Current Issues, Bills & Statuses
Legislation Introduced in the 132nd General Assembly
HB 3 DATAOHIO BOARD (Duffey, M., Hagan, C.) To create the DataOhio Board, to specify requirements for posting public records online, to require the Auditor of State to adopt rules regarding a uniform accounting system for public offices, to establish an online catalog of public data at data.Ohio.gov, to establish the Local Government Information Exchange Grant Program, and to make appropriations.
HB 21 COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Hambley, S.) Regarding verification of community school enrollments.
SB 3 WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (Beagle, B., Balderson, T.) To revise the laws governing the state's workforce development system, programs that may be offered by primary and secondary schools, certificates of qualification for employment, and the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency, and to designate the first week of May as In-Demand Jobs Week.
SB 8 SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY & SAFETY (Gardner, R., Terhar, L.) To require the Ohio School Facilities Commission to establish a program assisting school districts in purchasing technology and making physical alterations to improve technology infrastructure and school safety and security.
Implications for OASBO members:
Legislation Passed in 2016 Lame Duck Session
HB 89 MEDICAID SCHOOL PROGRAM (DeVitis, T.) Regarding the state’s Medicaid School Program, HB 89 would specifically allow districts to utilize OTs, PTs, and Speech and Audioligist professionals already employed in the district to provide Ordering, Prescribing and Referring (ORP) services for special education students qualifying for Medicaid. This would correct an earlier rule that would have required districts to contract with a physician, physician’s assistant or an advanced practice nurse for ORP services. We believe this will satisfy the Federal CMS agency.
Implications for OASBO Members: Several school districts in Ohio participate in the School Medicaid Program. Among other program provisions, HB 89 was proposed to expand the types of services that can be claimed by school districts for Medicaid coverage with the hopes of increasing the level of reimbursements they can receive. However, the Ohio Department of Medicaid says they can work to expand the program administratively without legislation and that is their preference.
HB 89 was amended significantly to remove the original provisions of the bill and to address in statute the problems Ohio has encountered related to the ordering, referring, prescription (ORP) process. HB 89 changes Ohio law to expressly permit school based therapists to handle ORPs. The hope is this would eliminate the change that was announced in January 2016 regarding those professionals allowed to provide ORPs.
Status: Signed by the Governor 12/19/16. Effective 90 days.
SB 235 Industrial/commercial development-tax exempt until construction begins (Beagle, B.; Coley, B.). This bill was introduced to provide mandatory exemptions for property purchased for development or redevelopment (commercial & industrial). The bill would effectively freeze the value of the property at the time of the purchase for up to 10 years or until the business is up and running.
We have been working with the other local government groups and economic development professional organizations to oppose the bill. Our 3 organizations prepared letters of opposition for the House Finance Committee members. However, the other local government groups and economic development professionals worked out some compromise options that the House is adopting. A substitute version of the bill was accepted; the changes will make this new economic development tool “permissive” for use by local governments and it would reduce the exemption period to 6 years. While we cannot support the legislation, the House version represents a much lower level of exposure for our members. We believe our advocacy efforts have resulted in a much better bill.
Dec. 7, 2016 SB 235 Substitute Provisions
Nov. 24, 2016 OASBO testimony on SB 235
April 25, 2016 OASBO testimony on SB 235
SB 235 Opposition Letter
Implications for OASBO members: The original version of SB 235 would have authorized tax exemptions for undeveloped land that may be in a pre-development stage and reduce property taxes for land purchased for redevelopment. The tax exemption through SB 235 would have effectively frozen the value of the property until it is fully developed or 10 years whichever came first. This would have meant that local taxing authorities, including school districts, would lose out on new tax revenue that would otherwise be realized as the value of the property increased. In addition, it could also have interfered with other local economic development projects already in existence.
Our three education associations testified in opposition to the bill while it was being heard in the Senate (see link to testimony above). We also joined with other local government groups and economic development organizations in opposition to SB 235. That coalition worked on improvements to the bill which the House accepted. However, our education organizations did not support SB 235 even in its amended form.
The House made significant changes to SB 235 in the Lame Duck session before passing it and sending it to the Senate for approval. The following is a bullet point list of provisions contained in the as-passed version of the bill:
- Substitute SB 235 addresses local control ~ becomes a permissive economic development tool for local governments.
- Owner applies to local government for exemption.
- Reduced the maximum exemption period to six years (or until occupancy, owner sells, zoning changes, or parcel part of subdivided plat).
- Provides a claw-back if owner sells with no improvements or activity begins before occupancy permit.
- Provides for school district notification.
Status: Signed by the Governor 12/27/16. Effective 90 days from signing.
HB 410 TRUANCY (Rezabek, J., Hayes, B.) Regarding habitual and chronic truancy and compulsory
This bill would prevent districts from expelling or suspending students for truancy and require districts to establish absence intervention teams.
OASBO testimony on HB 410
Analysis of HB 410
Implications for OASBO Members: HB 410 prohibits expelling or suspending a student for truancy. The bill represents a one-size-fits-all approach to school discipline, creating new mandates and restrictions. The bill contains significant reporting requirements for school districts, creating new administrative burdens. HB 410 mandates the establishment of new absence intervention teams and plans for each truant student. OASBO has concerns about the additional costs the bill would impose on school districts. The following are changes made to the bill before it passed:
- The number of people required to be in the intervention teams was scaled down to three (two administrators and a parent).
- Creates a pilot program for districts that choose to have outside stakeholders serve on the intervention teams.
- Includes a 5% threshold for districts that do not need to comply with the intervention team requirements (districts with fewer than 5% truancy).
- Districts must allow truant students to make up work.
- Districts must develop alternative consequences for students when behavioral suspensions are necessary at the end of a school year.
Status: Sent to the Governor for signature 12/27/16.
SB 3 EDUCATION LAWS (Hite, C., Faber, K.) To exempt high-performing school districts from certain laws; to revise the law regarding the administration of state primary and secondary education assessments; to permit school districts to contract with hospitals, health care professionals, and educational service centers for school health services; to revise the competitive bidding threshold for school building and repair contracts; and to require the School Facilities Commission to develop a legislative proposal assisting high-performing school districts in purchasing technology, building expansion, and physical alterations to improve school safety or security.
Original provisions contained in SB 3
Amendments to SB 3
Implications for OASBO Members: OASBO supports measures meant to free up districts from unnecessary state requirements. SB 3 would increase the competitive bidding threshold from $25,000 to $50,000 for all districts, a provision we have supported for some time. There are a few other provisions that apply to all districts, but the bill creates a definition for “qualified school districts” and grants specific exemptions for these districts. While we appreciate efforts to “deregulate” school districts, we believe all the exemptions should apply to all school districts.
Qualified School Districts:
• At least 85% of total possible points on performance index score
• Grade of “A” for performance indicators met
• Four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 93%
• Five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 95%
• Estimate is that approximately 120 districts would qualify
Status: Signed by the Governor 12/15/16. Effective 90 days.
NPR quotes OASBO's Shaner on CAUV
Around Ohio, farmers are seeing their property taxes soar because of the way their land value is calculated, pitting farmers and school districts against one another. OASBO's Barbara SHaner weighs in on the importance of the CAUV update.
Upcoming ODE Deadlines
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