Message from Beth -- May 21, 2020
What’s going on at the Ohio Statehouse
The Ohio General Assembly reconvened in May to continue work on unfinished bills, new initiatives and the reappropriations bill. Below is a brief synopsis of issues being addressed by the House, Senate and Administration:
Reappropriations Bill (HB 670): A reappropriations bill allows any unspent dollars from prior Capital Bill appropriations to be carried forward into the next fiscal biennium. There are no “new” appropriations, however both OFCC and OPWC will be allowed to continue under this bill. The House version would allow funding for previously approved construction projects focused on health, safety and jobs to continue.
The Ohio Senate is planning a reappropriations measure indicating last week the proposal would total more than $1 billion in bonded funding, a different approach from the House. Both chambers indicated a reappropriations bill will be ready for enactment on July 1, 2020 (new fiscal year).
Civil Immunity Bills (SB 308/HB 606): Grant coronavirus exposure liability protections to all employers in the Buckeye State. There are subtle differences between the legislation, but both will have a positive impact on Ohio’s business community if enacted.
CARES ACT funding to local governments (SB 310): Appropriates $350 million of funding allocated to the state from the federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act”(CARES Act) to counties, municipalities, and townships to fund their necessary COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses.
Tax Amnesty (HB 609): Creates a three-month window beginning January 1 in which delinquent filers in 18 tax categories can pay up without penalty or accrued interest. Taxes and fees due after the measure's effective date would not qualify.
Unemployment System Review (HB 614): To study and reform the application, processing, and administration infrastructure of Ohio's unemployment compensation system.
New Health Order: this week Governor DeWine announced an “Urgent Health Advisory” replacing the Stay Safe Ohio order. Click here for details.
State Budget Cuts: The OBM Director provided details on the administration's $775 million budget reduction plan for remainder of this fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. Click here for details. It is likely additional budget cuts may be needed as the new fiscal year which starts on July 1.
Ohio Lawmakers who supported user fee: All 61 legislators who voted for an increase in funding in the transportation budget all moving onto general election. See details here
As always, feel free to contact me with questions.