Legislative Updates: News from the State House – June 2018

Legislative Updates: News from the State House – June 2018
Wayne Lawrence

Wayne Lawrence, Weiss Movers

BALLOT ISSUES
In a quick meeting, the Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed constitutional amendment that would set new limits on payday lenders, allowing backers of the issue to begin collecting signatures to put in on the ballot. Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform brought the issue after complaining that the Ohio Legislature had moved too slowly on reforms for the industry. Backers announced later in the week that they are aiming to get the issue on the 2019 primary or general election ballot. That means that the number of signatures they need will be based on the total votes cast in this fall’s gubernatorial election.

EDUCATION
Under federal law passed in 1975, children with intellectual disabilities are supposed to spend as much time as possible in general education classrooms. But a new study from Ohio State University (OSU) suggests that progress toward that goal has stalled.

After subpoenaing digital records of the defunct Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Auditor Dave Yost is now asking to officially be named as a party to the lawsuit in which court-appointed attorneys are settling the online charter schools affairs. Outside counsel appointed for Yost, Maria Armstrong and Federico Barrera of Bricker & Eckler, filed a motion to intervene Friday.

The Ohio Department of Education announced Tuesday that it awarded a combined $33 million-plus in federal grants to dozens of school districts or consortiums of school districts to improve student literacy. The awards follow an application process for the $35 million Ohio received from the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDOE) Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant program. About 95 percent of that amount was earmarked for distribution to local schools.

A group that helped to craft graduation flexibility for the class of 2018 is meeting again to develop a new system for this year’s freshman and classes beyond, though the fate of classes in between is bogged down in the General Assembly. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s Advisory Committee on Graduation gathered for a second time Wednesday following a meeting in early May. The group last met in early 2017 to approve a 2018 framework that the State Board of Education and lawmakers later ratified, with some tweaks.

ENERGY
The country’s largest bank joined forces with Walmart and Case Western Reserve University Tuesday to call for investments of more than $26 billion in Ohio’s clean energy economy. Twenty-one thousand new jobs depend on it, according to JPMorgan Chase. The bank’s vice president of global philanthropy, Alex Derkson, gathered with partners near Capitol Square to announce the release of the report “Powering Ohio,” which focuses on the development of solar and wind energy, energy efficiency, 21st century transportation, and needed corporate leadership to make it happen.

Two Duke Energy leaders have new roles beginning Friday, June 1: Jim Henning, Duke Energy’s Ohio and Kentucky state president, becomes senior vice president of customer services while Amy Spiller, vice president of Ohio government and community affairs, succeeds Henning as president of Duke Energy Ohio and Duke Energy Kentucky.

GAMING/GAMBLING
The Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC) and the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) are prepared to implement rules allowing sports betting if they’re directed to do so by the governor or the General Assembly, agency representatives told Hannah News. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional, opening the door for states to legalize it. However, Jon Keeling, a spokesperson for Gov. John Kasich, said expanding gambling is not currently a priority for the administration.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Attorney General Mike DeWine says the city of Cleveland and its lower courts are once again trying to sidestep the General Assembly’s efforts to bar municipalities from placing residency requirements on public workers — restrictions mirrored by most of Ohio’s largest cities, notes DeWine. The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted his appeal of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and 8th District’s decisions to override 131-HB180 (Maag) as an unconstitutional violation of home rule powers.

 

About Wayne Lawrence

Wayne Lawrence is Vice-President of Weiss Movers and Storage. Wayne is WHACC's Board Chair and on the Advocacy committee