Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 509 to allow local governments to access cost-savings through shared services and increased flexibility, which will give communities additional tools when dealing with their unique budget circumstances.
Chairman of the House Local Government Committee Terry Blair (R-Washington Twp.) has released the following statement on the passage of House Bill 509 from the House:
“Today the House took another step toward helping our local governments by giving them more flexibility and options for shared services, which would save tax dollars and streamline government operations. I’m happy that we passed House Bill 509 to give local governments more control over their budgets at a time when they need that additional flexibility more than ever before.”
Specifically, House Bill 509 includes numerous shared services and flexibility provisions, including:
• Allowing local health departments to go outside of their traditional borders to share or contract with staff
• Allowing county auditors to serve as fiscal agents for other offices with the written approval of that office
• Permitting county auditors to share employees across county lines
• Competitive bid limits for cities, villages, specified boards, sanitary districts, counties, regional sewer and water districts, regional airports and park districts
• Permissive authority for townships to purchase health care plans
House Bill 509 is a component of the mid-biennium review, which was separated into nine bills following several weeks of thorough committee hearings in the House to allow for more issue-centric hearings. It passed by a vote of 88-8 and will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further discussion.