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Legislative Update 02/14/11

Legislative Happenings

HB 3 Estate Tax Repeal - Last week the House Ways & Means Committee heard proponent & opponent testimony on the bill.  There were several township officials that testified in opposition to the bill.  In committee last week, a substitute bill was accepted that moved the repeal date from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2013, which in essence provides two more years of the estate tax.  We believe there could be additional amendments, if not in the House, then in the Senate. 

The OTA will be testifying this Wednesday, February 16, as we had the conference last week.  If you have not contacted your legislator on this bill, please do so! 

Please note, HB 3 is up for a vote in the House Ways & Means Committee this Wednesday.  We will try and get a report out late Wednesday or first thing Thursday morning. 

HB 69 Pension Reform - As noted in my last alert, a bill has been introduced relative to pension reform.  The bill incorporates many of the changes that the OPERS Board submitted, including a provision that raises the monthly minimum.  

Attached is the testimony provided by OPERS Chief Executive Officer Chris DeRose and a chart that outlines all the changes included in the bill. 

On Tuesday, February 22 testimony will be heard in the House Health & Aging Subcommittee on Retirement & Pensions.  Testimony will be on all the OPERS changes in the bill.  The OTA does plan to testify, specifically on the monthly minimum provision.  Should you have any comments on this matter, please send them to us by Friday, February 18 so that we can include them in our testimony. 

SB 5 Collective Bargaining - Last week Senator Jones unveiled a large bill overhauling collective bargaining.  We are working on a summary document and will get that to you shortly.  Attached is the sponsor testimony provided by Sen. Jones. 

If your township is interested in testifying on collective bargaining, please let us know.  Proponent testimony will be heard tomorrow, February 15 and opponent testimony will be heard on Thursday, February 17.  We expect more hearings in the coming weeks and we will get you those dates in a more timely fashion. (OTA conference delayed this alert) 

While Senator Jones’ bill is the vehicle at this time, this statement in a Statehouse newspaper from Governor Kasich is intriguing.

“The governor told reporters after the event that if Sen. Shannon Jones' (R-Springboro) collective bargaining bill (SB 5) does not come out the way he likes, he would include the matter in his budget.”

 

COMMITTEE ACTIVITY THIS WEEK

Tuesday, February 15

House Local Government, (Chr. Blair), Rm. 121, 1:30 pm

HB 50

ANNEXATION PETITIONS  (Snitchler)  To require that a political subdivision owner be included in determining the number of owners needed to sign a petition for an expedited type-II annexation.  (1st Hearing-Sponsor)

House Finance & Appropriations, (Chr. Amstutz), Rm. 313, 1:30 pm

HB 2

PERFORMANCE BUDGETING  (Snitchler)  To require performance budgeting by most state agencies and to require performance audits of those agencies  (2nd Hearing-All testimony-Possible amendments & vote)

Senate Insurance, Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Bacon), South Hearing Rm., 2:30 pm

SB 5

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING  (Jones)  To formally state the General Assembly's intentions to revise the collective bargaining law.  (2nd Hearing-Proponent)

House Judiciary & Ethics, (Chr. Bubp), Rm. 122, 4 p.m.

HB 22

ANIMAL LIABILITY  (Bubp)  Regarding the liability of owners of certain animals that are running at large.  (3rd Hearing-All testimony-Possible amendment, substitute & vote)

Wednesday, February 16

House Ways & Means, (Chr. Stautberg), Rm. 114, 3:30 p.m.

HB 3

ESTATE TAX  (Grossman)  To repeal the estate tax for the estates of individuals dying on or after January 1, 2011.  (4th Hearing-All testimony-Possible vote)

House Transportation, Public Safety & Homeland Security, (Chr. Combs), Rm. 122, 4 pm

HB 40

TURNPIKE COMMISSION  (Damschroder)  To make the Ohio Turnpike Commission responsible for major maintenance and repair and replacement of grade separations at intersections of any turnpike project with county and township roads.  (2nd Hearing-Proponent)

Thursday, February 17

Senate Insurance, Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Bacon), South Hearing Rm., 10 am

SB 5

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING  (Jones)  To formally state the General Assembly's intentions to revise the collective bargaining law.  (3rd Hearing-Opponent)

Tuesday, February 22

House Health: Pension Reform Sub., (Chr. Schuring), Rm. 018, 7 pm

HB 69

PENSION SYSTEMS  (Wachtmann)  Regarding the state retirement systems.  (All testimony on PERS, STRS & SERS)

 

Talking Points

Last week at the conference, we provided talking points on three subjects: Estate Tax, Local Government in 21st Century, and LGF.  These talking points are attached for your use with your legislators. 

We will provide additional talking points on other subjects as the need arises.   

Meetings

Over the last two weeks, the OTA has met with numerous legislators, Tax Commissioner Testa and OBM Director Keen. 

The recurring theme in these meetings is that the state has no money and that everyone is going to feel pain.  Additionally, we are routinely asked for mandates that can be relieved or ways to alter service delivery to save money. 

What does this mean for townships? Well expect revenue from the state to be lower this budget.  While the OTA (and we urge you to, as well!) continues to argue that townships have no other means to make up lost revenue and that townships are providing critical services at an already efficient cost, the fact of the matter is that there is an $8 billion hole to fill. 

We urge you to continue to send us ideas that we can submit to the Administration and the General Assembly that would relieve mandates and provide alternatives to help you deliver efficient and effective services.   

Article on 1099 Repeal in Congress

House Takes Center Stage in Effort to Repeal Overhaul’s 1099 Provision

By Emily Ethridge, CQ Staff 

All eyes are on the House as it begins the process of repealing a business tax reporting requirement in the health care law after the Senate took a big step toward repeal last week.  While proponents of the House measure (HR 4) boast leaders’ support and 263 cosponsors, they lack something that could be crucial to Senate backing: a $19.2 billion offset. But with the first hearing on the issue Wednesday - and floor action likely pushed back until March - participants say there is plenty of time for a deal. 

Lawmakers, who have been inundated with complaints from the business community, are eager to repeal the requirement before it takes effect in 2012. And President Obama continues to mention it as one part of the law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) that he wants to fix. 

“As I said in the State of the Union, I want to correct a flaw that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses, and I appreciate the Chamber’s help in doing that,” Obama said Monday addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

An aide to bill sponsor Dan Lungren, R-Calif., said Lungren plans to keep his bill as is for now, simply striking the requirement in the health care law that businesses file a 1099 form with the IRS for every vendor they pay more than $600 in a year.  But the Senate has signaled it will accept only a repeal measure that replaces the $19.2 billion the provision was estimated to bring in over 10 years. That chamber last week adopted, 81-17, repeal language that would rescind $44 billion in unobligated discretionary funds to make up for the lost revenue. It was introduced as an amendment to a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (S 223). 

It took senators several attempts to find an offset that won sufficient bipartisan support, and proposals that did not include offsets failed last year.  Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., who has led repeal efforts, plans to work with House members and has told them the specific offset is secondary to repealing the provision, said spokesman Steve Wymer.  Wymer said there is “ample room for compromise” and that Johanns would accept any offset “that doesn’t raise taxes or the deficit.” He added that any differences between House-passed and Senate-passed measures could be worked out in a conference committee. 

Lungren’s measure does not include an offset because he wanted to measure lawmakers’ support for repealing the requirement, said aide Alex Snyder. Republicans wanted more evidence that the requirement would bring in $19 billion in tax revenue by forcing the disclosure of additional business spending, Snyder said. 

The estimate came from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a bipartisan congressional panel that looks at tax issues. “To come up with a dollar amount as they did for the offset, you’d have to presume that virtually every small-business owner is a flagrant tax violator,” Snyder said. 

The House Small Business Committee will hold the first hearing on the bill Wednesday, and Johanns said he expected both a hearing and a markup before a repeal bill comes to the House floor, likely in March. 

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 8, 2011 print issue of CQ Today

HB 69 - CDR presentation to PR subcmte 2-9-11 final..pdf

HB 69 - 129th - summary chart v 1.pdf

Senate Bill 5 Sponsor Testimony.pdf

Estate Tax1.pdf

Government.pdf

LGF.pdf