Complete Story
 

07/07/2017

ACEC Ohio Legislative Update--July 7, 2017

The Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate have begun their summer recess until  after the Labor Day holiday. 

House Bill 49 (GRF Budget Bill)  Rep. Smith

Vetos and Overrides- The General Revenue Bill passed both the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate after differences were resolved in a conference committee on June 29, 2017.  The Governor signed the bill and vetoed 47 items.  On Thursday, July 6th, the House overrode 11 of the Governor’s 47 vetoes of the biennial budget, leaving open the ability to override other vetoes this fall.  The Ohio Senate is undecided on their next session date as the caucus takes a close look at not only the governor’s vetoes, but at the House overrides and have a thorough discussion about the next steps. While most of these overrides dealt with the issues around Medicaid, the one item of importance to counties and transit authorities was also overridden; the proposed requirement that the administration work with federal CMS to allow counties and transit authorities to apply a franchise tax locally on managed care plans. This would allow counties and transit authorities to recoup $207 million that would have been lost with the repeal of the sales tax on managed care plans. While not out of the woods yet, the override at least requires the administration to work with CMS on allowing counties and transit authorities to move forward with a tax beginning in July 2018. In the interim, the budget provides for continuation funding through December 31, 2017 of current revenue amounts and then provides funds “as needed” based on tax base and rate beginning January 1, 2018.

Sales Tax Increase & Expansion - the Governor’s proposed sales tax increase and expansion to professional services was NOT included in the final version of the budget. This now makes 4 budgets where the Governor’s tax shift to consumption taxes has been rebuffed by the General Assembly.

Centralized Collection of Municipal Income Taxes through the Ohio Business Gateway- effective January 1, 2018 businesses will be able to file and pay their employees income taxes through the Ohio Business Gateway, rather than to each municipal entity/taxing authority as is done now. This was included in the final version of the budget, however the Ohio Municipal League has already announced their intentions to file legal action against the plan based on violation of Home Rule provisions of the Ohio Constitution.

House Bill 121 (Piping Materials) Rep. Edwards

The bill requires a public authority to consider all piping materials that meet the engineering specifications for a state funded water or waste water project.  There is a companion bill in the Ohio Senate, SB 95, sponsored by Senator Tehar.  ACEC Ohio testified against the bill on May 9, 2017, see   ACEC Ohio Testimony on HB 121. We continue to have meetings with the Chairwoman, and members of the committee along with the bill's sponsor to discuss our concerns with the bill.  Our position is to remove the professional engineer from the middle of this bill as engineering judgement should not be legislated. The bill is pending in the House State and Local Government Committee, it has had three hearings. 

Senate Bill 113 (Vehicle Registration Fee) Sen. Coley

The bill would increase vehicle registration fees and create a fuel tax cut that registrants would receive an identification card to swipe at the gas pump that would exempt them from the 28-cent-per-gallon Motor Fuel Tax. ACEC Ohio is an interested party to this bill and is advocating for a more comprehensive funding package addressing long term funding needs of the State. The bill is pending in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, with only sponsor testimony being presented.

House Bill 75 (License by Endorsement) Rep. Gavarone and Rep. Merrin

The bill allows for a "License by Endorsement" for active duty military and their spouses for a 12-month period in Ohio, if they have a valid license from another state. The bill refers to all licensed professionals, except attorneys.  The bill has been pending in the Ohio House Armed Services, Veterans and Homeland Committee with no hearings since March. ACEC Ohio is an interested party.

Senate Bill 6 (Bridge Partnership Program) Sen. Hoagland

The bill extends the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program through the end of FY 2019 and requires the Director of ODOT to submit a report recommending ways to continue to fund the program.  The bill was amended into the Transportation Budget Bill (HB 26) and the language has been enacted.

 


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