Three Pro-Small Business Bill Pass Ohio Legislature

Date: May 16, 2016

The Ohio General Assembly has been active in May.  There are
three bills that NFIBOhio was closely monitoring recently passed both chambers
of the Ohio General Assembly.  These victories for small business owners include workers’ compensation subrogation reform,
renewal of the Ohio sales tax holiday and
restricting residency requirements on construction projects.  All of these bills are NFIB/Ohio key votes.

House Bill 207 brings a much-needed common sense reform to
Ohio’s workers’ compensation system. 
This bill allows an employer whose employee is injured in a motor
vehicle accident in the course of employment by a third-party that has been
cited as at fault to apply to the Ohio BWC to have that claim charged against
the BWC Surplus Fund and not their experience. 
House Bill 207 is a major change,
as in the past, that claim would have applied to the employer’s experience,
likely jeopardizing eligibility for discount programs and potentially resulting
in dramatic premium spikes.  House Bill
207 protects employers and employees injured by a third-party in a motor
vehicle accident.  NFIB/Ohio has long
advocated for this reform, and we applaud the Ohio Legislature for passing this
important bill. 

Last year, Ohio enjoyed its first sales tax holiday in
August on a select group of back to school items.  By nearly all accounts, it was a tremendous
success.  Retailers saw a bump in sales
and consumers were able to stretch their hard-earned dollars further.  According to a dynamic economic study, Ohio recognized a bump in revenue from this
holiday as sales tax receipts saw an increase, particularly in border
counties.  Senate Bill 264 has passed
both chambers of the Ohio Legislature to
reinstitute the sales tax holiday once again for 2016.  While NFIB/Ohio would prefer a permanent
sales tax holiday instead of one year pilots, we appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the sales tax holiday for
another year.  Governor Kasich recently signed this bill into law.

House Bill 180 prohibits a public authority from putting residency restrictions on public works projects has been approved by the Ohio Senate and will also be headed to Gover Kasich for his signature.  Several municipalities have added these restrictions which inherently discriminate against Ohio-based companies.  Small businesses in particular struggle with fulfilling arbitrary residency requirements, leading to less qualified bids and thus driving up taxpayer costs through limiting competition.  Further, because of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution, public authorities cannot place residency restrictions on out-of-state contractors giving non-residents preferential treatment.   House Bill 180 will allow small business owners a better chance to compete on these labor projects going forward. 

There are many other bills NFIB/Ohio will be following in the coming months.  Please visit www.NFIB.com/OH for legislative updates.  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Ferruso, Legislative Director at (614) 221-4107 or at chris.ferruso@nfib.org.

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