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May 11, 2018


OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
  • According to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, overall revenues for April topped $3 billion, which is 6.5% ($183 million) more than was projected for the month.
  • The Ohio EPA has awarded $3.9 million in grants to 60 different municipalities, businesses and nonprofits across Ohio to promote recycling and litter-prevention efforts.
  • By way of reminder, Ohio House of Representatives will be electing a new Speaker of the House in a Republican caucus meeting next week on May 15th, followed by an election held before the full House on May 16th. The League will alert our members to the outcome of the election.
 
 
OHIO HOLDS PRIMARY ELECTION

On Tuesday, Ohioans voted for candidates competing in local, state and federal primary elections. The state's election results were closely watched by the nation thanks not only to the primary races for contested congressional seats, but also because of the gubernatorial race to replace term-limited Governor John Kasich as he ends his term as governor.

The two gubernatorial candidates that will face each other in the general election are Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray. DeWine beat current Lt. Governor Mary Taylor in the Republican primary, while Cordray beat out former Congressman Dennis Kucinich as well as former Ohio Supreme Court Judge Bill O'Neil and current Ohio State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D - Boardman).

Some of the more high-profile primaries included the race between U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R - Alliance) and Mike Gibbons for a U.S. Senate seat. Renacci won the primary vote over the Republican businessman and will face U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D - Cleveland) in the general election in November.

A great many Ohio House of Representatives and Senate seats had primary contests as well. You can access a full list of all the winner and runners-up in each primary election across the state if you click HERE. We want to congratulate those who ran successful campaigns and have advanced into the general election. We hope that each and every candidate continues to work to champion a safe and prosperous Ohio by working with municipal leaders around the state. Healthier cities and villages mean a healthier Ohio, and we look forward to working with local, state and federal leaders to ensure a bright future for Ohio.
 
KASICH SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER, SIGNALS
 INTENT  OF MUNICIPAL PREEMPTION

This Wednesday, Governor Kasich signed an executive order which established the rules governing the testing of autonomous vehicles in Ohio. Per this order, any company that registers and files insurance and safety information with Kasich-created entity DriveOhio will be allowed to test autonomous vehicles on any public road throughout the state.

The order also creates the Ohio Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program under DriveOhio to connect municipalities willing to host the testing of autonomous vehicles within their jurisdictions with the companies testing those vehicles. The program is currently voluntary. However, during the announcement of this executive order, Kasich said he will be seeking to prevent municipalities from passing local laws banning the use of driverless vehicles.

Kasich said driverless cars are "21 st century technology" and cited their potential to save lives by reducing the number of car crashes. This executive order, according to the governor, is meant to ensure Ohio is not left out of a forthcoming expansion of driverless vehicles across the nation. To find out more about this program, you can click HERE.
 
 
NEW LEGISLATION OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST INTRODUCED

Here is the new legislation introduced this week of interest to municipalities:
  • SB 296 - LAW ENFORCEMENT BENEFITS. Sponsored by Sen. LaRose (R - Hudson) and Sen. Hottinger (R - Newark), revises the payments that surviving family members receive from the Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund and to permit surviving spouses and children to participate in the health, dental, and vision benefits offered to state employees as if the survivors were employees of this state.  
  • HJR 16 - WATER IMPROVEMENTS. Sponsored by Rep. Arndt (R - Port Clinton) and Rep. Patterson (D - Jefferson), this joint resolution 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.
 
BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST HEARD IN COMMITTEE

Here are the bills heard in committees this week:
  • SB 252 - VISITORS BUREAUS. Sponsored by Sen. 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 fourth hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Americans for Prosperity testified in opposition to the bill. An amendment that allows county and municipal fiscal auditors to disclose tax return information for hotels subject to lodging tax upon request was adopted unanimously into the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation.
  • HB 133 - DISASTER RELIEF ACT. Sponsored by Rep. Ryan (R - Newark), this bill wouldcreate the Disaster Relief Act to exempt out-of-state disaster businesses and qualifying out-of-state employees from certain taxes and laws with respect to disaster work on critical infrastructure performed in this state during a declared disaster. During its fourth hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, no testimony was given on the bill. The League is neutral on this legislation. 
  • HB 351 - MILITARY TAX EXEMPTION. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Perales (R - Beavercreek) and Rep. Butler (R - Oakwod), this bill would require 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. During its first hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, both sponsors of the bill testified on the bill and answered the committee's questions. The sponsors explained that this bill has little projected impact on municipal revenues as less than 80 individuals throughout the state would qualify for this exemption. The League is neutral on this legislation. 
  • HB 226 - FIREWORKS LAW. Sponsored by Rep. Seitz (R - Cincinnati) and Rep. Sweeney (D - Cleveland), this bill would establish a fireworks study group to review and make recommendations regarding the Fireworks Law, extend to July 1, 2020, the moratorium on issuing fireworks manufacturer and wholesaler licenses, eliminate, beginning January 1, 2021, the moratorium on geographic transfer of fireworks manufacturer and wholesaler licenses, and, beginning July 1, 2020, impose a fee on the retail sale of consumer grade fireworks in this state and to expand the ability of individuals to obtain 1.3G display fireworks and obtain and use 1.4G consumer fireworks. During its third hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, opponents testified against the bill, citing safety concerns. The League is neutral on this legislation.
  • SB 268 - THEFT IN OFFICE. This bill, sponsored by Sen. Wilson (R - Maineville), would expand the increased penalties for theft in office based on the amount of property or services stolen and to include as restitution certain audit costs of the entity that suffered the loss involved in the offense. During its third hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, no testify was given on this bill. The League is supportive of this legislation.

 
OML REGIONAL CONFERENCES COMING SOON
 
In the next few months, the OML will be holding regional conferences throughout the state to bring important elements of our Annual Conference right to the doorstep of the local leaders who serve Ohio's cities and villages.
The goal of these Regional Conferences is to provide an opportunity for League members prevented from attending our three-day Annual Conference held in downtown Columbus by either distance or time constraints but know it is important to receive the timely information and access to resources that the conference provides. In an attempt to reach our members unable to attend the Annual Conference, we have put together a single day program of general session topics with presentations by featured speakers who are experts in their municipal sectors.
The regional conferences are an invaluable opportunity for municipal officials statewide to have the ability to be presented with critical information directly related to the success of their own communities, as well as connect and network with other local leaders in their area. This opportunity is not limited to League members who cannot come to Columbus but is a great opportunity for all municipal and local government officials to refresh their skill sets and get the most recent information on critical topics.
Registration information including the conference agenda can be accessed HERE. This is the last week to register for the southeastern regional conference next week!
The dates and locations for the four 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 29th at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
  • Northwest: Friday, August 17th at the Hancock Hotel in Findlay.
We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible, as space will be limited, and we look forward to seeing you there!
 
 
SCENIC BYWAYS ADVISORY SUBCOMMITTEE
 PROPOSES  CHANGE TO CODE LANGUAGE

The Scenic Byways Advisory Committee held a subcommittee meeting this week to propose an update ORC § 5516.05. Below is the proposed language:
 
ORC §5516.05 draft language:
 
The director of transportation may designate any portion of the interstate system, national highway system, or primary system a state or locally-maintained vehicular roadway corridor as a scenic byway. 
 
The director shall exclude from designation as a scenic byway any segment of a scenic byway in a zoned or unzoned commercial or industrial area that is determined by the director to be inconsistent with the designation of a scenic byway.
 
No advertising device may be erected upon a designated scenic byway, except in accordance with division (A), (B), or (C) of section 5516.02 of the Revised Code, division (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), or (G) of section 5516.06 of the Revised Code, or division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 5516.061 of the Revised Code. Any advertising device lawfully in existence prior to the designation of a scenic byway, upon such designation, is a nonconforming advertising device under section 5516.07 of the Revised Code.
 
Please send all comments on this proposed change by Thursday, May 24 th to Thomas P. Barrett, Historic Bridge Program  Manager and  State Byways  Coordinator in the ODOT Office of Environmental Services. You can email him at Tom.Barrett@dot.ohio.gov.
 



COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 13, 2018
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS
Tue., May. 15, 2018, 10:00 AM, Hearing Room 121
Rep. Schaffer: 614-466-8100
 
TAX CREDIT-VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER/EMS (KELLER C, REZABEK J) To grant income tax credits to persons who serve as volunteer firefighters or emergency medical service technicians. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
 
SENATE JUDICIARY
Tue., May. 15, 2018, 10:15 AM, North Hearing Room
Sen. Bacon: 614-466-8064
Governor's appointment: 
- Randy McPeek to the Ohio Private Investigation and Security Services Commission
 
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. 
 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
 
SENATE FINANCE
Tue., May. 15, 2018, 2:30 PM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Oelslager: 614-466-0626
 
OFFICER DEATH BENEFIT FUND REVISIONS (LAROSE F, HOTTINGER J) To revise the payments that surviving family members receive from the Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund and to permit surviving spouses and children to participate in the health, dental, and vision benefits offered to state employees as if the survivors were employees of this state. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
LAKE ERIE PROTECTION APPROPRIATIONS (GARDNER R) To allow equipment for the protection and preservation of Lake Erie to be purchased with proceeds from the Parks and Recreation Improvement Fund, and to appropriate funds for projects enhancing water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor/Proponent Testimony
 
HOUSE FEDERALISM AND INTERSTATE RELATIONS
Tue., May. 15, 2018, 4:00 PM, Hearing Room 115
Rep. Roegner: 614-466-1177
 
USE OF FORCE IN SELF-DEFENSE (JOHNSON T, LATOURETTE S) To assign to the prosecution the burden of disproving a self-defense or related claim, to expand the locations at which a person has no duty to retreat before using force under both civil and criminal law, and to modify the Concealed Handgun Licensing Law regarding a licensee's duty to keep the licensee's hands in plain sight, the penalties for illegally carrying a concealed firearm or improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, and the posting of warning signs regarding the possession of weapons on specified premises. 
 
Sixth Hearing, All Testimony
 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
HOUSE STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Wed., May. 16, 2018, 8:30 AM, Hearing Room 114
Rep. Anielski: 614-644-6041
 
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. 
 
Third Hearing, All Testimony, POSSIBLE VOTE
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. 
 
Fourth Hearing, All Testimony
 
SENATE WAYS AND MEANS
Wed., May. 16, 2018, 9:00 AM, South Hearing Room
Sen. Eklund: 614-644-7718
 
PROPERTY VALUE CONTEST-RESOLUTIONS (MERRIN D) To require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
DISASTER RELIEF ACT (RYAN S) To create the Disaster Relief Act to exempt out-of-state disaster businesses and qualifying out-of-state employees from certain taxes and laws with respect to disaster work on critical infrastructure performed in this state during a declared disaster. 
 
Fifth Hearing, All Testimony, AMENDMENTS/POSSIBLE VOTE
NOAA AND PHS TAX EXEMPTION (PERALES R, BUTLER, JR. J) To require 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. 
 
Second Hearing, All Testimony
 
HOUSE CIVIL JUSTICE
Wed., May. 16, 2018, 3:00 PM, Hearing Room 121
Rep. Butler, Jr.: 614-644-6008
OR AFTER SESSION
 
EMERGENCY VEHICLE LIGHTS AND SIRENS (HENNE M) To modify the defense to the liability of a member of a police or fire department or emergency medical service of a political subdivision for the negligent operation of a motor vehicle in response to an emergency by requiring that the vehicle has its lights and sirens simultaneously activated. 
 
Fourth Hearing, All Testimony, AMENDMENTS/POSSIBLE VOTE
PUBLIC NUISANCE AND BLIGHT FORECLOSURE (LIPPS S) To expedite public nuisance and blight foreclosure actions and to declare an emergency. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
PUBLIC DESIGN CONTRACTS-INDEMNITY (SEITZ B) To regulate the use of indemnity provisions in professional design contracts related to public improvements. 
 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
 
CHECK MONDAY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE SCHEDULE
Up Coming Meetings & Events

Regional Summer Conference Series
May 18, June 8, June 29, August 17
OML/OMAA Webinar
Updates on ADA,FMLA, Title VII Accommodation...
May 17, 2018
10:00 am ~ 11:00 am
Registration Information
Mayors Association Annual Conference 
June 13 ~ 15, 2018
Akron, Ohio

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:
Zoë Wade, Office Manager