Current Issues, Bills & Statuses

“Hot Issues” bills followed by OASBO    
Prepared by: Barbara Shaner
E-mail: barbaracshaner@gmail.com
Report created on April 17, 2019


HB23    F-1 VISA SCHOOL ATHLETICS  (ANTANI N)
To authorize any student from a country or province outside the United States who holds an F-1 visa to participate in interscholastic athletics.

CURRENT STATUS
2/19/2019 - House Primary and Secondary Education, (First Hearing)


HB75    PROPERTY VALUE CONTESTS  (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
4/9/2019 - REPORTED OUT, House Ways and Means, (Fourth Hearing)

COMMENTS
This bill is much the same as HB 343 as passed by the House in the last General Assembly. Even though the Senate Ways and Means Committee recommended a substitute version of the bill based on discussions in an interested party meeting (including the bill sponsor) which was much improved, HB 75 reverts back to the House-passed version of HB 343 (while the Senate committee recommended the substitute bill, Senate leadership did not bring it forward for passage).

Several OASBO members testified against HB 75 in the House Ways and Means Committee before the committee voted to recommend passage to the full House. Also, OASBO was joined by OSBA and BASA in opposition testimony. Click here for a copy of the organizations' testimony. 

We are working with lawmakers in the House and Senate to gain support for changes to HB 75. Once the legislature resumes its work later this month following Spring Break, members will be asked to contact their legislators in the House to urge opposition to the bill, or, to make the changes we are requesting. Look for more information to come soon.


HB76    BALLOT LANGUAGE UNIFORMITY  (MERRIN D)
To enact the "Ballot Uniformity and Transparency Act" to modify the form of election notices and ballot language for property tax levies.

CURRENT STATUS
4/9/2019 - REPORTED OUT AS AMENDED, House Ways and Means, (Fourth Hearing)

COMMENTS
This legislation mirrors a proposal in the last General Assembly (HB 342) that would change required levy ballot language. OASBO has joined with OSBA and BASA to oppose the proposal that would change the required ballot language for school levies. Our opposition was informed from advice from three law firms that serve as bond counsel to several school districts. The House passed HB 342 in June 2018 but the Senate held only sponsor testimony in Senate Ways & Means Committee. The House amended the language from HB 342 into SB 21 in hopes of getting the provision passed that way, but the Senate leadership did not take a vote to concur with the House changes to SB 21, so the bill died for lack of action. 

Click here for a copy of HB 76 opposition testimony presented jointly with OSBA, BASA and some other local government organizations. 


HB118    SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION  (MANNING D)
Regarding student transportation to and from school.

CURRENT STATUS
3/19/2019 - House Transportation and Public Safety, (First Hearing)

COMMENTS
This bill would prohibit school districts from reducing pupil transportation services during a school year. It also prohibits a district from putting an operating levy on the ballot in a school year in which pupil transportation services have been reduced.


HB122    OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM  (KOEHLER K)
To eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program and Pilot Project Scholarship Program and to create the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

CURRENT STATUS
3/19/2019 - House Primary and Secondary Education, (First Hearing)

COMMENTS
Proposed HB 122 is similar to HB 200 and SB 85 from the last
General Assembly. The proposal would combine current programs into one and
changes eligibility to an income-based program (except Jon Peterson and Autism
Scholarships). The following are provisions contained in HB 122:

  • Students already using a voucher through one of the current programs will be eligible to continue regardless of income.
  • The voucher amount for K-8 students is $5000 and $7500 for grades 9-12.
  • Students eligible when family income is at or below 400% of poverty (voucher amounts prorated between 200% and 400% of poverty).
  • Students in every school district would be eligible regardless of school performance ~ eligibility based solely on income.
  • Students do not qualify if enrolled in a private school during the previous school year.
  • Students qualify if a sibling received a voucher under a previous program.
  • Vouchers would be funded directly from the state and not deducted from school district state payments.

OASBO has consistently opposed voucher expansion proposals. While HB 122 would include direct state payments for vouchers, the expansion could amount to a significant increase in cost statewide. This increase in funding to private schools would reduce the available GRF resources for public education.


HB127    DISTRESS COMMISSION MORATORIUM  (SMITH K, HAMBLEY S)
To prohibit the creation of new academic distress commissions.

CURRENT STATUS
4/9/2019 - SUBSTITUTE BILL ACCEPTED, House Primary and Secondary Education, (Second Hearing)

COMMENTS
This bill originally started out as a moratorium bill prohibiting any new Academic Distress Commissions (ADCs) from being created. However, the bill sponsors introduced a substitute version during the committee hearing on April 2nd that repeals Ohio's Academic Distress Commission laws altogether and dissolves existing ADCs.
OASBO joined OSBA and BASA to testify in support of the moratorium (our testimony took place prior to the changes to the bill through the substitute version). 


HB132    SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS  (MANNING D)
Regarding notice of school child immunization requirements and exemptions.

CURRENT STATUS
4/2/2019 - House Primary and Secondary Education, (First Hearing)

COMMENTS
This bill would require school districts to let parents know about the current law exemptions for required immunizations.


HB149    PROPERTY TAX EXEMPT-RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION  (MERRIN D)
To enact the "Affordable Homebuilding and Housing Act" to temporarily exempt from property tax the increased value of land subdivided for residential development.

CURRENT STATUS
4/10/2019 - House Economic and Workforce Development, (Second Hearing)

COMMENTS
Much like HB 371 from the last General Assembly, HB 149 would treat property owned by housing developers differently than other property by freezing the taxable value of the property for up to 8 years (or until construction begins). We believe HB 149 is unnecessary because there are currently incentive programs that are available to local governments to accomplish the underlying purpose of the bill.
Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs), Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreements, and other programs provide local governments with adequate tools to offer residential construction incentives in specific circumstances that are tailored not only to provide assistance and inducements to the developer, but also to take into consideration the unique requirements of the particular local government. 

Hearings are expected to continue on this legislation following Spring Break. OASBO will offer opposition testimony jointly with a coalition of local government organizations. 


HB154    DISSOLVE DISTRESS COMMISSIONS  (MILLER J, JONES D)
To dissolve academic distress commissions and to instead require the creation of community learning centers for buildings in low-performing school districts.

CURRENT STATUS
4/9/2019 - SUBSTITUTE BILL ACCEPTED, House Primary and Secondary Education, (Second Hearing)

COMMENTS
This proposal would eliminate the Academic Distress Commissions currently operating in three school districts, and prevent districts from being taken over by an Academic Distress Commission. Instead, districts would be required to undergo a three-year process for moving toward the utilization of a Community Learning Center model.


HB166    OPERATING BUDGET  (OELSLAGER S)
To make operating appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021, and to provide authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.

CURRENT STATUS
4/11/2019 - House Finance Higher Education Subcommittee, (Ninth Hearing)


SB4    SCHOOL FACILITIES ASSISTANCE  (RULLI M, KUNZE S)
To make a capital appropriation for school facilities assistance.

CURRENT STATUS
4/2/2019 - House Primary and Secondary Education, (First Hearing)

COMMENTS
This bill would add $100 million to the appropriation for school facilities in the current biennium. Because of the number of districts that have passed local bond levies and are waiting to receive state funds for OFCC projects, the current appropriations are inadequate, causing significant delays.


SB36    FEDERALLY SUBSIDIZED RENTAL PROPERTY VALUATION  (HUFFMAN M)
To prescribe how federally subsidized residential rental property must be valued for property tax purposes.

CURRENT STATUS
4/2/2019 - Senate Ways and Means, (Third Hearing)

COMMENTS
SB 36 would modify the manner by which county auditors may value federally subsidized low-income rental housing for property tax purposes. In particular, the bill prescribes a special rule of valuation for rental property under the following circumstances:

  • Some portion of the unit's construction or renovation costs are paid by financial incentives authorized under federal law; 
  • Some portion of the unit tenant's rent is subsidized pursuant to federal law; 
  • The unit's developer received federal tax credits to construct the unit as a condition of renting all or a portion of the units to low-income tenants at a less-than-market rent. 

The bill requires these properties to be valued according to the income approach and requires county auditors to use a property's presumed market rent and not the property's contract rent (includes federal subsidy).


SB89    CAREER-TECHNICAL EDUCATION  (HUFFMAN M)
With regard to career-technical education and the compensation of joint vocational school districts located in enterprise zones.

CURRENT STATUS
4/2/2019 - Senate Education, (Second Hearing)

COMMENTS
Senator Huffman has also followed through on his promise to carry a "SB 216-like" career technical education bill (SB 89). It has a number of career tech related provisions. Click here for an LSC analysis for the bill.
 

SB110    ACADEMIC DISTRESS COMMISSIONS  (MANNING N)
To modify the operation of academic distress commissions in certain school districts.

CURRENT STATUS
4/9/2019 - Senate Education, (Third Hearing)

COMMENTS
This bill specifically applies to the Lorain City School District and its Academic Distress Commission. The bill would modify the composition and operation of the commission, including more local involvement. It would also require the CEO to appear before the board of education at least quarterly. SB 89 is one of several proposed bills that would either modify or eliminate Academic Distress Commissions. It is likely that some version of change will be approved by the legislature sometime soon.


SB128    SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS  (HUFFMAN M)
To make changes to the Educational Choice Scholarship Program and the Cleveland Scholarship Program.

CURRENT STATUS
4/9/2019 - Introduced

COMMENTS
This bill is a companion bill to HB 122. See the description above.

Click here to view all education related bills being monitored.