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General Assembly Activities this Week 09/30/2011


HB 326 PUBLIC FUND USE (McClain, J., Hill, B.) To prohibit a person from using public funds for specified purposes and to specify that a person or a political subdivision who violates the prohibition is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor.
The bill had all testimony on Tuesday and was unanimously reported out of the House Criminal Justice Committee.  The bill will now go to the House floor for a vote of the full House.
 
HB 246 REVERSE AUCTIONS (Roegner, K.) To authorize political subdivisions to purchase by reverse auction certain services and supplies that they are currently prohibited from purchasing by reverse auction.
The bill had proponent testimony in the House Local Government Committee.
 
HB 225 COUNTY AUDITOR REVIEWS (Peterson, B.) To vest in county auditors responsibility for reviewing and approving property tax exemption applications for some publicly owned property, to authorize county auditors and boards of township trustees to adopt a direct deposit payroll policy, to clarify existing law to permit townships to offer more than two deferred compensation plans to employees, and to authorize counties to increase the amount credited to "rainy day" reserve balance accounts to one-sixth of the expenditures made in the preceding fiscal year from the fund in which the reserve balance account is established.
The bill had sponsor testimony in the Senate Finance Committee.  HB 225 Senate Sponsor testimony attached.
 
HB 209 PUBLIC DEPOSITORIES (Adams, R.) To permit a political subdivision, upon the deposit of public moneys with an eligible public depository, to arrange for the public depository to redeposit those moneys with other federally insured banks and savings and loan associations in accordance with specified conditions.
 
The bill had sponsor and proponent testimony in the Senate Financial Institutions Committee.  Michael Gampp, president and CEO of American Savings Bank in Portsmouth, testified in support of the bill.
 
“The bank supports the bill because it would like to offer public sector customers a comparable FDIC coverage product for their liquid deposit accounts. One of our townships, Nile Township, is especially interested in the availability of this option" because it would "make managing their compliance with collateral requirements related to public deposits much easier," he said. "From the banker's perspective, an insured cash sweep product is attractive because it will enable our institution to raise deposits more cost effectively and free up resources currently tied up as collateral."
 HB225_SENATE_SPONSOR_TESTIMONY.pdf
 
MEETINGS THIS WEEK
OTA staff met with several key legislative staffers for Governor Kasich on Monday.
 
 
NEW ELECTION BILL HALTED
On Thursday, opponents of an elections overhaul bill (HB 194) delivered 318,460 signatures to the Secretary of State that, if certified, could lead to a referendum on the legislation.  Submission of petitions stays the Sept. 30 effective date of the bill.
 
If the county boards of election determine that not enough signatures are valid, the group would have 10 days to collect additional support. Because referendums may only appear in general elections and the deadline for this year has already passed, the issue to overturn House Bill 194 would be offered in November 2012.
 
 
AD HOC COMMITTEE on TECHNOLOGY USE IN GOVERNMENT - LOOKING FOR TOWNSHIP TESTIMONIALS
The Ad Hoc Committee on Technology in State Government is seeking public testimony from local governments.  If you are interested in testifying on technology use in townships, please let us know.  The Committee hearing is Wednesday, October 5 at 10:00 am in Room 114 of the Ohio Statehouse.
 
 
SWCD SURVEY
With the passage of the State Biennial Budget (HB 153), language within the bill called for the creation of the Ohio Soil & Water Conservation Commission Conservation Program Delivery Taskforce.  This workgroup was tasked to look at Ohio’s 88 county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to determine if there are impediments to doing business, duplication of services or other roadblocks that are negatively impacting the state’s SWCD’s program delivery effectiveness and efficiency.
 
The Task Force has requested input from local government officials since you may have a direct interest in the programs, funding and effectiveness of the SWCD’s.  Please cut and paste this web address -
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VB56LRL - into your browser to take part in a short survey to assist the Task Force.
 
Again, please visit
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VB56LRL to take part in the survey. All elected officials (or the employee(s) with your jurisdiction that have worked with the county SWCD) are encouraged to fill out the survey.
 
The Taskforce appreciates your time and consideration of this request.
 
 
BWC Announces Plan To Cut Public Employer Rates
The Bureau of Workers' Compensation plans a rate reduction for public employers that could lower premiums by an estimated $13.6 million for Ohio's 3,900 local governments.  The proposal, outlined Thursday at the BWC Board of Directors meeting by Administrator/CEO Stephen Buehrer, would reduce rates for public employer taxing districts by an overall 5% beginning Jan. 1. The board is expected to endorse the plan at its next meeting on Oct. 28.
 
While the overall rate reduction would average 5% from the current year, several industry groups in the public sector would see greater overall decreases, according to BWC. Rates for counties and school districts would decrease by an overall 6%. For villages, the decrease would be by an overall 9%. Special districts, excluding transit authorities, would see a reduction by an overall 20 percent.
 
Rates for individual public employer taxing district entities will differ based on several factors.  BWC said while some employers may experience slight increases others could see decreases based on information such as claims history and base rate changes for manual classifications that could be larger or smaller than the rate change indication presented.
 
 
RECENT AG OPINION
2011-034
SYLLABUS:
A person may serve simultaneously as a township trustee and bridge worker in the classified service of a county highway department when the office of township trustee is normally filled by nonpartisan election.
 
 
TOWNSHIP CENSUS DATA ON OTA WEBSITE
Township Census data from the 2010 Census can be found on the OTA’s Website - www.ohiotownships.org.  Please click on the “About” tab and then “Township Census Information.”  You will find Ohio Township Rankings, Top 100 Largest Township in Ohio and Township Population organized alphabetically by county.
 
For complete Census 2010 data, please visit the American FactFinder Website (http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml) from the U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/).
 
 
NEWSLETTER FROM OPERS
The September 2011 newsletter from OPERS is available.  Please find the September 2011 OPERSource attached.

OPERSource September 29 2011.pdf

Links to Above Referred Items:

OPERSource September 29 2011.pdf

 HB225_SENATE_SPONSOR_TESTIMONY.pdf