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Bills to Watch

By Katie Johnson posted 10-21-2022 08:43 AM


The time after the November election to the end of the General Assembly’s term at the end of December is often referred to as “lame duck.” It is the last opportunity for legislators to take action before the end of their term. Legislation moves very quickly during this time. 

Please be sure to discuss the following bills with your superintendents, boards of education, communities, and legislators as we head into “lame duck.” You can find additional information on other education-related bills on the most recent copy of the Legislative Tracking Tool here.

HB 123 - Community Reinvestment Areas

  • Bill text, LSC Analysis and Fiscal Notes.
    • Repeals annual reporting requirements, eliminating locally impacted boards of education from receiving reports on agreements that are in place during a given year
    • Increases the threshold requiring board approval from 50 percent to 75 percent for a CRA property tax exemption for a commercial or industrial project.
    • Increases the threshold from $1 million to $2 million (indexed to inflation) to trigger the requirement that municipalities share municipal income tax revenue generated by new employees at a large CRA commercial or industrial project with the school district encompassing that project
  • Passed House; pending in Senate Ways and Means – received three hearings (sponsor, proponent testimony, opponent/IP testimony); amended on March 1

SB 329 - Neighborhood Development Areas 

  • Bill Text, LSC Analysis, and Fiscal Notes.
    • Allows a municipality or township to designate a portion of its territory as a Neighborhood Development Area (NDA), after making certain findings about the local housing stock, including, among others:
      • That there is a lack of adequate affordable or workforce housing or there is a housing shortage in the municipality or township; and
      • That the NDA designation will encourage the construction or renovation of residential buildings in the area, and that such construction or renovation would be unlikely to occur without the designation.
    • Authorizes a 10-year property tax exemption applicable to all residential property within an NDA.
    • Requires board of education approval if the property tax exemption is in excess of 75 percent.
  • Referred to Senate Insurance Committee

HB 234 - Repeal the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT)

  • Bill Text, LSC Analysis, and Fiscal Notes.
    • Phases out the state’s commercial activity tax (CAT) beginning in 2022, with a full elimination of the tax by 2026.
    • No provision for revenue replacement for the phaseout; would therefore fall to the General Revenue Fund
  • House Ways and Means Committee; proponent testimony on Jan. 18 

HB 290 - Statewide Voucher System - “Backpack Bill”

  • Bill Text, LSC Analysis, and Fiscal Notes.
    • Provides an education scholarship (“voucher”) for any Ohio public, non-public or home-schooled K-12 student to use to enroll in a participating chartered or non-chartered private school or to receive home instruction beginning in FY24.
    • Voucher amounts of $5,500 for a K-8 student and $7,500 per pupil for a high school student would be placed in an Education Savings Account (ESA) for each student.
    • “Backpack Scholarship Program” because students can take the voucher amount with them to any private school that accepts the vouchers.
    • Preliminary estimates by OEPI indicate that the HB 290 Backpack voucher program would cost more than $1 billion annually just for those students currently home-schooled and attending private schools.
  • House Finance Committee; Sponsor testimony on Feb. 15; watch here

HB 458 - Eliminate August Special Election

  • Bill text, LSC Analysis and Fiscal Notes.
    • Eliminates the August special election, with limited exceptions
      • special election for a congressional seat;
      • the school district or political subdivision is under fiscal emergency
      • a special election in August 2022 for adopting of a city or county charter
  • Passed out of House; pending in Senate Local Government and Elections Committee 

HB 529 - Requires Online Posting of School Curricula

  • Bill Text, LSC Analysis, and Fiscal Notes.
    • Requires schools as well as state colleges that participate in the College Credit Plus Program to provide course syllabi and required textbooks online by July of each year
  • Introduced, Jan. 4; pending in House Primary and Secondary Education Committee 

HB 722 - Enact Parents’ Bill of Rights; Re: Student Health and Instruction

  • Bill Text, LSC Analysis, and Fiscal Notes.
    • Enact the "Parents' Bill of Rights" to require public schools to adopt a prescribed policy on parental notification on student health and well-being and instructional materials with sexually explicit content
  • Introduced on April 4

SB 327 - Repeal State Income Tax