Current Issues, Bills & Statuses

“Hot Issues” bills followed by OASBO
Prepared by: Barbara Shaner
Report created on March 19, 2018

COMMUNITY SCHOOL ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION (HAMBLEY S) Regarding verification of community school enrollments.
Current Status:
2/28/2018 - Senate Education, (Third Hearing)
Comments: OASBO, along with OSBA & BASA, worked with the bill sponsor to amend HB 21 to address concerns about community school students' residences. The current version of the bill puts more responsibility on charter schools for maintaining student residency information. Community schools would adopt a policy for what constitutes students' residencies, and they need to update/confirm the residency information on an annual basis. The sponsor agreement with the community school will also need to address policies on updating student residency. 

The bill does not change school districts' ability to verify residencies, and the goal is for the new residency requirements for community schools to provide more residency information available. 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARDS (SCHURING K, GREENSPAN D) Regarding use of credit cards and debit cards by political subdivisions.
Current Status:
3/21/2018 - Senate Government Oversight and Reform, (Third Hearing)
Comments: The OASBO Auditor of State(AOS) Advisory Committee first met in November, 2016 with representatives from the State Auditor's office to discuss an AOS proposal aimed at putting more guardrails around school district credit card use. That initial discussion included possible Ohio Revised Code (ORC) parameters around what credit cards could be used for, spending limits on school district credit cards and more specific hands-on responsibility for boards of education with the use of credit cards.

As a result of the feedback from the OASBO committee, the AOS stepped back and re-evaluated the proposal. Before HB 312 was introduced in the House, OASBO, OSBA and BASA were asked to weigh in. After further discussion, changes were made to the original proposal. The OASBO committee met with the AOS legislative staff again in November, 2017 to discuss the bill and continue to provide input. 

OASBO, OSBA and BASA presented "interested party" testimony in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee on October 17th utilizing comments from OASBO members. Two OASBO members also  presented testimony in the House committee. 

A substitute version of the bill was accepted by the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on March 14th. Click here for a summary of the substitute bill provisions. 

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER DEFINITION (PATTERSON J, LATOURETTE S) To define the necessary qualifications and responsibilities of school resource officers.

Current Status: 3/6/2018 - Re-Referred to Committee

LOCAL TAX ISSUES-ELECTION DATES (MERRIN D) To permit local tax-related proposals to appear only on general and primary election ballots and not on an August special election ballot and to modify the information conveyed in election notices and ballot language for property tax levies.
Current Status:
2/27/2018 - BILL AMENDED, House Government Accountability and Oversight, (Fourth Hearing)
Comments: The bill would change the ballot wording for school levies describing the taxes generated by the levy as, "...expressed in dollars 
for each one hundred thousand dollars of fair market value and in mills for each one dollar of taxable value."

Current law for ballot language states the taxes in terms of "...expressed in cents or dollars and cents for each one hundred 
dollars of tax valuation and in mills for each one dollar of tax taxable value."

The stated purpose of this change is to modernize the language to something that is better understood by voters.

Sub. HB 342 would also eliminate the August Special Election option unless the term of the levy is five years or less. 

Currently, districts are permitted to make decisions about whether to use an August Special Election, taking into account 
the election costs the district will bear as well as trends on levy success, etc. By eliminating a tool that districts can use if 
needed, the bill takes away flexibility for local boards. 

PROPERTY VALUE CONTEST-RESOLUTIONS (MERRIN D) To require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners.
Current Status:
 1/16/2018 - REPORTED OUT, House Ways and Means, (Seventh Hearing)
Comments: This bill requires that a school district cannot file a challenge on the real properties the district believes are valued too low unless the board of education first adopts a resolution authorizing the filing of the complaint (or counter complaint) at a public meeting. The board can adopt one or more of these resolutions in a single vote. 

Before adopting the resolution, the board must send written notice by ordinary or certified mail to the property owner's last known property tax mailing address and, if different, to the property's street address. The notice must declare the intent of the board or legislative authority to adopt the resolution and the proposed date of adoption and, if the resolution is initiating a complaint, the basis for the complaint. The notice must be postmarked at least seven business days before the resolution is scheduled to be adopted (i.e., seven days not counting weekends and legal holidays). 

HB 343 was passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee but has not yet been brought to a floor vote by the full House.

TAXES ON UNSOLD PROPERTY (MERRIN D) To exempt from property taxation the increased value of land subdivided for residential development until construction commences or the land is sold.
Current Status:
3/1/2018 - Re-Referred to Committee
Comments:  Am. HB 371 exempts from property tax the incremental increases in the property value of land that has been subdivided for residential development for up to eight years until construction begins or the land is sold. In other words, the value of the property is effectively frozen at the original value. 

The bill specifies that that residential construction is not deemed to have begun solely on the basis of streets, sidewalks, curbs, driveways, or water, sewer, or other utility line shaving been constructed or installed.
OASBO, OSBA & BASA offered opposition testimony on this bill in the House Ways and Means Committee on November 28th. Click here for a copy of the testimony. We also signed a joint letter of opposition with several other local government related organizations. Click here for a copy of the letter.

HB 371 was passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee but has not yet been brought to a floor vote by the full House.

ESC ANNEXATION (HAMBLEY S, KICK D) To permit the addition of appointed members to educational service center boards and to permit a local school district to sever its territory from one educational service center and annex that territory to an adjacent service center under specified conditions.
Current Status
: 3/7/2018 - PASSED BY HOUSE; Vote 96-0

PROPERTY TAX LEVY-BALLOT LANGUAGE (HOOD R) To modify the information conveyed in election notices and ballot language for property tax levies.
Current Status
: 3/20/2018 - House Ways and Means, (Second Hearing)

CONSOLIDATE CAREER-EDUCATION GOVERNANCE (REINEKE W) To establish the Department of Learning and Achievement; to abolish the Department of Higher Education, the position of the Chancellor of Higher Education, and the Ohio Board of Regents; to transfer, with exceptions, the duties regarding the administration of primary and secondary education programs and all duties regarding the administration of higher education programs to the Department of Learning and Achievement; and to prescribe certain duties regarding educator licensure, community school sponsorship, and other education programs for the State Board of Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Department of Education.
Current Status:
3/21/2018 - House Government Accountability and Oversight, (Fifth Hearing)
Comments: OASBO, OSBA and BASA oppose this legislation. Click here for a copy of the organizations' testimony in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.

SCHOOL ABSENCES-PARENTAL NOTIFICATION (WILLIAMS S, LEHNER P) To require a public school to place a telephone call within one hour of the start of the school day to a parent whose child is absent without legitimate excuse.

Current Status: 3/7/2018 - REPORTED OUT AS AMENDED, Senate Education, (Seventh Hearing)
Comments: OASBO, OSBA & BASA provided input to the bill sponsor on SB 82's original requirement that schools notify parents within 60 minutes after the start of the school day. The bill was amended to expand that timeframe to 120 minutes. 

The bill has passed in the Senate Education Committee, but has not yet been brought to a floor vote in the Senate.

PUBLIC SCHOOL DEREGULATION ACT (HUFFMAN M) To enact the "Ohio Public School Deregulation Act" regarding the administration of preschool and primary and secondary education programs.
Current Status:
3/7/2018 - REPORTED OUT AS AMENDED, Senate Education, (Seventh Hearing)
Comments: This bill came about as a result of input from a group of superintendents with Senator Matt Huffman's legislative district. He agreed to propose the bill as an "Education Deregulation" bill. SB 216 covers a wide range of issues. Since the bill was introduced, there have been a number of changes. Click here for a description of the version of the bill as passed by the Senate Education Committee.

Click here to view all legislation OASBO is tracking.