COLUMBUS—State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) applauded the Ohio House for unanimously passing House Bill 502. Rep. Anielski sponsored that legislation that would further improves suicide prevention efforts in schools by requiring public school employees to undergo training in youth suicide awareness and prevention programs once every two years. The two hour curriculums are FREE via online training, DVD’s, or in person. Under the legislation, school personnel also earn Continuing Education Units (CEU’s).

A champion of suicide education initiatives, Rep. Anielski introduced the bill to ensure that all school employees are aware of how to best help Ohio students who might be contemplating suicide. School employees include nurses, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, administrators, and anyone else the schools deem necessary.

“The House took another major step in improving the well-being of Ohio’s youth within our schools,” Rep. Anielski said. “Making sure our educators have the training and resources necessary to help prevent suicide must be a priority for us all in order to provide assistance to those youth emotionally struggling. Thanks to all my colleagues who voted in favor of protecting our most precious gifts, our children.”

House Bill 502 is an extension of the “Jason Flatt Act in honor of Joseph Anielski,” which became law in 2013. These bills, among other initiatives, are efforts to address the serious issue of youth suicide, a trend that continues to devastate families across Ohio every year. Rep. Anielski hopes that by passing legislation, education and awareness about suicide can be increased, the stigma of the Youth Silent Epidemic will be lessened, youth will have greater access to the resources they need. Further information may be found at

House Bill 502 now goes to the Senate for further consideration.


COLUMBUS – State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) announced her support behind numerous bills recently passed on the House Floor.

“It was very important to my colleagues and myself to address many pieces of legislation to assist Ohioans,” Rep. Anielski said. “I think the constituents of the 6th District will be pleased with the many unanimous and bipartisan support for the following legislation.”

• Sub. H.B. 7 – Addresses ten different areas of existing medical malpractice tort law, including reducing the need for unnecessary defendants, prohibiting “phantom damages” from being used as evidence, establishing a different standard for medical care during widespread disasters, and other provisions.
• Sub. H.B. 18 – Authorizes a local elected official of an entity that has levied a hotel lodging excise tax (or the official’s designee) to simultaneously hold the public position and serve on the board of trustees of a convention and visitors’ bureau without constituting the holding of incompatible offices or employment.
• Sub. H.B. 87 – Provides the Department of Education with specific guidance on distributing funds returned to the state from a community school as the result of a finding for recovery from the Auditor of State.
• Sub. H.B. 92 – Creates greater protections for minors by strengthening the reporting requirements for certain sex offenders who commit public indecency.
• Sub. H.B. 126 – Aims to assist kinship caregivers as they help Ohioans in crisis by establishing a region-based kinship caregiver navigator program.
• Sub. H.B. 156 – Prohibits specified terms from being included in healthcare contracts between a vision care provider and a contracting entity.
• Sub. H.B. 211 – Creates the Ohio Home Inspector Board to regulate the licensure and performance of home inspectors.
• H.B. 240 – Enacts the “Respect Your Date Act” to require each institution of higher education to adopt a policy regarding dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and rape on campus.
• Sub. H.B. 263 – Generally authorizes a retail food establishment or food service operation to allow a person to bring a dog in an outdoor dining area of the establishment or operation.
• Sub. H.B. 318 – Establishes qualifications and training requirements for school resource officers and permits those officers to provide a specified range of services to school districts and schools.
• Sub. H.B. 347 – Designates multiple memorial highways.
• H.B. 349 – Provides volunteer Search and Rescue dogs and horses the same protection from harm and interference as is provided to law enforcement animals.
• H.B. 355 – Addresses the growing dilemma of juveniles engaging in “sexting” with other juveniles and provides prosecutors with options for sentencing that do not have lifelong implications.
• H.B. 386 – Modifies the fees that a credit reporting agency can charge in relation to a credit report freeze. The bill will allow Ohioans to take control of their credit data and protect themselves from criminals who have access to their data.
• H.B. 425 – Establishes clarity in the public record law for body-worn police camera videos.
• H.B. 428 – Known as the “Ohio Student Liberties Act of 2018,” the bill requires public schools to allow students who want to meet for the purpose of religious expression the same access to school facilities given to secular school groups.
• Sub. H.B. 469 – Authorizes a nonrefundable insurance company tax credit for contributions of capital to transformational mixed-use development projects.
• H.B. 479 – In an effort to hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s) to a higher standard amid recent scrutiny, the bill increases price transparency and ensures a fair payment process for pharmacies and patients.
• H.B. 480 – Establishes requirements governing multi-parcel auctions in order to create a more effective and streamlined process.
• H.B. 497 – Protects victims of image-based violence by establishing penalties for publically disseminating images either online, via text message or various other methods.
• H.B. 500 – Allows townships to perform regular duties that other local governments are able to do.
• H.B. 502 - In service training for public school educators about youth suicide prevention and awareness every two years, while earning continuing education units (CEU’s).
• H.B. 511 – Modifies the specifications for individuals to get married, ensuring that child marriage is prohibited in Ohio.
• Am. H.B. 540 – Seeks to restructure Ohio Teacher Evaluation Standards (OTES) so that evaluations are teacher-driven and student-focused.
• H.B. 543 – Allows a county prosecuting attorney to enter into a contract with a regional airport authority, or regional planning commission to be its legal advisor.
• H.B. 572 – Allows county developmental disabilities board employees who perform full-time services in a school to be eligible for a full year of service under the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) if they work throughout the academic year.
• H.B. 595 – Allows Ohioans to avoid costly litigation arising from disputes over trusts and encourages counties to partner with each other to provide costly guardianship services, where feasible.
• S.B. 66 – Modifies criminal sentencing and corrections law by including the promotion of effective rehabilitation as a purpose of felony sentencing, among other provisions.
• S.B. 81 – Waives the concealed-carry license fee for active members of the armed forces and retired and honorably discharged veterans.
• S.B. 127 – To require motor vehicle operators to take certain actions upon approaching a stationary waste collection vehicle collecting refuse on a roadside.
• Sub. S.B. 216 – The “Ohio Public School Deregulation Act” is aimed at reducing over-regulation and excessive mandating of Ohio’s public schools, along with improving efficiency and updating multiple parts of current law.
• S.B. 220 – Provides a legal safe harbor to covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program.
• S.B. 239 – Requires the regional council of governments (COG) officers, upon forming a COG and before taking an official action, to notify the Auditor of State about its formation.
• S.B. 299 – Part of the Clean Lake 2020 Plan, $20 million is provided for projects including soil-testing, tributary monitoring, and end-of-field drainage management through the soil and water phosphorous program. An additional $10 million was appropriated to The Healthy Lake Erie Initiative Fund to support projects that enhance efforts to reduce open disposal of dredged material into Lake Erie.


Two Cupp-Sponsored Bills Pass Ohio House
Bills address medical malpractice issues and probate, estate and trust matters
July 02, 2018

COLUMBUS—State Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima) had a rare double-hitter this past week when two bills he sponsored passed the Ohio House on the same day. H.B. 7 clarifies areas of medical malpractice litigation, and H.B. 595 updates provisions of Ohio’s probate and trust law.

House Bill 7 addresses a variety of issues in medical malpractice law to both clarify existing law and to add new provisions relating to liability standards for emergency care provided in the event of a mass disaster and the hospital discharge of patients with potentially serious mental health issues. Additionally, the bill encourages more prompt communications between patients, their families and the medical care provider in the event of an unexpected adverse outcome, and prevents insurers and government agencies from creating legal new malpractice standards.

The probate, estate and trust bill, H. B. 595, updates aspects of estate and trust law and management. Among the provisions, the bill authorizes probate courts to create trusts to hold and manage funds of minor beneficiaries for wrongful death awards up to the age of 25 instead of the current 18 years. It also creates consistency as to whom a county coroner must notify for disposition of both the body and property of a deceased person and authorizes the creation of multi-county probate court guardianship services boards to permit two or more counties to work together to provide guardianship services more effectively and efficiently.

“While the provisions of these bills may seem somewhat complex, they will impact the lives of many Ohioans. It’s important to provide legal standards to prevent disputes and, if disputes do arise, clear rules to help resolve them. Both bills further those goals,” Cupp said.

The bills will now go to the Ohio Senate for its consideration.



COLUMBUS—State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) applauded Governor John Kasich for signing into law three bills sponsored by Hambley.

House Bill 8
House Bill 8, which Hambley joint-sponsored with Rep. Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton), will protect certain personal information pertaining to a minor who was an occupant on a school bus at the time it was involved in a traffic accident. State and federal law currently protects this information when the child is on school property, however, it does not protect certain information when it relates to school transportation. Police reports will still include this data, but the minor’s information must be redacted when the incident is reported.

The issue was brought forward by a constituent in Rep. Hambley’s district in which a child was a passenger on a school bus that was involved in a traffic accident. Following the incident, the child’s personal information, such as their birthday, home address and phone number, was made public.

House Bill 21
House Bill 21 requires community schools, instead of the school district itself, to confirm the residency of its students, which will improve accuracy for the allocation of state funds. Community schools must review residency records monthly and provide the Ohio Department of Education with an enrollment report annually.

House Bill 438
House Bill 438 improves policies governing Ohio’s educational service centers (ESC) in order to better serve local school districts. The bill allows governing boards of ESCs that serve only one county to add members to their governing board to represent the local school district that the ESC serves. This simply applies the same authority given to multi-county ESCs to single-county ESCs to ensure full and adequate representation on the board. It also allows a local school district to sever its territory from one ESC in order to join an adjacent ESC. This only applies to those districts who had previously taken these steps prior to 2011 through a portion of the Ohio Code that has since been repealed.



COLUMBUS—State Representative Keith Faber (R-Celina) applauded the passage of legislation that regulates and updates the management of e-schools by the Ohio House of Representatives. The legislation strives to provide transparency and accountability for taxpayers and for students and their families.

As of 2016, e-schools served about 180,000 students across the country, providing a non-traditional educational option for many families. The initiatives approved during yesterday’s House session seek to maintain this option for the families that need it, while also ensuring they are regulated appropriately as to provide quality education for Ohio’s students.

Recently, Rep. Faber and Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) championed House Bill 707, legislation that placed additional oversight and stronger guardrails around e-schools. A number of these provisions were then incorporated into Amended Substitute Senate Bill 216, sponsored by State Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima).

Provisions were also included in House Bill 87, a bill providing instructions for distributing funds returned by schools to the state, sponsored by Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson).
Both of these bills were approved by the full House yesterday.
“I am pleased the legislature promptly took up and implemented these provisions, and I encourage my colleagues to consider the remaining portions of these bills soon,” said Rep. Faber. “I look forward to meaningful discussions as to new funding models outlined in the amendments.”

The provisions placed into Am. Sub. S.B. 216 are as follows:
• Allows for liability indemnification to the state. This works to prevent a person from maintaining a “two-way” interest in both the state and the non-profit that runs the school.
• In an effort to improve communication and clarity between e-schools and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the bill creates a joint study committee to hear from witnesses across the state and the country on e-school best practices. The committee would consider an e-school funding system based on student competency. The committee would also examine current expense categories for financial disclosure statements.
• Reduces from 105 to 72 the number of consecutive hours of learning opportunities a community school student must fail to participate in before being automatically withdrawn from the school.
• This provision requires ODE to further define certain industry terms, including “documentation of online learning” and “idle time,” in order to create a more lucid and uniform standard across the state. These definitions will then be recommended to the Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC), which will coordinate with ODE for public hearings.

Provisions incorporated into H.B. 87 are as follows:
• Allows the Auditor of State to be consulted on ODE policies that pertain to e-school hardware and software. This provision allows the office to contribute to policy developments while eliminating the conflict of interest, as currently the auditor is required to be part of policy adoption on which the auditor also audits compliance.
• ODE will be required to create rules specifically regarding standards for learning management software utilized by e-schools.

These bills will now go to the governor for his consideration.

Ohio House Passes Legislation To Preserve Healthy Lake Erie
"Clean Lake 2020 Plan" invests $36 million toward supporting Ohio's Great Lake
June 28, 2018

COLUMBUS—Spearheaded by the work of State Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton), the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday passed Senate Bill 299, legislation that makes critical investments to support and preserve the health of Lake Erie and its tributaries.

“I was happy to vote in support of this legislation which is the product of many hours of hard work between myself, Senator Gardner, and stakeholders from the agriculture, environmental and manufacturing communities,” said Arndt, who sponsored companion legislation in the House with State Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and championed Senate Bill 299 through the committee process and on the House floor.

Senate Bill 299, also known as the “Clean Lake 2020 Plan,” provides more than $36 million in additional funding for a variety of programs aimed at supporting the lake and reducing toxic algae. Nearly two-thirds of that funding will go to the Department of Agriculture for soil and water conservation districts in the Lake Erie Basin and to the Water Phosphorous Program for activities such as soil testing, tributary monitoring, water and drainage management, and an agricultural phosphorous reduction loan program.

The remaining funding will be invested in the Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Sea Grant Program for the construction of a new lab space at the Stone Laboratory and to buy in-lake monitoring equipment.

“Lake Erie is one of Ohio's most precious resources and it is our responsibility to protect it, not only for ourselves, but most importantly for our children and grandchildren,” Arndt added.

“Senate Bill 299 is a piece of legislation that reflects our intent to be good stewards of the land and water while, prudently and simultaneously, using these resources to promote economic development,” said Rep. Patterson. “As one who represents a district that is tied to the lake, with a diverse agricultural economy dependent of the lake, I am honored to support this legislation and enthusiastic passage.”

Sponsored by State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), Senate Bill 299 passed both the House and Senate unanimously. It now awaits Governor John Kasich’s consideration.


COLUMBUS—State Representatives Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) and Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton) today applauded the House for passing legislation they jointly sponsored that provides another option to Ohio’s courts when dealing with juveniles charged with possessing sexually explicit digital material, or engaging in “sexting” with a minor.

The bill takes into account the growing dilemma of juveniles who engage in “sexting” with other juveniles and the charges that may be filed by prosecutors by law. House Bill 355 prohibits anyone under the age of 19 from creating, distributing, or possessing sexually explicit digital material that depicts a minor through a phone or computer.

The law serves as an alternative option for prosecutors when determining whether to charge the offender with a felony, which has lifelong implications, or nothing at all. Offenders under the age of 19, and in which the victim was less than four years younger than the offender and over the age of 13, would then be eligible for a charge which carries with it a mandatory diversion program, which would cover a host of issues related to sexting, educating our youth about the dangers of doing so.

Provisions were placed in the bill to ensure that prosecutors can charge a more serious offense under qualifying circumstances if they want to pursue a heightened charge, rather than the diversion program.

Rep. Hill introduced the legislation after an incident in his district where a young man committed suicide after he faced potentially felonious charges from sexting with his girlfriend. Rep. Hill hopes the bill will give these individuals a second chance. As scenarios differ case-by-case, House Bill 355 will give prosecutors more options to consider the facts of what happened and seek an appropriate punishment.

“I’m happy to see this bill pass that will give young people a second chance when they have made a stupid mistake,” Rep. Hill said. “I do not condone the activity, but I don’t believe a young person should be a felon or sex offender as a result of a first offense for sexting.”

Rep. Rezabek utilized his knowledge of the juvenile court system while working on the legislation, and hopes to allow prosecutors to save the felony charges for the truly heinous individuals who are preying on juveniles, and possessing or distributing child pornography.

“I’m very proud the House has passed this piece of legislation,” Rep. Rezabek said. “Along with Chairman Hill, we were able to see his vision through in helping juveniles who made a mistake to fix and correct their actions.”

The bill will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


COLUMBUS—State Representatives Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville) and John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) today announced passage of their bipartisan, jointly-sponsored legislation by the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 497 seeks to prevent instances of what is known as “revenge pornography” by penalizing nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images, as long as intent existed to harm the subject of the image. House Bill 497 also allows for civil action against the convicted offender.

Under the bill, civil action may be filed for a temporary restraining order or for such matters as compensatory damages and reasonable attorney’s fees. House Bill 497 also prevents an institution of higher learning from withholding financial assistance on the grounds that a student was a victim of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, and also prevents such institutions from disciplining that student for the same reason. The bill extends these protections to licensing authorities, preventing them from refusing to license or to renew a license for victims.

“This important legislation will make needed changes to our civil and criminal code to provide victims the resources to fight back and also deter others from being victims in the future,” Manning said.

“The outcome of the malicious distribution of private sexual images can cause a multitude of personal and professional issues, in addition to the humiliation and embarrassment a victim may feel when their most intimate exchanges are shared with the world,” said Rogers. “This legislation would join Ohio with these other states to extend protections to thousands of Ohioans who would otherwise have no legal protections in these cases.”

House Bill 497 classifies the first offense as a first degree misdemeanor, and under certain conditions, distributing material to juveniles would classify as a third degree misdemeanor. Under the bill, repeat offenses may also be classified as felonies in certain circumstances.

Having passed out of the House, House Bill 497 awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.


State Reps. Gavarone, Manning Announce Passage Of Bill Revising Ohio Teacher Evaluations
OTES updates aim to provide more accurate, helpful feedback
June 27, 2018

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville) and Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today applauded passage of their jointly-sponsored legislation by the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 540 seeks to create a more accurate, improved method for teacher evaluations, and requires the Ohio Department of Education to utilize the official recommendations of the Educator Standards Board to revise the current Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). The revised OTES would receive a one-year trial period.

“Updating these evaluations came as a result of recommendations from teachers, administrators, schools boards, higher education members and members of the General Assembly,” Rep. Gavarone said. “I am proud of the work that went into establishing these modifications that ensure educators will be provided with reliable and relevant information to help them meet the specific needs of their students.”

“House Bill 540 is much needed legislation that will streamline the process of how we evaluate our teachers in Lorain County and across Ohio,” Rep. Manning said. “This will allow teachers to focus more on the growth and educational development of their students rather than test scores, while also ensuring educators are properly assessed.”

The recommendations aim to create a process providing teachers with feedback that is specific and helpful, while more accurately reflecting necessary improvement. Among other updates to the OTES rubric, student growth would no longer count for 50 percent of an evaluation, but two kinds of “high quality” data utilized instead as measures of student learning.

Shared attribution would be removed from the rubric, deemed an inaccurate measurement of performance and student growth. Alternative framework components would be officially added, meaning teachers could still be evaluated by such indicators as student surveys and the need for a separate alternative framework eliminated.

The recommendations suggest that the timing and structure of observations be more in tune with teachers, encouraging them to focus on improvement and growth. ESB also says that teachers who are rated “accomplished” or “skilled” must be provided with off-year resources for professional growth, requiring them to attend conferences and to submit professional growth plans.

House Bill 540 was drafted in close partnership with the Ohio Education Association (OEA), ensuring prioritization of teachers’ needs. The bill is supported by the OEA and the Ohio Educator Standards Board. Having passed out of the House, House Bill 540 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.



COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today voted with bipartisan support for House Bill 572, legislation that allows county developmental disabilities board employees who perform full-time services in a school to be eligible for a full year of service with the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) if they are employed throughout the academic year, which is only nine months.

“These employees work tirelessly for disabled students and it is important that they continue to be granted the same service credit for their pension that teachers are,” said Scherer.

While these employees have been granted a full year of credit previously, it was recently determined that this was not a practice that was explicitly allowed in Ohio law. State Representatives Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) introduced the legislation in order to rectify the reversal of a 30-year policy.

“This bill was a provision included in another OPERS bill that I was asked to introduce in order to start a discussion,” Scherer explained. “After listening to many constituents and others throughout the state, I am pleased that the original bill is not moving forward. However, this issue in particular emerged as a common-sense policy that codifies a long standing practice which needs to be clarified in the law.”

According to committee testimony, by not making this change for these employees working for developmental disability boards, they must work 36 years to earn a full 30 years of service. By making these employees eligible for a full year of credit, the legislation establishes parity in the retirement service credit system.

House Bill 572 will now proceed to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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Legislation Increasing Collection Of Opioid-Related Data Clears Ohio House


COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today announced House passage of the Opioid Data and Communication Expansion Act, legislation she sponsored to increase data collection related to the opioid crisis. The bill was approved among several others after the House returned to work this week upon the election of a new Speaker.


Ohio House Approves Payday Lending Reform Legislation


COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation that reforms the state’s payday lending industry and is aimed at lowering interest rates on loans and helping borrowers avoid endless debt cycles.


State Rep. Sprague's Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Overtime For Hospital Nurses Clears Ohio House


COLUMBUS—State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) applauded the House passage of legislation he sponsored that prevents Ohio nurses from being forced to work mandatory overtime. Introduced in December of 2017, House Bill 456 seeks to protect nurses from being compelled to work overtime shifts under threat of discontinued employment or disciplinary action.


Ohio House Concurs On Senate Amendments To Bill Updating Child Support Guidelines


COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today concurred on Senate amendments to House Bill 366, legislation sponsored by State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green). The bill updates Ohio’s quarter-century-old child support guidelines.