House, Senate Take Action on Ohio Chamber Priority Legislation

In a busy legislative week just before summer recess, the Ohio House and Senate worked extensively to pass important legislation for the Governor to sign. The Ohio Chamber was actively involved with the development of these pieces of legislation. Ohio Chamber staff has worked diligently to make sure Ohio’s business community was represented as Ohio legislators cast their votes. Among the most pertinent issues are:

Unemployment Compensation Debt Solution- A comprehensive plan was reached to solve the lingering problem Ohio employers were facing with debt owed to the federal government for Unemployment Compensation loans that were accumulated during the last recession. The plan will save employers roughly $405 million. For more details on the plan click here.

Medical Marijuana- HB 523, the bill to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio, will head to Gov. Kasich’s desk after making its way through both the House and Senate. The Ohio Chamber is happy to see this controversial issue handled by the legislature rather than through a ballot initiative, which would cement the issue into Ohio’s constitution. Although we are not endorsing the legalization of medical marijuana, we are glad the legislature included robust protections for Ohio’s businesses. For more on those business protections click here.

Key Votes:

In effort to hold legislators accountable for their work, the Ohio Chamber prioritizes certain bills as “Key Votes” that count towards a legislator’s voting record. The voting record is used to help determine endorsements and identify which legislators are working to help create a stronger economic climate and help Ohio’s business community thrive.  The following “Key Vote” bills passed the Ohio Senate this week:

HB 182- This bill authorizes Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs) to be created for purposes of redevelopment, while offering businesses that do not receive any material benefit to opt out from the JEDD. One of the most constructive aspects of a JEDD is that the businesses involved in the creation and functioning of the JEDD would have a say in how it will be governed and funded. For more information read the letter that was sent to the Senate.

HB 387- This legislation raises the small claims court cap from $3,000 to $6,000 and is particularly helpful to small businesses. This increase will allow for less costly and quicker handling of business disputes. For many businesses, filing a lawsuit in a higher court for a low dollar amount claim simply is not justified due to cost. To read the letter click here.

For more extended information on these legislative issues and more, look for our Legislative Update newsletter in your email early next week.