Legislative Update: October 2016

New Laws (as of 9/14/16)

HB 6: Extended the statute of limitations for commencing a rape or sexual battery prosecution against a person who is implicated in the offense by DNA analysis to 25 years, or 5 years after the DNA implication is made.

HB 50: Extends the age for which a person is eligible for federal foster care and adoption assistance payments under Title IV-E to age 21, creates a ward’s bill of rights, and conforms this code section to new amendments to federal Title IV-E program requirements.

HB 56: Amends and enacts this code section to prohibit public employers from including any question about the criminal background of the applicant on an employment application, and to prohibit a felony conviction to be used against an employee unless the conviction occurs while the employee is a civil servant, to remove the bar against sealing a conviction record, and to demonstrate that independent providers are not employees of the State or a political subdivision.

HB 110: Changes hit and skip sentences and gives immunity to people who call for emergency assistance for drug overdoses, provided they get treatment within 30 days.

HB 123: When putting a person on community control, the judge may waive the presentence investigation report if the State and defendant agree.

HB 151: Expands telecommunications harassment to cover a harassed person’s family or household member, and increases the penalties.

HB 164: Allows a person convicted of an offense that may not be sealed to apply to have the conviction sealed if the offense is changed so that it may be sealed, and to specify that investigation reports the Inspector General maintains are not official records sealable under the Not Guilty/Dismissed/No Bill Record Sealing Law.

HB 171: Decreases the minimum amount of heroin involved in a violation of trafficking of heroin or possession, making the violation a felony of the first degree and qualifies the offender as a major drug offender.

SB 97: Increases the mandatory prison term for firearm specifications by 50 percent for a person who has previously been convicted of a firearm specification, prohibits career criminals from having, carrying, or using a dangerous ordinance, requires mandatory prison term for career criminals who commit a felony with a firearm, and corrects a provision regarding juvenile dispositions.

SB 204: Grants judicial discretion to suspend an offender’s driver’s license based on certain drug offenses, where the suspension was formerly mandatory.

SB 321: Creates a procedure within the Court of Claims to hear complaints alleging a denial of access to public records, and modifies the circumstances under which a person who files a mandamus action seeking a public record may be awarded court costs and attorney’s fees.

Pending Bills*

HB 57: Changes the sentencing options for aggravated murder.

HB 172: Requires certain businesses that publish criminal record information to ensure that the information is complete and accurate, and provides a procedure by which a subject of an inaccurate published criminal record may have the record corrected or removed, and also provides remedies for the same.

HB 185: Eliminates the lack of property owner consent as an element of arson when the property is abandoned by real property, and makes the consent of the owner of abandoned real property an affirmative defense.

HB 270: Provides that causing the death of another person by overdose resulting from the offender’s sale, distribution, dispensation, or administration of the drug a violation of the offense of involuntary manslaughter, and makes the provision a strict liability offense.

HB 298: Requires applicants for unemployment benefits to submit to a drug test under certain circumstances, and requires the Director of Job and Family Services to operate an Ohio Works First drug testing pilot program.

HB 300: Modifies the law governing the termination or modification of a lifetime driver's license suspension, or a class two suspension that exceeds 15 years and specifies that a class one driver's license suspension for a specified aggravated vehicular homicide offense begins upon the offender's release from prison.

HB 347: Eliminates civil asset forfeiture proceedings and modifies the law governing criminal asset forfeitures.

HB 362Prohibits a person from knowingly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of another by strangulation. 

HB 378Authorizes law enforcement officers of township police districts and joint police districts, and township constables serving specified small populations, to make arrests for motor vehicle-related violations committed on an interstate highway in the same manner as township law enforcement officers serving larger populations.

HB 436: Authorizes a judge granting limited driving privileges to a second-time OVI offender to order the termination of the mandatory immobilization order.

HB 439: Includes an impaired person as a victim of voyeurism and conduct involving an impaired person within the offenses of pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.

HB 446: Specifies that the prison term that may be imposed for a third degree felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated offense is a definite period of 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, or 60 months, to add "harmful intoxicant" to the definition of "drug of abuse" for the purposes of commercial driver's licensing law, allows a person to assert the existing affirmative defense of driving in an emergency with regard to a prosecution for driving under a suspended driver's license under specified laws, and specifies that certain enhanced penalties for speeding violations apply regardless of whether the offender previously had been convicted of or pleaded guilty to speeding.

HB 521: Provides special parole eligibility dates for persons with an indefinite or life sentence imposed for an offense committed when the person was less than 18 years of age,requires the Parole Board to consider specified mitigating factors in those cases, and requires notice to the Ohio Public Defender and prosecuting attorney prior to the parole consideration hearing.

HB 587: Requires law enforcement officers to use dashboard cameras and body cameras any time that they are interacting with any member of the public while in the performance of their duties, provides for state financial assistance to local law enforcement agencies for the purchase of such cameras and related equipment, and makes an appropriation.

SB 88: Creates a tax credit for the employment of individuals who have been convicted of criminal offenses.

SB 139: Requires the clerk of a common pleas court to retain a copy of the original trial file when a death penalty is imposed, specifies that there is no page limit on petitions for post-conviction relief in death penalty cases or in appeals of denials of such relief, provides for depositions and subpoenas during discovery in post-conviction relief proceedings, and requires a judge hearing a post-conviction relief proceeding to state specifically in the findings of fact and conclusions of law why each claim was either denied or granted.

SB 146Establishes an enhanced penalty for committing a moving violation while distracted.

SB 162: Provides that a person convicted of aggravated murder who shows that the person had a serious mental illness at the time of committing the offense cannot be sentenced to death for the offense and provides a mechanism for resentencing to a life sentence a person previously sentenced to death who proves that the person had a serious mental illness at the time of committing the offense.

SB 184: Requires accurate information on sex offender registrant registration forms, where the law now does not specify “accurate.”

SB 237: Provides that five milligrams or more of fentanyl or an amount equal to or exceeding one gram of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that contains any amount of fentanyl and that is not in a final dosage form manufactured by an authorized manufacturer constitutes a bulk amount for purposes of the laws governing drug offenses, revises the manner of determining sentence for certain violations of the offense of permitting drug abuse, and adds lisdexamfetamine to the list of schedule II controlled substances.

SB 272: Provides special parole eligibility dates for persons with an indefinite or life sentence imposed for an offense committed when the person was less than 18 years of age, requires the Parole Board to consider specified mitigating factors in those cases, and requires notice to the Ohio Public Defender and prosecuting attorney prior to the parole consideration hearing.

SB 286: Modifies the penalty for assaulting a police dog or horse to require, if the dog or horse is killed, a mandatory prison term and a mandatory fine to be paid to the law enforcement agency served by the dog or horse.

SB 290: Authorizes an organized residential entity with defined boundaries to seek an injunction to keep certain repeat offenders from entering the area.

SB 297: Amends and enacts parts of the Code regarding the expulsion of a student from a school district, community school, or STEM school for communicating a threat of violence to occur on school grounds.

SB 342: Grants municipal corporations the authority to impose a ban or restriction on the open carry or concealed carry of any firearm in a publicly secured area established by the municipal corporation during an event of regional or national significance being held in the municipal corporation.

SB 350: Provides generally a testimonial privilege for communications between a qualified advocate rendering advocacy services and a victim of sexual violence, menacing by stalking, or domestic violence, exempts the nondisclosure of that privileged communication from the offense of failure to report a crime, requires a qualified advocate to report knowledge or reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect of the victim except for privileged communications, and specifies circumstances in which the victim is considered to have waived the privilege.

*Any pending bill that is not passed by the end of this calendar year will expire.

More Information

For questions or comments on recently enacted or pending legislation, contact OPD Legislative Liaison Kari Bloom or to search for legislation, visit the Ohio Legislature's website.