The Ohio Legislature introduced 32 bills and resolutions this week. For more info on these bills, or to get the full list, contact a Law Library reference team member.
Criminal and Traffic
HB 92 would require offenders who knowingly commit public indecency under certain circumstances, such as before minors, to register as a Tier I sex offender.
This bill would enhance penalties for committing a moving violation while distracted. According to a 2016 bulletin from the Ohio State Traffic Patrol, in 2015, 13,261 drivers in Ohio crashed as a result of distracted driving.
HB 96 is another sex offenses bill. This one would increase the penalty for sexual imposition when the offender previously has been convicted or pleaded guilty three or more times of any of several specified sex offenses and to repeal the corroboration requirement for a sexual imposition conviction.
This bill would eliminate the spousal exceptions for the offenses of rape, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, importuning, and public indecency. It would also permit a person to testify against the person's spouse in a prosecution for any of those offenses. This bill has been the subject of several scathing articles this week, which note that Ohio is one of only 13 states with this exception still on the books.
HB 102 is very controversial. It would completely overhaul school funding by replacing locally levied school district property taxes with a statewide property tax. Under this plan, funding would be the same for all districts, which would cause some to lose funding, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Labor and Employment
This bill allow political subdivisions, special districts, and state institutions of higher education to elect to apply the Prevailing Wage Law to public improvement projects. The battle over this bill is sure to be heated. Proponents argue that it would save money and that municipalities are already finding ways around the current law. Opponents argue this hurts workers by weakening their benefits.