educational, inspiring and challenging. We also want to thank each speaker and workshop leader for the time they put into cultivating instructive, thought-provoking material. Our goal at the League is to create a program that provokes thoughtful conversation, a sharing of best practices and access to expertise on some of the most pressing issues facing municipalities. We also want to extend our thanks to all of the exhibitors who participated in the conference. The exhibit hall is an important part of our conference, and we appreciate the value they bring to all our attendees.

If you have any feedback regarding the conference, we would love to hear it! You can access our survey HERE. Each year we strive to improve on the previous conference and your comments help us do just that. We once again want to thank all our attendees for a great conference! We are already looking forward to next year.

 
BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST TO BE HEARD NEXT WEEK

As the "lame duck" session kicks off next week, there are three critical bills impacting municipalities that are receiving sponsor testimony in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, November 13 th.SB 17, sponsored by Sen Tavares (D - Columbus), would increase allocations to the Local Government Fund from the current 1.66% back to 3.68% if passed. Also being heard is SB 203, sponsored by Sen. Dolan (R - Chagrin Falls), which would reinstate the municipal income tax throwback rule - an important revenue source, particularly for municipalities with distribution centers. Lastly, HB 269, sponsored by Sen. Yuko (D - Richmond Heights), would appropriate money for subdivision road maintenance repairs.

We are grateful to Sen. Tavares, Sen. Dolan and Sen. Yuko for their commitment to sponsoring legislation on the behalf of Ohio's municipalities and for their understanding of the importance of investing in our local communities. We are excited to see these bills get first hearings and we look forward to continuing to work with legislators and building a better, brighter future for Ohio's cities and villages. We will be updating our members on the progress of these bills, and we strongly encourage our members to contact their legislators in both the House and the Senate to support these pieces of legislation.

 
COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 12, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC SAFETY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
Tue., Nov. 13, 2018, 9:45 AM, South Hearing Room
Sen. Uecker: 614-466-8082
 
EMPLOYEE DISHONESTY INSURANCE (WIGGAM S) To authorize counties, townships, and municipal corporations to purchase an employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty insurance policy, instead of a bond, for protection from loss due to the fraudulent or dishonest actions of, and the failure to perform a duty prescribed by law by, an officer, official, employee, or appointee for which a bond is required by law. 
 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
 
HOUSE FINANCE
Tue., Nov. 13, 2018, 1:00 PM, Hearing Room 313
Rep. Ryan: 614-466-1482
 
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES-MEMBER DUES (BECKER J) To remove any requirement under the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Law that public employees join or pay dues to any employee organization, to prohibit public employers from requiring public employees to join or pay dues to any employee organization, to prohibit an employee organization from being required to represent public employees who are not members of the employee organization, and to make an appropriation. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
HOME IMPROVEMENT BOARD (PATMON B) To require statewide registration of home improvement contractors, to create the Home Improvement Board, and to make an appropriation. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report
APPROPRIATION-DISBURSEMENTS TO SUBDIVISIONS (SMITH K, BOGGS K) To make a supplemental appropriation under the budget of the Auditor of State to make disbursements to political subdivisions appearing on the Auditor of State's fiscal caution, fiscal watch, or fiscal emergency list during the FY 2018-FY 2019 biennium. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
CLEAN WATER BONDS (ARNDT S, PATTERSON J) To permit the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund clean water improvements. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
SENATE AGRICULTURE
Tue., Nov. 13, 2018, 4:00 PM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Hackett: 614-466-3780
 
F LIQUOR PERMIT-OUTDOOR AREAS (LANESE L) To allow an outdoor refreshment area to include F liquor permit holders. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
SENATE FINANCE
Tue., Nov. 13, 2018, 2:30 PM, Hearing Room
Sen. Oelslager: 614-466-0626
 
INCREASE ALLOCATIONS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUND (TAVARES) 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
 
APPROPRIATE MONEY FOR SUBDIVISION ROAD MAINTENANCE REPAIRS (YUKO) 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
 
REINSTATE MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX THROWBACK RULE (DOLAN) 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
SENATE WAYS AND MEANS
Wed., Nov. 14, 2018, 9:00 AM, South Hearing Room
Sen. Eklund: 614-644-7718
 
PROPERTY TAX COMPLAINTS TIMEFRAME (GREENSPAN D) To increase the time within which boards of revision must decide property tax complaints. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
TAX CREDIT-MIXED USE PROJECTS (SCHURING K) To authorize a nonrefundable insurance company tax credit for contributions of capital to transformational mixed use development projects. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
PROPERTY VALUE CONTEST-RESOLUTIONS (MERRIN D) To require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. 
 
Third Hearing, Opponent/Interested Party Testimony
 
SENATE JUDICIARY
Wed., Nov. 14, 2018, 10:30 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Bacon: 614-466-8064
 
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY TRESPASS (HOAGLAND F) To prohibit criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and aggravated trespass on a critical infrastructure facility, to impose fines for organizations that are complicit in those offenses, and to impose civil liability for damage caused by trespass on a critical infrastructure facility. 
 
Third Hearing, Opponent Testimony
 
CHECK OUR WEBSITE MONDAY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE SCHEDULE

Ohio Municipal League

Legislative Inquires:
Kent Scarrett, Executive Director
Edward Albright, Deputy Director
Ashley Brewster, Director of Communications
Rachel Massoud, Legislative Advocate

Website/Bulletin Issues:
Zoƫ Wade, Office Manager