The Ohio House today concurred on changes made by the Ohio Senate to legislation aimed at increasing efficiency and saving taxpayer dollars in local governments and state agencies.
Substitute House Bill 5, sponsored by Representatives Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), contains two primary components that focus on using tax money more responsibly and efficiently. First, it gives state agencies and local government offices the ability to request that the Auditor of State conduct a feasibility study between two or more offices, with the goal of sharing resources and improving efficiency.
“By sharing existing resources and looking for ways to improve efficiency, our local governments can better serve the community and spend tax dollars more wisely,” said Rep. Kunze.
In conducting the feasibility studies, the Auditor would be authorized to provide a grant to local governments to cover the cost of the study through the LEAP (Leverage for Efficiency, Accountability and Performance) Fund. The Auditor would be required to provide written notification to each agency before the study is conducted and, following the conclusion of the study, to hold a public hearing to announce the findings.
"House Bill 5 is exactly the reason I came to Columbus. Getting local governments to work together by sharing duplicated efforts and resources will save tax dollars and allow for more efficient government,” said Rep. Koehler. “I appreciate the unanimous support from both the House and the Senate in passing House Bill 5 and sending it on to the Governor for his signature."
The legislation also authorizes the Auditor’s Office to establish a Shared Equipment Service Agreement Program, such as ShareOhio, in which state agencies and political subdivisions can enter into agreements to share heavy equipment like tractors, bulldozers, and backhoes. The bill specifies that that under shared service agreements, the recipient agency or borrower may assume liability.
Substitute House Bill 5 now awaits the Governor’s consideration.