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December 6, 2019

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
 
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
 
  • The 2020 National League of Cities Board of Directors has nominated two municipal leaders from Ohio: Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin and Akron Councilmember Tara Mosley Samples. In addition, Akron Councilman Russel Neal, Jr., has been appointed as co-chair of the NLC's Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Council. The League wants to congratulate all of these Ohio local leaders on their appointments.
  • This year, the Ohio General Assembly has introduced 1,385 bills and resolutions. Only 15 of those have become law, including the State Operating Budget bill.
  • This week, the League testified in support of HB 168, which was sponsored by former Rep. Arndt (R - Port Clinton) and would enable urban revitalization by making it more possible for developers to purchase lightly-contaminated properties also known as "brownfields". (You can read the bill language HERE.) The bill was then voted out of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. You can read the League's testimony in full HERE.
 
 
LEAGUE TESTIFIES AGAINST SENATE PREEMPTION BILL
 
This week, the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee held a third hearing on SB 222, a bill sponsored by Sen. Rulli (R - Salem) that would preempt municipalities and other local governments from levying a tax or fee on plastic bags and similar items such as carryout containers. You can read the bill language HERE.
 
The League's Legislative Advocate Thomas Wetmore testified in opposition to this legislation, saying, "We believe the continued erosion of Home Rule authority by the legislature cannot continue. The ordinances passed by a municipality reflect the values of the community they govern. The rights of cities and villages to local control must be preserved." You can read his testimony in full HERE.
 
Several other opponents to the bill stood before the committee to testify against the bill, both on the ground of concern for the environment and as an attack on Home Rule authority, including Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler. You can read the mayor's testimony HERE.
 
Written opposition testimony was submitted by several other organizations, including the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, the Ohio Township Association, the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Ohio Mayors Alliance. You can find all their testimony HERE.
 
The League thanks all who testified in opposition to this Home Rule preemption and we will keep our members apprised of any further action on this bill.
 
 
 
GOVERNOR DEWINE SPEAKS OUT AGAINST LEGISLATIVE ACTION TO PREEMPT LOCAL CONTROL
 
In the Governor's continued efforts to support Ohio's local communities, this week Gov. DeWine told reporters that he does not support the legislative push to preempt local governments from banning single-use plastic bags and similar items.
 
The Governor's remarks referred to SB 222 and its companion in the House, HB 242. Both bills would preempt municipalities from levying a tax or fee on single-use plastic bags, carryout containers and other auxiliary containers.
 
The Governor stated he believed the bill would be a mistake, saying, "I think the state government should allow local communities to do what they think is best in regard to this area. They can work that out in their local community. We should allow them to do that. I think it would be a mistake for the General Assembly to override them."
 
The League appreciates the Governor's remarks and thanks him for his continued support of local control and Home Rule authorities. We look forward to continuing to work with the DeWine Administration to ensure the preservation of local control and the increased investment in municipalities as the economic engines of our state.
 
 
 
CYBER SECURITY WORKSHOPS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION
 
The Ohio Department of Administrative Services Office of Information Security and Privacy and the National Governors Association are partnering to host a one-day cybersecurity workshop for local governments on December 17 from 9am to 4pm at the Ohio Department of Transportation Auditorium. Find out more information on the workshop and on how to register HERE.
 
 
 
FAQ RELEASED FOR INDIGENT BURIAL REIMBURSEMENTS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
 
The Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors has released an FAQ regarding the indigent burial and cremation support program for local governments. You can access that HERE.
 
 
 
NEW BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
Here is the legislation introduced this week that would impact municipalities:
 
  • HB 421 - LOCAL GOVERNMENT IMMUNITY. Sponsored by Rep. Smith (R - Germantown) and Rep. Blair (D - Weathersfield), would provide a municipal corporation or county immunity from civil and criminal liability in any action that arises from a hospital police officer acting directly in the discharge of the person's duties as a police officer and that occurs on the premises of the hospital or its affiliates or subsidiaries or elsewhere in the municipal corporation or county.
           (Link: https://bit.ly/368fZ5K)
 
  • HB 425 - CONCEALED WEAPONS. Sponsored by Rep. Wiggam (R - Wooster), would modify the requirement that a concealed handgun licensee must notify a law enforcement officer that the licensee is authorized to carry a concealed handgun and is carrying a concealed handgun when stopped.
 
  • SB 244 - FISCAL OFFICERS. Sponsored by Sen. Rulli (R - Salem), would require fiscal officers of certain political subdivisions to provide certificates of transition to their successors when leaving office.
 
 
 
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
Here are the bills impacting municipalities that received committee hearings this week:
 
  • SB 221 - FIREARMS LAWS. Sponsored by Sen. Dolan (R - Chagrin Falls), is Gov. DeWine's legislative "STRONG Ohio" initiative aimed at curbing gun violence including provisions such as issuing a Safety Protection Order in certain circumstances for a person who a court determines is under a drug dependency, chronic alcoholic, or mental health-related firearms disability and instating a statewide background check mechanism. During its third hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, proponents including Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn testified in support of the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • SB 237 - DUTY TO RETREAT. Sponsored by Rep. Johnson (R - McDermott), would enact the Ohio Duty to Retreat Act to modify the law regarding self-defense. During its second hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, proponents including Ohioans for Conceal Carry testified in support of the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.




COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 8, 2019
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC SAFETY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
Tue., Dec. 10, 2019, 11:15 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Manning: 614-644-7613
 
CERTIFICATES OF TRANSITION (RULLI M) To require fiscal officers of certain political subdivisions to provide certificates of transition to their successors when leaving office. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
SENATE GENERAL GOVERNMENT AND AGENCY REVIEW
Wed., Dec. 11, 2019, 3:15 PM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Schuring: 614-466-0626
 
BALLOT LANGUAGE UNIFORMITY (MERRIN D) To enact the "Ballot Uniformity and Transparency Act" to modify the form of election notices and ballot language for property tax levies. 
 
Third Hearing, All Testimony
 
Report(s):  Bill Track, My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report, Thomas Leg Tracker
Thursday, December 12, 2019
 
REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE STUDY COMMITTEE
Thu., Dec. 12, 2019, 11:00 AM, Hearing Room 116
Rep. Steve Hambley: 614-466-8140
On the agenda: discussion and votes on proposals regarding revenue sharing among jurisdictions; higher education; tweaks to existing programs; and better aligning infrastructure decisions on economic development planning.
CHECK OUR SITE MONDAY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE SCHEDULE

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February 20 & 21


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