COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today approved a new two-year state budget that includes major health care reforms as well as tax relief for Ohio families.


The measure, House Bill 166, also includes record funding for schools, as well as historic investments in foster care, higher education and initiatives for seniors.


“Our focus has been rebuilding families and communities, and this budget plan is a major step forward toward those goals,” said House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford). “With this plan, we are helping families keep more of what they earn, supporting the schools their kids attend and investing in programs that make a real difference in their communities.”


The tax package included in House Bill 166 calls for a personal income tax rate reduction of 4 percent across the board. It also eliminates the personal income tax for those earning less than $21,750.


Funding for Ohio’s schools would increase by $381.8 million for the 2019-20 school year, a 4.1 percent increase. There is a 2 percent increase slated for the 2020-21 school year. The bill also provides $20 million for districts to purchase school buses.


Increased support for foster care was among the priorities of the Ohio House. At any given moment, more than 15,000 children are in foster care in Ohio – a figure that has grown by more than 25 percent in recent years, driven by the addiction crisis.


The final budget agreement between the House and Senate includes major health care reforms, including a Medicaid pharmacy benefit manager reform. Under the legislation, Ohio would have one Medicaid PBM, a contract which would be competitively bid, and the selected PBM would be prohibited from having any conflicts of interest.


Also included in the budget are changes to Ohio’s graduation requirements. Beginning with the Class of 2023, students will have to meet current requirements plus attain a “competency score” on algebra I and English arts II end-of-course exams (or use an alternative demonstration of competency) and attain at least two state diploma seals. The plan includes related changes as well. Overall, it is designed to reduce reliance on testing for graduation and help students show their true promise.


The measure passed with 75 affirmative votes and 17 negative votes and now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his review.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – Meaningful tax relief, major health care reform and increased funding for schools are among the highlights of a state budget accord approved today by a House-Senate conference committee.


Among other initiatives, the measure also boosts funding for foster care, elderly care and higher education.


“This is a responsible, structurally balanced plan that focuses on the priorities of Ohioans,” said House Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton).


The tax package included in House Bill 166 calls for a personal income tax rate reduction of 4 percent across the board. It also eliminates the personal income tax for those earning less than $21,750.


Increased support for foster care was among the priorities of the Ohio House. At any given moment, more than 15,000 children are in foster care in Ohio – a figure that has grown by more than 25 percent in recent years.


House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said Ohio has done a lot in recent years to help those suffering from addiction. The addiction crisis has had a far broader impact than just on those suffering from addiction. The consequences of addiction have devastated families in every community in this state. Now, Ohio is not only focusing on addicts, but also on the children and elderly who can no longer count on support from an addict in their life.


The budget agreement also includes Medicaid pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform. Under the legislation, Ohio would have one Medicaid PBM, a contract which would be competitively bid. The single PBM would be prohibited from having any potential conflicts of interest or relationships within the Ohio system. House Bill 166 also contains additional funding for high Medicaid volume pharmacies and a pilot program to ensure rural, high Medicaid volume pharmacies are receiving their full reimbursements.


“There was widespread agreement in the House about the importance of PBM reform and I believe the final agreement we have will improve transparency and better protect tax dollars and those the system serves,” Householder said.


Other items in the final budget agreement include:



  • Record funding for schools. The legislation increases funding by $381.8 million for the 2019-20 school year, a 4.1 percent increase. There is a 2 percent increase slated for the 2020-21 school year. The bill also provides $20 million for districts to purchase school buses.

  • Graduation requirements. The measure includes a Senate-added provision revamping Ohio’s high school graduation requirements. Beginning with the Class of 2023, students will have to meet current requirements plus attain a “competency score” on algebra I and English arts II end-of-course exams (or use an alternative demonstration of competency) and attain at least two state diploma seals. The plan includes related changes as well. Overall, it is designed to reduce reliance on testing for graduation and help students show their true promise.

  • Academic distress commissions. The bill places a moratorium on the creation of any new commissions until Oct. 1, 2020.

  • Business Income Deduction. The plan largely maintains Ohio’s current Business Income Deduction, but makes lawyers and lobbyists ineligible for the tax reduction benefit.

  • Motion picture tax credit. The bill retains the tax credit, but with changes. It focuses the credit on Ohio businesses and expands the types of expenses for which the credit may be claimed, such as post-production and promotional costs.

  • Local governments. The plan increases funding for libraries and local governments, providing an additional $10 million for each over the biennium.

  • Tobacco. The bill increases the legal age for tobacco from 18 to 21.

  • 2020 Primary Election Date. Changes the date of the 2020 primary election from March 10 to March 17. Any candidate petitions being circulated with March 10 as the date of the primary will be valid for the March 17 primary.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – Today the Ohio House passed several bills, including legislation that allows the filing of certain campaign finance statements to be done electronically, permits wearing hearing protection while riding motorcycles, and requires center-line rumble strips for certain highway projects.


Senate Bill 107, sponsored by Senator Michael Rulli (R-Salem), expands the categories of political entities that are permitted to file their campaign finance statements electronically to include candidates for the State Board of Education and certain local candidates and political entities. The bill also requires the Secretary of State to store electronic statements received from boards of elections and make those statements available online in the same manner as other electronic statements. SB 107 passed the Ohio House unanimously. 


HB 129, sponsored by Representative Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky), allows a person to wear earphones or earplugs for hearing protection while operating a motorcycle. HB 129 passed the Ohio House unanimously.


HB 51, sponsored by Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem), requires the Department of Transportation, for certain highway projects, to install rumble strips along the center line for all two-way, undivided state highways with a speed limit exceeding 45 miles per hour. HB 51 passed the Ohio House unanimously.


The House bills passed today will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 9, legislation that addresses Higher Education Degree Attainment Reform. The goal of the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Don Jones (R-Freeport) and Bride Sweeney (D-Cleveland), is to help more students graduate in four years, so they can begin their careers and keep student debt low.


The bipartisan legislation contains common sense reforms to improve credit transfers from one public school to another, and help students who have left school determine if, with the coursework they have completed, they are eligible for an associate’s degree or job training certificate.


“Many of our students attending institutions of higher education are not completing their degrees in four years or less,” said Speaker Householder. “This legislation will help students enter the workforce and begin their careers. When students are having to stay longer to complete a degree, they are accumulating more debt. It’s time we help our students stay on track with their education or help them see if they’re eligible for an associate’s degree or certificate.”


House Bill 9 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


“I am excited the House passed HB 9 today,” said Rep. Jones. “As a teacher for 23 years, education is a personal priority, and I am glad it is also a priority for the entire House. HB 9 is going to help more people get degrees. The legislation will also help more people get their degrees on time. HB 9 in the long run will help Ohio create a highly educated workforce.”


HB 9 passed the Ohio House unanimously and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 7, legislation that creates the H2Ohio trust fund and establishes a state trust to fund the preservation and restoration of Ohio’s lakes and rivers.


The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), will provide a long-term plan for Ohio, creating a secure, sustainable funding stream for the protection of water quality. The state budget bill, House Bill 166, included $86 million for the first two years of H2Ohio, as well as language creating an advisory board for the program.


“Protecting Ohio’s water quality is extremely important,” said Speaker Householder. “The Ohio House is committed to supporting the Governor’s H2Ohio initiative. Ohio’s lakes and rivers are a vibrant part of our state and this legislation creates a long-term plan to protect them.”


House Bill 7 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


“The nearly unanimous Floor vote for priority House Bill 7 underscores the importance of a strong bipartisan commitment to the protection, preservation, and restoration of Ohio’s fresh water lakes and rivers,” said Rep. Ghanbari. “Today’s commitment is a generational investment that will serve as a model for other states across the country. It’s was an honor to be the primary author of this legacy piece of legislation alongside my Democrat colleague Representative Paterson.”


HB 7 passed the Ohio House with 90 affirmative votes and 3 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 11, legislation that addresses infant mortality. The goal of the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland), is to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of the mother and child.


The bipartisan legislation would expand tobacco cessation and oral healthcare programs, increase lead education and support group pre-natal healthcare programs. The goals are decrease the chances of infant illness or death, as well as to improve the health of mothers.


“House Bill 11 will make a difference in reducing infant mortality in Ohio,” said Speaker Householder. “Keeping the mother and child healthy in a pregnancy is extremely important and I’m glad we were able to bring this great legislation to the floor.”


House Bill 11 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


“Governor DeWine, through his budget proposal, has shown that an investment in Ohio’s mothers, children, and families are among his top priorities,” said Rep. Manning. “The passage of HB 11 shows our commitment to reduce infant mortality and increase access to health care for those who need it. I am honored to sponsor legislation, which ultimately, will increase health outcomes for Ohioans.”


HB 11 passed the Ohio House with 93 affirmative votes and no negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 5, legislation that creates the Public Defender State Loan Repayment Program to help recruit and retain attorneys to serve as public defenders.


The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and David Leland (D-Columbus), is similar to what Ohio already does to help encourage physicians, dentists and dental hygienists to serve in areas facing a shortage of those professionals.


“Public defenders are vital to our justice system,” said Speaker Householder. “This bipartisan legislation will help attract more attorneys to serve as public defenders in Ohio and help fill the shortage in our legal system.”


House Bill 5 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


‘Public Defenders protect our constitutional rights everyday whether you have been accused of a crime or not,” said Rep. Hillyer. “These defenders of the Constitution are important to our system of justice and we must ensure that we provide adequate legal services under the law.”


HB 5 passed the Ohio House with 92 affirmative votes and 2 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS - Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced that Douglas J. Swearingen, Jr. (R-Huron) was elected by the House Majority Caucus to represent the 89th House District, which covers both Erie and Ottawa counties. Representative-elect Swearingen will replace Representative Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) who is retiring effective July 31, 2019. 


“I’m pleased to welcome Representative-elect Swearingen to our caucus,” said Speaker Householder. “He is an accomplished attorney who has a lot of pride in his local community. He’s actively involved in the 89th district and will serve his constituents well at the Statehouse.”


Representative-elect Swearingen received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Bowling Green State University and his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. He currently practices law with the firm Wickens, Herzer, Panza with offices in Sandusky and Avon.


“I would like to thank my wife and my family for starting this journey with me,” said Rep-elect Swearingen. “I would also like to thank the House leadership for this opportunity. It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed to serve as the Ohio State Representative for the 89th District. Over the coming weeks and months, I very much look forward to building many more relationships with people in the community. I also am excited to discuss with all of the constituents their ideas and thoughts on how we can continue to make our district a great and prosperous place to live – where everyone has the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to pursue their life's ambition. I am humbled by the responsibility of representing the people that live in the 89th District at the state level.”


 He will be sworn into office on August 1 and begin representing the 89th district at that time.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – Legislation to cut government red tape and help military families has been approved by the Ohio House of Representatives.


State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), a joint sponsor of the plan, said the legislation will make it easier for military spouses to secure licensing reciprocity in order to practice their profession when they move to Ohio.


“Spousal unemployment is one of the largest hardships faced by service members’ spouses,” Perales said.


Out of an estimated 3,600 military spouses in Ohio, 35 percent work in a profession that requires a license or certificate, such as real estate agents, nurses, teachers and cosmetologists. Upon moving to a new state, these professionals face burdensome licensure requirements. This legislation attempts to alleviate that burden to make it easier for military spouses to practice their desired profession.


House Bill 133 requires Ohio’s occupational licensing agencies to issue temporary licenses or certificates to members of the military and their spouses who are licensed in another jurisdiction and have moved to Ohio for military duty.


Four simple qualifications must be met to receive a temporary license; the individual must hold a valid and good standing license in their previous state of employment, as well as, show adequate proof their spouse is on military duty and that the individual has moved to a place of residency in Ohio.


Perales said the bill is simply “a no-brainer.” He added the issue of professional license reciprocity is drawing increasing attention among the states and at the federal level. In fact, the Office of Military Community and Family Policy under the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense has named the issue one of their top priorities.


Perales said Department of Defense locating decisions are increasingly being influenced by state laws benefiting military members and families.


“This measure will help our military families and it sends a message that Ohio supports our nation’s armed forces and the men and women who serve,” Perales said.


The legislation now moves to the Ohio Senate for additional consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 1, legislation that expands access to treatment in lieu of conviction and sealing of low-level, non-violent, non-sex offenses. The goal of the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), is to expand opportunity for those who have made a mistake to right a wrong and become a productive member of society.


“Our lawmakers have been working across the aisle to craft legislation that expands opportunities for all Ohioans,” said Speaker Householder. “This legislation is proof of that. I’m pleased that we will be able to help those overcoming addiction start a new life and become a productive member of society.”


House Bill 1 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


‘’HB 1 will establish policies that will help promote treatment and workforce development,” said Rep. Plummer. “It will do so, without limiting the decision making authority of local elected officials.’’


HB 1 passed the Ohio House with 91 affirmative votes and 6 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  
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Representative Larry Householder Elected Speaker

 

COLUMBUS – On January 7th, Representative Larry Householder (R-Glenford) was elected Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 133rd General Assembly. Householder represents the 72nd House District, encompassing all of Coshocton and Perry counties, as well as parts of Licking County. Representative Householder, currently serving his second consecutive term in the Ohio House, previously served as Speaker from 2001 to 2004.



 
 

Speaker Householder Announces Several Appointments

 

COLUMBUS – Speaker Larry Householder made several appointments today to the following special committees, the Controlling Board, and the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting. 



 
 

Speaker Householder Announces Ohio House Communications Director

 

COLUMBUS –Speaker Larry Householder today announced the selection of Gail Crawley as Communications Director for the Ohio House of Representatives.



 
 

Representative Hambley Appointed To Co-Chair Of Newly Created Economic Development Committee

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) this week was appointed by Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) to serve as Co-Chair of the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee.