Join Our Mailing List                                                 Like us on Facebook
 
March 16, 2018

 
OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:

  • An appeal has been filed by approximately 160 municipalities in the ongoing municipal lawsuit challenging the state's centralized collection of net profit business filings as made law in HB 49. Judge David Cain of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court rejected a request to stay his ruling in favor of the state while the municipalities' appeal the ruling to the 10th District Court of Appeals.

  • The Bureau of Worker's Compensation has received 444 applications for their Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program. The number of grants awarded would total $4.7 million. The BWC has indicated their intention to award the grant to every qualifying fire department.  

  • The Ohio unemployment rate dropped from 4.9% in December to 4.7% in January. The national unemployment rate stays at 4.1% for the fifth consecutive month.


OML ANNOUNCES DATES FOR UPCOMING REGIONAL CONFERENCES

This year, the Ohio Municipal League is excited to announce the launch of our first-ever Regional Conferences. Throughout the spring and summer of 2018, the League staff will be bringing important elements of our Annual Conference right to the doorstep of the local leaders who serve Ohio's cities and villages.

This new adventure was catalyzed by the understanding that not all who wish to attend our Annual Conference are able to, whether they are prevented by the distance or time constraints. The goal of our Regional Conferences is to alleviate both of those concerns. We will be condensing timely parts of our Annual Conference down to a single day of workshops, sessions and featured speakers. It is our hope that these conferences give all local officials the ability to hear speakers, attend workshops and connect with local leaders.

The dates and locations for the 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 23rd at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
  • Northwest: Friday, August 17th at the Hancock Hotel in Findlay.
Registration forms will be electronically distributed shortly. We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible, as space will be limited, and we look forward to seeing you there!
 
SMALL CELL BILL GETS SECOND HEARING IN SENATE COMMITTEE

This week, many representatives from the interested parties who collaborated for months on the correcting the language in last year's SB 331 preempting the local control of small cell infrastructure deployment spoke in favor of the compromise they had reached. HB 478, which is sponsored by Rep. Smith (R - Bidwell) and Rep. LaTourette (R - Chesterland) modifies the law regarding wireless service and the placement of small cell wireless facilities in the public way. 

During its second hearing before the Senate Public Utilities Committee, Dana McDaniel, City Manager for the Dublin spoke before the committee, thanking the legislative leadership that facilitated the compromise and praising the work of the many coalitions who worked to make this legislation possible. The League's Executive Director, Kent Scarrett, submitted written proponent testimony, which you can read HERE. The committee was also given written testimony from Ted Staton from Upper Arlington, Don Schonnhardt from Hillard, Keary McCarthy form the Ohio Mayors Alliance, and representatives from the Ohio and Columbus Chambers of Commerce as well as Verizon We will continue to report on the progress of this bill as it moves through the legislative process.

 
OML ATTENDS NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

This week, the League's Executive Director, Kent Scarrett, and the League's Legal Counse,l Garry Hunter attended, the National League of Cities' 2018 Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. There, they were joined 80 municipal officials representing Ohio in order to jointly lobby Congress on behalf of Ohio's cities and villages, along with 2,300 other city leaders and delegates across the country. The conference's central theme was "Rebuild with Us", coordinating a united message from municipalities throughout the nation about the crucial importance of investing in and rebuilding America's infrastructure. This theme certainly echoed the message we hear from local leaders across the state: it is vital that we reinvest in Ohio's infrastructure.

Attendees also had the opportunity to attend general sessions and workshops, where discussions tackled topics such as data and technology, the opioid crisis, legislation and regulations, housing, safety practices and advocacy efforts. The conference also featured keynote speeches from figures like Ben Carson, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Gale Brewer, Borough President form Manhattan, NY; and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City.

The League is grateful to the NLC for providing an opportunity for municipal leaders to discuss pressing local issues, hear from seasoned speakers and advocate on behalf of their city or village before Congress. NLC is an invaluable resource that allows municipal officials opportunities from networking and interfacing on best practices to advocating directly to members of Congress, and it is our hope many more local leaders will get involved this year. We want to thank each Ohio municipal leader who traveled to D.C. on behalf of their community. We hope to see you and many more local Ohio leaders at the conference next year!


We want to thank Cleveland council member and former NLC President Matt Zone and his team for their leadership and hard work to make the conference such a success.


COMMITTEE RECAP: HEARINGS FOR BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST

Here are the bills that impact municipalities that received committee hearings this week:

  • HB 488 - TAX LEVIES. Sponsored by Rep. Hood (R - Ashville) and Rep. Becker (R - Union Township), modifies the information conveyed in election notices and ballot language for property tax levies. During its second hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, it was announced that the bill would actually not be heard in committee that day. The League is still looking into this legislation.
 
  • HB 530 - LOCAL OFFICIALS/LODGING TAX. Sponsored by Rep. Hambley (R - Brunswick) and Rep. Arndt (R - Port Clinton), this bill would authorize local elected officers that have levied a hotel lodging excise tax, or a designee of such officers to simultaneously hold the position of officer or member of the board of trustees of a convention and visitors' bureau without constituting incompatible offices. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bills sponsors explained how allowing local elected officials to serve on boards of convention and visitors bureaus can help with local economic development efforts. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • SB 252 - LOCAL OFFICIALS/LODGING TAX Sponsored by Rep. Peterson (R - Sabina), this bill would authorize local elected officers that have levied a hotel lodging excise tax, or a designee of such officers to simultaneously hold the position of officer or member of the board of trustees of a convention and visitors' bureau without constituting incompatible offices. During its first hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Peterson explained the bill codifies common practice in allowing "dual service." The League is neutral on this bill.
 
  • HB 484 - HEALTH DISTRICT CREDIT CARDS. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Brenner (R - Powell), would authorize city and general health districts to use credit cards in accordance with prescribed requirements. During its second hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, a representative from the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners said the bill recognizes the need to use a credit card to purchase goods or services from a supplier has become universal, due to the online nature of many transactions. She also spoke to a forthcoming amendment allowing health districts to call themselves any name that includes "public health" in the title for "public relations purposes." The League is neutral on this bill.
 
  • HB 382 - UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAW. Sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton), this bill would modify terms describing payments made under the Unemployment Compensation Law, increase the amount of wages subject to unemployment compensation premiums, require qualifying employees to make payments to the Unemployment Compensation Insurance Fund, allow the Director of Job and Family Services to adjust maximum weekly benefit amounts, reduce the maximum number of benefit weeks, and to make other changes to the Unemployment Compensation Law. During its seventeenth and eighteenth hearings before he House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, no testimony was heard on this bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • HJR 4 - UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BONDS. Sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton), this joint resolution would enact Section 2t of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to allow the General Assembly to provide by law for the issuance of bonds to pay unemployment compensation benefits when the fund created for that purpose is or will be depleted or to repay outstanding advances made by the federal government to the unemployment compensation program. During its seventeenth and eighteenth hearings before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, no testimony was heard on this bill. The League is neutral on this joint resolution.
 
  • HB 469 - MIXED-USE TAX CREDITS. Also sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton), this bill would authorize a nonrefundable insurance company tax credit for contributions of capital to transformational mixed-use development projects. During its fourth hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, no testimony was given on this bill. This bill is an important tool for economic development and job creation for municipal downtowns, and the League is a strong supporter of this legislation. You can read Executive Director Kent Scarrett's proponent testimony, submitted in previous hearings, HERE.
 
  • HB 529 - CAPITAL APPROPRIATIONS. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Ryan (R - Newark), makes capital appropriations and changes to the law governing capital projects and makes re-appropriations for the biennium ending June 30, 2020. During its first hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, the committee heard testimony from the Buckeye Institute regarding their report criticizing several select projects slated to be funded by the bill. The bill was voted unanimously out of committee. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 



COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 18, 2018
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
HOUSE FINANCE
Tue., Mar. 20, 2018, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 313
Rep. Smith: 614-466-1366
 
OHIO BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT (SMITH R, CERA J) To create the Ohio Broadband Development Grant Program and to make an appropriation. 
 
Eighth Hearing, All Testimony, AMENDMENTS/SUBSTITUTE BILL/POSSIBLE VOTE
 
SENATE JUDICIARY
Tue., Mar. 20, 2018, 10:15 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Bacon: 614-466-8064
 
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY TRESPASS (HOAGLAND F) To prohibit criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and aggravated trespass on a critical infrastructure facility, to impose fines for organizations that are complicit in those offenses, and to impose civil liability for damage caused by trespass on a critical infrastructure facility. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
THREATENING UTILITY WORKERS (REZABEK J, GREENSPAN D) To expand the offense of aggravated menacing to prohibit threatening a utility worker with intent to obstruct the operation of a utility. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
HOUSE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, COMMERCE AND LABOR
Tue., Mar. 20, 2018, 1:30 PM, Hearing Room 113
Rep. Young: 614-644-6074
 
ROOFING CONTRACTORS LICENSURE (PATTON T) To require commercial roofing contractors to have a license. 
 
Fourth Hearing, All Testimony
 
HOUSE STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Tue., Mar. 20, 2018, 2:00 PM, Hearing Room 017
Rep. Anielski: 614-644-6041
 
HEALTH DISTRICTS-CREDIT CARDS (BRENNER A) To authorize city and general health districts to use credit cards in accordance with prescribed requirements. 
 
Third Hearing, All Testimony
LOCAL OFFICIALS-INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES (HAMBLEY S, ARNDT S) To authorize local elected officers that have levied a hotel lodging excise tax, or a designee of such officers to simultaneously hold the position of officer or member of the board of trustees of a convention and visitors' bureau without constituting incompatible offices. 
 
Second Hearing, All Testimony
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY-REGIONAL AUTHORITY ADVISER (PERALES R, HAMBLEY S) To allow a county prosecuting attorney to enter into a contract with a regional airport authority, port authority, or regional planning commission to be its legal adviser. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Thursday, March 22, 2018
SENATE PUBLIC UTILITIES
Thu., Mar. 22, 2018, 9:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Beagle: 614-466-6247
 
SMALL CELL WIRELESS (SMITH R, LATOURETTE S) To modify the law regarding wireless service and the placement of small cell wireless facilities in the public way. 
 
Third Hearing, Opponent/Interested Party Testimony

CHECK OUR WEBSITE MONDAY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE SCHEDULE
Up Coming Meetings & Events

OML/OMAA Webinar
Beyond Sexual Harassment 
March 22, 2018
10:00 am ~ 11:00 am

Registration Information
Newly Elected Council Training Seminars
March 24th 

Ohio Municipal League

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

Website/Bulletin Issues:
Zoƫ Wade, Office Manager