1. First legislative initiatives introduced The Ohio House of Representatives this week introduced its first set of bills for the 130th General Assembly. Historically, the first 10 bills introduced during a new General Assembly are considered priority legislation for the majority caucus. While House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R- Medina) said the bills are not part of an official priorities list, they reflect some of the bigger issues the caucus will work on in the first six months.
The following bills were among the first 10 to be introduced in the House this week:
House Bill 1: Sponsored by Representatives Tim Derickson (R- Oxford) and Mark Romanchuk (R- Mansfield), the bill would require a local workforce investment area to use OhioMeansJobs—the electronic job placement system operated by the state—as the local workforce investment area's job placement system. Additionally, the bill would rename the county one-stop systems.
House Bill 2: Sponsored by Representatives Derickson and Tim Brown (R- Bowling Green), the bill would require an unemployment compensation claimant to register with OhioMeansJobs to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits and require that a claimant contact a local one-stop office beginning with the eighth week of filing for unemployment compensation benefits.
House Bill 3: Sponsored by Representatives Barbara Sears (R- Sylvania) and Stephanie Kunze (R- Hilliard), the bill specifies licensing and continuing education requirements for insurance agents involved in selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance through a health benefit exchange and makes changes to copayments, cost sharing, and deductibles for health insuring corporations.
House Bill 4: Sponsored by Representatives Peter Stautberg (R- Cincinnati) and Bill Blessing (R- Cincinnati), the bill establishes the Local Government Performance Measurement Grant Program to create 100 micro-grants intended for local government to improve efficiency and maintain vital services. The funds would be repurposed from the existing appropriation of $36 million in unused loan dollars from the Local Government Innovation Fund.
House Bill 5: Sponsored by Representatives Cheryl Grossman (R- Grove City) and Michael Henne (R- Clayton), the bill revises the laws governing income taxes imposed by municipal corporations. Among other provisions, the bill creates uniform treatment of filing requirements, defines “resident” to eliminate the requirement that someone can be a resident of an Ohio city without being a legal resident of the state of Ohio, and creates a uniform net operating loss carry-forward period of five years.
House Bill 6: Sponsored by Representatives Andy Thompson (R- Marietta) and Doug Green (R- Mt. Orab), the bill creates an agreed-upon procedure audit for certain eligible political subdivisions and eliminates the Auditor of State's exemption from filing a rule summary and fiscal analysis with proposed rules.
House Bill 7: Sponsored by Representative Matt Huffman (R- Lima), the bill requires the regulation of sweepstakes parlors and sweepstakes internet cafes.
House Bill 8: Sponsored by Representatives Kristina Roegner (R- Hudson) and Kunze, the bill contains placeholder language for legislation to revise school safety laws.
House Bill 9: Sponsored by Representative Stautberg, the bill clarifies the powers of a receiver and provides a procedure for a receiver's sale of real property.
House Bill 10: Sponsored by Representative Christina Hagan (R- Alliance), the bill establishes education programs and continuing education requirements for the fiscal officers of townships and municipal corporations. Additionally, the bill establishes procedures for removing fiscal officers, county treasurers, and county auditors from office, and creates fiscal accountability requirements for public schools, counties, municipal corporations, and townships.
2. On the road again: State of the State to be held in Lima Governor John Kasich has received legislative approval to convene a special joint session in Lima for the annual State of the State address. House Joint Resolution 1 authorizes the speech to be held on February 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Lima’s Veterans Memorial Civic & Convention Center. Continuing a tradition he began last year at Steubenville’s Wells Academy, Kasich’s decision strays from the long standing ritual of former governors that deliver the speech midday at the Statehouse.
“After 2012’s successful address at Wells Academy in Steubenville, it was clear that there are great benefits to taking this address on the road and bringing it to communities all over the state,” said Speaker Batchelder.
According to Kasich, his decision stems from a desire to make state government more accessible to Ohioans and shine a light on communities across Ohio making contributions to the state’s success. Lima was chosen as the site for the address in part due to the drop in Allen County’s unemployment rates since January 2011—from 10.8 percent to 6.7 percent, which demonstrates an increase of 2,000 jobs in the Lima Metropolitan Area.
NOTE: We will issue an Ohio Statehouse Update early next week following the release of the governor's budget.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Caputo (non-attorney professional)
Rebecca M. Kuhns (non-attorney professional)
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