Governor Mike DeWine Signs 19 Bills into Ohio Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed 19 bills into law on Monday, the start of the new legislative session, that lawmakers approved during the lame duck session last year.

On December 22nd, DeWine’s office received a raft of 24 bills. He signed 18 of those 24 into law.

Senate Bill (SB) 33, sponsored by State Senators Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware), modifies the law governing community reinvestment areas and expands the income tax deduction allowed for contributions to Ohio’s 529 education savings plans to include contributions to 529 plans established by other states.

“Senate Bill 33 would extend the same tax benefit to all Ohio families whether they invest in Ohio’s plan or another state’s plan. While Ohio’s plan ranks among one of the best in the country, this bill would allow families to focus on the important aspects of the plans and shop the market to decide which plan is best for them and their risk preferences, rather than solely considering the state tax deduction,” Hottinger said.

SB 63, sponsored by State Senator Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula), creates the D-9 liquor permit, which authorizes an establishment to sell beer, wine, and mixed beverages for on-premises consumption under specified circumstances to allow a board of county commissioners to authorize a county department of probation to accept payments by credit card and to make multiple designations.

“This bill streamlines the functions of state government by allowing county probation departments to accept payments for county expenses ordered by the court of common pleas. This is a simple solution that creates a much smoother process for both county probation departments and the individuals paying them,” O’Brien said.

SB 131, sponsored by State Senators Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) and Rob MucColley (R-Napoleon), requires an occupational licensing authority to issue a license or government certification to an applicant who holds a license, government certification, or private certification or has satisfactory work experience in another state under certain circumstances, to specify that individuals may not register as credit services organizations, to specify that individuals may not be licensed as manufacturers or wholesalers of fireworks, and to maintain State Teacher Retirement System membership for certain school psychologists.

“This legislation will return common sense to the process, and allow workers from all over the country to come here and contribute to Ohio’s workforce. We should be making it as simple as possible for experienced workers to make Ohio their home, rather than forcing them to repeat training for a profession they already know,” McColley said.

SB 164, sponsored by State Senators Hottinger and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights), revises the law and penalties associated with companion animal cruelty to generally prohibit an animal shelter from destroying a domestic animal by the use of a gas chamber and authorizes Cuyahoga County to convert its existing cigarette tax to a wholesale tax and levy a new wholesale tax on vapor products.

“Protecting animals from the most egregious acts of cruelty is not only beneficial to our pets, but it also helps protect society as acts of cruelty against animals is often a gateway to serious crimes committed against people,” Hottinger said.

SB 202, sponsored by State Senators Bob Hackett (R-London) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), prohibits any government or private agency in Ohio from using a person’s disability as a reason to deny or limit that person’s care for a minor. That includes attempts to deny or limit custody, parenting time, visitation, adoption, or service as a guardian or foster caregiver.

“This is part of our ongoing efforts to get the best care possible for Ohio’s children in need. This bill puts an end to this discrimination against the disabled in our state and helps ensure all children will get the loving and responsible care they deserve,” Hackett said.

SB 302, sponsored by State Senators Hackett and Bill Reinecke (R-Tiffin), requires that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) enter into data-sharing agreements with the Department of Taxation, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Department of Health in order to gather relevant information required to help determine the eligibility and veracity of unemployment applicants.

“Senate Bill 302 will ensure that Ohioans get the support they need, but that, at the same time, our taxpayer dollars are not paid out erroneously or leaving the state or country due to fraud,” Reinecke said.

House Bill (HB) 23, sponsored by State Representatives Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Thomas West (D-Canton), requires emergency medical service personnel and peace officers to undergo dementia-related training and increases the maximum allowable age for new state highway patrol troopers.

“This bill helps those with dementia to get the proper treatment and resources they need and ensures they are able to get home safely,” Plummer said.

HB 35, sponsored by State Representatives Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) and Gary Click (R-Vickery), permits mayors to solemnize marriages anywhere within Ohio.

“This common-sense legislation would simply amend the Ohio Revised Code to allow mayors to solemnize a marriage anywhere within the State of Ohio; thus allowing a mayor to officiate a wedding at a venue at the choosing of the engaged couple without being hindered by the current law limitation,” LaRe and Click said in joint testimony.

HB 66, sponsored by State Representative James Hoops (R-Napoleon), revises the tax laws and makes certain operating appropriations for the biennium ending June 30, and capital appropriations for the biennium ending June 30, 2024.

“The biennial report is a great tool that provides lawmakers and taxpayers a better understanding of what businesses or individuals are exempt from paying state tax dollars. By adding local property tax exemptions to this report, we can get a better understanding of our local tax base, which funds important local services and public education,” Hoops said.

HB 107, sponsored by State Representative Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester), subsequently eliminates the licensure of elevator contractors and mechanics in 10 years.

“It is vital that we, as a legislature, continue to prioritize public safety. I am grateful to committee members’ acknowledgment of this priority,” Baldridge said.

HB 150, sponsored by State Representatives Brett Hudson Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and David Leland (D-Columbus), establishes a task force to study Ohio’s indigent defense system and to make an appropriation.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing less and less young lawyers working as public defenders and prosecutors. This bill simply offers them a strong incentive to serve the public. Public defenders and prosecutors are civil servants, and should be treated as such,” Hillyer said.

HB 178, sponsored by State Representatives Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) and Adam Miller (D-Columbus), limits the water pressure of water features at swimming pools and names this act Makenna’s Law.

“A day at the waterpark should be full of joy, not danger. This bipartisan bill ensures that water feature operators do what they are supposed to do and keep our children safe,” Miller said.

HB 254, sponsored by State Representatives Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison), provides for the establishment of domestic violence fatality review boards.

“This bill allows for a better, more thorough process of reviewing domestic violence in Ohio. Not only does this legislation aim to prevent further domestic violence fatalities,” Abrams said.

HB 353, sponsored by State Representatives Gary Click (R-Vickery) and Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park), enacts “The Testing Your Faith Act” to require each state institution of higher education to adopt a policy providing students with religious accommodations.

“Individuals pursuing higher education face many necessary challenges and stressors that build their character and confidence. However, one conflict that they should not have to face is the decision between academic excellence and religious fidelity. I strongly believe that no students should be required to jeopardize their academic standing in order to observe a religious holiday,” Click said.

HB 392, sponsored by State Representatives Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) and Kevin Miller (R-Newark), authorizes ambulance transport of an injured police dog in the line of duty, to clarify when a person may ride in a moving fifth-wheel trailer, and to revise the law governing the mounting of a vehicle safety device on the windshield of a motor vehicle.

“K-9s must endure intense training before they are deemed ready for service and that training comes at a large expense. As a result, it is imperative that we protect the investment we put into our canines, and this legislation ensures that is the case,” Ferguson said.

HB 405, sponsored by State Representatives Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) and Mark Johnson (R-Chillicothe), makes changes to county hospital trustees’ law, to allow the coroner’s office to access the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, and to allow a county treasurer to electronically deliver tax bills.

“House Bill 405 will reduce conflicts in the administration of county hospitals so that they can continue their important work in the hospital, rather than in a courtroom,” Stewart said.

HB 423, sponsored by State Representatives Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) and Bob Young (R-Green), designates the All-American Soap Box Derby as the official state gravity racing program, and designates “Eugene ‘Gene’ F. Kranz Day,” “Ohio Burn Awareness Week,” “Ohio Public Lands Day,” “Pollinator Week,” and “Ulysses S. Grant Day.”

“Soap box derby racing has sowed its roots in Ohio, more specifically Akron, and it has been a pleasure to carry this legislation designating the Derby as the official gravity-racing program of the State of Ohio. The Derby is an integral part of the community, creating an educational, economic, and social boost for the area and those involved,” Roemer said.

HB 462, sponsored by State Representatives Miller and Rick Carfagna (R-Delaware), prohibits swatting, adds swatting to the definition of an offense of violence, and makes changes regarding exempt employee pay ranges and pay ranges for certain State Highway Patrol officers.

“With an uptick in these incidents nationwide and in Ohio, we need to crack down on them as they are dangerous for our residents and first responders,” Miller said.

HB 487, sponsored by State Representative Tom Young (R-Washington Township), changes the bidding process for contracts for ballot printing and eliminates the requirement that all contracts for ballots for Ohio elections are rewarded to vendors within the state and printed within the state.

“It has been 40 years since a change in ballot printing law. The world is not same it was, so it is time that ballot law change with the times. This legislation will benefit local boards through by providing the flexibility they need, save the taxpayers money and provide better ballot security by offering the contract to the best company,” Young said.

DeWine has 10 days, except Sundays, following the acquisition of the bills to approve or veto the legislation if he so chooses. If he chooses to do nothing, the legislation will take effect without his signature.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Governor Mike DeWine.




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