Ohio COVID-19 legislation


coronavirus file

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio Senate amended Substitute House Bill 197 with several provisions including emergency clauses to help Ohio navigate this crisis. The Ohio House approved these amendments, and the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.  The bill began as an administrative clean-up bill to Ohio’s tax code but is now the vehicle for emergency response language due to the outbreak of coronavirus. 

A list of these amendments can be found below.

  • Department of Administrative Services. Re-appropriation of funding for state capital projects.
  • Medicaid Payments to COVID-19 Community Providers. Authorizes the Medicaid Director to classify certain Medicaid providers as COVID-19 community providers and make extra payments to those providers. 
  • Open Meetings – Electronic Participation. Allows members of a public body to hold and attend meetings by video conference, teleconference or other similar electronic technology under certain conditions for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic but not beyond December 1, 2020.
  • Budget Stabilization Fund Transfer. Authorizes the Office of Budget and Management Director to transfer cash in FY 2020 from the Budget Stabilization Fund to the General Revenue Fund to balance the budget with approval of the at least two Controlling Board members from each chamber of the General Assembly.
  • Extra 45 Days for a County Central Committee to Fill a Vacancy. Provides a county political party central committee an additional 45 days to fill vacancies during the COVID-19 emergency.   
  • Waiver of Education Requirements Due to COVID-19 Emergency. Exempts schools from administering standardized tests during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the waiver of other requirements.
  • Payments to Publicly Funded Child Care Providers. Authorizes the Director of the Department of Job and Family Services to continue to pay providers of publicly funded childcare during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Changes to Unemployment Compensation during COVID-19 Outbreak. Waives the search for work requirement and provides that an individual is not disqualified if prevented from working due to one of a variety of orders in response to COVID-19.
  • Delivery of Services to Special Needs Students during COVID-19 Emergency. Permits the holders of licenses of certain boards to provide services electronically or via telehealth communication to special needs children who receive services through their resident school district, Autism Scholarship or Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship.
  • Tax Compliance Mitigation. Authorizes the Tax Commissioner to extend the tax filing and payment deadlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also applies to school district income taxes, municipal income taxes administered by the state and certain fees administered by the Department of Taxation.
  • Public Retirement System Boards – Delay Board Member Elections until December 1, 2020. Allows public retirement systems to delay elections for board members until December 1, 2020, and allows for existing members whose terms expire during this time period to remain in office.  
  • Auditor Of State – Waive Certain Requirements Regarding Procedure. Allows the Auditor of State to waive requirements for a standard financial audit after conducting an agreed-upon procedure audit in two consecutive audit periods and all criteria a public office is required to satisfy in order for the Auditor of State to conduct an agreed-upon procedure audit instead of a standard financial audit.
  • Tolling of Statutes of Limitations and Deadlines. Requires the criminal statutes of limitations, the civil statute of limitations, and the administrative statutes of limitations and other court time limitations and deadlines that are set to expire between March 9, 2020, and July 30, 2020, be tolled.
  • County Recorders – Create a Process for the Transfers and Processing of Titles Online. Permits certain temporary operational changes for county recorders’ offices.   
  • Delay Step Up to Quality Requirement. Extends the date for publicly funded childcare providers to be rated through the Step Up To Quality Program from July 1 to September 1, 2020.
  • Ohio Public Works Commission, Ohio Water Development Authority and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency – Waive Penalty and Fees. Gives the following governmental entities the ability to waive penalties and late fees owed from the issuance of outstanding loans to the Ohio Public Works Commission, the Ohio Water Development Authority and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Also gives the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency the ability to suspend reporting requirements for water research recovery facilities or solid waste facilities.
  • Recent Nursing Graduates Obtain a Temporary License. Grants a temporary nursing license without examination to registered nurse and licensed practical nurse applicants if they meet the other requirements including education and background check.
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Authority. Unless prohibited by a supervising practitioner or health care facility, permits a certified nurse anesthetist authority to select, order and administer drugs, treatments and intravenous fluids for conditions related to anesthesia, and allows direct nurses and respiratory therapists to perform specified tasks, including administering drugs and ordering and evaluating diagnostic tests.
  • Extension of Absent Voting for March 17, 2020, Primary Election. Allows any Ohio elector who has not already voted in the 2020 primary election the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot through 7:30 p.m. on April 28, 2020. 
  • EdChoice Scholarship Suspension. Freezes eligibility for the 2020-2021 school year to that of the 2019-2020 school year.

We will continue to monitor provide updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 and share information, as needed. Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center, as well as our specific COVID-19 Government Affairs Resource page.

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