Columbus -- Before lawmakers left town for the summer last month, they passed dozens of bills, sending them to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
Mid-biennium budget legislation, a further crackdown on human trafficking and other major policy decisions already received lots of media attention, but there are many other bills that the governor signed behind closed doors that are now the law of Ohio-land.
Here are a few you may have not heard about yet:
• Do you keep close tabs on the Ohio Development Disabilities Council? That panel can now have its meetings via interactive video conferencing or teleconferencing, rather than making all members drive to a central location in person, thanks to HB 286.
• Would you like to see the state's military-related industries thrive? HB 292 creates a "Federal-Military Jobs Program" to "enhance, foster and aid job creation and job preservation in connection with eligible federal-military projects," according to an analysis by the state's legislative service commission. A nine-member commission will oversee the program.
The legislation also creates an "Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee" to further bolster such efforts.
• Lawmakers created a bunch of special periods to educate the public about different diseases.
SB 300 designates September as "Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Month." SB 275 sets March 9 as "Meningitis Awareness Day." HB 105 sets aside a week in July as "Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Week." And HB 399 designates the first Friday in May as "Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness and Education Day."
• HB 165 exempts certified hyperbaric technologists, who "administer oxygen therapy under the direct supervision of a physician," from law governing the practice of respiratory care.
• HB 309 blocks fees and other costs for victims of domestic violence filing protection orders. The law change was needed to enable Ohio to tap federal funds offered to cover the costs of such filings.
• You better think twice before making threatening statements against a business or organization.
HB 129 adds such threats to the state's stalking and menacing-related crimes and allows targeted groups or companies, in certain cases, to seek protection orders against the individuals involved.
"… If there's anything more cowardly than menacing, I'm not sure I know what it is, but it goes on, and to do it at an organization and thereby affect its employees or members to me is the height of cowardice and should be stopped," Sen. John Eklund (R-Chardon) said during Senate deliberations on the bill last month.
• SB 192 grants the Ohio Department of Agriculture authority to regulate invasive plants. Prior, there were no state agencies granted such authority to designate invasive species. Agricultural crops are exempt.
• There's also HB 117, which "provides for the operation of captive insurance companies," and SB 287, which "modifies authorized investments of interim moneys and inactive moneys under the Uniform Depository Act."
I'd tell you more, but just typing the phrases "captive insurance companies" and "interim moneys and inactive moneys" caused my eyes to glaze over.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.