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January 26, 2018


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

  • Ohio along with Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, New York, Rhode Island and Alabama are all projected to lose a congressional seat after the 2020 census. Texas will add three and Florida two new congressional seats. Ohio will be reduced to 15 seats from a high of 24 in 1970.  
  • Senate President Obhof (R - Medina) has predicted that the upcoming capital budget bill will authorize up to 10% less than 2016's allocated $2.6 billion.

  • Governor Kasich has appointed Justice Bill O'Neill's replacement to the Ohio Supreme Court: Seventh District Court of Appeals Judge Mary DeGenaro. Justice O'Neill is currently running for governor. 

As you may have read in our special bulletin earlier this week, the Ohio legislature has introduced a bill that would govern the implementation of small cell wireless infrastructure in a municipality's right-of-way.

HB 478, which is being sponsored by Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R - Chesterland) and Rep. Smith (R - Bidwell) is a product of several months of meetings prompted first by the passage of SB 331 during last General Assembly's lame duck session, and second by multiple injunctions granted against the provision when it was challenged in court. Per the invitation of House Speaker Rosenberger, the Ohio Municipal League, a coalition of multiple municipal leadership groups and representatives from multiple municipalities worked with representatives from the wireless telecommunication companies operating in Ohio to arrive on this legislation as introduced. You can read the text of the bill HERE

The bill outlines the authorities granted to municipalities and the restrictions placed upon cities and villages when administrating the installation of the telecommunications infrastructure. In general, the legislation contains both "wins" and compromises for both coalitions, while neither side received everything that was asked for. "Some may characterize this condition as a sign of good legislation," said Executive Director Kent Scarrett in his proponent testimony before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee this week. You can read his testimony in full HERE. For a list of major provisions within the bill, click HERE.


This past week, the House State and Local Government Committee heard proponent testimony on HB 298, which would curtail the number of allotted sick days for local government employees from 15 days to 10 days per year. No witnesses testified in support of the bill.

If passed, HB 298, sponsored by Rep. Merrin (R - Monclova Township) would be a continued assault on municipal Home Rule. Employee compensation decisions are best left to the community that employs the workers in question. Local leaders - those who have personal relationships with their employees - are best equipped to understand the needs of their own workers and offices and thus are best poised to make decisions regarding the amount of sick leave allotted to their employees.

Allowing municipalities to grant local employees up to 15 days of sick leave gives local leaders the ability to determine the best compensation package for their employees - which includes local government employees exchanging pay for more sick days. This provides local governments the tools they need to better meet the needs of employees who live with chronic health issues. Many municipalities don't want sick days capped at 10 days - they want the ability to determine the best employee compensation plans for their communities.

If you are interested in testifying against this bill in the event it receives further hearings, contact OML Director of Communications Ashley Brewster at

Here is a recap of all the bills impacting municipalities that received committee hearings this week:

  • HB 415 - LOCAL ROAD IMPROVEMENTS. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would allocate one-half of any surplus revenue to a new Local Government Road Improvement Fund, from which money will be distributed directly to local governments to fund road improvements. During its second hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, a substitute bill was introduced that clarified the definition of "political subdivision" to include counties, townships, cities and villages; clarified the fund distribution process, changed the distribution criteria to center lane miles; and added a provision mandating that in the event 10% or more of the Budget Stabilization Fund is depleted, the first $250 million of the surplus will go back into the fund. The League's Executive Director Kent Scarrett submitted written proponent testimony supporting the bill for allocating much-needed funds for critical road infrastructure improvements. You can read his testimony in full HERE.
  • HB 281 - BROADBAND EXPANSION. Sponsored by Rep. Carfagna (R - Genoa Township), this bill would establish the residential broadband expansion program within the Development Services Agency to award matching grants for last mile broadband expansion in municipal corporations and townships as well as make an appropriation. A substitute bill was accepted that, among other changes, allows local governments filling funding gaps do so without getting county approval; allows "trade secret" redaction; creates a "challenge process" for requests with a five-day window where providers can question proposal guidelines; removes pricing and rates regulation; allows alternate payment terms to replace a mandate that no provider will receive full pay until project completion; clarifies provider responsibility for infrastructure upkeep; and clarifies only specific broadband projects will receive the assessments the bill provides. The bill passed out of House Finance Committee with two dissenting votes. The League is supportive of this bill.
  • HB 351 - MILITARY TAX EXEMPTION. Sponsored by Rep. Perales (R - Beavercreek) and Rep. Butler (R - Oakwood), this bill requires municipal corporations to exempt from taxation the military pay of members of the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Public Health Service. There was no testimony given during its third hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. The League is neutral on this bill.
  • HB 410 - TRAFFIC CAMERAS. Sponsored by Rep. Seitz (R - Cincinnati), this bill would grant municipal and county courts original and exclusive jurisdiction over any civil action concerning a traffic law violation, specify that the court require an advance deposit for the filing of specified civil actions by the local authority bringing the civil action, and modify the reporting requirements and LGF withholding that apply to subdivisions that operate traffic law photo-monitoring devices. For its third hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, Executive Director Kent Scarrett submitted opposition testimony on the bill, citing its intent to punish municipalities for exercising their Home Rule rights by stripping them of LGF dollars in the amount of revenue generated by the use of traffic cameras. You can read his testimony in full HERE.
  • HB 422 - WATER/SEWER ACQUISITIONS. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Ginter (R - Salem) and Rep. Rogers (D - Mentor-On-The-Lake), would govern the acquisition of municipal water-works and sewage disposal system companies by certain larger nonmunicipal water-works or sewage disposal system companies. During its third hearing before the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Ohio Consumers' Council offered opponent testimony due to concerns regarding ratemaking. The League is supportive of this bill.
  • HB 382 - UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton), would modify terms describing payments made under the Unemployment Compensation Law, to 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 make other changes to the Unemployment Compensation Law. During its tenth hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, no testimony was given. The League is neutral on this bill.
  • SB 127 - WASTE COLLECTION VEHICLES. Sponsored by Rep. LaRose (R - Hudson), this bill would require motor vehicle operators to take certain actions upon approaching a stationary waste collection vehicle collecting refuse on a roadside. During its first hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, Rep. LaRose explained the bill would extend existing "move-over" protection in state law to stationary waste collection vehicles. The League is supportive of this bill.
  • HB 314 - SAFETY TAX CREDIT. Sponsored by Rep. Schaffer (R - Lancaster), this bill would allow an income tax credit for law enforcement officials who purchase safety or protective items to be used in the course of official law enforcement activities. During its first hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, Rep. Schaffer explained his bill would grant an annual personal income tax credit of up to $500 for law enforcement offices to purchase safety and protective gear. The League is interested party on this bill.

In addition to HB 478, the small cell wireless infrastructure bill, here is another bill impacting municipalities that was introduced this week:

  • HB 473 - LOCAL FUNDING. Sponsored by Rep. Young (R - Leroy Township), this bill would credit additional amounts to the Local Government Fund to provide for payment to fire districts that experienced a 30% or more decrease in the taxable value of power plants located in the districts between 2016 and 2017 and to increase the appropriation to the Local Government Fund. The League is supportive of this bill.

The Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of State Fire Marshal will be holding a series of six, day-long, free training courses throughout the state regarding the new 2017 Ohio Fire Code (OFC), which became effective December 15, 2017.

These courses will be open to the public and will focus on new code enforcement processes, updated special provisions of the OFC and important national model code changes that are incorporated into the 2017 OFC. The live, interactive seminars will begin at 9:00 a.m. (with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m.) and will conclude at 4:00 p.m. as follows:

Central: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Division of State Fire Marshal     
Multipurpose Room
8895 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Northwest: Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Owens Community College, Findlay Campus
Multipurpose Room (117)
3200 Bright Road
Findlay, OH 45840
Southeast: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Hocking College, Nelsonville Campus
Student Center Multiplex  
3301 Hocking Parkway
Nelsonville, OH 45764
Northeast: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) - Parma
Western Campus Theater
1100 Pleasant Valley Road
Parma, OH 44130
Southwest: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Miami University, Middletown Campus
Dave Finkelman Auditorium
4200 North University Boulevard
Middletown, OH 45042
Central: Friday, April 13, 2018
Division of State Fire Marshal
Multipurpose Room
8895 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Each day-long seminar will cover the same content; there is no need to attend multiple sessions unless an attendee wishes to do so. Online training mirroring these courses will be available mid- to late spring 2018, and will be posted on the Ohio Fire Academy's 24/7 platform. To register or to find out more information, please visit

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame is looking to connect with elected officials at all levels of the state in order to raise awareness and encourage nominations of deserving veterans throughout the state.

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame recognizes the efforts of Ohio's distinguished men and women who have worn the uniform of our nation's armed forces and then continued to contribute to their communities, state and nation through exceptional acts of volunteerism, advocacy, professional distinction, public service and philanthropy.

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame includes captains of industry, professional educators, political champions and civic supporters. Our honorees include some of Ohio's most recognized citizens including astronaut Neil Armstrong, actor Paul Newman, business entrepreneur and philanthropist R. David Thomas, and surgeon and inventor Dr. Henry Heimlich.

The program is not intended to focus on what Ohio military members accomplished while in uniform but rather what has occurred in their lives outside of and beyond their military service.

Selection and induction into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame is a great honor and the program sets the standard for recognizing the selfless contributions of Ohio's military veterans. You can find out more information HERE.


The Ohio Department of Transportation has announced its Central Ohio Litter Summit, which will take place on Tuesday, February 6 th from 8:30am to 4pm at 1980 W Broad St., Columbus 43223.

Litter is a persistent and preventable problem, and one that knows no boundaries; it affects neighborhoods, communities, local roads and highway corridors. Since 2007, The Ohio Department of Transportation has collected 3.7 million bags of trash statewide along state, US, and interstate highways costing taxpayers $37 million. Unfortunately, litter is back as soon as it is picked up.

ODOT recognizes communities, citizens, law enforcement, businesses and leaders are frustrated with Ohio's litter problem and is working with its litter partners to find a solution. This free summit is a joint effort between ODOT, Keep Ohio Beautiful, Keep Columbus Beautiful, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, the Franklin County Environmental Court, the Franklin County Environmental Crimes Task Force, Keep Grove City Beautiful, and Keep Reynoldsburg Beautiful.

The summit will bring together litter stakeholders to identify litter pickup and prevention programs, available resources and litter hot spots; learn about national litter research; hear case studies and best management practices; and leave with educational resources and action items. Following the summit, ODOT will develop a "Findings and Recommendations" document to give to participants.

For more information, contact Joel Hunt, Ohio Department of Transportation, Highway Beautification and Pollinator Habitat Program at 614-466-7173 or by email at Registration can be completed HERE. Space is limited, so register early!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Tue., Jan. 30, 2018, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 116
Rep. Hill: 614-644-6014
LIVESTOCK ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY (BRINKMAN T) To allow an owner of residential property to keep, harbor, breed, or maintain small livestock on the property, and to prohibit zoning authorities from regulating certain agricultural activities conducted on residential property for noncommercial purposes. 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
Tue., Jan. 30, 2018, 2:30 PM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Oelslager: 614-466-0626
Governor's appointments:
- Michael Waleryszak and Roberto Miller to Terra State Community College Board of Trustees
- Ronald Brown to University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees
CEMETERY MAINTENANCE AND REGISTRATION (STEIN D) To modify duties of the Division of Real Estate in the Department of Commerce regarding cemetery registration, to specify cemetery owners must reasonably maintain cemeteries, to establish the Cemetery Grant Program, and to make an appropriation. 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
BOND AND OBLIGATION MATURATION (GREENSPAN D) To increase from five to ten years the maturity period of other political subdivision's bonds and obligations eligible for investment of a subdivision's interim moneys. 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony, AMENDMENTS
Tue., Jan. 30, 2018, 3:00 PM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Bacon: 614-466-8064
CRIMINAL OFFENSES-VIOLENCE (GREENSPAN D) To provide that purposely causing the death of a first responder or military member is aggravated murder and to require an offender to serve the prison term imposed for felonious assault on a peace officer, investigator, first responder, or military member consecutively to the prison term imposed for any related offense. 
Third Hearing, All Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Wed., Jan. 31, 2018, 2:30 PM, Hearing Room 115
Rep. Roegner: 614-466-1177
FIREARM DEVICES-PROHIBITIONS (PATMON B) To prohibit the manufacture, sale, or transfer of any trigger crank, bump-fire device, or other product that accelerates a semi-automatic firearm's rate of fire but does not convert it into an automatic firearm. 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Up Coming Meetings & Events

Mayor's Court Initial Training Program
January FULL
February 14 & 15

Registration Information
Newly Elected Council Training Seminars
February 24, March 3 & 24

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