Legislative Update

State Senator Matt Dolan Newsletter
Volume 2

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In “From the Desk of Matt Dolan”, I discussed in depth two pieces of legislation that I found of particular interest. However, I have voted on several pieces of legislation since assuming office on January 3. Below is the summary of all the legislation I voted on up to April 6, 2017. I voted YES on all of these bills:

Public Safety and Criminal Justice

SB 1 makes it a crime to traffic in a fentanyl-related compound. Fentanyl is an opiate that is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It has been linked to hundreds of overdose deaths throughout Ohio and is now being mixed with heroin, which makes the compound even more lethal. Even trace amounts of fentanyl can kill an individual.

If signed into law, selling fentanyl near schools or to minors will be a first-degree felony. Offenders convicted of that charge will also be labeled major drug offenders.

Importantly, the focus of SB1 is on improving public safety by placing drug dealers in prison, and away from Ohio’s communities.

SB 7 came about as a result of the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling in State v Smith. In that particular case, the court ruled that a violent offender who had knowledge of a protection order, but had not formerly been served the order, could not be convicted of violating the order. In other words, even though the violent offender had knowledge of protection order during a violent assault, the fact that he had not been formerly served the order prevented his conviction.

SB 7 is the Senate’s response to that ruling. The bill establishes that service of a protection order or consent agreement upon a person is not necessary for the person to be convicted of the offense of violating that order if the person has had actual notice of the order and the person recklessly violated its terms.

SB 20 creates Destiny’s Law, which requires an additional mandatory prison term of 3 to 8 years for individuals convicted of felonious assault on a child under 13, or child endangerment, when the victim is left with substantially impaired intellectual or physical injuries that prohibit the child from engaging in the ordinary demands of life. The bill is named for a young child from Ohio who suffered permanent brain damage at the hands of her abuser.

SB 33 makes it clear that a defendant has a right to see a copy of his or her criminal record during a traffic or criminal case. The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that a defendant has a right to know his or her criminal record. Privacy laws, however, conflicted with Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) law so SB 33 is necessary to ensure prosecutors can legally disclose this information.

HB 9 allows bicyclists whose bikes were not detected by a traffic signal to proceed through that intersection, so long as the bicyclist clearly follows all right-of-way requirements and exercises ordinary care when proceeding through the intersection.

Government

SB 10 will save taxpayer dollars by eliminating the need for uncontested primary elections to appear on the ballot. If signed into law, the nomination will automatically go to the sole individual running for that office.

SB 25 creates the Perry County Municipal Court, which will sit in New Lexington, Ohio.

SB 37 requires the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) to develop and conduct a 40-hour training course for newly appointed chiefs of police. This creates an opportunity for local police chiefs to receive appropriate training that will better equip them to be effective and dynamic leaders within their community.

SB 44 brings greater transparency and accountability to local elections by permitting candidates not currently required to file campaign finance statements electronically to do so.

SB 88 revises the fiscal emergency procedures for local governments (municipalities, townships and counties) to ensure financial planning and supervisory commissions are properly empowered to restore fiscal stability. The bill’s provisions were recommended by the Ohio Auditor of State.

HB 26 is the Transportation Budget bill. I discuss the important aspects of this bill in “From the Desk of Matt Dolan.”

Commemorations and Designations

SB 18 designates Jesse Owens Day to commemorate the accomplishments of the Ohio State and Olympic track & field star. The date of September 12th was chosen to coincide with Owens’ birthday.

SB 23 designates January 31st as “Omphalocele Awareness Day.” An omphalocele is an abdominal wall defect that occurs when an infant’s intestines, liver, and occasionally other organs grow outside of the body and push through into the navel. The organs are covered in a thin, nearly transparent sac and almost always require surgery to correct. SB 23 is intended to bring public awareness, support and education to this very serious diagnosis.

SB 27 designates the period beginning March 13th and ending April 15th as “Ohio Deaf History Month.” Designating this time period helps to promote equality while empowering deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens through public awareness and community resources.

SB 57 designates May 17 as “Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Awareness Day.” Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a tumor of the brainstem that occurs almost exclusively in children. DIPG is one of the most resistant of all cancers to chemotherapy treatments and is the second most common malignant brain tumor found in children. It is the leading cause of childhood death due to brain tumors, impacting between 200-400 children each year in the U.S.

Miscellaneous

SB 2 has to do with promoting, protecting and preserving Lake Erie. I discuss this bill in detail in “From the Desk of Matt Dolan.”

SB 6 creates the Ohio Bridge Partnership Program (BPP). The Bridge Partnership Program is a partnership between the state and local governments and entities to fully fund the replacement or repair of locally-owned bridges. Using federal funds with no required local match, the BPP has funded the repair and replacement of over 200 structurally deficient county and local bridges since 2014.

SB 9 reestablishes a three-day sales tax “holiday” on August 4, 5, and 6 of 2017. Sales of clothing, school supplies, and school instructional materials.

The sales tax holiday applies to clothing costing $75 or less per item (not including accessories or sports equipment), and school supplies and instructional materials costing less than $20 per item.

SB 24 creates the Consumer Installment Loan Act (CILA) to help consumers, regulators, and industry participants determine which types of loans should be made under a specific, new section of code. The bill does not impact the Ohio Mortgage Loan Act (OMLA).

This bill also modifies record retention requirements to reflect the ability to use electronic record keeping, and requires licensees to comply with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

SB 29 updates Ohio’s banking laws for the first time since the 1980’s. It enacts a new “universal” banking law that regulates banks, savings and loan associations, and savings banks under the same statute. It also eliminates unnecessary regulatory duplication and burdens on Ohio banking organizations, and streamlines regulatory governing boards.

This modernization ensures Ohio law reflects the dramatic changes that have occurred in the banking industry over the past thirty years, most notably electronic banking.

Together, SB 22 and HB11 conform to federal tax law changes that were signed into law in 2016. These modifications update Ohio tax law to reflect federal tax benefits that are used in the calculation of Federal Adjusted Gross Income (FAGI).

The bill will permit Ohioans to receive all of the benefits allowed by the IRS and avoid additional complexity when filing their taxes.

HB 11 and SB 22 are companion bills. A technical amendment and emergency clause were added to HB 11 by the Senate prior to passage.