Members of the Ohio House and Senate concluded their formal work schedule for 2015 last week with a flurry of activity aimed at finalizing pending legislative issues before heading back to their respective districts for the holidays. They are expected to return to Columbus January 20th for a very limited schedule prior to the March 15th Primary Election.
As the deadline for passage of Ohio’s budget bill looms, a House-Senate Conference Committee worked over the weekend and is expected to meet to report a compromise version of House Bill 64, the state’s two-year main operating budget bill, by mid-week.
Members of the 130th Ohio General Assembly officially finished their business and headed home after the conclusion of a lengthy Ohio House floor session December 17. The hectic final days were notable both for the legislation that passed as well as for some high profile bills that did not pass.
The latest edition of the Ohio Statehouse Update covers two high profile pieces of legislation that were passed this spring, as well as ongoing legislative committee hearings and meetings regarding pending bills and policy issues.
Legislators returned to Columbus this week after the Memorial Day weekend for what is likely their last two weeks of work before they break for the summer.
Several high profile bills are scheduled for action before the summer break. They include SB 310, a controversial measure to put a two-year freeze on renewable and alternative energy standards, and HB 483, one of the Mid Biennial Budget Review (MBR) bills introduced by Governor John Kasich earlier this year.
The state’s two-year Capital Appropriations measure, House Bill 497, was introduced in the Ohio House on March 18. This year’s Capital Bill allocates $2.39 billion, largely bond-backed funding for brick-and-mortar construction and renovation projects for state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts. Also, for the first time in six years, the Capital Bill goes beyond funding construction and renovation needs for state-owned properties, providing approximately $160 million in funding for additional “community projects” identified as priorities across various regions of the state.
Governor John R. Kasich announced new policy initiatives relating to education, workforce development and tax reform at his Monday night State of the State address in Medina. His proposals will be presented to the legislature as part of the Mid-Biennial Budget Review (MBR). The timetable for introduction of the MBR remains uncertain.
On December 4, 2013, House Bill 375 (the Bill) was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly. If enacted, the Bill would make several significant changes to Ohio’s existing oil and gas severance tax laws. The most significant proposed changes in the Bill are summarized in this alert.
Just like the students who head back to school in August and the birds that start their journey south for the winter, legislators began their migration to Columbus in September. And your U. S. senators and congressmen are back at work in Washington.
Last night on a 4-2 party line vote the Conference Committee on House Bill 59, led by the chairmen of the House and Senate Finance Committees, Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) and Sen. Scott Oelslager (R-Canton), reported a compromise version of the state’s biennial budget bill that will now head to the House and Senate floor for a final vote to accept the changes.
The Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee accepted a substitute version of House Bill 59, the state’s biennial budget bill, at a hearing yesterday afternoon. Among numerous significant changes in the bill, the substitute legislation removes Governor Kasich’s proposed tax reforms and replaces them with an across the board 7% income tax reduction, and removes the proposed expansion of Medicaid that was projected to leverage $2.4 billion in federal funds to provide coverage for uninsured Ohioans over the next two years.
On Thursday, the Ohio General Assembly concluded its business for the 2011-2012 legislative session. The House and Senate debated a number of important measures during the fast-paced "Lame Duck"session following the November general election.
With the November 6 General Election only five weeks away, the political campaign season is kicking into high gear. Here is a preview of the major candidate races and issues that will be on the ballot in Ohio.
The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission held its first meeting on September 13, 2012. The Commission was created through the passage of House Bill 188 earlier this year, and is tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the Ohio Constitution, and making recommendations to the General Assembly regarding changes to the Constitution, including recommendations for changes to the process for proposing constitutional amendments.
Every 10 years, following the census, the Ohio Apportionment Board is tasked with redrawing Ohio’s House and Senate districts to reflect changes in population. The Ohio legislative districts must include 99 House Districts and 33 Senate Districts.