Tracked House Bills – June 2017

Jun 22, 2017Advocacy

Chris Schmenk.
Bricker & Eckler.

Updated information differing from last month is indicated in bold.

HB 10 – CROWDFUNDING  (Arndt, S.) – This bill was introduced in the House February 1 and would permit intrastate equity crowdfunding under certain circumstances.  The bill would provide an exemption from registration under the Ohio Securities Law for certain crowdfunding initiatives.  It was referred to the Financial Institutions, Housing & Urban Development Committee. A hearing was held on June 20.

HB 53 – UNION DUES/RIGHT TO WORK (Becker, J.) This bill was introduced in mid-February by Representative Pete Becker from Clermont County.  Co-sponsors include Representatives Hood, Brinkman, Dean, Thompson, Vitale, Goodman, Riedel, Roegner, Merrin, Antani, Zeltwanger and Keller.  It would remove any requirement under the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Law that public employees join or pay dues to any employee organization, prohibit public employers from requiring public employees to join or pay dues to any employee organization and prohibit an employee organization from being required to represent public employees who are not members of the employee organization.  The bill was referred Feb. 14 to the House Finance Committee.  No hearings have yet occurred.

HB 69 – TIF DISTRICTS (Cupp, R.) – This legislation was introduced February 15 and would require reimbursement of certain township fire and emergency medical service levy revenue forgone because of the creation of a municipal tax increment financing district.  The board of township trustees may, by resolution, waive the application of the reimbursement or negotiate with the municipal corporation that created the district for a lesser amount of payments in lieu of taxes.  In sponsor testimony, Representative Robert Cupp said the bill will assist townships that provide fire, emergency medical and ambulance services to both the township and to a municipal corporation located within the township that does not provide its own.  This bill gives townships the choice of collecting the reimbursement, waiving it, or negotiating a partial reimbursement of the money the levy would have raised but for the TIF, Representative Cupp explained. The bill only applies prospectively and to TIFs created by municipal corporations where townships provide the fire, emergency, or rescue services.  The bill was referred to the House State and Local Government Committee, where four hearings have occurred.  It was amended May 9 with grandfathering language that clarifies the bill does not impact pre-existing TIF agreements.

HB 102 – SCHOOL FUNDING  (Brenner, A.) – This bill, introduced March 1 and referred to the House Finance Committee, would replace locally levied school district property taxes with a statewide property tax and require recipients of certain tax exemptions to reimburse the state for such levy revenue lost due to those exemptions.  It would also increase the state sales and use tax rates and allocate additional revenue to state education purposes; to repeal school district income taxes; require the Treasurer of State to issue general obligation bonds to refund certain school district debt obligations; create a new system of funding schools where the state pays a specified amount per student that each student may use to attend the public or chartered nonpublic school of the student’s choice, without the requirement of a local contribution; eliminate the School Facilities Commission; eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program, Pilot Project Scholarship Program, Autism Scholarship Program, and Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program; eliminate interdistrict open enrollment; require educational service centers to transport students on a countywide basis, and permit school districts to enter into a memoranda of understanding for one district to manage another. It was referred to the House Finance Committee, where a hearing was scheduled for June 20.

HB 114 – RENEWABLE ENERGY (Blessing, L.) – This bill, introduced March 8, is very similar to last year’s HB 554 except it would: convert the renewable energy standards to goals indefinitely, rather than for a two year period; permit residential customers of a distribution utility or electric services company to opt out of any rider, charge or other recovery mechanism designed to recoup the cost of renewable energy; clarify that renewables are bypassable charges, rather than nonbypassable charges, and specify that the 12.5% renewable energy goal to be attained by 2027 will end at that time and not continue indefinitely. The bill passed in the House March 30 and now moves to the Senate, where it may face more difficulty in earning the support of 20 senators needed to override the veto Governor Kasich has already all but guaranteed. The bill was referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where hearings occurred June 7 and 14th.  Committee chairman Senator Troy Balderson has said that changes could be made to the House bill to make it more palatable to the Governor’s Administration.  If the bill is not ready for a committee and Senate floor vote later in June, it is likely to be taken up again this fall.

HB 122 – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – (Hambley, S., Rogers, J.)  Introduced March 9, this bill would establish a Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee to study the benefits and challenges involved in creating regional economic development alliances. Senate Bill 97 is a companion to this bill.  The bill is relatively simple in that it creates a study committee to look at the pros and cons to establishing regional economic development alliances.  The committee is made up of 3 members of the House; 3 members of the Senate; the Governor, or his designee; 2 persons from academia engaged in a relevant field of study (appointed by the co-chairs of the committee); 2 economic development professionals (appointed by co-chairs of the committee); and the chair of the Regional Prosperity Initiative (or their designee) as a nonvoting member.  Specifically the committee is charged with studying enhancing collaboration for successful regional economic development; shared services; and also the mobilization of resources among alliance members. The committee is directed to consult with county commissioners, township trustees, city councils and mayors, members of statewide and regional organizations that represent political subdivision, and members of chambers of commerce.  This bill passed the House and initial indications were that its provisions would become part of the state budget bill in the Senate.  This has not occurred but hearings on the companion bill, SB 97 have started in the Senate.

HB 155 – COMMERCIAL VEHICLE TRAINING (Sprague, R., Howse, S.) – This bill was introduced March 23 and would authorize a nonrefundable tax credit to be taken against either personal income tax or commercial activity tax liability for expenses incurred by an employer to train a commercial vehicle operator.  Under the proposed program, employers would submit to the Director of the Development Services Agency, by December 1, eligible training expenses expected to be incurred during the next calendar year. The ODSA Director would then certify up to $50,000 per employer of such expenses as being eligible for tax credits.  After incurring eligible training expenses, employers could then apply to ODSA for tax credits in amounts equal to one-half of the incurred eligible expenses.  On May 1, it was referred to the House Ways & Means Committee and a first hearing with sponsor’s testimony occurred May 16.

HB 173 – TAX CREDITS (LaTourette, S., Patton, T.) – This bill was introduced April 5 and would provide that compensation paid to certain home-based employees may be counted for purposes of an employer qualifying for and complying with the terms of a Job Creation Tax Credit.   It was referred on May 1 to the House Ways & Means Committee and a first hearing with sponsor’s testimony occurred May 9.

HB 203 – SUMMER JOBS (Barnes, J.) – This bill, introduced May 9, would require the Director of Development Services to establish a youth summer jobs pledging initiative to increase access to summer employment opportunities for high school and college youth. It was referred to the House Higher Education & Workforce Development where a first hearing with sponsor’s testimony occurred May 31.