Earlier this month, Ohio legislation became effective that removes doubt as to the enforceability of electronic signatures, records, and contracts that are secured through blockchain technology. The amendment makes Ohio one of only a few states to expressly identify blockchain technology in its laws – positioning Ohio as a blockchain-friendly state for a technology, around which both regulatory and business uncertainty loom due to its infancy and breadth of potential applications.
Ashley Manfull, an attorney in the Akron office and a member of the labor and employment group, authored an article titled “Unpaid Interns and Volunteers: An Effective Way to Reduce Costs for Public Employers?” for The International Public Management Association for HR’s HR News Magazine.
The Supreme Court of Ohio recently released its opinion in White v. King,expressly expanding the definition of a “meeting” under Ohio’s Open Meetings Act to include discussions that occur “telephonically, by video conference, or electronically by email, text, or other form of communication.”
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.
On January 8, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated the government’s False Claims Act (FCA) claims in United States v. Triple Canopy, Inc., No. 13-2190. In reversing the district court’s dismissal of the government’s case, the Fourth Circuit highlighted, both explicitly and implicitly, the importance of the government’s decision to intervene in the case.
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.
President Obama has signed yet another executive order changing the rules of the road for government contractors. Following on the heels of executive orders regarding minimum wage, compensation discrimination, and discussion of wages, the most recent executive action prohibits government contractors from discriminating against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The president signed this executive order on July 21, 2014. It amends Executive Order 11246, the law setting forth affirmative action requirements for covered federal contractors and subcontractors.
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.
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.
With the recent commencement of the 130th Ohio General Assembly, 2013 is already shaping up to be a pivotal year for Ohio tax issues. With that in mind, the Vorys state and local tax team and the Vorys governmental relations team present the Top Ten Tax Topics to Watch for in 2013.