COLUMBUS, Ohio – House Bill 531 introduced by State Rep. Haraz Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, passed unanimously on the House floor Wednesday and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
Ghanbari, the primary sponsor of the legislation, noted the bipartisan bill allows a county prosecutor to partner with certain entities to provide legal services.
“When matters of legal intervention are brought up, they are forced to seek private legal services and counsel often becomes more expensive for Ohio’s taxpayers,” Ghanbari said. “By allowing these legal services to be provided to these entities by contract with the county prosecuting attorneys, these organizations would no longer be forced to pay variable rates when seeking legal counsel.”
Ghanbari noted through the partnerships, it will allow the entities and ultimately Ohioans to obtain legal services at a lower cost. The entities include the councils of governments, metropolitan planning organizations and regional transportation planning organizations.
“We very much appreciate Representative Ghanbari’s leadership in helping regional councils of governments to have an additional cost saving option in the toolbox,” said Tim Brown, president of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. “The bill would give us the ability to contract with a county prosecutor’s office, maximizing our options to pursue the most cost effective legal resources on behalf of the taxpayers.”
Along with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, organizations that have supported the bill include County Commissioners Association, Ohio Association of Regional Councils and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.