House Bill (HB) 444 was passed by the 133rd General Assembly in December 2020. HB 444 contains an amendment to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3.061. ORC 3.061 permits “officers, employees, or appointees” of political subdivisions to purchase an insurance policy or coverage document issued by an ORC 2744.081 insurance pool covering employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty in lieu of a surety bond. ORC 3.061 permitted this alternate form of risk transfer provided that either the surety bond or the employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty coverage was in effect at the beginning of the individual’s term of office or employment.
HB 444 amends ORC 3.061 to permit “any officer, employee, or appointee” to make the change to be covered by an employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty policy during the individual’s term or employment. The requirement still exists that either the surety bond or the employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty policy must be in place before they take office or start employment to ensure there is no lapse of coverage (either by surety bond or crime cover), but public officials now have the flexibility to change during their terms.
HB 444 provides important clarification to public officials as they assess and manage the various risks to their political subdivisions. We encourage school treasurers and public officials to consult with their legal counsel and insurance professionals to ensure that any changes are done in accordance with local ordinances.
Michael Ugljesa is President of Hylant Administrative Services, the Program Administrator of the Ohio School Plan. 419.724.1987 | firstname.lastname@example.org