Local state senators presented their first proposed legislation of the year this week. If passed, businesses might experience less burdensome regulations, spouses of transferred military personnel might get unemployment benefits, more meth lab sites could be cleaned up, unemployment benefits might go to pay workers with cut hours to avoid layoffs and more babies would be screened for heart defects.
Local state senators recently introduced their first bills of the legislative session, which concern regulatory reform, newborn screenings, unemployment benefits of spouses of service members, cleanups of meth labs, redistricting and a proposed program to help employers avoid layoffs.
State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley Township, who represents western Stark County, introduced:
Senate Bill 3 — Would allow the Common Sense Initiative office to advise a state agency on how an existing regulation can be changed to reduce the negative impact on a business. Would establish email notifications on drafting of regulations to interested parties and mandate that fine money go to Ohio’s general revenue fund, not the state agencies levying the fines.
SB 8 — Would allow a spouse of a service member to get unemployment benefits if he or she quit a job to accompany a spouse due to a military transfer.
SB 22 — If a building is a site of a meth lab, the owner would be responsible for cleaning up the site. Health departments and local communities could pay for the remediation of meth lab sites with money seized from meth traffickers.
SB 25 — Would allow the state to pay part of unemployment benefits to workers of employers participating in the “SharedWork Ohio” program where the workers’ hours have been cut but they haven’t been laid off and the workers get to keep their health benefits.
SB 33 — The ancient Adena pipe discovered in 1901 in a Native American burial mound near Chillicothe would become the official state artifact.
Senate Joint Resolution 1 — Proposed state constitutional amendment would — starting in 2021 — require at least one member of the minority party on a redistricting commission approve a plan to draw new congressional and state legislative district.
State Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, also introduced SB 4, which would generally require every newborn in Ohio be screened for congenital heart defects before leaving the hospital.
Hospitals would have to use a noninvasive “pulse oximetry” test that “estimates the percentage of hemoglobin in blood that is saturated with oxygen.” Parents could object to the test on religious grounds.
Also, State Sen. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, re-introduced the Senate version of the “Fiscal Integrity Act” as SB 6, which would make it easier for county commissioners to remove a county treasurer. State Rep. Christina Hagan, R-Marlboro Township, on Jan. 30 re-introduced the House version, House Bill 10.
Both introduced bills last year in response to the Ohio Supreme Court reversing the removal of Stark County Treasurer Gary Zeigler after the theft of nearly $3 million by Zeigler’s chief deputy.
A key difference between the bills is that Schaffer’s bill would require the state auditor and attorney general — rather than just the county commissioners or county auditor — also find likely wrongdoing or negligence before there could be a removal hearing for a county treasurer before a judge or jury.
Page 2 of 2 - Also any meetings by the commissioners to discuss the matter would be closed to the public and any related documents would be sealed until the attorney general filed for a removal hearing.