Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) is proud to announce that in the first three months of the 131st General Assembly, the House has successfully passed five priority bills that were contained within House Republicans’ “Ohio 2020” plan. “Ohio 2020” is a series of proposals introduced by Republican House leaders and members of the caucus aimed at finding long-term solutions to some of the state’s most pressing issues.
“Our focus from the beginning of this General Assembly has been to pass legislation that makes real change in the areas that matter most to Ohioans—competitiveness, education, energy and health,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “Although there is more work to be done, we have made significant gains through the passage of our priority legislation, and I look forward to working side-by-side with my colleagues to continue this momentum with ‘Ohio 2020.’ ”
Already in this legislative session, the House has passed legislation that:
Lowers the cost of starting a business in Ohio: To initiate a new business, owners are required to file with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. House Bill 3 lowers the filing fee from $125 to $99—a reduction of 21 percent, making it cheaper and easier for small businesses to get started in Ohio. According to bill testimony, 93,775 businesses filed in 2014, setting a record number of business filings over the last five years. Streamlining access to the job search site, OhioMeansJobs, was also a priority of the bill.
Strengthens accountability and oversight for Ohio’s charter schools: House Bill 2 represents the most comprehensive piece of stand-alone legislation on the subject of charter schools in 12 years, particularly in the areas of charter school governance. Among the major provisions of the legislation is greatly reducing the potential for conflicts of interests among school sponsors. For instance, the bill would prohibit sponsors from selling goods and services to the schools they oversee, require sponsors to report how much they are spending on school oversight, and prohibit an operator from appealing its termination by the school’s board to the sponsor.
Reduces state oil and gas regulatory delays: House Bill 8 seeks to revise provisions in the oil and gas law governing unit operation and to clarify county auditor procedures for ad valorem valuation on minerals. The bill deals heavily with the process of “unitization,” which allows landowners to share in the benefits of oil and gas resources by combining acreage into a “unit.” Those units comply with spacing laws that promote responsible extraction of the resources.
Protects Ohio’s natural resources and water supplies: House Bill 61, which ultimately became part of Senate Bill 1, addresses some of the most important issues pertaining to water quality in Ohio, including last year’s harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.
Continues the effort to prevent deaths caused by prescription drug overdoses: House Bill 4 expands access to naloxone, a medication used to protect an individual experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids during an overdose, which can effectively shut down a person’s respiratory system.
Each bill passed the House with bipartisan support.
State Representatives Tim Derickson (R-Hanover Twp.) and Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) today applauded the House passage of House Bill 3. The legislation strives to update the OhioMeanJobs website and also reduces filing fees for small businesses and entrepreneurs, all with the intent of continuing Ohio’s momentum related to workforce development and job creation.
To initiate a new business, owners are required to file with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. House Bill 3 lowers the filing fee from $125 to $99—a reduction of 21 percent, making it cheaper and easier for small businesses to get started in Ohio. According to bill testimony, in 2014, 93,775 businesses filed in 2014, setting a record number of business filings over the last five years.
"Ohio is open for business and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of Ohioans with this bill," Rep. Derickson, who co-sponsored the bill along with Rep. Romanchuk, said.
Streamlining access to the job search site, OhioMeansJobs, was also a priority of the bill. The legislation works to ensure that Ohio-based companies that are in good standing have access to the website and its various functions by developing deadlines for employers to have equal access over the next 18-24 months. The bill also requires that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) annually report information regarding usage on the site including the number of jobs posted by employers and the number of resumes on the site that were aggregated from other websites.
“I am grateful for the Secretary of State’s support to help lower the cost of starting a new business in Ohio by reducing the filing fee,” said Rep. Romanchuk. “In addition, ensuring equal access to the OhioMeansJobs website for all Ohio-based companies in good standing is the right thing to do and ultimately will get people employed, which is the goal.”
House Bill 3 passed with strong bipartisan support and will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
House Bill 47, sponsored by Representatives Bill Blessing (R-Colerain) and Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati), passed in the Ohio House today. This bill authorizes the creation of an outdoor refreshment area by the legislative authority of a municipal corporation or township with a population of more than 35,000 people.
Upon approval by a local legislative authority, The Division of Liquor Control would issue the outdoor refreshment area designation to qualified liquor permit holders, located within a defined area as established in the bill not to exceed one half square mile. Within this new designated area only, persons carrying open containers of alcoholic beverages would be exempt from the Open Container Law.
“This bill is really about economic development and bringing more business to different areas around the state,” said Blessing. “With all of the great things happening across Ohio in the coming years, like the 2015 MLB All-Star game and the Republican National Convention in 2016, this bill relieves some of the red tape these cities will go through to create outdoor refreshment areas for these specific events.”
The municipal corporations or townships would need to adopt safety requirements for these refreshment areas, including the number of public safety personnel, hours of operation, specific boundaries and a sanitation plan that will help maintain the appearance of public health of the outdoor refreshment area. The local authority may eliminate the outdoor refreshment area at anytime, as well as review the operation of these areas every five years after their creation.
The bill contains an emergency clause, causing the bill to become effective immediately. HB 47 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today announced House passage of House Bill 2, legislation he sponsored to strengthen Ohio’s charter school system.
“Ohio has a long history of supporting school choice,” said Rep. Dovilla, who joint-sponsored the bill. “House Bill 2 provides viable, meaningful, and comprehensive reforms to charter school statutes, improving responsibility, transparency, and accountability for this educational option.”
Focusing primarily on issues of transparency, responsibility and accountability, House Bill 2 represents the most comprehensive piece of stand-alone legislation on the subject of charter schools in 12 years, particularly in the areas of charter school governance.
Among the major provisions of the legislation is greatly reducing the potential for conflicts of interests among school sponsors. The bill prohibits school sponsors from selling goods or services to the schools they authorize, as well as prohibiting employees of schools districts or educational service centers (ESC) from serving on the governing authority of a charter school sponsored by that particular district or ESC.
One way House Bill 2 enhances transparency is by requiring charter school sponsors to annually report expenditures that have been made for the purposes of providing oversight or technical assistance to the charters they authorize. Similarly, all governing board members of a charter to disclose transactions made with immediate relatives or associates who have done business with the school over the past three years.
Other provisions of House Bill 2 include:
Having passed the House with bipartisan support, the bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
The conference committee report for Sub. House Bill 53, led through the House Finance Transportation Subcommittee by State Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City), was approved today by the full House with broad bipartisan support.
The bill allocates funding for Ohio’s roads and highways as well as resources for improving safety services in the state. Totaling more than $3.4 billion annually, the budget allocates $114 million for local projects, which encourages job growth; provides $5.04 billion for highway construction and maintenance; appropriates $450,000 per year to the Department of Public Safety for the purchase of driving simulators; and increases the project threshold for which a county engineer can utilize design-build from $1.5 million to $5 million.
Rep. Grossman released the following statement regarding the bill:
“I’m proud to applaud the approval today of the conference committee report for the transportation budget, which is the result of thoughtful compromise and consistent communication among all those involved. In it we discuss Ohio’s various speed limits, which will be studied further by a committee, updated residency requirements and also increased standards for driving instructors. We must evaluate important forms of transportation for all Ohioans. This bill is an important step in assuring that all transportation needs are addressed. Additionally, I look forward to seeing how the bill will help to spur job growth through local projects in our communities."
The hard work and committed focus brought forth by the Transportation Subcommittee as well as members of the House, Senate and Administration has produced a piece of legislation that will greatly benefit Ohioans. The budget has allocated over $7 billion to be used for Ohio’s most necessary infrastructural needs, as well as providing funding to better our safety services. It’s imperative that our communities are safe and that our roads are usable, so that we can continue moving forward as a state.”
Sub. House Bill 53 will head to the governor for his consideration.
The Ohio House of Representatives today passed Substitute Senate Bill 1, legislation addressing some of the most important issues pertaining to water quality in Ohio. House and Senate leaders, as well as the bill sponsors, took part in a press conference this morning to discuss components of the legislation, prior to its passage on the House floor.
“The amount of time and attention given to this legislation is a clear indication of just how seriously the General Assembly has taken the issue of protecting Ohio’s abundant, yet vulnerable, natural resources,” Speaker of the Ohio House Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said. “I want to commend the members who worked on this policy, such as Reps. Dave Hall and Jim Buchy, and Chairman Brian Hill and Vice Chairman Tony Burkley. Their knowledge and input were an invaluable asset during the entire process, and I know that the bill we voted out today would not have been nearly as strong without their contributions.”
Among other provisions, Substitute Senate Bill 1 encourages establishing best nutrient management practices, such as regulating the application of fertilizer in the western basin of Lake Erie when the ground is frozen or saturated.
“I am pleased that both chambers agree that S.B. 1 is an important step on the road to water quality,” said Rep. Dave Hall (R-Millersburg). “I look forward to continuing the good work of the legislature on this issue with H.B. 101, which will protect the drinking water of Ohioans by developing an early warning system for algal blooms.”
In addition, beginning in 2020, the bill prohibits the depositing of dredged materials into the Maumee basin. It also requires certain publicly owned water treatment facilities to monitor the amount of phosphorous in the water and to require some treatment facilities to submit an evaluation of how it might reduce the level of phosphorous.
“In my district, we have been tackling the water quality issues in Grand Lake St. Marys for more than five years,” said Rep. Jim Buchy (R-Greenville). “The things we learned at Grand Lake St. Marys were considered when crafting Sub Senate Bill 1 and as a result these new practices are science-based and proven to have positive results.”
“As a farmer, I was reluctant to support legislation aimed at regulating farmers,” said Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville), Chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. “However, now that I have seen the agricultural community step up and work together with the legislature, I am encouraged. I look forward to working with the other parties who will be coming to the table to be part of the solution.”
SB 1 incorporates provisions that give farmers an opportunity to come into compliance without being penalized. For small and medium operators who may be in violation of the law, the legislation enables them to apply for a limited exemption and request assistance from their local Soil and Water Conservation District to resolve deficiencies in order to avoid being penalized.
“I am pleased to see this bipartisan effort voted out of the General Assembly,” said Rep. Tony Burkley (R-Payne), Vice Chair of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. “I also want to commend the citizens of northwest Ohio, particularly our farmers, who have stepped up and worked with us to produce this first step toward quality water management.”
Footage from this morning’s press conference can be seen at http://www.ohiochannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx?fileId=146165
The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
House Bill 69, also known as the “Heartbeat Bill”, passed in the Ohio House today. This bill, sponsored by Representative Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) and Representative Ron Hood (R-Ashville), seeks to protect the lives of Ohio babies beginning with their first detectable heartbeat.
HB 69 generally prohibits a person from knowingly and purposefully performing or inducing an abortion with the specific intent of causing the termination of life of an unborn child whose fetal heartbeat has been detected, making this offense a fifth degree felony.
“As Ohio continues to lead in many areas, ultimately aiming to improve the quality of life for Ohioans in any way we can, we have also worked diligently to defend the lives of the unborn,” said Hagan. “Needless to say, this is an issue that is robust with passion, compassion and the potential to save many lives of the unborn.”
“Someone has to speak on behalf of the more than 57 million unborn US children who have been legally killed since 1973, and the millions more who will die if elected leaders don’t stand in the gap for them,” stated Rep. Hood. “Rep. Christina Hagan and I are so grateful to the many Ohioans who have tirelessly supported this effort to protect babies who are obviously living, obviously people, because they have a detectable heartbeat. It is my prayer that this bill will encourage the culture of life to continue to grow.”
A Joint Legislative Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support, composed of three House and three Senate members, would be created to help encourage adoption in the cases of unwanted pregnancies.
House Bill 69 will now go on to the Senate for further consideration.
The Ohio House passed House Bill 39 yesterday, sponsored by Representatives Mike Duffey and Anthony DeVitis. This bill will permit schools and camps to procure and possess asthma inhalers for use in emergency situations.
“Asthma affects more than seven million children in the United States,” said Duffey. “In a classroom of 30 students, an average of three will have asthma. By increasing access to albuterol in schools, we cannot only save lives, but also help keep students learning in class.”
“As an asthma sufferer, I understand the necessity of having an emergency inhaler on hand,” said DeVitis. “At schools and camps, in a matter of life and death situation, an emergency inhaler at these facilities will be extremely beneficial in saving an individual’s life in the event of an episode.”
In addition to allowing schools and camps to possess these life-saving devices, the bill would require that the school or camp adopts an inhaler policy that includes a prescriber-issued protocol. School districts could deliver inhalers to their individual schools.
With this bill, the schools would be granted immunity from civil liability related to damages allegedly arising from the procurement, maintenance, access or use of these inhalers. Drug manufacturers would be allowed to donate inhalers to a school and schools would be allowed to accept financial donations to purchase inhalers.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Quick-relief medications, delivered by inhalers, can be used to treat symptoms during an attack. Asthma affects nearly 25 million Americans, with 44,000 people on average suffering an asthma attack every day. (statistics from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)
House Bill 39 will now go on to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
State Representatives Andy Brenner (R- Powell) and Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-Mount Vernon) applauded the Ohio House’s passage of House Bill 11, legislation that seeks to add a judgeship to the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, which currently has two judges. The new judge would be elected in 2016 and would serve as the judge of the domestic relations division.
This new division will hear cases that involve divorce, dissolution, separation, annulment cases, questions of paternity custody, visitation, and child support.
“I am very grateful that we were able to pass this bill unanimously,” said Rep. Brenner. “Delaware County has more than doubled its population in the last 25 years, and with a population increase there is a need for additional services from the county, including the need for an additional judgeship focusing on domestic relations.”
“Rep. Brenner and I are very much aware of the need for this judgeship,” said Rep. Ruhl. “We are grateful to the rest of the Ohio House for their support in passing House Bill 11. We hope to move it through the Senate before the legislature’s summer break.”
HB 11 will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
The Ohio House passed House Bill 40 today, sponsored by Representatives Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) and Jonathan Dever (R-Cincinnati). This bill is designed to improve accountability related to continuing education requirements for medical professionals by giving the State Medical Board the ability to fine and regulate the certificates to practice.
“I appreciate the support I received from my friends and colleagues in the House of Representatives,” said Gonzales. “This bill will help improve accountability and may eventually lead to decreased licensing fees.”
“House Bill 40 will provide the medical community with another tool for their tool box to help protect the citizens of Ohio and cut unnecessary red tape for physicians,” said Dever. “I am pleased my colleagues passed HB 40 today with unanimous support and look forward to the Senate’s action on this bill.”
HB 40 authorizes the State Medical Board to impose penalties of up to $20,000 on an individual who violates the law administered by the Board, and requires the Board to adopt guidelines regarding the amounts that would be imposed for different infractions.
The bill would also declare that an adjudication hearing is not required if the Board imposes a civil penalty for failure to complete these requirement, but does not take any other action. It will give the State Board the permission to suspend a medical professional’s certificate to practice, removing the automatic suspension that is currently imposed with failure to renew or register the certificate. The Board can then require an assessment before issuing or restoring these certificates.
With HB 40’s passage in the House, it will now go on to the Senate for further consideration.
State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today announced House passage of House Bill 2, legislation he sponsored to strengthen Ohio’s charter school system.
Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and the entire House of Representatives today were pleased to present a resolution to President Dr. Michael Drake, Coach Urban Meyer, and the Ohio State University football team, commending their victory in the 2014-15 College Football Playoff National Championship.
In a press conference at the Statehouse this morning, Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and members of the Ohio House Republican caucus discussed the priorities that will guide the 131st General Assembly.
Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today announced the new standing committee structure, along with committee chairs, vice chairs and ranking members, for the Ohio House of Representatives.