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August 16, 2019

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
 
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
  • Sen. Uecker (R - Loveland) has announced he will be resigning from his 14thSenate District (Clairmont Brown, Adams and Scioto counties) seat on August 31st to accept a post with the Ohio Department of Transportation. Candidates to fill the seat are currently going through the vetting process. 
  • Gov. DeWine has declared a state of emergency for 63 Ohio counties on account of road damage caused by severe weather that occurred earlier this summer. This declaration will allow both the Ohio Department of Transportation and local governments to access federal emergency relief funds. You can find a list of the 63 impacted counties here: https://on.wkyc.com/2TAx3vS)
  • The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is developing rules to govern the acquisition of municipal water and wastewater systems by private companies per the passage of HB 422 last General Assembly. You can find the bill language here: https://bit.ly/2KPdqfE. The League was supportive of this bill.
  
 
SAMPLE RESOLUTION TO JOIN OML AMICUS BRIEF ON NET PROFIT CENTRALIZED COLLECTION LAWSUIT
 
 
We are providing a sample resolution (HERE) for those municipalities interested in joining the Ohio Municipal League's amicus brief on the legal case, Athens v. McClain, challenging the state centralized collection of municipal net profit income tax revenues that will be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court this winter. The League encourages local officials to work with their law directors to develop language specific to their municipalities. We are providing this language as a template. Any municipality that passes a resolution should send a copy to League Executive Director Kent Scarrett at kscarrett@omlohio.org.
 
The Ohio Supreme Court accepted this case on August 6th. There is a 40-day window starting that date where amicus briefs can be filed. We encourage members interested in joining the League's amicus brief to finalize and pass their municipality's resolutions a soon as possible.


GOVERNOR DEWINE INTRODUCES GUN INTERVENTION PROPOSALS
 
We want to make our members aware that in the wake of recent gun violence tragedies that have occurred in our state and across the country, Governor DeWine has introduced 17 proposals that seek to address issues related to gun violence. The proposals are as follows:
 
  • Increased access to inpatient psychiatric care.
  • Investing $15 million from the Ohio Department of Medicaid in telehealth mental health services to increase student access to behavioral health services
  • Working with communities to increase knowledge of risk factors and to help parents identify signs of mental illness in their child.
  • Increased penalties for felons who illegally possess firearms.
  • Increased penalties for violent felons who illegally possess firearms.
  • Increased penalties for people who commit felonies while possessing firearms.
  • Increased penalties for brandishing a gun.
  • Increased penalties for "straw purchases," or purchasing guns for or giving guns to another individual, which is illegal under both Ohio and federal law.
  • Increased penalties for illegally-obtained guns.
  • Increased penalties for improperly providing firearms to minors.
  • Expanding Ohio's school safety tip line so that children and adults can call or text anonymously with tips about potential school violence.
  • Investing $9 million as provided in the State Operating Budget (HB 166) to help "harden" soft targets like nonprofits and religious organizations to make their facilities more secure.
  • Implementing statewide school safety and intervention programs, such as the Sandy Hook Promise's "Know the Signs" safety program.
 
While the Ohio legislature has indicated they will consider measures to address gun violence, no legislative language has been introduced at this point. The League will report on any language introduced once it becomes available.
 
  
NEW LEGISLATION OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
 
Here is a bill introduced this week that would impact municipalities:
 
  • HB 319 - FIREARMS CONDUCT. Sponsored by Rep. West (D - Canton) and Rep. Miller (D - Columbus), would restore local authority to generally regulate firearms related conduct. Am. 9.68 of the Revised Code and to repeal on December 28, 2019, the version of section 9.68 of the Revised Code that is scheduled to take effect on that date.