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September 21, 2018

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:

  • Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof has appointed Sen. Robert McColley (R - Napoleon) and Sen. Jay Hottinger (R - Newark) to the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee. The committee was created earlier this year by the passage of HB 122, which was supported by the League. The committee was established to study the benefits and challenges involved in creating regional economic development alliances.
  • The Ohio Office of Budget and Management reports that total tax receipts are 0.7% ahead of projections. The total, two months into the fiscal year, is $3.745 billion, which is approximately $28 million ahead of initial projections.
  • Gubernatorial candidates Mike DeWine (R) and Richard Cordray (D) have agreed to three debates: the first took place on Sept. 19th at the University of Dayton, the second will happen on Oct. 1st at Marietta College, and the final debate will take place on Oct. 8th at Cleveland State University. You can watch the full debate HERE
 
AUDITOR'S OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS FISCAL HEATH INDICATOR

Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost recently published a letter (which you can read HERE) highlighting some updates on the impact his office's Fiscal Health Indicator (FHI) tool is having on local municipalities. The Fiscal Health indicator is a tool created and launched by the Auditor's office this past January. The tool is comprised of 17 individual indicators of fiscal health, and each indicator is color-coded to denote that a local government is either doing well, in a cautionary or a critical outlook in that specific area. When combined, local governments can see a "heat map" of their overall fiscal health. The FHI automatically generates a preliminary report when a local government files with the Auditor's office. It is updated to "final" after an audit is conducted.

The Auditor's letter references an article from the Newark Advocate late last month, citing an instance where the Fiscal Heath Indicators showcased areas of concern for Licking County and resulted in a recommended change in plans for borrowing. You can read that article HERE.

The Auditor's office wants to continue to encourage municipalities to review the Fiscal Health Indicator (which you can access HERE) to make necessary course corrections and avoid ending up in fiscal warning, watch or emergency. Municipalities are especially encouraged to examine indicators 1, 2, 9 and 11 - which are Unrestricted Net Assets, Unassigned Fund Balance of the General Fund, General Revenues of Governmental Type Activities and the Condition of Capital Assets. These indicators are especially helpful road maps indicating where a municipalities fiscal health is heading.

"These indicators provide a quick but meaningful assessment of the health of our cities and counties," said Auditor Yost. "I encourage our local officials to use these indicators to identify trends - both in their communities but also statewide. They do provide meaningful insights."

The Fiscal Health Indicator is an accessible and important tool for local governments as a data-gathering tool that both helps local governments examine the past while planning for the future. Municipalities should take advantage of this opportunity as they work to improve their fiscal health and ensure strong, bright futures for their communities.

 
NEW LEGISLATION OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST

Here is the legislation introduced this past month that impacts municipalities:

  • SB 327 - CYBER SECURITY. Sponsored by Sen. LaRose (R - Hudson), would create the civilian cyber security reserve forces and make an appropriation.
 
PEP TO HOST WEBINAR ON FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FLSA)

On Wednesday, September 26 th at 1:00 pm, the Public Entities Pool of Ohio (PEP) will be hosting a seminar titled Deep Dive: FLSA & Federal Exemptions from Overtime Requirements. FSLA is a federal act that requires most employees be paid at least minimum wage for their hours worked, as well as overtime pay. Most state laws follow the federal law on this issue. There are some employees, however, who by virtue of their form of compensation as well as the duties in which they are primarily engaged, can be "exempted" from the minimum wage and overtime requirements that otherwise apply. These employees are known as "exempt" - all others are non-exempt.

This webinar will provide guidance concerning when individuals may be classified as exempt under the executive, administrative, professional, computer and outside sales exemptions based upon the requirements of the FLSA. To register, click HERE.

 
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SEEKS INPUT ON POTENTIAL RULE CHANGE

The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) is filing a rule errata/amendment package with the Common Sense Initiative to amend selected portions of the Ohio Fire Code, also known as Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) sections 1301:7-7-01 through 1301:7-7-80.  Specifically, amendments are being made to Rules 1 (and Appendices A and B), 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 23, 27, 32, 50, 56, 57, 60, 61, and 62.

This information is being provided pursuant to the requirements of Executive Order 2011-01K and Senate Bill 2 of the 129 th General Assembly, which require agencies, including the SFM, to draft rules in collaboration with stakeholders, assess and justify any adverse impact on the business community (as defined in S.B. 2), and provide an opportunity for the affected public to provide input on the rules.  The OFC was recently extensively updated as a part of the required five year rule review process.  The current amendments to the rules specified above are to address typographical errors, errors that occurred during the filing process, and to make changes to Section 320 (regarding Mobile Food Units) and paragraph 906.1 (regarding portable fire extinguishers).

You can view the proposed rules and the Business Impact Analysis (BIA) instrument by going to the SFM's website ( www.com.ohio.gov/fire) and clicking on the "2017 Ohio Fire Code" tab on the right hand side of the screen.  Under a section titled "Errata" you will find a link to a red-lined version of the rules being amended, a chart of the changes, and the BIA. 

If you wish to submit a comment on the changes being made in the 2017 OFC Errata package or the BIA, please send your comments to the SFM ( OhioFireCode@com.state.oh.us) and to the Common Sense Initiative Office ( csipubliccomments@governor.ohio.gov) no later than the close of business Thursday, September 27, 2018.

If you have any questions regarding the 2017 OFC or the errata package, please send an inquiry to OhioFireCode@com.state.oh.us or contact the SFM's Code Enforcement Bureau at (614) 728-5460.
 
OML PREPARES FOR ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The League's 2018 Annual Conference will be here before we know it! The conference will be taking place in downtown Columbus at the Renaissance Hotel from Wednesday, Oct. 31 st through Friday, Nov. 2 nd. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from dynamic speakers, attend meaningful workshops and network with other municipal leaders from across the state. It is an incredible opportunity you don't want to miss!
 Information about the Annual Conference, including the agenda, was sent out last month. Additionally, registration for the 2018 Annual Conference in now open - just click HERE
The Municipal Finance Officers Association of Ohio will be holding their annual conference concurrently with the League from Wednesday, October 31 st through Thursday, November 1 st. Attendees will participate in general sessions, round table discussions and workshops and will have access to the exhibitor's hall hosted by the League's Annual Conference. To register, click HERE

Vendor Information can be found HERE
Upcoming Meetings & Events

OML Annual Conference
October 31 ~ November 2
MFOA Annual Conference
October 31 & November 1
Registration Information 

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