Skip to main content
State Seal State Seal State Seal
Home Button Home Button Home Button

Patton Votes to Support Coronavirus-Response Bill

March 26, 2020
Thomas F. Patton News

State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) voted today to support House Bill 197, which enacts key measures to address many issues that have been affected during the time of the coronavirus. Patton was a cosponsor of the legislation, as both chambers passed the bill and now it moves onto the Governor.

“We have many people concerned over the coronavirus outbreak,” said Patton. “I am hoping that everyone saw today a unified government during this time of need as today’s bill is a first fix to address the many concerns our public has as we all work through this pandemic.”

The emergency legislation passed under House Bill 197 addressed many issues, including:

- Testing & Accountability – Eliminates state-mandated K-12 student assessments for the 2019-20 school year. It eliminates Ohio’s school district and school building report cards for the 2019-20 school year, prohibits ODE from assigning letter grades to buildings or districts, prohibits rankings based on report card data and creates “safe harbor” for schools and districts to ensure data from the 2019-20 school year will have no effect in determining sanctions or penalties. The proposal directs ODE to seek a waiver from federal testing requirements.

- EdChoice Scholarship – The bill freezes the 2019-20 performance-based EdChoice building eligibility list at 517 buildings for the 2020-21 school year. The legislation allows siblings of current voucher students to participate. Under continuing law, the EdChoice application portal will open for 60 days beginning April 1, 2020, to process income-based EdChoice vouchers, renewals of existing performance-based vouchers, and new students attending the 517 buildings already on the list. The bill prohibits expansion of the building list to 1,227 buildings.

- 2020 Primary Election – The primary election in-person voting was cancelled due to the public health crisis. Ohioans that were eligible to vote on March 17, 2020, will be able to cast their ballot by mail on or before April 28, 2020. Those Ohioans that cast their ballot early will have their vote count. The Ohio Secretary of State will mail all voters a postcard informing them on how they will be able to request their ballot by mail from their local county Board of Elections. The board will send them their ballot and a postage paid return envelope.

- Tax Year 2019 and 2020 Changes - Ohio’s tax filing deadline will be the same as the federal filing deadline, July 15.

The legislation also addressed other areas of concern including unemployment compensation, health care workforce support, child care access, and more.