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SIGNED BY GOVERNOR:
SB 5 Collective Bargaining - On Thursday, the Governor signed SB 5, the collective bargaining reform bill.  The bill will be effective in 90 days.  While the bill primarily alters collective bargaining laws in Ohio, there are several provisions that apply to all townships.  Please find attached a list of sections that affect all townships.  The most notable are: 1) all public employees will be required to pay at least 15% of their healthcare costs; and 2) an employer is forbidden to pay the employee share of retirement, otherwise known as the employee pickup.
 
There are still many details to be sorted out relative to this bill.  We will try and get a synopsis of the collective bargaining provisions soon.  You are strongly encouraged to speak with your legal counsel regarding implementation of any and all of these provisions. 
 
HB 114 Transportation Budget - The Governor signed the transportation budget earlier this week.  The bill includes an appropriation for Public Works Commission for the State Capital Improvement Program; increases appropriation for projects of governments under 5,000 population; creates a public/private partnership opportunity for the state to help facilitate transportation needs - stipulation that locals must be informed of project and local zoning and regulations apply; and permits 5% allowance on weight limits for variety of new industries and states that the 5%, and current 7.5% allowance for other industries, applies on gross vehicle weight with no separate per axle weight limitation. Effective 3/30/2011, certain sections effective in 90 days
 
 
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS THIS WEEK:
HB 153 Biennial Budget - Testimony on the budget bill was in full swing this week.  The various departments, commissions and state office holders testified before various subcommittees.  See attached explanation of LGF changes as prepared by the Department of Taxation.  We are still waiting for the tables showing the loss dollar amounts for each political subdivision.  Once they are published, we will send them out to folks.
 
I am also attaching a word document that includes all of the sections that affect townships as outlined in two legislative alerts this week.
 
Testimony will continue next week.  The OTA will be testifying on the different aspects of the bill that impact townships on Thursday, April 7 before the House Finance Subcommittee on Agriculture & Natural Resources at 10:00 am.  Healthcare provisions of the budget will be going through he Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, which will meet Thursday, April 7 at 9:30 am.  We will share our testimony with you in next week's alert.  If you have concerns regarding the proposed budget bill and would like to testify, please let us know and we will help arrange for you to appear before the subcommittee.
 
HB 128 EMS Staffing - The bill revises the requirements for staffing ambulances and the priorities for distributing grants for emergency medical services.  Several amendments were adopted in committee this week prior to the bill being favorably reported for the full House's consideration.  The amendments would: add new titles for certain EMT positions to comply with changes nationally; increase from 168 to 192 hours per week the definition of a jurisdiction that substantially uses volunteers; and streamline the process of contracting for EMS services.  The OTA supports the amendments and the bill.  You are encouraged to contact your state representative and express your support for HB 128 and encourage their support of the bill.
 
HB 133/SB 108 Oil & Gas Leasing - Both of these bills would create the Oil and Gas Leasing Board and establish a procedure by which the Board may enter into leases for oil and gas production on land owned or under the control of a state agency for the purpose of providing funding for capital and operating costs for the agency.  SB 108 had opposition testimony this week.  Over a dozen witnesses testified in opposition to the bill.  HB 133 will have all testimony next week.
 
SB 90 Estate Tax Repeal - This bill would repeal the estate tax as of January 1, 2011.  This is two years earlier than the House companion bill (HB 3), which repeals the bill as of January 1, 2013.  The bill had opposition testimony this week and the OTA testified in opposition to the bill due to the elimination of a revenue source.  Two township representatives also testified in opposition to the bill.  Testimony is attached.  The sponsor, Senator Jordan, will be hosting an interested parties meeting next week, in which the OTA has been invited to participate.
 
 

INTRODUCED THIS WEEK:

HB 166 EMS CERTIFICATION (Phillips, D.) To require the State Board of Emergency Medical Services to notify EMS and firefighter personnel in writing when their certifications are due for renewal. Am. 4765.30 and 4765.55.

To view this bill, please visit http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_HB_166.

HB 176 PUBLIC CONTRACTS (Beck, P.) To limit the magnitude of change orders on public improvements required to be competitively bid. Am. 127.16, to enact section 9.28, and to repeal section 5525.14

To view this bill, please visit http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_HB_176.

 
 
Actions Next Week:

Legislative Committee Schedules beginning 4/4/2011

Tuesday, April 5

House Finance: Transportation Sub., (Chr. McGregor, R., 466-2038), Rm. 122, 2 pm

HB 153 Hearing-Department of Youth Services, public testimony and recalled state agencies

Senate Insurance, Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Bacon, K., 466-8064), S. Hearing Rm., 4 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, April 6

House Finance: Transportation Sub., (Chr. McGregor, R., 466-2038), Rm. 122, 9 am

HB 153 Hearing-Public testimony and recalled state agencies (If needed)

House Public Utilities, (Chr. Stautberg, P., 644-6886), Rm. 121, 10 am

HB 87 WATER/SEWER RATES  (Goyal, J., Grossman, C.)  To limit recovery of rate-case expenses for certain water-works and sewage disposal system companies.  (4th Hearing-All testimony)

House Finance: Agriculture & Natural Resources Sub., (Balderson, 644-6014), Rm. 18, 2:30 pm

HB 153 Hearing-Public testimony

House Agriculture & Natural Resources, (Chr. Hall, D., 466-2994), Rm. 116, 7 pm

HB 133 OIL AND GAS LEASING  (Adams, J.)  To create the Oil and Gas Leasing Board and to establish a procedure by which the Board may enter into leases for oil and gas production on land owned or under the control of a state agency for the purpose of providing funding for capital and operating costs for the agency.  (3rd Hearing-All testimony)

House Commerce & Labor, (Chr. Uecker, J., 466-8134), Rm. 121, 7 pm

HB 176 PUBLIC CONTRACTS  (Beck, P.)  To limit the magnitude of change orders on public improvements required to be competitively bid.  (1st Hearing-Sponsor)

Thursday, April 7

House Finance: Transportation Sub., (Chr. McGregor, R., 466-2038), Rm. 114, 9 am

HB 153 Hearing-Public testimony and recalled state agencies (If needed)

Senate Government Oversight & Reform, (Chr. Seitz, B., 466-8068), S. Hearing Rm., 9:30 am

SB 3 RETIREMENT SYSTEMS  (Faber, K.)  To formally state the General Assembly's intent to make changes to the laws governing the state retirement systems as necessary to modernize, update, and improve the actuarial soundness of the systems.  (3rd Hearing-All testimony)

House Finance: Higher Education Sub., (Gardner, R., 466-8104), Rm. 116, 9:30 am

HB 153 Hearing-Public testimony

House Finance: Agriculture & Natural Resources Sub., (Balderson, 644-6014), Rm. 018, 10 am

HB 153 Hearing-Public testimony


04-01-11-FY12-13 LGF and PLF exec budget explanation _march 2011.pdf

04-01-11-Items in HB 153 Impacting Townships - As Introduced.pdf

04-01-11Provisions of SB 5 of Interest to All Townships.pdf

04-01-11-SB 90 Opposition Testimony.pdf