OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
- Ohioans planted roughly 27,000 trees last year, leading the country for the 37th consecutive year for the state with the most Tree City USA communities. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 241 cities, villages and townships participated in the program.
- The Ohio Department of Transportation will pay a $1,227 settlement to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer covering repair costs after his car hit a pothole along I-670 last February.
- Ohio gained 10,800 jobs in March, capping the state's best first quarter for job growth since 2012.
OML ANNOUNCES CHANGE TO WORKERS' COMP GROUP RATING PROGRAM
The Ohio Municipal League has announced an important change to the workers' compensation group rating program. OML has selected CareWorksComp as our new third-party administrator for our Workers' Compensation Group Rating Program.
As of this Wednesday, CompManagement/Sedgwick will no longer be OML's third party administrator for our Workers' Compensation Group Rating Program. This change was made after a great deal of consideration and evaluation of the companies providing these services in the state of Ohio in relation to the needs of the program's members. CareWorksComp is a Dublin, Ohio based company, owned by York Risk Services, which manages the Public Entity Pool of Ohio (PEP). CareWorksComp is committed to providing the superior service OML members have come to expect from association endorsed partners.
If you are a current member of OML's group rating program, the switch to CareWorksComp will
not affect your current enrollment in group rating for the 2019 policy year (January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019) or change your present group discount. Additionally, CareWorksComp has committed to no fee changes for at least two years.
CareWorksComp will begin managing all new and existing claims, including management and attendance at hearings on our program members' behalf. A member of a CareWorksComp team will be calling our members within the next week to introduce CareWorksComp and to answer any questions. Below are
Frequently Asked Questions answered by the staff of CareWorksComp to address initial questions program members may have:
- Is this for an AC-3 solicitation, or an MCO solicitation?
- This is not a solicitation. The Ohio Municipal League has selected CareWorksComp as the Program administrator.
- Do I pay CareWorksComp?
- No, not at this time. CareWorksComp has agreed to service OML members at no cost for the January 1, 2019 rate year. You will not be billed by CareWorksComp until early 2019 for the 2020 rate year.
- What if I paid CompManagement already?
- CareWorksComp will service your account at no cost. You will not be double charged. CareWorksComp considers this an investment in our relationship. (There is no need to request a refund.)
- CompManagement is saying OML does not have the wherewithal to file Group Rating or Group Retrospective Rating Programs because they have lost members?
- This is false. The Ohio Municipal League has had and continues to have the ability to have both Group Rating and Group Retrospective Rating Programs. OML has simply chosen to switch administrators (TPAs), meaning the existing group plans are moving from CompManagement to CareWorksComp effective 4/25/18.
- CompManagement has told me they will file my organization in another Association (Ohio Assn of Public Treasurers, etc). Can they do that because I would like to be with them?
- The BWC has switched the representation of the OML Group to CareWorksComp. At this point, CareWorksComp is the administrator for all OML Group and Group Retro plans. While CompManagement may try to coerce you into staying with them, the entire group has been moved to CareWorksComp. However, please know that CMI has no group for you to participate in currently.
- I am unhappy with how the notification was done for the change to CareWorksComp.
- I apologize for any confusion you may be experiencing due to the messaging. OML and CareWorksComp are trying to assist with an organized transition. We are unfortunately unable to control the communications being sent from CompManagement. They are understandably unhappy about the change and their messaging will certainly reflect their displeasure. I am here to help, and I am happy to answer all of your questions.
- CMI tells me that if I do not sign an AC-2, hearings will be missed?
- CareWorksComp currently has access to any and all information on your claims. Hearing Dockets are generally set 3 weeks in advance. CareWorksComp is diligently identifying upcoming hearings. However, if you are aware of a Hearing, please let us know right away.
Additionally, here is a list of phone numbers program members can use to contact CareWorksComp with questions:
- Paul Feck, Manager of Client Services: 614-526-7138 (office)/614-906-0535 (cell)
- Customer Service: 614-764-7600
- Hearings: 614-526-7211
- Settlements/handicaps/cost containment: 614-526-7271
- State Fund Claims: 614-526-7288
- Safety: 614-827-0370
OML is very excited about our new partnership with CareWorksComp and looks forward to enhancing the best group rating program in Ohio.
TRAFFIC CAMERA CASE HEADS TO OHIO SUPREME COURT
The state of Ohio has appealed its case over Toledo's use of automated traffic cameras to the highest court in the state. The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments this week regarding a budget bill provision in HB 64 (passed during the 131
st General Assembly) which allows the state to withhold Local Government Fund distributions in the event a municipality does not comply with traffic camera restrictions as made law in SB 342, which was passed during the 130
th General Assembly. Several of those same provisions were struck down last year by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Toledo sought and received an injunction from the Lucas County Common Pleas Court ten days prior to the law taking effect. After the legislature passed HB 64, the same court held that the state would be found in contempt if it withheld LGF funding from municipalities who were not in compliance with SB 342. The Sixth District Court of Appeals upheld this ruling, sending the case before the Ohio Supreme Court.
The state is arguing that Toledo's Home Rule rights don't extend to receiving LGF money, and that city forfeited those distributions by operating their traffic camera program under its own jurisdiction. Toledo argues the state is seeking to force the city to comply with an unconstitutional law. The League will continue to track and report on this case as it moves through the legal process.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SCHEDULES VOTE FOR NEW SPEAKER
One week after the May primary, the Ohio House of Representatives will be electing a new House speaker. This election comes after the resignation of Cliff Rosenberger. The Republican caucus, which will meet on Tuesday, May 15
th, will select the new speaker. This will be followed by a vote from the full chamber on Wednesday, May 16
Rep. Smith (R - Bidwell) and Rep. Householder (R - Glenford) have been battling to replace Rosenberger at the start of the new General Assembly next year and have expressed interest in being elected to the post in the upcoming vote. However, some in the caucus prefer electing a short-term speaker. Rep. Thompson (R - Marietta) and Rep. Pelanda (R - Marysville) have vocalized interest in the position. In the meantime, Rep. Schuring (R - Marysville) continues to serve as the interim speaker. The League will continue to track these proceedings and report on the results of the election.
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
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!
LATEST BWC REBATE TOTALS $1.5 BILLION
Governor John Kasich and Bureau of Workers' Compensation's CEO Sarah Morrison announced this week a $1.5 billion rebate based on strong investment returns. $111 million of this rebate will be earmarked for local government jurisdictions. Another $48 million will be earmarked for public school jurisdictions.
"We know the more money we leave with the employer, the more money they can invest in their employees and grow their businesses," said Morrison. This rebate, according to her, brings the total of $8 billion in BWC savings under the Kasich administration. The League is glad to see these rebates used to invest in Ohio's municipalities. These rebates are just part of the investment needed to ensure our municipalities are fully funded to serve Ohio's businesses, citizens and communities.
OML JOINS OHIO AFTERSCHOOL NETWORK IN D.C. CONFERENCE
The Ohio Municipal League's Director of Communications, Ashley Brewster, had the privilege of attending the Mott Foundation's 2018 meeting of the 50 State Afterschool Network in Washington, D.C. The week was comprised of several days of conference activities followed by a day of advocating on the Hill with the Afterschool Alliance. Conference participants got to hear inspiring presentations from dynamic, influential speakers like US Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith. Attendees also sat in on a variety of educational and informative workshops, including one by the National League of Cities, where their Expanded Learning Director and Program Manager, Audrey Hutchinson and Bela Spooner, spoke to how afterschool plays a crucial role in helping municipalities with workforce development.
During the Afterschool Alliance's advocacy day, attendees from nearly every state spoke with members of Congress and their staff about the importance of continuing to fund 21
st Century grants, which provides crucial funding for quality afterschool programs throughout the country.
Afterschool addresses so many of the issues municipalities face every day, such as opioid addiction prevention, juvenile crime and violence prevention and workforce development. Investing in afterschool programs is an investment in local communities. The Ohio Municipal League was proud to join the Ohio Afterschool Network in D.C. and look forward to continuing our productive partnership moving forward.
NEW LEGISLATION OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST INTRODUCED
Here is the new legislation introduced this week of interest to municipalities:
- HB 616 - LAW ENFORCEMENT QUOTAS. Sponsored by Rep. West (D - Canton), this bill would prohibit certain law enforcement officials or agencies from establishing a plan using quotas of arrests made or citations issued by their police officers for the purpose of evaluating, promoting, transferring, rewarding, or disciplining the police officers and to authorize the Attorney General to investigate such use upon an anonymous report of a police officer.
OML MEMBERS OFFERED DISCOUNT TUITION FOR GRANT WRITING WORKSHOP
Central Ohio Organization of Public Purchasers and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Columbus, May 31-June 1, 2018. This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines.
Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.
Ohio Municipal League members are offered a special tuition rate of $425 which includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to our Alumni Forum that's packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals. Members can use discount code "OHASSN" to receive this $30 discount off full price at registration.
More information including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration is available