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December 14, 2018

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
  • During a speech before the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the County Engineers Association of Ohio, Governor-elect DeWine said he would partner with local government to close the skills gap across the state, improve the lives of children and address the drug crisis, saying "we are a local government state. I like that. We're not going to change that."
 
  • Twelve entrepreneurs across the state have received almost $59 million in tax breaks. The companies are projected to create 1,454 new jobs, retain 3,341 current jobs and generate over $69 million in new payroll and over $909 million in investments.
 
  • November's total monthly revenues were over $2 billion, surpassing projections by $66 million. This is keeping on trend with the rest of the first 5 months of FY 2019, which has beat projections by $167 million with total tax revenues of over $9 billion.
 
BILLS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR
Here are the bills that would impact municipalities that have been passed by both legislative chambers and now head to Governor Kasich's desk for his signature:
  • SB 51 - LAKE ERIE. Sponsored by Sen. Skindell (D - Lakewood) and Sen. Eklund (R - Chardon), would authorize the creation of a special improvement district to facilitate Lake Erie shoreline improvement. During its third hearing before the House Finance Committee, the bill was amended with an omnibus amendment with a variety of appropriations, including $15 million to build a new stadium for the Columbus Crew soccer team and $2 million to make improvements on the governor's mansion. Language exempting Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs) from municipal taxation was originally a part of the omnibus amendment, but was ultimately removed just before the bill was voted out of committee. The House passed the bill by a vote of 66-25. The League is grateful to Chair Scott Ryan (R - Newark) and the members of the House Finance Committee for listening to the concerns of our municipalities and removing the SERP exemption from the bill. By a vote of 29-2, the Senate concurred in House amendments. The bill now heads to Governor Kasich for his signature. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • SB 296 - LAW ENFORCEMENT BENEFITS. Sponsored by Sen. LaRose (R - Hudson) and Sen. Hottinger (R - Newark), would revise the payments that surviving family members receive from the Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund and 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. During its third hearing before the House Finance Committee, the bill was amended to include pay raises for state legislators, county elected officials, township trustees and election board officials. The bill was voted out of committee 26-3 and subsequently voted out of the House 69-18. By a vote of 26-5, the Senate concurred in House amendments. The bill passed both chambers as an emergency measure. The bill now heads to Governor Kasich for his signature. The League is neutral on this legislation.
 
  • HB 291 - GOVERNMENT INSURANCE. Sponsored by Rep. Wiggam (R - Wooster), would authorize counties, townships, and municipal corporations to purchase an employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty insurance policy, instead of a bond, for protection from loss due to the fraudulent or dishonest actions of, and the failure to perform a duty prescribed by law by, an officer, official, employee, or appointee for which a bond is required by law. By a vote of 87-0, the House concurred in Senate amendments. The bill now heads to Governor Kasich for his signature. The League is supportive of this legislation.
  • HB 522 - LIQUOR PERMITTING. Sponsored by Rep. Lanese (R - Grove City), would allow an outdoor refreshment area to include F liquor permit holders. By a vote of 86-3, the House concurred in Senate amendments. The bill now heads to Governor Kasich for his signature. The League is supportive of this legislation.
SESSION RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST

Here are the bills that would impact municipalities that were passed out of either legislative chamber this week:
  • SB 268 - THEFT IN OFFICE. Sponsored by Sen Wilson (R - Maineviille), 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 fourth hearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, the bill was amended with several provisions including language to permit intrastate equity crowdfunding under certain circumstances and require transparency of convention and visitors' bureau records. The bill was unanimously voted out of committee. The bill was then voted out of the House 86-0 and will now head to the Senate for a concurrence vote on amendments. The League is currently reviewing the amendments.
COMMITTEE RECAP: BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST

Here are the bills that would impact municipalities that received committee hearings this week:
  • HB 469 - MIXED-USE BUILDING TAX CREDIT. Sponsored by Rep. Schuring (R - Canton) and Rep. Patton (R - Strongsville), would authorize a nonrefundable insurance company tax credit for contributions of capital to transformational mixed-use development projects. During its fourth hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, project management consultants testified in support. The League is supportive of this legislation.
 
  • HB 361 - TAX COMPLAINTS TIMELINE. Sponsored by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake), would increase the time within which boards of revision must decide property tax complaints. During its third hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, the bill was amended to change the name of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation to the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation. The bill was then voted unanimously out of committee. The League is supportive of this legislation.

  • HB 343 - PROPERTY VALUES. Sponsored by Rep. Merrin (R - Monclova Township), would require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners. During its sixth hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee, a substitute bill was adopted that reflected the compromises made between the bill sponsor and the opponents of the bill. The committee also adopted two other amendments: one a technical amendment and one clarifying the exemption of nationally-recognized fraternal organizations from property taxes. An amendment to allow local legislative authorities to pass one resolution for all tax complaints was turned down. The bill was then voted out of committee 7-3. The League is neutral on this bill.
 
  • HB 142 - CONCEALED WEAPONS. Sponsored by Rep. Wiggam (R - Wooster) and Rep. Holmes (D - McDonald), would modify the requirement that a concealed handgun licensee notify a law enforcement officer that the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun when stopped. During its sixth hearing before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, the bill was not heard. The Chairman stated that this policy would be revisited in the new General Assembly. The League is neutral on this bill.
 
  • HB 484 - HEALTH DISTRICTS. Sponsored by Rep. Brenner (R - Powell), would authorize city and general health districts to use credit cards in accordance with prescribed requirements. During its sixth hearing before the House State and Local Government Committee, the bill was unanimously voted out of committee. The League is neutral on this legislation.