NAWBO March Legislative Update

Report created on March 20, 2018

Bills with activity in March:



CAREER INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS (DUFFEY M, BOGGS K) Regarding the presentation of career information to students.


Current Status:   

3/7/2018 - REPORTED OUT AS AMENDED, Senate Education, (Fourth Hearing)


State Bill Page:



WORKERS COMP-ILLEGAL ALIENS (SEITZ B, HOUSEHOLDER L) To prohibit illegal and unauthorized aliens from receiving compensation and certain benefits under Ohio's Workers' Compensation Law.


Current Status:   

3/13/2018 - Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions, (First Hearing)


State Bill Page:



UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAW (SCHURING K) To modify terms describing payments made under the Unemployment Compensation Law, to increase the amount of wages subject to unemployment compensation premiums, to require qualifying employees to make payments to the Unemployment Compensation Insurance Fund, to allow the Director of Job and Family Services to adjust maximum weekly benefit amounts, to reduce the maximum number of benefit weeks, and to make other changes to the Unemployment Compensation Law.


Current Status:   

3/21/2018 - House Government Accountability and Oversight, (Twentieth Hearing)


State Bill Page:



BUSINESS EARNINGS AND DEDUCTIONS (KELLY B) To require an employer to provide earnings and deductions statements to each of the employer's employees.


Current Status:   

3/13/2018 - Referred to Committee House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor


State Bill Page:



SALES TAX AFTER PURCHASE (ARNDT S) To authorize small retailers to remit sales taxes when the retailer receives payment from the purchaser if the payment is received after the purchased item is delivered or the service is provided.


Current Status:   

3/13/2018 - Introduced


State Bill Page:



PAID PARENTAL LEAVE (BOYD J, BOGGS K) To establish family and medical leave insurance benefits to provide paid leave to allow an individual to address the individual's own serious health condition, to care for a family member, or to bond with a new child and to exempt those benefits from personal income tax.


Current Status:   

3/13/2018 - Introduced


State Bill Page:



PUBLIC DESIGN CONTRACTS-INDEMNITY (SEITZ B) To regulate the use of indemnity provisions in professional design contracts related to public improvements.


Current Status:   

3/15/2018 - Introduced


State Bill Page:



Week in Review


The state law prohibiting abortion for women seeking the procedure because of a Down syndrome diagnosis is "unconstitutional on its face," U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black wrote in his order blocking implementation of HB214 (LaTourette-Merrin) on Wednesday. "Federal law is crystal clear: 'a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,'" Black wrote, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade.


The Ohio Chamber of Commerce unveiled an opioid tool kit Wednesday in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General's Office that seeks to educate employers and employees on a drug-free workplace.


Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2018 edition of Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual on Monday, coinciding with the beginning of National Sunshine Week. The Sunshine Laws Manual summarizes Revised Code provisions and case law regarding the Ohio Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act. The 2018 edition, also referred to as the "Yellow Book," includes updates on recent open government legal decisions and law changes. The electronic edition, accessible at , includes clickable bookmarks that allow readers to quickly jump to their topic of interest as well as hyperlinked court cases to allow readers to quickly access court decisions.


Secretary of State Jon Husted Thursday said 9,634 new entities filed to do business in Ohio in February, down from the 10,204 entities formed during the same month in 2017.


During a Statehouse event on Monday, Gov. John Kasich said PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and Daelim Industrial Company, two of Asia's largest petrochemical companies, are on the verge of inking a deal to invest between $5 billion and $10 billion to build and operate "one of the most significant projects in the history of Ohio" -- an ethane cracker complex in Belmont County -- comparing it to when the state became home to the Honda Marysville auto plant in 1982.


Democratic leaders in the Ohio House and Senate said the state should "invest" in its workers by raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2019 and using $0.50/hour annual increases to bring it to $15 by 2025. The minimum wage would continue to be adjusted for inflation after 2025 as well.


Ohio's unemployment rate fell from a revised 4.9 percent in December to 4.7 percent in January, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The state's non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 12,100 over the month from a revised 5,534,300 in December 2017 to 5,546,400 in January 2018, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in cooperation with ODJFS.

Also released on Friday were the national unemployment figures for February which showed total non-farm payroll employment increased by 313,000, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent for the fifth consecutive month, BLS said. Employment rose in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities and mining.


Auditor of State Dave Yost Wednesday joined House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and other Republican legislators as they announced pending legislation to obtain additional information about the pricing practices of the state's pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) in order to understand why small pharmacies are being forced to close due to lowered reimbursements but the state's Medicaid program is faced with a more than 20 percent increase in its pharmacy program costs in the last two years. There are three PBMs operating in Ohio: Express Scripts, CVS Caremark and Optum, which is owned by UnitedHealthCare. The other four managed care organizations contract with CVS Caremark for their pharmacy needs, thus giving that PBM control of a large portion of the Medicaid pharmacy business.

A new study from the liberal think tank Urban Institute measuring the effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on poverty indicated that the U.S. Census Bureau has drastically underreported benefits received by families nationwide, and when data were modified to fit the real amount of benefits distributed, SNAP reduced poverty by 17 percent.

Gov. John Kasich Thursday signed Executive Order 2018-02K to reauthorize the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council for the third time of his administration. The council promotes independent living, including self-help, self-determination and equal access for individuals with disabilities. The council was created in 2000 by former Gov. Bob Taft. Kasich reauthorized it in 2012 and 2015.


Two reports from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) examining housing affordability in Ohio found that while the Buckeye State's rental properties were cheap relative to the rest of the nation, the poorest tenants were still struggling to find places to live. According to the group's studies "The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Renting Homes," released in March 2018, and "Out of Reach 2017," Ohio had the ninth-lowest housing wage in the nation, but there were only 42 housing units that are both affordable and available per 100 extremely-low income (ELI) households.


Cannabis companies do not need -- and would likely be harmed by -- the creation of a closed-loop payment processing system for the Medical Marijuana Control Program, industry representatives said Tuesday. "This bill has already created confusion and delay for banks contemplating providing treasury management services for the marijuana industry," Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals Principal Mel Kurtz told the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee during testimony on HB495 (Seitz).


Medicaid Director Barbara Sears said Thursday that Ohio will start requiring managed care organizations (MCOs) to report details of pharmacy reimbursements later this year and pledged her agency's cooperation with efforts by Auditor Dave Yost to get similar data, as lawmakers raise concerns about the pricing practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). But Sears argued against moving pharmacy benefits back under direct state control, citing increased costs and diminished care coordination abilities.


Attorney General Mike DeWine Friday rejected a petition for a proposed ballot issue that would amend the Ohio Constitution to regulate short-term, payday loans. Payday lending opponents submitted the petition with 2,000 signatures last month, noting a lack of action on HB123 (Koehler-Ashford), which contains similar provisions to the constitutional amendment. The constitutional amendment would cap loan interest rates at 28 percent, set a monthly lending fee cap of $20 and extend the time period borrowers can pay back the loans from two weeks to 180 days, among other provisions.


A Senate bill that would make a three-day sales tax holiday during each August permanent left the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday with an amendment allowing educational service centers (ESC) to put a levy on the ballot for safety and general health. The amendment to SB226 (Bacon) had been previewed during Tuesday's meeting by Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), who said that it would apply to any district that is a member of a particular ESC.


The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) recognized four Ohio employers with Safety Innovation Awards at the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo for projects addressing safety concerns in the workplace. They included Navistar, Springfield; MPW Industrial Services, Hebron; Terracon Consultants Inc., Cincinnati; and Ramco Electric Motors Inc., Greenville.

Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), providing sponsor testimony Tuesday on HB380 for himself and co-sponsor Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford), came in for a barrage of questions from members of the Senate.

Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee. The bill, which Seitz said he has been working on since 2009, is based on the premise that the state's workers' comp system should not pay benefits to undocumented immigrants who have been hurt on the job.

The Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors reviewed results Thursday from the 88th Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, which drew 8,100 participants in another record-breaking year -- 700 more than in 2017.

Submitted by: 

Rachel G. Winder, Government Relations Manager

Benesch Law