Last week, Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and members of the leadership team unveiled legislative priorities for the 131st General Assembly, and 23 new House bills were introduced.
Priority legislation highlighted by House leadership during a press conference includes the bills outlined below.
House Bill 1, introduced by Representatives Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), establishes the Workforce Grant Program, which will provide up to $5,000 to students and allow an income tax credit equal to 25 percent of a student’s loan payments for participating students. Students must complete three months of training in an in-demand field and graduate with a certificate or degree to qualify for the tax credit.
House Bill 2 addresses recent reports about problems with Ohio’s charter schools. Introduced by Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), the bill aims to bring transparency and accountability to these schools by banning school sponsors from selling services to the schools they sponsor and from prohibiting schools from “sponsor hopping” in an effort to remain open.
Representatives Tim Derickson (R-Oxford) and Mark Romanchuk (R-Mansfield) introduced House Bill 3 to reduce the business filing fee from $125 to $99.
Representatives Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Twp) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) introduced House Bill 6 to extend the period of limitations for commencing prosecution for rape or sexual battery against a person implicated in the offense by DNA analysis.
Finally, House Bill 8 was introduced by Representatives Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) and Tim Ginter (R-Salem) to revise Ohio’s oil and gas law with respect to unit operation. The bill will require unit operation of land for which the Ohio Department of Transportation owns mineral rights and specifies the formula to be used for valuing all oil and gas reserves for property tax purposes.
Several bills from the 130th General Assembly were reintroduced for further consideration, including House Bill 10 to make changes to private attorney contracting with the state, House Bill 14 to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol, and House Bill 18 to prohibit manufactured homes park operators and others from restricting the display of the United States and military service flags.
Today, Governor John Kasich unveiled his draft of the State Operating Budget for fiscal years 2016-2017 and legislative attention will largely turn to the budget process.