Friday Bill Roundup

The Ohio Legislature introduced 37 bills and resolutions this past week. A summary of some key bills is below. For more info on these bills, or to get the full list, contact Laura Dixon-Caldwell.

Criminal 

SB 64-Juvenile Mandatory Bindovers

This bill would eliminate mandatory bindovers and reverse bindovers, and modify the rules and procedures regarding a discretionary bindover, of an alleged juvenile offender from a juvenile court to a criminal court.

SB 66-Sentencing Modification and Rehabilitation

SB 66 would modify criminal sentencing and corrections law by including rehabilitation as a purpose of felony sentencing, removing the one-year minimum for presumptive fourth or fifth degree felony community control sanctions, modifying sanctions for a violation of a community control condition, modifying the manner of calculating confinement credits, modifying eligibility criteria and procedures for granting intervention in lieu of conviction, making offenders convicted of certain multiple fourth or fifth degree felonies eligible for conviction record sealing, revising procedures for the Adult Parole Authority to grant a final release or terminate post-release control, and modifying the criteria for considering a prison term sanction for a post-release control violation.

SB 67-Violent Offender Registry AKA "Sierah's Law" 

This bill requires the Attorney General to establish a violent offender registry and to name this act "Sierah's Law," in honor of University of Toledo student Sierah Joughin, who was murdered in 2016. Under this act, people convicted of violent offenses including, murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, abduction and some lesser “repeat violent offenses" would be required to register their information with their Sheriff's office. Given the controversy surrounding sex offender registries in recent years, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

HB 71-Front License Plate Fine

HB 71  specifies that failure to display a license plate on the front of a motor vehicle that is required to display a front license plate is a secondary traffic offense and to establish a maximum fine of $100 for such an offense. Police officers would no longer be able to stop drivers for a missing license plate alone.

Labor and Employment

HB 86-Minimum Wage Increase

This bill would increase the state minimum wage to $10.10, beginning January 1, 2019. In 2016, Governor Kasich signed SB 331, which prohibited Ohio cities from raising the minimum wage beyond the state's current minimum wage rate, $8.15 per hour.

Tax 

HB 74-Increase College Tax Deduction

HB 74 would increase the maximum income tax deduction for contributions to the state's 529 college savings program from $2,000 to $3,000 per beneficiary per year.