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May 17, 2019

  • Nine bills that are a part of the top 15 House priority bills were introduced this week. They will address water quality, workforce development and certificates, broadband expansion, drug abuse, domestic violence, infant mortality, kinship care and adoption.
  • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has asked that the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily block a federal court decision that is demanding Ohio state lawmakers draw new congressional maps for the 2020 election by June 14th.
  • According to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, only 49% of people with legal permission to buy medical marijuana in Ohio have been to a dispensary for a purchase.
This week, four separate bills that all aim to preempt local control over municipal traffic cameras received first hearings in the House State and Local Government Committee. The four bills are as follows:
  • HB 139 would prohibit a municipal corporation or township that does not operate either a fire department or an emergency medical services organization from utilizing traffic photo-monitoring devices;(Link:
  • HB 140 prohibits a local authority with a population of 200 or fewer from utilizing traffic law photo-monitoring devises;(Link:
  • HB 141 prohibits a local authority, in any year, from issuing a total number of traffic tickets based on the use of traffic law photo-monitoring devices that exceeds two times the population of the local authority; and(Link:
  • HB 142 prohibits a local authority from deriving more than 30% of the total annual revenue of the local authority from the issuance of tickets for traffic law violations based on evidence recorded by traffic law photo-monitoring devices.(Link:
All of the bills are sponsored by Rep. Patton (R - Strongsville). During sponsor testimony for each of the bills, Rep. Patton proposed that by introducing four separate bills instead of packaging the legislation in one collective bill, that he was giving the legislature four distinct ways to "single out bad actors."
The League maintains that the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the use of a traffic camera by a municipality is a Home Rule right. Local control through Home Rule is expressly granted to Ohio municipalities in Article 18 of the Ohio Constitution and any attempt to curtail the right of a municipality to use a traffic camera is an infringement by the legislature. State law, by definition, cannot single out municipalities and dictate how they operate. State law must be generally applied to all municipalities - not only the "bad actors."
Our members are strongly encouraged to contact their legislators and express their opposition of these bills. The League will continue to keep our members apprised of these bills as they move through the legislative process.

One of the many amendments added to Sub. HB 166, the State Operating Budget bill, was a former bill from Rep. Merrin (R - Monclova Township). The amendment, formerly HB 149, would exempt unimproved land subdivided for residential development from increased property taxes for up to 5 years.
This bill was also introduced in the previous General Assembly as HB 371. During the 132nd General Assembly, a coalition of multiple local government organizations including the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio Township Association, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, the Ohio Library Council and others met with Rep. Merrin in multiple interested party meetings regarding the legislation and submitted joint opposition testimony, which you can read HERE.             
In addition to being unnecessary as local governments already have programs, such as TIFs, to incentives residential developments, this amendment would result in a loss of revenue for all of the local governments receiving property tax revenue. This amendment could also negatively impact the current appraisal process, causing the market value of surrounding land to go up and forcing other taxpayers to bear the burden of unfairly increased property taxes.
The League strongly encourage our members to reach out to their state senators and express their opposition to this amendment. We will continue to keep our members apprised of the status of the amendment as the budget continues to receive hearings in the Senate.

As many may remember, the Good Samaritan Law was passed in the 131st General Assembly as HB 110. Part of the law mandated that all fire and emergency medical services (EMT) in every local Ohio jurisdiction must inform any law enforcement officer, upon his or her request, of the identities of individuals that had Narcan administered to them by the fire or EMT responder.
It is important that local officials, as well as first responders, are aware that this state requirement is entirely consistent with the Federal HIPAA law. HIPAA law contains an express exemption for law enforcement purposes when a state so directs.
The League has chosen to highlight this in our bulletin to help ensure that all jurisdictions are compliant with this directive of state law and to avoid instances where local officials claim their local fire departments cannot comply with this law because of HIPAA.
We appreciate the efforts of local law enforcement and first responders alike to combat opioid abuse on the front lines across Ohio. It is important to ensure all local officials are aware of state law to guarantee all measures are being taken to end Ohio's opioid epidemic. The League is always happy to answer any questions members may have about compliance with current law.

A bill from the Previous General Assembly preempting municipal Home Rule authority has been reintroduced. The new bill, HB 242, is sponsored by Rep. Lang (R - West Chester Township) and Rep. Jones (R - Freeport) and 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: These containers include items such as plastic and paper bags, aluminum cans, glass bottles, Styrofoam cups and carry-out food containers.
In addition to being a blatant preemption on local control, HB 242 is a solution in search of a problem. To date, no municipality in Ohio has passed legislation to tax auxiliary containers of any variety.
The League encourages our members to reach out to their legislative delegation and express their opposition to this violation of local control. We would also urge that our members either submit testimony or come testify in person in the even the bill receives hearings in committee. We will be keeping or members apprised of this bill as it moves through the legislative process.

As many local governments are aware, investing in affordable housing is an important part of building a strong, stable community. Decreasing homelessness and housing insecurity also decreases expenditures on Medicaid, hospitals, mental health facilities, substance abuse services, child welfare, courts, jails and other public systems. An important part of enabling local communities to provide affordable housing is the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF), a flexible state funding sources supporting accordable housing and homeless assistance across the state.
In addition to helping families in crisis and relieving the strain on other social services, the Trust Fund's contribution to affordable housing and similar services also boost Ohio's economy. According to the Ohio Housing Financing Agency, each development dollar invested by the Trust Fund leverages over $8 in private and federal matching funds while also generating approximately $12 in overall economic activity. Projects that received $42 million in funding from the OHTF in 2016 in turn generated nearly $590 million in economic activity while also creating 4,358 jobs.
The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) is asking the legislature to invest $20 million a year over the biennium, thereby helping local communities across Ohio to decrease both family homelessness as well as expenditures from other social services while also creating jobs and bolstering the economy. Since municipalities benefit from these funds, the League supports the COHHIO's funding request. An investment in the OHTF is an investment in local communities. To learn more about the OHTF and the COHHIO funding request, click HERE.

Here is the additional bill impacting municipalities that was introduced this week:
  • HB 7 - WATER FUND. Sponsored by Rep. Ghanbari (R - Perrysburg) and Rep. Patterson (D - Jefferson), would create the H2Ohio Trust Fund for the protection and preservation of Ohio's water quality, create the H2Ohio Advisory Council to disburse money from the Fund for water quality programs, and create the H2Ohio Endowment Board to make recommendations to the Treasurer of State regarding the issuance of securities to pay for costs related to the purposes of the Fund.(Link:
  • SJR 1 - WATER BONDS. Sponsored by Sen. Gavarone (R - Bowling Green) and Sen. O'Brien (D - Bazetta), would enact Section 2t of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to permit the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund clean water improvements.(Link:
  • HB 10 - DRUG POLICY OFFICE. Sponsored by Rep. Brown (R - Canal Winchester) and Rep. Stoltzfus (R - Minerva), would establish the Governor's Office of Drug Policy and make an appropriation.(Link:
  • HB 13 - BROADBAND EXPANSION. Sponsored by Rep. Carfagna (R - Genoa Township) and Rep. O'Brien (D - Warren), would establish the residential broadband expansion program and make an appropriation.(Link:

HB 47 - TAX COMPLAINTS-LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would increase the time within which property tax complaints must be decided. The House passed this bill by a vote of 86 to 1. The League is supportive of this legislation. (Link: )

Here are the bills of municipal interest that received committee hearings this week:
  • SB 52 - CYBER SECURITY. Sponsored by Rep. Gavarone (R - Bowling Green), would create the civilian cyber security reserve forces, 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, require the boards of elections to audit election results, and make an appropriation. During its third hearing before the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee, one opponent submitted written testimony saying law enforcement can respond to cyber-attacks. The League is supportive of this legislation.(Link:
  • SB 95 - BUSINESS INVESTMENTS. Sponsored by Sen. Peterson (R - Sabina) and Sen. Kunze (R - Hillard), would enhance state and local tax inducements for businesses making substantial fixed asset and employment investments and their suppliers. During its second hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, proponents from Columbus 2020, the Pickaway Progress Partnership and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber supported the bill, saying large projects meaningfully and positively impact Ohio's economy and workforce. The League is supportive of this legislation.(Link:
  • HB 126 - SINGLE-SUBJECT RULE. Sponsored by Rep. Hillyer (R - Urichsville), would ban an action challenging an act for violation of the one-subject rule if it is commenced later than 275 days after the act's effective date. During its third hearing before the House Civil Justice Committee, a representative from the Buckeye Institute testified in support of the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.(Link:
  • SB 31 - PUBLIC RECORDS. Sponsored by Sen. Roegner (R - Hudson), would include emergency service telecommunicators as individuals whose residential and familial information is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Law. During its second hearing before the House Civil Justice Committee, a Lt. Colonel from the Ohio Air National Guard testified in support of the bill, saying it would protect the identity of Ohio airmen. The League is supportive of this legislation.(Link:
  • SB 72 - FIREWORKS LAW. Sponsored by Sen. Burke (R - Marysville), would revise the Fireworks Law. During its second hearing before the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee, the bill was amended via substitute bill to add code language dealing with "fountain devices", which spark but do not explode. The substitute bill makes it easier to track the purchase of these products by mandating retailers purchase a license for no more than $25 from the Department of Commerce. A representative from the Ohio State Pyrotechnics Association and Hamburg Fireworks Display Inc. testified in support of the bill. The League is still looking into this legislation.(Link:
  • HB 155 - WAR RELICS. Schaffer (R - Lancaster) Rogers (D - Mentor-on-the-Lake), would prohibit a war relic located on public property or cemetery association property from being sold, disturbed, or otherwise disposed of, except under certain circumstances, and designate this act as the "Ohio Veterans' Heritage Protection Act." Proponents from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War testified in support of the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.(Link:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Tue., May. 21, 2019, 2:30 PM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056

The committee will also hear reports from the committees/subcommittees hearing portions of the proposed FY20-21 budget.
PAY FOR SUCCESS CONTRACTING PROGRAM (WILSON S) To require the Treasurer of State to administer the Pay for Success Contracting Program and to expand the purposes of the Program. 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report, Thomas Leg Tracker
MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS-TAX CREDIT (SCHURING K) To authorize an insurance premiums tax credit for capital contributions to transformational mixed use development projects. 
Third Hearing, All Testimony
Report(s):  My Tracked Bills, OML Legislative Report
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. 
Third Hearing, Invited Testimony
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Wed., May. 22, 2019, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 122
Rep. Perales: 614-644-6020
TEMP STATE OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES-MILITARY (LEHNER P, HACKETT R) Regarding temporary state occupational licenses for members of the military and their spouses. 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Wed., May. 22, 2019, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 018
Rep. Brinkman: 614-644-6886
BWC BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make appropriations for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of the bureau's programs. 
Third Hearing, All Testimony
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Thu., May. 23, 2019, 9:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
Testimony is to focus on tax and general government.
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. 
Fifth Hearing, All Testimony

Ohio Municipal League Meetings & Trainings

OML/OMAA Webinars:
Mayor's Courts-Where are we now & where do we go?
May 23, 2019 

MAO Annual Conference 
June 12th ~ 14th, 2019
OML Income Tax Seminar
July 10 ~ 12, 2019
Mayors Court Refresher Trainings
August 16 ~ Attorneys & Magistrates Only
October 25 & November 15

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