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June 7, 2019

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE

 
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
 
  • Former township trustee and municipal court prosecutor Gil Blair has been selected to fill the 63rd House District seat vacated by former Rep. Glenn Holmes.
  • The Senate Finance Committee has announced they will be unveiling the substitute bill language for Sub. HB 166, the State Operating Budget bill, next week on Tuesday, June 11th. Public testimony has been scheduled for Thursday and Friday of next week. 
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 73,600 Ohioans will not be counted in the 2020 census. That number is largely children under the age of 5. This undercounting can have consequences that last over the next decade, particularly regarding funding for children's programs and infrastructure, according to the Urban Institute.
 
 
LEAGUE BOARD PLANNING RETREAT A SUCCESS
 
 
The League wants to thank all the board members who attended last week's Strategic Planning Retreat for making it a productive meeting and for helping chart the League's future success in the months and years to come. Our attendees discussed passed legislation and what lobbying strategies were most effective, legislative priorities for the rest of this General Assembly and what the roles of an effective board member look like.
 
Our board members are also grateful for Developmental Services Agency Director and former Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik for being our guest speaker during the retreat. We appreciate her speaking to the role of the DSA in matching local governments with crucial grants and for addressing how local governments play an important role in the DeWine administration, helping ensure the future economic success of Ohio. The League wants to thank Dir. Mihalik and all our board attendees, and we are already looking forward to our next Strategic Planning Retreat.
 
 
 
HOUSE PASSES BWC BUDGET WITH PTSD PROVISION
 
 
This week the House passed Sub. HB 80, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Budget. The bill as passed includes a recently-adopted provision that would make peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers eligible for workers' compensation benefits after a diagnosis of work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without an accompanying physical injury.
 
The provision contains many concerning aspects, including the lack of time limits for compensation and benefits and other similar parameters around the coverage for first responders with a PTSD diagnosis regardless of accompanying physical injury. It is unclear yet what the impact would be on municipalities financially. There has been no information yet provided regarding cost projections on the estimated number of increased claims but basic projections are in the hundreds of millions in claim exposure for local governments. It is also unclear exactly how this coverage will be funded.
 
This issue is an extremely impactful one for municipalities, and these changes will have significant consequences for all of Ohio's cities and villages. The League believes such a major policy change with the potential for substantial unknown financial implications should be pulled from the BWC Budget bill and introduced as separate legislation. This would help ensure the best policy can be implemented, both for the betterment of the insured and the insurer.
 
The League urges our members to contact their senators and request that this provision be removed from Sub. HB 80 and introduced as separate legislation. We will continue to update our members as the bill moves through the legislative process. To see a Roll Call of the members of the House who did and did not vote for Sub. HB 80, click HERE.
 
 
 
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR THE LEAGUE'S ANNUAL MAYORS CONFERENCE
 
 
This upcoming Monday, June 10, will be the last chance to register for the Mayors Association Annual Conference. Registration will end by close of business. This conference is an important opportunity for mayors of municipalities of all sizes in each geographic region of the state to network, share best practices and learn firsthand about the issues impacting the administration of peer communities. Attendees will have the chance to interact with municipal-specific exhibitors providing services and opportunities beneficial to the success of our hometowns, attend educational and informational sessions and workshops on the most pressing issues facing Ohio's local leaders and enjoy good food!
 
The League and the Mayors Association leadership is very pleased that Lt. Governor John Husted will be joining our mayors as a guest speaker Thursday, June 13th,\ to talk about the focus of the administration and how our cities and villages can continue to be the catalysts for the state's continued success in economic development.
 
Next week is expected to be a busy one at the Statehouse as the substitute version of Sub. HB 166, the State Operating Budget bill, is anticipated to be unveiled with the first round of changes proposed by the Senate. Having Ohio's mayors in Columbus and literally across the street from the Statehouse as lawmakers are actively crafting the state's spending priorities for the next two years is a great opportunity for our municipal leaders to quickly visit the offices of their legislative delegation, say hello and remind them to support local control and the reinvestment in our communities through the Local Government Fund (LGF).
 
The conference begins on Wednesday, June 12 and ends Friday, June 14th and will be held once again in downtown Columbus at the Renaissance Hotel. To ensure you don't miss out on this unique opportunity click HERE to register before Monday, June 10.
   
 
 
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES PRESIDENT TO SPEAK AT CITY CLUB IN CLEVELAND
 
 
On Friday, July 19, National League of Cities (NLC) President and Gary, IN Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will be speaking at the City Club of Cleveland at 12pm. The City Club of Cleveland is one of the oldest free speech forums in America. Speakers from community leaders to sitting presidents have presented and then answered unfiltered and unrehearsed questions directly from the audience. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and engage with Mayor Freeman-Wilson and learn about the condition of America's cities and villages, both the vision and the role of the National League of Cities in advocating for municipalities across the country on the federal and state level and how local leadership will continue to be the driving force behind changes that have the most impact to this nation's families and our future.
 
Mayor Karen Wilson-Freeman was elected as the first African-American women mayor of Gary in 2012. She has made extensive infrastructure improvements throughout the city and under her leadership, the city has made substantial investments in the Gary Chicago International Airport, small business incubators, Indiana University, downtown Gary and developments in many other vital areas throughout the city.
 
If you are interested in attending this presentation, you can learn more information and purchase tickets by clicking HERE.
 
 
 
OHIO TO CELEBRATE SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL COMMISSION
 
On June 16, Ohio will celebrate the centennial of Ohio's ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women's right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. Congress has formed the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission to plan national events and support state efforts to commemorate this important moment in history. The 19th Amendment was not officially national law until August 26, 1920, one the necessary 36 states had ratified it.
 
The Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission is helping local governments and states across America to plan celebrations via a Centennial Planning Toolkit. The Toolkit provides background on the 19th amendment and recommends events and activities. It also includes resolutions to help municipalities commemorate the centennial. The Commission hopes local governments across Ohio will celebrate the legalization of a woman's right to vote, both on June 16th and on August 26 in the year 2020. You can access the Toolkit HERE.
 
 
NEW BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
Here are the bills impacting municipalities that received committee hearings this week:
 
  • HB 252 - LAND REUTILIZATION. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would create the Land Reutilization Demolition Program and make an appropriation. (Link: https://bit.ly/2MxVp9K)
 
 
 
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
 
  • HB 242 - (PREEMPTION OF "BAG TAX" LEGISLATION) AUXILIARY CONTAINERS. Sponsored by Rep. Lang (R - West Chester Twp.) and Rep. Jones (R - Freeport), would authorize the use of an auxiliary container for any purpose, to prohibit the imposition of a tax or fee on those containers, and to apply existing anti-littering law to those containers. During its second hearing in the House State and Local Government Committee, proponents of the bill including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Manufacturers' Association, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, argued the bill harms uniformity across Ohio. To view a complete list of all the parties that provided proponent testimony June 5, 2019, click HERE. The League opposes this legislation. (Link: https://bit.ly/2Vp9WUn) 
  • HB 7 - WATER FUND. Sponsored by Rep. Ghanbari (R - Perrysburg) and Rep. Patterson (R -- Jefferson), would create the H2Ohio Trust Fund for the protection and preservation of Ohio's water quality, to 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. During its fourth hearing before the House Finance Committee, proponents including the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the National Wildlife Federation testified in support of the bill. The League is supportive of the legislation.(Link: https://bit.ly/2JLfXse)
  • HB 10 - DRUG POLICY OFFICE. Sponsored by Rep. Brown (D - Canal Winchester) and Rep. Stoltzfus (R - Minerva), would establish the Governor's Office of Drug Policy and make an appropriation. During its House Finance Committee, the bill received sponsor testimony and is currently set to be fast-tracked to the House floor for a vote next week pending committee referral. The League is supportive of the legislation. (Link: https://bit.ly/2YzTtP7)
  • SB 39 - INSURANCE TAX. Sponsored by Sen. Schuring (R - Canton), would authorize an insurance premiums tax credit for capital contributions to transformation mixed use development projects. During its sixth hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, the bill was amended to alter the criteria for eligible projects and establish public reporting requirements and then voted unanimously out of committee. The League is supportive of this legislation. (Link: https://bit.ly/2Juc8Zm)
  • HB 178 - CONCEALED WEAPONS. Sponsored by Rep. Hood (R - Ashville) and Rep. Brinkman (R - Cincinnati), would modify the Weapons Law by renaming a concealed handgun license as a concealed weapons license, allowing a concealed weapons licensee to carry concealed all deadly weapons not otherwise prohibited by law, repealing a notice requirement applicable to licenses stopped for a law enforcement purpose, authorizing expungement of convictions of a violation of that requirement, and allowing a person age 21 or older and not prohibited by federal law from firearm possession to carry a concealed deadly weapon without needing a license subject to the same carrying laws as a licensee. During its sixth hearing before the House Federalism Committee, both opponents and proponents of the bill testified. The League is neutral on this legislation. (Link: https://bit.ly/2DNudwX)


COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 9, 2019
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
SENATE FINANCE
Tue., Jun. 11, 2019, 4:00 PM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
 
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. 
 
Seventh Hearing, No Testimony, SUBSTITUTE BILL
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
SENATE FINANCE
Wed., Jun. 12, 2019, 9:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
Testimony limited to higher education topics.
 
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. 
 
Eighth Hearing, All Testimony
 
SENATE TRANSPORTATION, COMMERCE AND WORKFORCE
Wed., Jun. 12, 2019, 3:00 PM, South Hearing Room
Sen. McColley: 614-466-8150
 
INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make appropriations for the Industrial Commission for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of Commission programs. 
 
First Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Thursday, June 13, 2019
SENATE TRANSPORTATION, COMMERCE AND WORKFORCE
Thu., Jun. 13, 2019, 9:00 AM, South Hearing Room
Sen. McColley: 614-466-8150
 
INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION BUDGET (OELSLAGER S) To make appropriations for the Industrial Commission for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of Commission programs. 
 
Second Hearing, Proponent Testimony
SENATE FINANCE
Thu., Jun. 13, 2019, 10:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
 
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. 
 
Ninth Hearing, All Testimony
Friday, June 14, 2019
SENATE FINANCE
Fri., Jun. 14, 2019, 9:30 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
 
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. 
 
Tenth Hearing, All Testimony
Monday, June 17, 2019
SENATE FINANCE
Mon., Jun. 17, 2019, 10:00 AM, Senate Finance Hearing Room
Sen. Dolan: 614-466-8056
 
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. 
 
Eleventh Hearing, All Testimony
PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE MONDAY FOR AN UPDATED COMMITTEE SCHEDULE

Ohio Municipal League Meetings & Trainings

OML/OMAA Webinars:
Public Records/Sunshine Law
June 20, 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