The Conference Committee is still currently deliberating the final changes to Am. Sub. HB 166, the State Operating Budget Bill. Friday sessions have been cancelled, meaning deliberations will last over the weekend. The League will send out a member alert on Monday to let our members know which municipal provisions remain in the final version of the bill that will be signed by Gov. DeWine.
OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
- The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.
- Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D - Toledo) and Rep. Richard Brown (D - Canal Winchester) have been elected as Minority Whip and Assistant Minority Whip respectively in the House of Representatives.
- Ohio's unemployment rate dropped to an 18- year low at 4.1% in May.
PTSD PROVISION REMOVED FROM BWC BUDGET BILL BEFORE VOTED OUT BY SENATE
A provision providing coverage to first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without an accompanying work-related injury was removed from HB 80, the Bureau of Worker's Compensation budget bill. (Link:
This provision caused local governments a great deal of concern as the provision included no parameters, such as a time limit, and the fiscal impacts were completely unknown. The League, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Ohio Township Association submitted a joint letter last week voicing these concerns and asking that the provision be removed from the bill so these issues could be properly vetted in separate legislation. You can read the letter HERE. After the provision was removed, HB 80 was reported out of the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee and sent to the Senate floor, where it was unanimously approved.
The League appreciates that the Senate listened to the concerns of Ohio's local governments and removed the provision from HB 80. More dialogue and examination is needed regarding this issue, and we look forward to working with legislators in separate legislation to address this serious issue for our first responders.
LOCAL "BAG TAX" PREEMPTION BILL PASSED BY HOUSE COMMITTEE
A bill preempting municipal Home Rule authority has been voted out of the House State and Local Government Committee.
HB 242, sponsored by Rep. Lang (R - West Chester Township) and Rep. Jones (R - Freeport), would authorize the use of an auxiliary container for any purpose, prohibit the imposition of a tax or fee on those containers, and apply existing anti-littering law to those containers. (Link: https://bit.ly/2Vp9WUn).
This bill not only preempts a municipality from passing a plastic and paper bag tax, but also any tax on straws, plastic utensils, aluminum cans, glass bottles, Styrofoam cups and carry-out food containers. Additionally, the bill prohibits municipalities from discontinuing the use of plastic products, such as banning the use of plastic bags. The League testified against this bill in previous committee hearings. You can read Executive Director Kent Scarrett's full testimony HERE.
HB 242 is a blatant preemption on local control and usurps the will of the 8.5 million residents of Ohio's municipalities who would wish to utilize local control regulating the use of auxiliary containers. The League encourages our members to reach out to their legislative delegations in both the House and Senate to express their opposition to this violation of local control. We will be keeping or members apprised of this bill as it moves through the legislative process.
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES LAUNCHES #LOVEMYCITY CAMPAIGN
The National Leagues of Cities has launched a national campaign to uplift the love residents feel for their cities, towns and villages across the country.
More than 200 million people across the United States live in a city, town or village that they love. While the country is feeling increasingly divided and polarized, the National League of Cities (NLC) is bringing together top researchers, media partners, corporate leaders and local elected officials to spotlight the connection that residents feel with their cities through the #LoveMyCity campaign.
"As local leaders, we know the emotional bonds people create with their communities have a powerful impact on prosperity and livability," said NLC President Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of Gary, Indiana. "According to research from the Knight Foundation and Gallup, the stronger the attachment of residents to their communities, the higher the gross domestic product growth. We also know that when people love someone or something, they will give their time, talent and treasure for it. As local leaders, we have to create cities that our citizens will love."
Through the national #LoveMyCity campaign, NLC is supporting local leaders' efforts to create more meaningful bonds between communities and their residents. Throughout the summer, NLC will share "love letters" from influential voices across the country showcasing the powerful connection people have to their cities, towns and villages.
The national campaign is supported by media partners and corporate leaders including AARP, Accela, CGI Communications, Clear Channel Outdoor and Smart City Expo Atlanta.
Clear Channel Outdoor will run the #LoveMyCity campaign on over 1,200 of its digital billboards and in its participating airports across the U.S. this summer. Additionally, Clear Channel Outdoor worked with the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) to expand the reach of the #LoveMyCity message.
In November, NLC's annual City Summit being held in San Antonio, Texas will be themed #LoveMyCity in partnership with title sponsor, AARP.
To learn more about the #LoveMyCity campaign including the latest news, toolkits and resources visit www.mycity.love
ODOT ANNOUNCES WALK, BIKE, OHIO STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is launching its first-ever pedestrian and bicycle policy plan, Walk.Bike.Ohio, to address growing interest in active transportation among Ohioans. This plan will guide active transportation policies and program investments in the state for years to come.
Part of the plan development process includes meetings with stakeholders, including people who plan for, design, build or develop policies or programs related to walking and biking.
There will be six stakeholder meetings held around the state in July. The dates and cities are as follows:
* Wednesday, July 10, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), 720 East Pete Rose Way, Suite 420, Cincinnati, OH 45202
* Thursday, July 11, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), 300 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Toledo, OH 43604
* Monday, July 15, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215
* Tuesday, July 16, Paul Brown Epic Center, Zane State College, 9900 Brick Church Rd., Cambridge, OH 43725, hosted by Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA)
* Wednesday, July 17, Buckeye Hills Hocking Valley Regional Development District (Buckeye Hills), 1400 Pike St., Marietta, OH 45750
* Thursday, July 18, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), 1299 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114
At the meeting, the Walk.Bike.Ohio team will ask attendees to share their experiences and give feedback on the state of walking and biking in Ohio as the plan is starting.
Additional information on the meetings and the plan are available on the Walk.Bike.Ohio website. Additionally, there is a survey link on the website for the public to give feedback on the plan's development.
BILL OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST PASSED BY SENATE
Here is the other bill impacting municipalities that were passed by both and Senate this week:
- SB 39 - MIXED USE DEVELOPMENTS. Sponsored by Sen. Schuring (R - Canton) To authorize an insurance premiums tax credit for capital contributions to transformational mixed-use development projects. This bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 32-1. The League is supportive of this legislation.
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
Here are the bills impacting municipalities that received committee hearings this week:
- HB 202 - ELECTRIC VEHICLES. Sponsored by Rep. Smith (D - Euclid) and Rep. Weinstein (D - Hudson), would establish the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Study Committee. During its second hearing before the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee, proponents from organizations such as Clean Fuels Ohio and the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund said the bill would help address early-market needs for electronic vehicles. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 178 - CONCEALED WEAPONS. Sponsored by Rep. Hood (R - Ashville) and Rep. Brinkman (R - Cincinnati), would modify the Weapons Law by renaming a concealed handgun license as a concealed weapons license, allowing a concealed weapons licensee to carry concealed all deadly weapons not otherwise prohibited by law, repealing a notice requirement applicable to licensees stopped for a law enforcement purpose, authorizing expungement of convictions of a violation of that requirement, and allowing a person age 21 or older and not prohibited by federal law from firearm possession to carry a concealed deadly weapon without needing a license subject to the same carrying laws as a licensee. During its eighth hearing before the House Federalism Committee, the bill was amended to delete previously-added amendments such as on amendment allowing for concealed carry without a license. The bill was then reported out of committee by a vote of 7 to 4. The League is neutral on this legislation.
- HB 252 - LAND REUTILIZATION. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would create the Land Reutilization Demolition Program and make an appropriation. During its third hearing before the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee, proponents from the Ohio Real State Investors Association and the greater Ohio Policy Center spoke in support of the bill before it was reported out of committee by a vote of 13-1. The League is supportive of this legislation.
- HB 168 - AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE. Sponsored by Rep. Arndt (R - Port Clinton), would establish an affirmative defense to a release or threatened release of hazardous substances from a facility for certain bona fide prospective purchasers. During its first hearing before the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, the bill's sponsor explained the bill's intention to encourage economic development by creating a means by which people can purchase lightly contaminated properties. The League is supportive of this legislation.
DUE TO THE CONTINUING BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS OF HB 166 NO OTHER LEGISLATION OF MUNICIPAL CONCERN IS SCHEDULED FOR HEARING NEXT WEEK. CHECK MONDAY FOR ANY POSSIBLE CHANGES.