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March 1, 2019 


OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

Here are the top three things you need to know from this week:
  • On Monday, the Controlling Board approved a $2 million temporary transfer to the Ohio Department of Taxation to cover shortages in taxes municipalities received created by taxpayers filing estimated payments to multiple municipalities. These estimated payments were file to the state via the Ohio Business Gateway as part of the state centralized collection of municipal net profit business filings. Taxpayers underestimated payments to some municipalities while overestimating payments to others. ODT has estimated 445 municipalities have been shorted as a result.
  • Realtor.com has listed Cincinnati and Columbus as numbers 4 and 5 on a list of top millennial housing markets. Millennials made up over 50% of new mortgages in both municipalities.
  • The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation board of directors have voted to removed OxyContin from their formulary and replace it with a drug that is harder to abuse.
 
 
OHIO MUNICIPAL LEAGUE TO HOST LOBBYING DAY

 
On Wednesday, March 27th, the Ohio Municipal League is inviting all municipal officials from across the state to a Lobbying Day for local leaders to spend a day at the Statehouse speaking with their legislators about the issues most pressing to Ohio's cities and villages.
 
This Lobbying Day presents a unique opportunity for our members to engage with their representatives and senators on issues such as restoring the Local Government Fund, investing in infrastructure and preserving municipalities' constitutional right to Home Rule.
 
The day will begin at 8am at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Columbus with a breakfast meeting, where each participant will be given briefing materials on issues in the State Operating Budget for discussions with members of their legislative delegations. For those unable to travel until later in the day, a 12pm lunch will also be served at the Sheraton Hotel with the same briefing materials provided.
 
The rest of the day will be spent speaking with legislators and their staff in meetings at the Statehouse and in the Vern Riffe State Office Tower. Participants are strongly encouraged to contact their state representative and senator at least two weeks in advance to schedule meetings to ensure there will be an opportunity for a meeting. The League can assist with scheduling those meetings if needed.
 
The League will work hard to ensure that the process of lobbying state legislators is not intimidating. All levels of municipal officials who are able to attend are encouraged to do so. Our staff will assist by providing some conversational tips that will help you feel more at ease. As for parking, you can find a number of public parking garages in the vicinity of the Statehouse.
 
Participants are encouraged to make plans early . Please RSPV to Zoë Wade by March 22nd at (614)221-4349 or Zwade@omlohio.org, and please indicate on the registration form attached HERE if you will be coming for breakfast, lunch or will be there for both meals.
 
 
TRANSPORTATION BUDGET RECEIVES MORE HEARINGS IN BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE

 
HB 62 received hearings in both legislative chambers this week as multiple interested parties testified on various aspects of the Transportation Budget. In the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks presented the same testimony outlining the Governor's proposed gas tax increase that he presented to the House Finance Committee last week. In the House Finance Committee, representatives from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Public Works Commission and the Central Ohio Transit Authority all testified to the need for additional funding for their services. The Director of the Developmental Services Agency, former Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik, also testified. You can read more about her testimony in the article below.
 
On Wednesday, a variety of interested parties testified on HB 62, including many representing municipalities. Mayor Chase Ritenauer of the City of Lorain testified, alongside Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and the Directors of Public Service for Columbus and Lima, Jennifer Gallagher and Howard Estro. Each of their testimonies detailed the need to invest in transportation infrastructure, citing specific needs within their own communities. You can read their testimonies by clicking HERE.
 
Thursday, Mayor William Lautar of the City of Kettering and Mayor Lawrence Mulligan of the City of Middletown testified, outlining the specific transportation infrastructure needs within their communities. You can read their testimonies by clicking on the same link above. The fact that local leaders are taking time out of their schedules to travel to Columbus and testify sends a strong message to the General Assembly that our cities and villages must have properly-funded transportation infrastructure in order to build strong, thriving local economies that contribute to the overall economic success and stability of the state of Ohio.
 
We encourage our members to continue to reach out to their legislative delegation and educate them on the need to properly fund transportation infrastructure. The League will continue to report on the progress of HB 62 as it moves through the legislative process. If there are any further opportunities to testify, we will let our membership know. The bill will pass through the legislative process entirely by the end of March.
 
 
 
DAS DIRECTOR MIHALIK HIGHLIGHTS TRANPORTATION GRANTS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

 
During Finance Committee hearings this week, the Director of the Development Services Agency (DSA), former Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik, spoke on the funding in HB 62 for DSA programs that create state and local partnerships for economic development projects.
 
Dir. Mihalik spoke at length about DSA's Roadwork Development or "629" Grant. This grant helps local governments fund road improvement projects that are directly connected with business investments. The 629 Grant program, which the Transportation Budget would fund at $15.2 million each year for two years, can pay for up to 50% of the costs of these road improvement projects.
 
Two examples of successful 629 Grant-funded projects were outlined in the director's testimony. The first was a project in the City of Portsmouth that reconstructed a road next to a manufacturing business to accommodate heavy tractor trailer use. The second project was in the City of Cleveland, where the 629 Grant helped fund a road reconstruction that made a mixed-use development project possible. You can read Dir. Mahalik's testimony in full HERE.
 
Local governments, port authorities and companies are all qualified to apply for these Roadwork Development Grants. The grants can cover widening, paving, road construction or reconstruction and right-of-way infrastructure improvements including sewer or utility lines. The road improvements are required to support either the expansion or the attraction of businesses. A complete information guide to the program can be found HERE. For municipalities that may be interested in applying for a 629 Grant, click HERE.
 
 
 
NEW BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST INTRODUCED THIS WEEK

Here are the bills impacting municipalities that were introduced this week:
  • SB 62 - FIREARM TRANSFERS. Sponsored by Sen. Thomas (D - Cincinnati), would require a firearm transfer to be made through a dealer, through a law enforcement agency, or pursuant to a specified exception, and require a background check when a firearm is transferred.
 
 
 
BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST: COMMITTEE RECAP

 
Here are the bills of municipal interest that received hearings in committee this week:
 
  • HB 80 - BWC BUDGET. Sponsored by Rep. Oelslager (R - Canton), wouldmake appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2021, and provide authorization and conditions for the operation of those programs. During its first hearing before the House Insurance Committee, BWC CEO Stephanie McCloud testified as a proponent of the bill, outlining the provisions and asking for the General
Assembly's approval of the proposed annual budget. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • SB 10 - THEFT IN OFFICE. Sponsored by Sen. Wilson (R - Maineville), would expand the penalties for theft in office based on the amount stolen and to include as restitution audit costs of the entity that suffered the loss. During its first hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, the bill's sponsor explained that while other theft cases can end in second-or first-degree felony charges, the highest penalty for theft in office is a third-degree felony. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
  • SB 52 - CYBER SECURITY. Sponsored by Sen. Gavarone (R - Bowling Green), would create the civilian cyber security reserve forces, to make the Secretary of State a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, require the Secretary of State to appoint a chief information security officer, to require the boards of elections to audit election results, and make an appropriation. During its second hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the creation of the Reserve will address cyber security problems that affect many aspects of government, including elections. Proponent testimony was also given by Adjutant General John Harris and Robert Pardee, a representative from the Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
  • HB 75 - PROPERTY VALUES. Sponsored by Rep. Merrin (R - Monclova Township), would require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. During its first hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, the bill's sponsor explained that he does not think that the current process has enough oversight from a local government's legislative authority. The League is still looking into this legislation.
 
  • SB 8 - OPPORTUNITY ZONES. Sponsored by Sen. Schuring (R - Canton), would authorize tax credits for investments in an Ohio Opportunity Zone. During its second hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, the County Executive for Summit County and a representative from the Greater Cleveland Partnership testified in favor of the bill. The witnesses said the bill would both keep investors for Opportunity Zones here in state as well as support local economic development projects. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
  • HB 46 - SPENDING DATABASE. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would require the Treasurer of State to establish the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill's sponsor said the bill would allow Ohio taxpayers more transparency in seeing how taxpayer money is spent. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
 
COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 3, 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
HOUSE COMMERCE AND LABOR
Tue., Mar. 5, 2019, 11:00 AM, Hearing Room 114
Rep. Manning: 614-644-5076
 
INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make appropriations for the Industrial Commission for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of Commission programs. 
 
Second Hearing, All Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
 
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report
 
SENATE WAYS AND MEANS
Tue., Mar. 5, 2019, 4:00 PM, South Hearing Room
Sen. Terhar: 614-466-8068
 
TAX CREDITS-OHIO OPPORTUNITY ZONE (SCHURING K) To authorize tax credits for investments in an Ohio Opportunity Zone. 
 
Third Hearing, Opponent/Interested Party Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
 
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
SENATE JUDICIARY
Wed., Mar. 6, 2019, 9:15 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Eklund: 614-644-7718
Also on the agenda are presentations from Annette Chambers-Smith, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and Ryan Gies, director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
 
PEACE OFFICERS-PROPER INTERACTION (WILLIAMS S) Regarding instruction for peace officers, students, and new or student drivers on proper interactions with peace officers. 
 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
 
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report
 
PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE MONDAY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE SCHEDULE

Ohio Municipal League Meetings & Trainings

OML Lobbying Day
March 27, 2019



Ohio Municipal League

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

Website/Bulletin Issues:
Zoë Wade, Office Manager