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12/04/11---LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS THIS WEEK:


HB 225 LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL 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 permit townships to offer deferred compensation programs to township 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 OTA offered proponent testimony (Attached) on Sub. HB 225.  It is our understanding that multiple amendments may be offered to HB 225 which may include:
- altering 1500 hours to 1800 hours;
- clarifying village dissolution law when a village is not located wholly or partially in a township; and
- altering New Community Authority law.
The OTA urges you to contact members of the Senate Finance Committee (http://www.ohiosenate.gov/committees/standing/detail/finance.html) and urge support of the 1800 hours amendment.
 
HB 276 AGRICULTURAL ZONING To include the production from certain feedstocks of biodiesel, biomass energy, electric or heat energy, and biologically derived methane gas in the definition of "agriculture" for purposes of the laws governing county zoning, township zoning, and current agricultural use valuation.
The bill had a third hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Among other parties, the CCAO (attached) and OTA offered testimony (attached).  It is our understanding that several amendments (attached) will be offered next week prior to the bill being voted out of Committee.
 
HB 346 FIRE POLICE EMS ILLNESSES To provide that a firefighter, police officer, or public emergency medical services worker who is disabled as a result of specified types of cancer or certain contagious or infectious diseases is presumed for purposes of the laws governing workers' compensation and the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund to have incurred the disease while performing official duties as a firefighter, police officer, or public emergency medical services worker.
The bill had sponsor testimony (attached) this week.  The OTA has opposed this bill in the past due to the increased costs townships will face should this bill pass.
 
HB 360 WIRELESS 9-1-1 CHARGE To revise the amount and methods of collection and remittance of the wireless 9-1-1 charge for prepaid wireless services.
This bill had sponsor testimony (attached) this week.
 
HB 370 NEW COMMUNITY AUTHORITY To make changes to the New Community Authority Law.
The bill had sponsor testimony (attached) in Committee this week.  There is a companion Senate bill and it is our understanding that the Senate version, with some tweaks, will likely be amended into HB 225 next week.
 
HB 371 / SB 257 LOCAL GOVERNMENT INNOVATION PROGRAM
This bill is likely on the fast track, as the changes are necessary for implementation of the Local Government Innovation Program.  The bill had testimony (attached) this week and amendments will likely be adopted next week.  Attached is a memo from the bill sponsors explaining some of the changes that will likely be made to the bill.
 
SB 240 COUNTY CHARTER GOVERNMENT To establish certain requirements to be followed by a county in adopting or amending a charter that provides under Section 3 of Article X, Ohio Constitution, for the succession by the county to the rights, properties, and obligations of any municipal corporations or townships wholly located in the county.
We have been informed by Sponsor Sen. Burke that the bill, as currently written, has possible Constitutional issues and will not have hearings.
 
 
RECENTLY INTRODUCED:
SB 255 WIRELESS 9-1-1 FEES (LaRose, F.) To revise the amount and methods of collection and remittance of the wireless 9-1-1 charge for prepaid wireless services.
This is a companion bill to HB 360.
Referred to Senate Energy & Public Utilities
 
HB 386 GAMBLING LAWS (Blessing, L.) To make changes to the law regarding video lottery terminals, casino gaming, and horse racing, to make an appropriation, and to declare an emergency. Am. En. & Rep. 111.15, 122.014, 2923.31, 3301.0714, 3769.089, 3770.02, 3770.03, 3770.05, 3770.21, 3772.01, 3772.04, 3772.07, 3772.091, 3772.10, 3772.13, 3772.16, 3772.17, 3772.28, 3772.99, 5503.02, 5751.01, 5753.01, and 5753.03; 3770.22, and Section 261.20.90 of Am. Sub. H.B. 153 of the 129th General Assembly, Section 3 of Sub. H.B. 277 of the 129th General Assembly, and Section 4 of Sub. H.B. 277 of the 129th General Assembly.
The OTA has asked the sponsor to consider an amendment dealing with internet cafes.  We will keep you posted.
 
HB 388 RETIREE BENEFIT SUSPENSION (Damschroder, R.) To suspend, during the period of employment, the retirement benefit of a public retirement system retiree who returns to public employment. Am., En. & Rep. 145.01, 145.191, 145.38, 145.384, 145.471, 145.473, 145.58, 145.82, 742.26, 3307.35, 3307.352, 3309.341, 3309.344, and 3501.13; 145.386, 742.261, 3307.354, and 3309.346; and 5505.161.
 
 
MEETINGS THIS WEEK:
Rep. Blair - HB 50 annexation petitions
Sen. Seitz (phone call) - amendment to HB 225 regarding village dissolutions when village is not wholly or partially located within a township
Sen. Burke - SB 240 Charter Counties
Sen. Balderson - township issues
Sen. Coley - SB 238 Ethics Forms and New Community Authorities (phone call)
Sen. Lehner (phone call) - amendment to HB 225 regarding increasing part-time employee hours to 1800 hours
Sen. Daniels - township issues
Rep. Anielski (phone call) - internet cafes - HB 195
 
 
OTHER ISSUES:
Local Government Innovation Council
To help offset revenue losses as result of the recent budget cuts and encourage local governments and schools to think outside the box in terms of service delivery, the General Assembly created the Local Government Innovation Program (LGIP).  (ORC Section 189.01-189.10) 
 
Forty-five million has been allotted for this program in FY 2013.  The program will provide loans and grants for local government innovation projects which includes the purchase of equipment, facilities, or systems or for implementation costs. 
 
The Local Government Innovation Council has been formed (OTA President is a member of the Council) to assist with establishing criteria for and the awarding of the Local Government Innovation Program grants and loans.  At the second meeting on Thursday, December 1, the Council approved the LGIP policies guiding implementation of the program and awards of the Council.
 
The council also approved the start of a call for applications with a deadline of March 1.  The Ohio Department of Development will hold several information sessions to help educate political subdivisions about the LGIP.  Date, time and location of the information sessions are listed below.  To find out more information about the Council and the Program, please visit http://development.ohio.gov/urban/LGIF.htm.
 
LGIP Regional Information Sessions
Date: 01.10.2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 10:00AM - 12:00PM (Including Webinar)
Location: Columbus
Venue: William Green Building
            Second Floor Auditorium
            30 West Spring Street
            Columbus, Ohio 43215
 
Date: 01.11.2012 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Location: Marietta
Venue: Washington State Community College
            Graham Auditorium
            710 Colegate Drive
            Marietta, Ohio 45750
 
Date: 01.17.2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Location: Cleveland Area
Venue: Cuyahoga Community College
            Corporate College East - Super Conference Room
            4400 Richmond Road
            Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
 
Date: 01.18.2012 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Location: Toledo Area
Venue: Owens Community College
            Center for Fine and Performing Arts
            30335 Oregon Road
            Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
 
Date: 01.24.2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Location: Cincinnati Area
Venue: Miami University - Hamilton
            Parrish Auditorium
            1601 University Boulevard
            Hamilton, Ohio 45011
 
 
Legislative Committee Schedules beginning 12/5/2011:
Tuesday, December 6
House Agriculture & Natural Resources, (Chr. Hall, D., 466-2994), Rm. 116, 8:30 a.m.
HB 276 AGRICULTURAL ZONING (Buchy, J., Gentile, L.) To include the production from certain feedstocks of biodiesel, biomass energy, electric or heat energy, and biologically derived methane gas in the definition of "agriculture" for purposes of the laws governing county zoning, township zoning, and current agricultural use valuation. (4th Hearing-Possible amendments & vote)
 
House Local Government, (Chr. Blair, T., 466-6504), Rm. 121, 1:30 p.m.
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. (6th Hearing-All testimony-Possible amendments & vote)
The OTA is opposed to the current version of HB 50 as it stands before the House Local Government Committee.  We have expressed our opposition to current sponsor Rep. Schuring and Committee Chairman Blair.  We strongly urge ALL townships to call members of the House Local Government Committee to express opposition to the bill in its current form before the Committee.  Urge the bill go back to the “As Introduced” version or be amended to require township signature on any annexation petition that includes township-owned land!
 
House Finance & Appropriations, (Chr. Amstutz, R., 466-1474), Rm. 313, 2 p.m.
HB 371 LOCAL GOVERNMENT INNOVATION (Amstutz, R., Weddington, C.) Regarding the Local Government Innovation Program and to make an appropriation. (3rd Hearing-All testimony-Possible substitute & vote)
 
Wednesday, December 7
Senate Energy & Public Utilities (Chr. Daniels, D. 466-8156), South Hearing Rm. 9 a.m.
SB 255 WIRELESS 911 FEES (LaRose, F.) To revise the amount and methods of collection and remittance of the wireless 9-1-1 charge for prepaid wireless services. (1st Hearing-Sponsor & proponent)
 
House Public Utilities, (Chr. Stautberg, P., 644-6886), Rm. 313, 10 a.m.
HB 360 WIRELESS 911 CHARGE (Rosenberger, C.) To revise the amount and methods of collection and remittance of the wireless 9-1-1 charge for prepaid wireless services. (2nd Hearing-Possible amendments, substitute & vote)
Amendments to HB 276.pdf

HB 346 Sponsor Testimony.pdf

HB360-Sponsor Test.pdf

HB370 - Sponsor.pdf

HB 371 Testimony on 112911.pdf

Amendments to HB 371.pdf