Ohio Legislative Update: County Fair Funds, Water Quality Bonds, Animal-drawn Vehicles, Regulation, Broadband Services, Eminent Domain, Beginning Farmer Funds, Wind, Solar

Hopefully, Ohio’s planting season will soon be as busy as its legislative season.  There’s a lot of activity down at the capitol these days, with many bills on the move.  Here’s a summary of bills that could impact agriculture and rural communities. Note that the summary doesn’t include the budget bill, which we’ll address in a separate article.

Water quality bonds.  A joint resolution recently offered in the Senate supports amending Ohio’s Constitution to create permanent funds for clean water improvements.  S.J.R. 2, a bipartisan proposal from Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Hts.) would place a ballot issue before voters in November.  The issue proposes amending the Constitution to allow for the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund clean water improvements.  Up to $1 billion over 10 years would be permissible, with no more than $100 million allocated in any fiscal year.  Bond funds would create a permanent source of funding for the H2Ohio program, which is now dependent upon the state budget process.

Continue reading