|April 16, 2014|
Previously published on April 11, 2014
HB 483, the MBR bill which includes various appropriations and general policy reforms, was heavily amended prior to its passage this week. The most voluminous of the MBR proposals with roughly 800 pages, HB 483 was amended to include controversial provisions, such as clarification that college athletes are not considered employees under state law, and financial penalties for any county that sends out absentee voter ballot applications to all voters within the county. House Republicans deemed the college athlete language as a proactive response to Northwestern University football players being granted the right to unionize.
The absentee ballot language was pulled from the bill prior to committee passage, but would have reduced a county’s Local Government Fund allocation by 10 percent if the county does not follow state law in regards to procedures for providing absentee ballots. The language was heavily criticized by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who voted to mail absentee ballots to voters countywide this week. Governor Kasich also opposed the measure.
The following provisions were among those to be included in the omnibus amendment and remain in the bill:
- Establishes a period of four years after the completion of an engagement to bring a malpractice action against a surveyor
- Sets the permanent salary of the Casino Control Commissioners at $30,000 per year
- Creates the Workforce Training Pilot Program for the Economically Disadvantaged and provides $3 million in fiscal year 2015 for the program
- Removes language that would require an individual to electronically file an application and weekly claims for unemployment benefits
- Increases the venture capital technology credit cap to $26.5 million from $20 million
- Allows high school dropouts between ages 22 to 29 to earn a diploma from a dropout recovery community school, an adult career center or a community college