Several bills have been sent to the Governor's office this week as the Ohio General Assembly finalized its work for the year. Here is a snapshot of some of the highlights of the bills that have passed:
Capital Budget Bill (HB 310) – the bill contains $2.1 billion for the repair, reconstruction, and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts and local projects. The bill also includes a number of funding measures including shifting $700 million in Medicaid costs due to a temporary boost in the federal share of Medicaid and appropriates all unspent federal CARES funds to ensure they may be approved for use if Congress and the President extend the spending deadline.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Treatment in lieu of Conviction (HB 1) – the bill expands access to treatment in lieu of conviction as well as record sealing. The bill also expands the duties of the Criminal Sentencing Commission to collect data, modifies the ability to use prison as a sanction for violating community control and includes provisions on involuntary court-ordered treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. The shackling of pregnant mothers is banned, and human trafficking laws are updated to align with federal law which carries the presumption that minors involved in prostitution did not consent.
Fresh Start Act (HB 263) – the bill eliminates hurdles for people with criminal records to obtain occupational licenses.
Driver's License Reinstatement (SB 68) – the bill allows community service in lieu of driver reinstatement fees when a court determines an offender cannot pay. The bill picked up amendments to allow an 8-year driver's license renewal cycle; and allows for high school students to receive instruction on the proper ways to handle traffic stops and other encounters with police.
Critical Infrastructure (SB 33) – the bill creates a new civil cause of action for willfully causing damage to a critical infrastructure facility and provides for increased fines on groups complicit in such offenses and creates the offense of improper organizational involvement with a critical infrastructure facility. The bill was introduced during the wake of environmental protests over pipelines and other installations.
Occupational Licensing Regulation Reduction (HB 442) – the bill eases licensure requirements for accountants as well as a number of changes to various occupational licensing boards in the state.
County Fairs (SB 375)- the bill voids the State Health Director's July 30th order regarding county fairs and creates the Agricultural Society Working Group.
K-12 Education (HB 409) – the bill expands several moratoriums and deadline adjustments in response to the coronavirus pandemic including the third-grade reading guarantee, teacher evaluations, school safety drills, school district ratings and data reporting among others.
PTSD FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
PTSD Support for First Responders (HB 308) – the bill creates a fund for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder housed under the Office of Budget and Management with the Ohio Police & Fire Pension fund required to conduct an actuarial evaluation of the needs.
Surprise Healthcare Bills (HB 388) – the bill requires that insurance companies and providers agree on a rate when care is administered by a provider who works in a network facility, but is outside of the insurance network, to limit patient cost.
Ban on Using Telehealth for Abortion-inducing Drugs (SB 260) - the bill requires that a physician be present when providing the drugs.
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