Legislature Resumes End of January: The House and Senate have resumed Committee activity and will resume full Statehouse activity at the end of January. Priorities are likely to include:
• Capital Appropriations Bill: The bill will provide capital appropriations for FY 2021-2022 to fund maintenance and improvements to Ohio’s physical buildings and properties. Often, additional funding is available for community projects, and House Speaker Larry Householder has indicated that about $150 million will be available this budget cycle. The Legislature set a January 10 deadline for submissions for projects, and the bill should be passed by April 1.
Report of Regional Study Committee: The Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee issued a report December 12 containing recommendations to the Administration and General Assembly regarding economic development programs in Ohio. The report can be found at:
House Breaks for Year: The House held its last legislative session December 12 before breaking for the year. Among other bills passed by the House on its last day, HB 2 (the TechCred Program) was passed with the House approving the Conference Committee’s recommendations to resolve differences between the House and Senate. The House also unanimously approved HB 264 which will help local governments refinance loans for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
SB 1 REGULATIONS (McColley, R., Roegner, K.) This bill would require each state agency to reduce the regulatory restrictions contained in its rules by 30% by 2022, according to a schedule and criteria set forth in the bill. It also prohibits an agency from adopting new regulatory restrictions that would increase the percentage of restrictions in the agency’s rules and requires an agency that does not achieve a reduction in regulatory restrictions according to the required schedule to eliminate two restrictions before enacting a new rule containing a restriction. It allows the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) to lessen an agency’s required reduction in regulatory restrictions if the agency fails to meet a reduction goal and show cause why the agency’s required reduction should be lessened. Effective January 1, 2023, it limits the total number of regulatory restrictions that may be in effect in Ohio. The bill passed in the Senate May 8 and has been referred to the House State and Local Government Committee, where a first hearing occurred June 12.
HB 2 CREDENTIAL PROGRAMS (Cross, J., Lepore-Hagen, M.) This legislation introduced May 13 would provide $35 million in state funding in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for its programs, with funding allocated as follows:
– TechCred Program — $12.3 million a year to reimburse employers and individuals for training to receive a micro-credential, at the rate of $500-$2000 per credential;
– Industry Sector Partnerships Program — $2.5 million a year to support regional partnerships across the state, including a grant program to develop the partnerships and promote their mission.
The Bill was assigned to the House Economic & Workforce Development where several hearings occurred. An amendment was submitted June 5 that moved the TechCred application and due date to better align with education standards, better defined regional sector partnerships, removed audit authority from the bill, included race and gender demographic information gathering requirements, and barred employers with recent minimum wage violations. The revised bill passed in the House June 12 and was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where it was reported out of the Committee November 5 with the following amendments: