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April 19, 2019

This week, the legislature is on Spring Break before the Easter holiday. No voting sessions were held this week, and none of the committee hearings that were held impacted municipalities. The legislature will be back in session next week and will resume their typical committee schedule as the House wraps up constructing their budget proposal. House Speaker Larry Householder reports that members of the House of Representatives have submitted almost 2,000 proposed amendments to the budget bill. The Senate will also begin holding hearings on the budget. The League will continue to keep our members up-to-date on all budget proceedings.

Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
  • The 10th District Court of Appeals has denied reconsideration of a lawsuit file by Ohio municipalities challenging the centralized collection of the municipal net profit tax. The appellate court had ruled in January to uphold the law allowing centralized collection.
  • Ohio has been selected as one of four states to receive over $350 million in federal grant funding to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic. The goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to create an opioid intervention "blueprint" from a coalition of state, community and academic partners across Ohio, New York, Massachusetts and Kentucky.
  • American Rivers, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation organization, has named Cuyahoga River the "River of the Year." The title celebrates 50 years of environmental resurgence for the Cuyahoga River.

The League is urging members to contact their state representative and senator in support of a forthcoming budget amendment that would restore the Local Government Fund (LGF) to pre-recession levels.
The current administration and leaders in the legislature have been signaling a desire to rebuild the partnership between the state and local governments. As the House finalizes amendments to HB 166, the State Operating Budget, now is the time for local leaders to make it clear to their legislative delegations that restoring the LGF is a priority for cities and villages across the state.
When talking to their legislators, local leaders should communicate their support for restoring the LGF to pre-recession levels. Additionally, the League asks that members support two other amendments that are a budget priority for municipalities. The first would remove all language regarding municipal income taxation from HB 166 so the language can be properly vetted in separate legislation. The second amendment funds the local fee offset for MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication) that is particularly necessary for smaller cities and villages to participate in this crucial. inter-state communications system.
The budget process is an ideal time for local leaders to remind legislators of the importance of ensuring municipalities can adequately deliver basic services to Ohioans via restoration of the LGF. Municipalities must communicate this priority before HB 166 clears the House within the next few weeks.

This week, Gov. DeWine signed an executive order creating a statewide Census 2020 Complete Count Commission with the goal of ensuring a complete count for the upcoming census.
The commission will be made up of approximately 51 appointees, including members from state and local government, the Ohio legislature, academia, business, community and non-profit groups as well as ethnic and faith-based communities. According to the Governor, the members must come from all regions of the state. Recommendations from the commission will be due by December 1, 2019.     
An undercount of just 0.8% of the state's population could mean Ohio looses one or more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as jeopardizing transit grants, Medicaid, federal highway funding, low income housing, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and more.
The League greatly appreciates the Governor's signing of this executive order as the creation of this commission signals the census is a priority for the administration. The commission will be especially impactful to municipalities as it creates the opportunity for local leaders across Ohio to ensure their communities are accurately counted.    


Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Wed., Apr. 24, 2019, 9:15 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Eklund: 614-644-7718
Committee will take in-person testimony on SB33 from first 12 witnesses on a first-come, first-served basis, and treat other submissions as written only, but will provide other opportunities to testify later.
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES OFFENSES (HOAGLAND F) To modify certain criminal offenses with respect to critical infrastructure facilities and to impose fines and civil liability for damage to a critical infrastructure facility. 
Fifth Hearing, Opponent/Interested Party Testimony
Wed., Apr. 24, 2019, 10:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
OPERATING BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make operating appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs. 
First Hearing, Invited Testimony
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Thu., Apr. 25, 2019, 9:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
Committee will hear testimony on HB166 from Ohio Department of Medicaid, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
OPERATING BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make operating appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs. 
Second Hearing, Invited Testimony
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Wed., May. 1, 2019, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 114
Rep. Zeltwanger: 614-644-6027
TAX CREDITS-OHIO OPPORTUNITY ZONE (SCHURING K) To authorize tax credits for investments in an Ohio Opportunity Zone. 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony


Ohio Municipal League Meetings & Trainings

OAPSD Annual Conference
Thursday May, 2, 2019
OML/OMAA Webinar:
Downtown Redevelopment 
May 15, 2019

MAO Annual Conference 
June 12th ~ 14th, 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:
Zoƫ Wade, Office Manager