Legislative Update - August 3, 2018

CEA Legislative Update August

The legislature is on summer recess as members are back in their districts many of which are running for reelection this year.  Their break may be a bit shorter as the Ohio Senate has a tentative session date scheduled for August. The Ohio House also has tentative session dates scheduled for September.

HB 716 (Butler, Perales) Occupational Licenses
The legislation was introduced in July it has not yet been assigned to a committee.  The bill requires state occupational licensing agencies, under certain circumstances, to issue temporary licenses or certificates to members of the military and spouses who are licensed in another jurisdiction and have moved to Ohio for active duty. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.  SB 320 (Beagle, Lehner) Occupational Licenses 
Sponsors feel the bill will help military members, veterans and their families more easily work as licensed professionals in Ohio.  United States Congressman Mike Turner (Dayton area) is also supportive of the legislation.
Some of the bill provisions include:
  • The individual would qualify for a temporary license if the person holds a valid license or certificate to practice the trade or profession issued by another state or jurisdiction
  • The license or certificate is in good standing
  • The individual must present adequate proof to the department, agency, or office that the individual or the individual's spouse is a member of the uniformed services and is on active military duty in this state
The bill was recently introduced and has not yet been assigned to a committee.  In each fiscal year, a municipal corporation may use up to five per cent of the gross amount of money deposited in the municipal corporation's sewer fund in the preceding year for the purpose of extending the municipal corporation's sewerage system if the sewerage system is being extended to areas for economic development purposes.
 
Ohio Part of Pension Debate
The United States House and Senate Joint Select Committee on Pensions held a field hearing at the Ohio Statehouse. Congressional members heard from employers, employees, and retirees.  Some of those that testified included:
  • Mike Walden, president of the National United Committee to Protect Pensions and a retiree of Teamsters Local 24
  • Larry Ward, a retiree of the United Mine Workers of America
  • Brian Sloan, apprentice instructor at Millwright Local 1090

Witnesses testified that the Central States Teamsters Pension Plan, the United Mine Workers Pension Plan, the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Plan, the Ohio Southwest Carpenters Pension Plan and the Bakers and Confectioners Pension Plan are all at risk.

Some of those that testified offered freezing all multi-employer pension plans with a certain level of underfunding and allowing companies to withdraw from multi-employer pension funds without liability.

With attention focused on pension issues, SCR 27 was introduced.  The resolution urges Congress to enact the Butch Lewis Act of 2017.   It mentions that about 130 multiemployer plans are at risk of insolvency during the next 20 years, jeopardizing the pension benefits of over 1 million workers, retirees, and survivors.  The resolution highlights that the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (S. 2147).  S. 2147 creates the Pension Rehabilitation Administration to provide loans to qualified insolvent or underfunded multiemployer plans to be used to pay pension benefits and invest to improve the plan's financial position.  Some of the local State Senators that have signed onto the bill include Senator Kenny Yuko, Mike Skindell, Vernon Sykes, and Sandra Williams.

 

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