Ohio House Passes Driver's License Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative
HB 336 offers reprieve for certain Ohioans with suspended licenses
December 13, 2017
 
 
COLUMBUS - 

The Ohio House today approved House Bill 336, legislation sponsored by State Representatives Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) and John Barnes (D-Cleveland), to help decrease the high number of Ohioans with suspended driver’s licenses.


The short-term program is intended to help indigent Ohioans who are unable to afford the reinstatement fee or fines that they have accrued throughout their license suspension. According to bill sponsors, many of these individuals continue to drive, risking further financial repercussion for either themselves or other drivers on the road.


“It is our goal to create a reasonable, practical, and measured attempt to make sure that Ohioans are legal to drive with a valid driver’s license and insurance while driving through our neighborhoods and on our interstates,” said Greenspan.


The “Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative” would establish a temporary six-month debt reduction and waiver program for individuals who had their licenses suspended for a variety of reasons, with the exception of offenses involving alcohol, drugs or a deadly weapon.


The program would set up certain eligibility requirements for a fee reduction or waiver, including the following: that the individual’s suspension has been in effect for at least 18 months, the individual is indigent, and the individual has completed all court-ordered sanctions other than paying the reinstatement fee.


House Bill 336 seeks to help Ohioans who may not have the extra funds to pay the fees and are trying to get back on their feet. The bill would incentivize individuals to legally reinstate their license, keep their insurance coverage, and prevent them from continuing to drive on a suspended license.


House Bill 336 is a Buckeye Pathway bill that received bipartisan approval in today’s House floor vote. The legislation now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Representatives Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) and Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) today announced that the Ohio House concurred with Senate amendments to legislation that will expand computer science opportunities to K-12 and allow Ohio high school students to choose computer science instead of classes like geology and Algebra II as graduation requirements. House Bill 170 is supported by some of the biggest tech companies and national computer science organizations, such as Google and Code.org.


The bill will put Ohio ahead of many other states in promoting computer science education as one option for high school graduation. The legislation leaves the ultimate decision up to locally elected school boards, who may choose to still require Algebra II or any other class for graduation.


House Bill 170 will require the State Board of Education to adopt academic content standards and model curriculum for computer science. Schools will not be mandated to adopt the standards or curriculum. Under the bill, students could elect to take a computer science course in lieu of Algebra II, physical science courses such as geology, and as an elective in high school. The Senate included an amendment requiring parents to sign a form acknowledging that should their student substitute this course, they may not be eligible to attend certain higher education institutions.


“I’m deeply grateful to both the Ohio Senate for their unanimous vote on Amended House Bill 170 and to my House colleagues for their concurrence today,” said Carfagna. “While other states and countries may have a head start towards offering more computer science courses to K-12 students, I’m proud to say that Ohio has made a bipartisan jump today towards preparing our children for the 21st century workforce.  Today’s vote gives our districts the discretion and framework to offer more technology classes, while giving students the flexibility to count computer science classes towards their graduation requirements.”


The bill also provides opportunities for teachers who currently hold a valid teaching license or an endorsement in computer technology to teach computer science courses. In addition, schools will be able to create a “Technology and Computer Science” matching fund to attract private-sector donations that could be used for professional development or equipment.


“By allowing computer science classes to count toward graduation, we are providing increased freedom to Ohio students to pursue their own career path,” said Duffey. “This will also encourage Ohio schools to hire CS teachers, since they are also obviously driven in their hiring practices by state graduation requirements.”


House Bill 170, a part of the Ohio House Republican Caucus’ “Buckeye Pathway” agenda, now awaits the Governor’s consideration.

 
 
  
Columbus - 

State Representatives Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) today announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation creating standards for the use of credit and debit cards by political subdivisions, which he joint sponsored with Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton).


Current law in Ohio lacks a uniform policy across the state regarding the use of credit and debit cards by local government entities. House Bill 312 would require political subdivisions to follow certain procedures—including adopting a comprehensive policy, conducting a periodic review, and providing itemized receipts—for credit cards.


“House Bill 312 provides transparent, accountable, and practical safeguards to protect the integrity of our local communities, and the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars is paramount to building and sustaining the public’s trust,” said Greenspan.


The bill requires the name of the political subdivision to appear on each credit card and check related to its account. Additionally, these entities, including counties, must report any rewards accrued from credit cards annually to the Auditor of State. House Bill 312 also generally prohibits the use of debit card accounts by local governments except for law enforcement purposes.


House Bill 312, which seeks to protect taxpayer dollars and encourage responsible spending, now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

 
 
  
Columbus - 

During today’s House session, State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) was unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as House Assistant Majority Whip, following the departure of Rep. Robert McColley, who has been appointed to the Ohio Senate.


“It’s a pleasure to welcome Rep. Reineke to our leadership team,” Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said. “During his time in the House, Bill has been a steadfast champion for small businesses and working families throughout his district and across the state. His level-headed demeanor and commitment to looking at policy both critically and thoroughly will be a tremendous fit for our leadership team in the House.


“I look forward to working as a member of the leadership team to advance the creation and retention of jobs and other issues to move our state forward as the best place to live and work,” Rep. Reineke said. “Thank you to the Speaker and leadership team for their confidence in me.”


Rep. Reineke serves the 88th Ohio House District, which includes all of Sandusky County and portions of Seneca County. With an extensive background in business, Rep. Reineke has championed various initiatives that focus on job creation, workforce development and economic growth in the state of Ohio. 

 
 
  
Columbus - 

State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation that will enhance efficiency in the way Seneca County courts address low-level drug offenses.


House Bill 354, which Reineke sponsored, establishes a pilot program that consolidates certain drug court proceedings for the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court and the Seneca County Court of Common Pleas, both of which are now located in the same building. Because Seneca County is predominantly rural, both courts see the same defendants and deal with the same kind of drugs and issues, regardless of jurisdiction.


The legislation applies only in situations when 1) the court finds that the offender’s addiction to a drug of abuse was the primary factor leading to the offender’s commission of the offense charged, and 2) the offender is admitted to participate in the “Participating in Victory of Transition” (PIVOT) drug recovery program.


“House Bill 354 is an extremely important, collaborative, and innovative bill for Seneca County to combat the opioid crisis,” Reineke said. “The pilot program, PIVOT, between the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court and the Seneca County Court of Common Pleas is an admirable example of accountable and responsive service to the citizens of Seneca County and I applaud Judge Shuff, Judge Kelbley, and Judge Repp for their leadership.”


HB 354 only consolidates the jurisdiction of the two courts in cases of low-level drug offenses. The legislation does not provide concurrent jurisdiction in nearly any other criminal actions or proceedings.


The pilot program will operate for five years, at which time the General Assembly can choose to extend the program, make it permanent, or let it expire.


HB 354 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  
Columbus - 

State Representatives Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) and Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) today announced that the Ohio House passed House Concurrent Resolution 10, which condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and brings attention to incidents of anti-Semitism at college campuses in Ohio.


House Concurrent Resolution 10 aims to reinforce the relationship Ohio has with Israel by strengthening ties and increasing collaboration with the country through business, government, the arts, culture and education. The resolution also works to raise awareness about recent events across the nation where anti-Semitic sentiments and the BDS movement have been promoted on college campuses.  In an effort to protect students’ right to free speech, the resolution also urges university administrators to discipline any faculty, staff or students who violate free speech at colleges and universities in Ohio. 


“I am privileged to lead this resolution to passage in the Ohio House with my joint sponsor, Rep. Greenspan,” Rep. Thompson said. “I know how important it is for Israel and for its many friends in Ohio, especially on our college campuses.”


“This resolution sends a strong message to our state and federal leaders that the General Assembly supports peace, justice, equality, democracy and human rights for all people in the Middle East and in the United States and that we condemn all attacks against the people of Israel and those who support Israel – regardless of their national origin, religion or beliefs,” said Rep. Greenspan.


House Concurrent Resolution 10 now heads to the Senate for further consideration. 

 
 
  
Columbus - 

The Ohio House today voted in favor of the “POW/MIA Remembrance Act” which would expand the use of the POW/MIA military flag at certain state buildings. The legislation would require that the flag, used to honor military individuals who are prisoners of war or missing in action, be flown at state operated buildings on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veterans’ Day.


“We owe our freedom and the survival of this American Experiment to the sacrifice of these individuals,” said State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster), who sponsored the legislation. “This legislation is a small act to recognize these individuals’ service to our great nation.”


Wiggam was approached with the idea to introduce the legislation by a constituent and resident of Wayne County. The constituent wanted to encourage more recognition throughout the state for servicemen and women who served in the armed forces but never made it home.


Current federal law already requires federal buildings, such as the U.S. Post Office, to fly the POW/MIA flag on the six days listed above.


The “POW/MIA Remembrance Act,” also known as House Bill 254, passed with a unanimous vote and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  
Columbus - 

The Ohio House of Representatives today passed a resolution expressing support for the Hyperloop Transportation Initiative.


After outlining Ohio’s rich history, innovation and modernization in the field of transportation, House Resolution 236 details how the Hyperloop Transportation Initiative can help increase connectivity between businesses and people throughout Ohio and the Midwest. The initiative “would have a significant positive impact on Ohio’s economy and infrastructure,” the resolution states.


A hyperloop is a high-speed concept capable of transporting freight and passengers at speeds of upwards of 700 miles per hour. Columbus was recently named a top-ten finalist in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. The winners of the challenge will collaborate with the Hyperloop One development teams to explore the creation of the world’s first hyperloop in their regions.


“Building on the selection of Columbus as the nation’s first Smart City in June of 2016, the Hyperloop One Global Challenge represents an exceptional opportunity for Ohio to further its status as one of the world’s leaders in advanced transportation technology,” said State Representative Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington), the resolution’s sponsor.


The Midwest Connect Proposal would connect Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh that would give passengers the ability to travel amongst the three cities at unprecedented speeds (Columbus to Chicago in about 24 minutes; Columbus to Pittsburgh in about 20 minutes.) Some estimates expect the hyperloop would support 1.9 million annual passenger trips and about $3.8 billion in annual cargo demand by 2040.

 
 
  
Columbus - 

State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation strengthening the law on pyramid promotional schemes.


House Bill 329 works to protect consumers against scams by drawing a line between direct selling companies and pyramid schemes. The bill clarifies current law, seeking to mitigate confusion among the public between legitimate direct selling companies and pyramid schemes looking to defraud consumers.


“I am pleased to see this common-sense consumer reform bill pass with overwhelming support today,” said Representative Pelanda. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to continue moving House Bill 329 forward.”


Specifically, the bill will clarify enforcement against pyramid schemes, differentiate legal income earning opportunities, and establish direct selling companies as legitimate business practices. A violation of the prohibition of a pyramid promotional scheme is considered a deceptive act in connection with a consumer transaction, an infringement of the Consumer Sales Practice Act.


House Bill 329 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

 
 
  
 
Ohio House Passes "Ohio High School Career Opportunity Act"
HB 98 gives skilled trades and other recruiters two opportunities per year to speak with students in grades 9-12
November 30, 2017
 
 
COLUMBUS - 

The Ohio House unanimously passed legislation Wednesday to guarantee the skilled trades and other kinds of career recruiters (medical centers, universities, manufacturers, military recruiters, etc.) a minimum of two opportunities per year to speak with Ohio students in grades 9-12 about potential career paths. Ohio’s public school districts will not be able to outright refuse access, although they would be able to establish an application process for employers and recruiters.


Sponsored by State Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Kristen Boggs (D-Columbus), the legislation is actively supported by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, various skilled trade groups, manufacturing companies and even a director of talent acquisition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, all of whom say Ohio schools have not always welcomed these recruiters.


“Right now, it is very easy for an Ohio high school to simply ignore a recruiter, because there’s no law giving them a right to speak with students,” said Rep. Duffey, who also chairs the Ohio House Higher Education and Workforce Development committee. “And frankly, there’s a lot of pressure to send every student to college. However, that is an unrealistic goal. It’s time to encourage conversations with students about the many high paying jobs that exist in the skilled trades – many of which require no college debt and often pay surprisingly high wages utilizing on-the-job training. ”


Duffey began working on this legislation after attending a Columbus Metropolitan Club presentation on June 20, 2015 at which then Columbus Chamber President Michael Dalby presided. Panelists included Karen Bryer, director of talent acquisition at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center as well as Dennis Duffey (no relation to Rep. Duffey), secretary-treasurer of the Ohio State Building Construction Trades Council.  During that panel session, each panelist expressed frustration that Ohio’s high schools could be unhelpful in providing access to students to speak about careers.


“This bill will provide Ohio students the opportunity to learn about career opportunities immediately available upon graduation,” Rep. Boggs said.  “As college costs soar, it’s incredibly important for young adults to know all of their options so they can construct a pathway to success that best fits their life.”


Under current Ohio law, Ohio high schools can refuse access for nearly all recruiters, leaving public universities, trade schools and military recruiters without an appeal process.


The Ohio House passed HB 98 with a unanimous vote. The legislation now heads to the Ohio Senate for possible committee hearings and floor vote.

 
 
  
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Rep. Reineke Elected To Serve On Majority Caucus Leadership Team

 
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During today’s House session, State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) was unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as House Assistant Majority Whip, following the departure of Rep. Robert McColley, who has been appointed to the Ohio Senate. 



 
 

Legislation Allowing For Multi-Jurisdictional Seneca County Drug Court Passes Ohio House

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation that will enhance efficiency in the way Seneca County courts address low-level drug offenses.



 
 

Reps. Thompson, Greenspan Applaud Passage Of Bill Affirming Ohio's Ties With Israel

 
Columbus - 

State Representatives Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) and Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) today announced that the Ohio House passed House Concurrent Resolution 10, which condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and brings attention to incidents of anti-Semitism at college campuses in Ohio.