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Ohio House Finance Committee adopts substitute HB 33

Several Lake County â¿¿priorities' included in bill, official reports
Published By The News-Herald on May 3, 2023
Jamie Callender In The News

The Ohio House Finance Committee has adopted Substitute House Bill 33, State Rep. Jamie Callender, R-Concord Township, recently announced.

The adoption comes after three months of hearings, by both the full Finance Committee and sub-committees focused on individual sections of the 4,311-page bill.

According to a news release, while no earmarks or district projects were included in the substitute bill, several projects “impacting Lake County and North East Ohio” were included in the legislation, including:

• $3.5 million for the Mentor Harbor Erosion Mitigation Project

• $5 million for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

• $160 million in grant funding for water and sewer improvements

 Officials described the support and public investment as “critical” to efforts in improving public access to Lake Erie and the North Coast Harbor.

The Mentor Harbor funding is in addition to the $3.5 million Callender secured for the project as part of House Bill 45, in the 134th General Assembly, bringing the commitment to $7 million.

 Other appropriations included in the bill are:

• Increased base cost of the fair school funding formula from 2018 to 2022 numbers, resulting in over a billion in extra funding for K-12 education across the biennium which will continue to lessen reliance on local property tax

• $2 million (over the biennium) for the ALS Association to support those living with the disease, and serving 33 counties across Northern Ohio

HB 33 includes several permanent law changes. While appropriations are only temporary law and will expire at the end of the fiscal year 2025, any permanent changes made as part of the budget process remain as part of the Ohio Revised Code, the release stated.

Some of the permanent law changes include:

• Requiring the state fire marshal, in coordination with the board of building standards and local representatives, to develop guidelines for the enforcement of the Ohio Building Code and Fire Code in a coordinated manner — it also excludes patio spaces that are open on three sides with means of egress compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act to not count against building occupancy

• Establishing licensure and an advisory board for doula services across Ohio

• Creating art therapy licensure across Ohio

“The members of the Ohio wine community are very appreciative of the efforts of Representative Callender to address an ongoing issue which balances public safety with the need to protect the several hundred Ohio family-owned wineries’ financial viability,” said Ohio Wine Producers Association Executive Director Donniella Winchell.

While the budget process is far from complete, Callender stated he’s proud of the work done so far.

“Continuing to lower our taxes, while ensuring that Ohioans are not only ready to enter the workforce by providing quality educational opportunities, but are inspired to continue exploring the world-class cultural, musical, and natural resources we have in Northeast Ohio, is key to maintaining Lake County as the best place in the county to work and live.”

With the adoption of the bill, the budget process will continue as representatives offer further amendments as part of the omnibus package, the release stated.

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