Ohio House Passes Bill To Increase Local Investments, Help Small Businesses
Legislation Permits Intrastate Equity Crowdfunding
June 21, 2017
 
 

COLUMBUS—State Representative Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) today applauded the Ohio House for approving legislation that permits, in certain circumstances, intrastate equity crowdfunding, with the goal of providing Ohio residents the ability to identify new local businesses and opportunities to invest in them.


An entity or individual raising funds through crowdfunding typically seeks small individual contributions from a large number of people. House Bill 10 creates an exemption for certain entities to engage in crowdfunding, thus supporting local investments within Ohio and encouraging competitiveness.


“This bill serves as another tool for economic development practitioners to support small business entrepreneurs,” said Rep. Arndt, who sponsored the measure. “We need to ensure that these individuals, who will add jobs to our communities, have all the tools they need to make and grow a successful business.”


The bill specifies that an issuer can be considered an “OhioInvests” issuer if they fulfill certain requirements, such as being located in Ohio and not being subject to the reporting requirements under federal security laws. Entities like port authorities, community improvement corporations and chambers of commerce would all be eligible issuers under the OhioInvests crowdfunding requirements.


House Bill 10 passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Louis W. Blessing III (R-Colerain) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed legislation that makes changes to Ohio’s lending law in relation to mortgage bankers and brokers.


In an effort to modernize, streamline and clarify lending regulations, the bill ensures greater conformity with federal guidelines and helps to eliminate confusion amongst the industry and regulators. Through the creation of the Ohio Residential Mortgage Lending Act (RMLA), the measure standardizes non-depository lending secured by mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers, thus updating the statute for the benefit of consumers, those in the lending industry and financial institutions. 


“I'm truly honored to be carrying this commonsense piece of legislation,” said Rep. Blessing, who sponsored the bill. “This will give mortgage bankers, brokers and loan examiners the clarity they need to operate more efficiently. I can't thank Chairman Jonathan Dever enough for his hard work shepherding this bill through the committee.”


Substitute House Bill 199 works to address inconsistencies in the industry, allowing mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers to license under the same section of code in order to eliminate confusion. The result of this change is the removal of the “mortgage banker” exemption while also providing greater authority to the Department of Financial Institutions over these lenders.


The bill, which passed with bipartisan support, now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) today announced the passage of House Bill 223, which modernizes Ohio’s structured settlement protection statute. Structured settlements are a voluntary legal method of compensating injury victims, typically through periodic annuity payments.


Using the National Conference of Insurance’s 2016 model as a guide, several updates were included in House Bill 223. The legislation removes the requirement that two separate courts or administrative agencies approve transfers. By eliminating this requirement, the process becomes less expensive, removes redundancies, and places Ohio in line with all other states. 


The bill also eliminates the requirement that payees seeking to transfer payment rights obtain independent professional advice. Most adults manage their own financial affairs and do not need to consult professional advice. However, should a judge feel concerned about a payee’s understanding of a transaction, questioning is allowed to ensure the concept is grasped.


In order to ensure the payee’s understanding of the transfer, House Bill 223 requires disclosure statements to specify the APR, rather than the confusing calculation used today, and requires in-person hearings, with some exceptions, giving the judge the opportunity to assess the payee’s grasp of situation. Judges are granted access to relevant information, through a provision requiring every applicant to include a summary of prior transfers and recent proposed transfers of the payee, even if not completed. 


Clarifying language is included to ensure that dependents’ interests are taken into consideration, but that those interests do not outweigh the interests of the payee. Clarifications are also made to the impacts and liabilities for all parties involved in the original settlement and the transfer.


While the national model places jurisdiction in the general division of the state trial court, Ohio will maintain jurisdiction of the probate court based on the probate court’s history with this type of transaction. 


House Bill 223 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) today announced the passage of House Bill 213, which establishes requirements for appraisal management companies (AMCs) and brings Ohio into compliance with federal law and regulations.
 
AMCs are third-party service providers hired by lenders to work with appraisers to complete residential assignments. Provisions added to the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act give states 36 months to adopt regulations for AMCs in order to meet new required standards.
 
“With the passage of House Bill 213, we are ensuring that Ohioans can continue to pursue their American dream of homeownership, while protecting them against predatory practices,” said Dever.
 
For AMCs to continue facilitating federally related transactions, Ohio must be in accordance with federal law by no later than August 10, 2018, unless an extension is deemed appropriate by the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.  
 
Through House Bill 213 Ohio would meet the federal requirements for AMC licensure, which include:
 
• Registration, with and subject to, supervision by an appraiser certifying and licensing agency in the state or states in which the company operates
• Verification that only state-certified or state-licensed appraisers are used for federally related transactions
• Requiring  appraisals to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
• Requiring  appraisals to be conducted in accordance with the statutory valuation independence standards
• Requiring each person that owns more than 10 percent of an appraisal management company to be of good character and submit to a background check
 
House Bill 213 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City) and Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation that would encourage physicians to immediately seek treatment should they become addicted to alcohol or drugs.


“I was pleased to see House Bill 145 pass out of the House today and I was honored to sponsor it with Representative Sprague,” said Rep. Huffman. “I believe that this bill will prompt more practitioners to seek help and ultimately attain recovery from addiction. Its passage is an important step for the medical community and the overall fight against substance abuse in the state of Ohio.”


House Bill 145 would require the State Medical Board to establish the “One-Bite” treatment program for health care practitioners who become impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances. A confidential program, One-Bite would only be available to physicians who have been not been previously sanctioned for impairment.


“Many times, physicians are scared to seek help and ruin their livelihood.  This legislation will standardize the One-Bite process, which was created to ensure physicians have the ability to seek help when they have a problem,” said Rep. Sprague. “Furthermore, by giving physicians an opportunity to seek help, this legislation improves patient safety by making sure that individuals aren’t being treated by impaired providers.”


The goal of this legislation is to provide physicians—who are just as likely to develop a substance addiction as any other citizen—with access to a strict treatment regimen without immediately receiving severe disciplinary action and losing their license. Those participating in the program must suspend their practice until the treatment provider determines that the individual is no longer impaired and is able to practice according to acceptable standards of care.


House Bill 145 now heads to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that updates various laws pertaining to voter registration, as well as procedures for casting, processing and reviewing in-person absentee ballots.


The goal of House Bill 41, sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), is to ensure that in-person absentee voters are afforded the same streamlined process as Election Day voters experience.


“House Bill 41 enacts common-sense and much-needed reforms to our absentee voter and registration laws,” Pelanda said. “The bill eases the ability of the public in Ohio to participate in our voting process and has received the full support of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.”


Under current law, an in-person absentee voter is required to complete an application and envelope at the board of elections, identical to mail-in absentee voters. HB 41 eliminates this needless paperwork for in-person absentee voters, increasing efficiency and reducing expenses for taxpayers.


Instead, voters would simply present a valid form of voter identification—driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill, etc.—and, upon completion, would run their ballot through a scanner. The scanner would provide immediate feedback if the voter has made a mistake, and the ballot would be held until Election Day without being counted.


To avoid any additional complications, House Bill 41 expands options for in-person absentee voters by also permitting them to fill out an application using alternative forms of ID, such as the last four digits of their social security number.


Among other provisions, House Bill 41:
• Reduces by 10 days the time a voter can apply to correct a precinct registration list or challenge a registered voter’s right to vote
• Reduces by 11 days the time a voter can challenge a person’s right to be registered as a voter
• Adds to the time considered to be “during the casting of the ballots” to include any time during which a board of elections processes absentee voter’s ballots before the time for counting ballots


House Bill 41 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today voted to authorize the issuance of an enhanced driver’s license, enhanced commercial driver’s license (CDL), and enhanced identification (ID) card to facilitate border crossings between the United States and Canada and Mexico. To be enacted, the bill requires the Director of Public Safety to obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or other designated federal agency.
 
House Bill 60, sponsored by State Representatives Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) and John Rogers (D-Mentor-On-The-Lake), stipulates that enhanced driver’s licenses or ID cards, which provide proof of identity and citizenship, may be used by Ohio residents seeking to cross into Canada or Mexico at authorized land and sea ports.
 
These enhanced IDs would contain specific technology and security features approved by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and may be used in the same manner as a driver’s license, CDL, or ID card.
 
“House Bill 60 facilitates commerce and travel for Ohio drivers,” said Rep. Hambley. “Not only would it make travel into Canada and Mexico for Ohioans quicker, but it would also do so in a secure manner. This legislation is a win for Ohio commercial and recreational travelers.”


“Electronic driver’s licenses would afford Ohioans wishing to travel back and forth into Canada and Mexico the same simple convenience, without having the expense or bureaucracy of obtaining a United States Passport Card,” said Rep. Rogers.
 
Once the Director of Public Safety enters into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is required to adopt necessary rules governing the issuance of an enhanced driver’s license, enhanced CDL, and enhanced ID card.
 
Applicants for an enhanced license or ID card must meet specified requirements, including paying an additional $25 fee. States that currently issue enhanced driver’s licenses include Michigan, New York, Vermont, Minnesota, and Washington.
 
House Bill 60 was passed by the Ohio House and will now be considered in the Ohio Senate.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Today, Ohio House Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) together with State Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington), Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), and the delegation of Franklin County members presented an Ohio House resolution to Officer Alan Horujko for his outstanding act of heroism in the face of the terrorist attack at The Ohio State University on November 28, 2016.


When an attacker drove his car into a crowd and went on to stab individuals with a knife near Watts Hall, Horujko promptly responded to the incident by fatally shooting the assailant in the span of a minute, averting further harm to the university community. Horujko had been responding to a call regarding a gas leak in the area when the attack occurred.


“It was a privilege to recognize Officer Alan Horujko for his swift and effective actions against a heinous and reckless terrorist attack on Ohio State’s campus last fall,” said Speaker Rosenberger. “Because of his due diligence to the university and the people of Columbus, he was able to prevent further violence by taking on the assailant within a minute of the attack. I thank him for his bravery and service.”


Horujko attended The Ohio State University, graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in security and intelligence and a minor in business. He entered the Ohio State Police Department in 2015, having worked as a student safety officer with the department during his time as an undergraduate student.


Born in Cincinnati, the 28-year-old officer attended Fairfield High School, where he graduated in 2007. He is engaged to be married to his fiancée in October of this year.

 
 
  

Now that school is out for the summer, children can look forward to more fun and free time outdoors. It is easy to think of the summer months as a carefree and simple time for all, but that is just not the case for some families in our state. Food insecurity is a sad reality and serious problem for many children.


This issue is often exacerbated during the summer. Children who are eligible for free breakfast or lunch throughout the school year suddenly are faced with limited options when it comes to having a dependable source of food and nutrition. Families who live paycheck-to-paycheck count on the availability of these meals when school is in session, and it should be no different during the summer months.


The Ohio House recently passed House Bill 80, which allows non-profit organizations to operate summer food programs in a school facility. This legislation is important because it helps school districts that are financially restrained from offering summer meals to partner with sponsors who are able to provide children with the nutrition they need.


In this way, school districts are given more options and are not automatically forced to opt out of meal programs during the summer because of financial concerns. In fact, many of Ohio’s children participate in summer school and other educational programs even when school has let out, but do not have a healthy lunch to look forward to like during the academic year. House Bill 80 addresses this issue through a practical and effective approach.


We cannot stand by while so many children in our state go hungry every summer. Every child deserves to have access to healthy food even when school is not in session, and House Bill 80 fills this void by allowing organizations to promote food security where there is clearly a need. As the bill has passed through the Ohio House with bipartisan support, I look forward to its passage in the Ohio Senate so that more children in Ohio can receive proper and consistent nutrition regardless of what month it is in the year.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Following the Ohio Senate’s adoption of Substitute House Bill 49 in Finance Committee this afternoon, Ohio House Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) released the following statement:


“I appreciate the work that President Obhof, Chairman Oelslager and the entire Senate Finance Committee put into the latest version of the budget over the past several weeks. Today marks another major step in the ongoing state budget process, and I am eager to review their proposal in greater detail in the coming days.


“There is still a lot of work to do as we head down the home stretch toward the end of June, and I look forward to working in collaboration with my colleagues in the House and Senate during the conference committee as we continue to focus on passing a balanced and fiscally responsible budget.”

 
 
  
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