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Legislative Actions This Week: 03-13-11
HB 114 Transportation Budget To make appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2013.
Before being voted out of Committee, several changes were made to the bill including:
- includes an appropriation for the Public Works Commission for the State Capital Improvements Program
- increases appropriation for projects for governments under 5,000 population
- removes the private/public partnership language (now is HB 151)
- alters weight limit requirements for trucks of all types including farm, surface mining, log, coal and solid waste and expands definition of those that qualify under those categories
The bill was passed out of the House unanimously on Thursday.  The bill will have hearings in the Senate next week.


HB 128 Ambulance Staffing To revise the requirements for staffing ambulances and the priorities for distributing grants for emergency medical services.
The bill had sponsor testimony on Wednesday and is scheduled for proponent testimony next Wednesday. The OTA supports the bill and has submitted a letter to the sponsor and chairman of the committee hearing the bill.  Please find attached that letter.


SB 5 Collective Bargaining To make various changes to laws concerning public employees, including collective bargaining, salary schedules and compensation, layoff procedures, and leave.
The bill had sponsor, proponent and opponent testimony this week.  Additional hearings have been scheduled for next week.
 
 
Other Legislative Initiatives:


Joint Police Districts
- State Association staff met with a senator this week that expressed interest in sponsoring our legislative priority pertaining to joint police districts.
Hotel Tax - The State Association was informed by the County Commissioners Association that there may be legislation introduced soon that would increase the civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance with the lodging tax and prescribe formal collection remedies against those hotels that fail to remit the tax.
Blanket Provision for Shared Services - The State Association is working with Senators Seitz and Turner on a bill that would provide a blanket provision to share or provide services.

Governorís Budget - The Governor gave his State of the State address on Tuesday before the House and Senate.  While there was no specific budget information provided, the Governor did warn folks about the deep cuts that will be coming in his budget and that things are not going to operate or happen like they always have.  From a local government perspective, he mentioned specifically that he will be looking at ways local governments can collaborate on services.
 
 
Actions Next Week:
Legislative Committee Schedules beginning 3/11/2011
Monday, March 14
Senate Highways & Transportation, (Chr. Patton, T., 466-8056), South Hearing Rm., 11 am


HB 114 TRANSPORTATION BUDGET  (McGregor, R.)  To make appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2013.  (1st Hearing)
House Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Uecker, J.), Rm. 313, 1 pm


SB 5 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING  (Jones, S.)  To make various changes to laws concerning public employees, including collective bargaining, salary schedules and compensation, layoff procedures, and leave.  (4th Hearing-All testimony)


Tuesday, March 15
Senate Highways & Transportation, (Chr. Patton, T.), Finance Hearing Rm., 10 am
HB 114 TRANSPORTATION BUDGET  (McGregor, R.)  To make appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2013.  (2nd Hearing)
Senate Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources, (Hite), N. Hearing Rm., 10:45 am


HB 22 ANIMAL LIABILITY  (Bubp, D.)  Regarding the liability of owners of certain animals that are running at large.  (1st Hearing-Sponsor)
Senate Highways & Transportation, (Chr. Patton, T., 466-8056), Finance Hearing Rm., 2 pm


∑ Continuation of transportation budget hearing
House Insurance, (Chr. Hottinger, J., 466-1482), Rm. 121, 3 pm


HB 123 BWC BUDGET  (Hottinger, J.)  To allow the Administrator of Workers' Compensation to waive criteria certain public employers must satisfy to become self-insuring employers; to require bills for medical and vocational rehabilitation services in claims that are ultimately denied to be paid from the Surplus Fund Account under specified circumstances; to make other changes to the Workers' Compensation Law; to make appropriations for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and for the Workers' Compensation Council for the biennium beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2013; and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of the Bureau's and the Council's programs.  (3rd Hearing-All testimony-Possible amendments & vote)


Wednesday, March 16
House Finance & Appropriations, (Chr. Amstutz, R., 466-1474), Rm. 313, 9 am
∑  Biennium budget bill (pending introduction & referral). Testimony by Tim Keen, director of the Office of Budget and Management and Legislative Service Commission


House Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Uecker, J., 466-8134), Rm. 121, 9 a.m.
SB 5  COLLECTIVE BARGAINING  (Jones, S.)  To make various changes to laws concerning public employees, including collective bargaining, salary schedules and compensation, layoff procedures, and leave.  (5th Hearing-All testimony)
House Public Utilities, (Chr. Stautberg, P., 644-6886), Rm. 121, 10 a.m.
HB 82 MOTOR CARRIERS  (Grossman, C., Boose, T.)  To prescribe the applicability of federal regulations adopted by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to certain motor vehicles.  (2nd Hearing-Proponent)


Senate Highways & Transportation, (Chr. Patton, T., 466-8056), Finance Rm., 10 am
HB 114 TRANSPORTATION BUDGET  (McGregor, R.)  To make appropriations for programs related to transportation and public safety for the biennium beginning July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2013.  (3rd Hearing)


House Finance & Appropriations, (Chr. Amstutz, R., 466-1474), Rm. 313, 2 pm
∑ Continued hearings on biennium budget bill


Senate Highways & Transportation, (Chr. Patton, T., 466-8056), South Hearing Rm., 2 pm
∑ Continuation of transportation budget hearing


House Health: Pension Reform Sub., (Chr. Schuring, K., 752-2438), Rm. 018, 2:30 pm
HB 69 PENSION SYSTEMS  (Wachtmann, L.)  Regarding the state retirement systems.  (General testimony & overview)


House Transportation, Public Safety & Homeland Security, (Combs), Rm. 122, 4 p.m.
HB 128 AMBULANCE STAFF  (Carey, J., Peterson, B.)  To revise the requirements for staffing ambulances and the priorities for distributing grants for emergency medical services.  (2nd Hearing-Proponent)


Thursday, March 17
House Finance & Appropriations, (Chr. Amstutz, R., 466-1474), Rm. 313, 9 am
∑ Biennium budget bill (pending introduction & referral). Panel testimony


House Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Uecker, J., 466-8134), Rm. 121, 9 a.m.
SB 5 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING  (Jones, S.)  To make various changes to laws concerning public employees, including collective bargaining, salary schedules and compensation, layoff procedures, and leave.  (6th Hearing-All testimony)


Senate Ways & Means & Economic Development, (Chr. Schaffer)
SB 90 Repeal Estate Tax (1st Hearing, Sponsor testimony)
House Finance & Appropriations, (Chr. Amstutz, R., 466-1474), Rm. 313, 1 pm
∑ Continued hearings on biennium budget bill
 
 
Meetings This Week:
The OTA has been meeting with new members of the General Assembly and new members of the House Local Government Committee.  If any of these are your legislator, contact them and follow up with them regarding township issues of importance!
 
This week we met with the following legislators: Rep. Johnson & Sen. Obhof.
 
OTA staff also met with Tax Commissioner Joe Testa.
 
 
FEDERAL UPDATE:
Please find attached the recent edition of the Washington Report produced by the National Association of Towns and Townships.