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Legislative Summaries

Senate Bill 11 - SB 11 would formally recognize March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day in Ohio each year. The Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs is proud to have partnered with Senator Charleta Tavares to initiate this legislation.. Cesar Chavez is the most recognized Latino civil rights leader in the United States, and dedicated his life to improving the wages and working conditions for farm workers across America. Ohio is home to 43,250 migrant or seasonal farm workers that have helped make food production and agriculture the leading industries in Ohio. OCHLA is a strong proponent of this bill and will continue to advocate for its passage. SB 11 has been referred to the Senate Local Government Committee, and has received one hearing where Senator Tavares presented sponsor testimony.

House Bill 49 - Governor Kasich signed Ohio's $65.4 billion biennial budget into law - but not before vetoeing 47 provisions that were added in the House and Senate. Over the past ten months, Ohio has collected less money than expected from income taxes, leaving the legislature to close a $1 billion revenue gap in the 2018-19 budget. The final version closed the projected shortfall, as roughly $1 billion was cut to balance the budget. House and Senate leadership are considering a return to the Statehouse to override the Governor's Medicaid freeze veto. Below are budget highlights.

Major provisions: 

  • $180+ million in new funding to tackle state's opioid epidemic through the Ohio HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda
  • Modifies the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) for farm land over six years, which will lower property taxes for farmers
  • Offers a new pathway to graduation for high school students who do not meet new state test requirements
  • Reduces the number of tax brackets in Ohio from nine to seven
  • Extends Sales Tax Holiday to 2018

Major Vetoes by Governor Kasich:

  • Freeze on Medicaid expansion enrollment beginning in 2018
  • Work requirements for Medicaid expansion enrollees
  • Monthly premiums for Medicaid enrollees through the "Healthy Ohio" program
  • $1 million to upgrade voting equipment
  • Sales-tax exemption for eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Permitting public universities to raise tuition by 8 percent instead of [current] 6 percent

House Bill 50 - HB 50 institutes requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. New requirements would include stipulations for the EBT cards used in the program. A color photo of an adult member residing in the household would be required on the front of the ID. The back of the card would also contain a telephone number to call in the event of suspected fraud. New requirements would not apply to households without adult members, nor to households where each member is “sixty years of age or older; is blind, disabled, a victim of domestic violence; or has religious objections to being photographed.” This legislation was referred to the Community and Family Advancement Committee and thus far, there have been four hearings.

Senate Bill 162 - Similar to an earlier-introduced House version, SB 162 would withhold local government funding to self-proclaimed Sanctuary Cities or municipalities that have enacted policies or resolutions that hinder municipal employees "from cooperating with state or federal immigration services or from complying with executive orders pertaining to immigration." SB 162 was referred to the Senate Finance Committee where it awaits a hearing. The similar House-version proposal still has not received a hearing to date.

House Bill 179 - HB 179 would “require state and local authorities to cooperate with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration laws, prohibit a local government that fails to do so from receiving certain state funds, provide for the removal of officers of a local government that fails to do so, and to declare an emergency.” Under this proposal, law enforcement agencies would be required to immediately report the identity of any arrestee whom a peace officer has reasonable cause to believe is unlawfully present in the United States to ICE, and to detain a person who is unlawfully present, upon receiving a lawful federal request or order to do so, until the person is transferred into federal custody. Local governments would not be able to adopt policies that restrict a public official or employee from inquiring about a person’s citizenship or immigration status in the course of investigating or prosecuting a violation of any law or ordinance.

A county, township, municipal corporation or law enforcement agency that fails to comply with these requirements would lose any local government fund distributions from the state as well as homeland security funding. Additionally, public officers in the legislative or executive branch of government could be removed from their post if a complaint is filed and a judge or jury orders their removal from office. This bill was referred to the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.

House Bill 589Introduced by Representatives Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and George Lang (R-West Chester), HB 589 would designate September 15 to October 15 each year as "Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month" in an effort to honor and recognize the contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made to the State of Ohio and to the United States. This legislation has been referred to the State and Local Government Committee where it awaits a hearing.

House Bill 637 - Introduced by Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Ken), HB 637 would permit sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds to preregister to vote. The bill's sponsor believes this legislation, dubbed the "Ohio Future Voter Act", would improve registration and turnout among young voters throughout the state. This proposal mirrors legislation that has passed in states such as North Carolina, Utah, and Maryland. This bill was referred to the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee where it awaits a hearing.