Rep. Boccieri Applauds Legislation Aimed At Helping Veterans, Ohio Cities
Bills to create new veteran ID card, establish downtown redevelopment districts receive House approval

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the recent passage of two House bills aimed at boosting revitalization efforts in the state’s urban centers and easing access to medical benefits and other services for military veterans. Both pieces of legislation passed unanimously out of the House earlier this week. 

The first, House Bill (HB) 173, will establish veteran identification cards that can be used to prove eligibility for a number of services, including medical benefits, employment, and discounts at participating retail establishments. The new veteran identification cards will be issued by county recorders or veterans service offices. 

“Both of these bills are true examples of good policy that puts Ohioans first,” said Boccieri. “HB 173 gives our veterans an easy way to display their record of service to our country and access the services they need. As a veteran myself, I know that this is a need that has been unfulfilled for some time.” 

Rep. Boccieri also touted the benefits of HB 233, legislation to allow municipalities to create downtown redevelopment districts (DRDs) in order to promote urban economic development and the restoration of historic buildings.  

“I am pleased to see the legislature prioritizing economic development and redevelopment of blighted areas,” said Boccieri. “This initiative can be a strong driver of economic growth in our city centers.” 

Under HB 233, a DRD must contain at least one historic building and exclude those areas that are purely residential. Once a plan for economic development of the region has been passed via municipal ordinance, the new district can be established and begin to take advantage of property tax benefits.

Funding for a DRD comes from payments that property owners in the district remit to the municipality. These funds can be used for grants or loans to historic building owners, contributions to special improvement districts and community improvement corporations to promote the district, public infrastructure improvements and (if the DRD has an innovation district) technology-related businesses. 

HB 233 already received unanimous support in the Senate and now heads to Governor Kasich’s desk. HB 173 will now move to the Senate for further consideration. 

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