MCAO Update: 134th Ohio General Assembly closes session with a long day and lots of action
MCAO Members and Executive Directors:
Unfortunately because the schedule was crowded with a few brand new issues including election reform and state board of education legislation, our Private Prompt Pay initiative, HB68, was not passed during this session. But with the overwhelming bi-partisan passage in the House this year and good momentum in the Senate, we are in a great spot to launch this bill for expedited consideration in the next session which begins in January.
Below is a full update on the Lame Duck Session from our team at Calfee. They worked very hard to keep the bad stuff out and keep the good stuff in this lame duck and we truly appreciate all of their efforts on behalf of the industry. Thanks too to many of you who came to Columbus to testify, participated in Zoom meetings with legislators, participated in fundraisers and made special calls on behalf of our issues. It is our strong member support that has resulted in our continuous progress in the General Assembly! It’s not always exciting to play defense, but competitive bidding, workforce development, tax issues, licensing issues and prevailing wage are perenial targets of other industry interests so we must remain vigilant.
I look forward to seeing you all in 2023, but in the meantime, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!
Thanks for all you do!
MCA of Ohio
The Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate closed out the 134th General Assembly with equally lengthy session days, passing a raft of legislation, much of which was adopted in committee over the last couple of days. Beginning at approximately 1 pm on Wednesday, business was finally concluded just after 6 am on Thursday morning.
One of the biggest pieces of legislation, and the last bill passed due to lengthy negotiations held throughout the night, was House Bill 45, which became a large spending package late Tuesday night in the Senate Finance Committee. Originally introduced to provide for tax amnesty programs, the bill was amended to provide more than $6.2 billion in combined federal ARPA and state tax dollars along with a mix of statutory updates. Among the key provisions in House Bill 45:
- $15 million to the Dept. of Job and Family Services to fund grants to support adopting families and adoptees attending college
- $30 million to county Job and Family Services agencies to fund Medicaid redeterminations when the federal public health emergency ends
- $85 million to the Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services to (1) collaborate with the Dept. of Higher Education to build behavioral health discipline programs at colleges and universities; and (2) to lead other recruitment, training and retention initiatives for the behavioral health workforce
- $250 million to the Dept. of Development for local water and sewer water quality grants
- $90 million to the Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services to build and improve crisis care facilities
- $50 million in ARPA funds to provide grants to performing arts organizations and cultural arts museums
- $498.5 million in ARPA fund to the Dept. of Job and Family Services for publicly funded childcare providers
- $150 million in ARPA funds to the Dept. of Development to fund lead abatement activities as well lead programs at the Dept. of Health
- $430 million to provide for funding to nursing facilities, assisted living, hospice and home and community providers for direct care staff compensation
- $112 million in ARPA funds for school security grants
- $1.75 billion to the Dept. of Education for coronavirus school relief
- $161 million to the Dept. of Development for emergency rental assistance
The bill was passed by a vote of 29-0 in the Senate, with a concurrence of 71-10 in the House.
Among the other important bills that passed were the following:
House Bill 458, election reforms including requiring a state issued picture identification to vote
Senate Bill 131, including a variety of reforms on professional licensing reciprocity
House Bill 513, which included a controversial state pre-emption to end local flavored tobacco bans
Senate Bill 288, a large criminal law reform bill
House Bill 66, includes revisions to a number of property tax exemption and abatement provisions
In one surprising move, the House refused to concur in the Senate’s amendments to House Bill 151. Originally introduced to update the Ohio Teacher Residency Program, the bill picked up two controversial amendments during the legislative process: a ban on transgender girls’ participation in girls high school athletics and an overhaul of the Ohio Department of Education that stripped the elected State Board of Education of much of its responsibilities and provided the Governor with the ability to appoint a cabinet-level Director of the department. The House voted not to concur by a vote of 46-41.
This was the last official business day of the year and the session. The bills will now be sent to the Governor’s office for signature, veto or to become law without signature. Ohio’s governor does possess line item veto power for bills containing appropriations.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Maryellen K. Corbett
Attorney at Law
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
1200 Huntington Center
41 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3465