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House Committees Begin Hearings on Bills to Modernize Police and Fire Pension Fund, Exempt Certain Information from Public Record for First Responders

October 26, 2023
Thomas Hall News

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COLUMBUS—Two pieces of legislation sponsored by State Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) this week received first hearings in House committees.

House Bill 296 will ensure the long-term stability of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund by increasing employer contributions. Specifically, the bill will increase employer contributions for police to 24% by January 1st, 2027, aligning police with fire.

“As legislators we are often responding to crisis,” said Hall during sponsor testimony. “This legislation lets us implement a sound fiscal solution before we find ourselves in the middle of an emergency. It also assures that we fulfill our promise to tens of thousands of police and firefighters across Ohio.”

House Bill 265 will exempt certain sensitive information about first responders from disclosure under public records law and will clarify additional information protected under the Ohio Revised Code. Documents such as work schedules, redaction request forms, and affidavits of Ohio’s first responders will be protected from public use.

“Many of these documents contain sensitive and personal information, such as addresses, that may put not only first responders, but their entire families at risk,” said Hall. “This critical legislation will protect those who spend their days, and even sacrifice their lives, to protect our families and our communities.”

House Bill 296 awaits further consideration by the House Pensions committee and House Bill 265 by the House Civil Justice Committee.