House Civil Justice Committee passes HB 488
This week, the House Civil Justice Committee passed House Bill 488, sponsored by Representatives Grendell and Galonski, by a vote of 10-2 with Representatives Kick and Lampton voting against passage. CCAO Assistant Director John Leutz testified in opposition to the bill. CCAO President and Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and Greene County Commissioner Richard Gould also submitted written opposition testimony to House Bill 488.
As a reminder, House Bill 488 makes numerous updates to Ohio’s guardianship laws. Many of these changes are non-controversial, and CCAO has taken no position on these provisions of the bill. However, CCAO opposes the provisions in the bill that create a new process allowing a judge to retain outside legal counsel at their discretion for the following purposes:
- The prosecuting attorney, the board of county commissioners, or both, have a conflict of interest and failed within a reasonable time, or refused, to make an application to the court of common pleas or county court for the employment of outside legal counsel despite having been requested to do so;
- Represent the court in the prosecution of any action or proceeding against any county public officer or board; and
- To seek legal advice or legal representation concerning writ of mandamus or writ of prohibition actions.
House Bill 488 is currently awaiting a full floor vote of the Ohio House of Representatives. The next scheduled session date for the House is May 18th, and we would encourage you to contact your state representative to express your concerns about this new process to retain outside legal counsel. Earlier this week, CCAO sent out a legislative alert outlining concerns with House Bill 488 and provided several talking points for your conversations with state legislators.
Members with questions should contact CCAO Legislative Counsel Kyle Petty at 614-220-7977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2nd most likely date for second primary election
With early voting starting this week for the May 3rd primary, Ohio will officially have a split primary election. The date of the second primary, featuring state legislative and state central committee races, remains undetermined at this time, but most signs point to August 2nd as the likely date.
The General Assembly may establish the date for the second primary, or a federal three-judge panel could set the date. In speaking with reporters following House voting session this week, House Speaker Bob Cupp indicated that the House would not take action prior to the April 20 deadline set by federal courts. Thus, it will be in the federal court’s hands to establish the election date.
The limits of the election administration process shape much of the discussion regarding when the second primary may be held. The ongoing May 3rd primary election needs to be fully completed prior to beginning the next election. The primary cannot be scheduled too late either, at it would interfere with preparations for the November general election. This leads many to believe August 2nd will be the most feasible and likely election date.
CCAO maintains that whatever date it set, full funding be provided by the state for administering this additional election.
County advocacy needed for state capital funds for county jails
With the state capital appropriations process expected to begin in the coming weeks, now is the perfect time to share with state lawmakers the need for continued support for county jails in the state capital appropriations budget.
For a number of years through the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, the state invested in county jails for capital expenses. When this funding ended, counties were left alone to fund the needs of their jail capital expenses. This underinvestment left county jails inadequately prepared to handle the growing inmate populations we see today, especially jail populations with mental health and addiction treatments needs.
CCAO was pleased to see the state resume support of county jail facilities during the previous capital budget bill in 2020, making available $50 million in competitive grant funds. It is CCAO’s goal to continue and expand this support for county jails as part of the upcoming capital appropriations process.
Please take time to contact your state lawmakers and ask them to continue and expand support for county jail construction. Please utilize the resources below in your state lawmaker advocacy.
CCAO Capital Appropriations Request – One Pager
Capital Appropriations Request – Supporting Documents