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Ohio House passes budget

The state biennial budget is on its way to the Ohio Senate, after receiving approval from the Ohio House on April 19, 2013. Prior to voting on the bill, an amendment was accepted on the House floor that will essentially keep the conversation going on whether the state will expand Medicaid to roughly 275,000 low-income adults. The amendment requires that legislation be introduced to further study expansion options while continuing to prohibit the Administration from implementing reform unless instructed by the General Assembly.

The $61.5 million appropriation bill was further amended in committee this week and the following changes are among those included:

  • Creates the Youth STEM Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Program and appropriates $5 million over the biennium for the program
  • Creates the Commercial Activity Tax Review Commission
  • Allows a school district that levies a combined levy for current expenses and permanent improvements to replace or renew the levy solely for permanent improvements
  • Allows for the addition of a juvenile judge in Summit County
  • Creates the Workforce Training Pilot Program for the Economically Disadvantaged and provides $8 million per year for the program
  • Restores the ability for the Department of Insurance to perform market conduct evaluations
  • Earmarks $500,000 for a pilot program in fiscal year 2014 at the Central Ohio Technical College for heavy machinery training
  • Increases the threshold value of an unclaimed motor vehicle to $5,000 for owners of repair garages or storage facilities who seek to obtain a certificate of title. Enables a towing company to seek to obtain the certificate of title to a vehicle, if the vehicle has been left with the towing company for more than 15 days.
  • Increases funding for nursing facilities by $30 million per year
  • Clarifies it is the intent of the General Assembly to enact conforming legislation if Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act
  • Compels the Director of Development Services to utilize the Edison Center Network in issuing grants for research and development or technology transfer through the Edison program
  • Requires at least 50 percent of the $20 million appropriation added in the substitute bill for addiction services be used to provide non-opiate drug treatment

The Senate began informal hearings on the budget in Finance Committee this week. The General Government and Education Subcommittees will begin hearings on April 23, 2013.

Legislation to watch

Taxation: Sponsored by Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro), Senate Bill 108 would repeal the income tax deduction for wagering losses; increase the income tax credit for the legal adoption of a child to $10,000 for each child; and increase the maximum income tax deduction for college savings contributions to $10,000 annually for each beneficiary. The bill was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Ban on Drilling: Sponsored by Representative Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), House Bill 124 would ban the taking or removal of oil or natural gas from and under the bed of Lake Erie. The bill was referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Power of Attorney: Sponsored by Representatives Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus), House Bill 126 would allow a person who creates a durable power of attorney for health care to authorize the attorney in fact to obtain health information about the person. Additionally, the bill would establish a presumption that a valid living will declaration revokes all prior declarations. The bill is scheduled for sponsor testimony in the House Judiciary Committee on April 24, 2013.

Salvage Vehicles: Sponsored by Representatives Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus), House Bill 128 would permit salvage motor vehicle auctions to sell salvage motor vehicles to persons other than motor vehicle salvage dealers. The bill was referred to the House Insurance Committee.

Municipal Water Sales: Sponsored by Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), House Bill 134 would allow a municipal corporation to transfer funds received under contracts for the sale of water for use in well stimulation to the general fund of the municipal corporation.

Site Rehabilitation Credit: Sponsored by Representatives Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), House Bill 135 would authorize a nonrefundable credit against the income tax and certain business taxes for the rehabilitation of a vacant industrial site.

Workforce Development Loan Fund: Sponsored by Senators Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) and Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), Senate Bill 1 creates the OhioMeansJobs Workforce Development Revolving Loan Fund. Under the bill, the Director of Development Services must administer the program and award funds to institutions, such as universities or proprietary schools. The institution must use the funds to award loans to individuals participating in a workforce training program that is administered by the institution and that has been approved by the Director. The bill passed the Ohio Senate on April 17 and has been referred to the House Workforce and Economic Development Committee.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Caputo
(non-attorney professional)

Rebecca M. Kuhns
(non-attorney professional)

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