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Latest Public Policy News

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Latest Public Policy News 2016-12-20T17:44:12+00:00

March 17, 2015 — Check the Government Relations Page for Updated Resources on the State Budget; Bills of Interest

Check out the OACC’s Government Relations Page for the latest information on the state’s biennial budget (HB 64) and other legislation of interest to community colleges!

You can get to the OACC’s Government Relations page here.

February 2, 2015 — Gov. Kasich Announces Executive Version of the FY 16-17 State Budget

Click here to read the Blue Book.

January 28, 2015 — 131st Ohio General Assembly Underway; Legislative Committee Assignments Announced

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarkville, and Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, have announced committee assignments for legislators for the 131st Ohio General Assembly.

Read the House committee assignments here.

Read the Senate committee assignments here.

June 17, 2014 — Governor Signs Several MBRs into Law; Vetoes Three Provisions In Main MBR

Gov. John R. Kasich signed seven bills into law yesterday including HB 483, the main MBR; HB 486, the workforce MBR; HB 487, education MBR (includes College Credit Plus); HB 488, veterans MBR.

Read more info here:

None of the vetoes, according to the veto messages, had anything to do with higher education issues. Read the veto messages here:

April 9, 2014 — House Approves Various MBRs; Measures Now Move To Senate

The full Ohio House of Representatives has approved the following MBRs (Mid-Biennium Budget Review bills) that contain education items. The bills now move to the Ohio Senate:

  • House Bill 483 — Main MBR — Read the bill here.
  • House Bill 484 — Higher Education MBR — Read the bill here.
  • House Bill  486 — Workforce Development MBR — Read the bill here.
  • House Bill 487 — Education MBR — Read the bill here. OACC opposes College Credit Plus amendment altering “Floor” for reimbursement for institutions of higher education. Read the OACC letter here.
  • House Bill 488 — Veterans Education MBR — Read the bill here.

April 1, 2014 — Governor Signs Capital Bill

Gov. John R. Kasich has signed the Capital Bill — HB 497.

The House of Representatives passed the measure on March 26 by an 89-2 vote. The Senate passed the measure by a 30-2 tally on April 1. The governor signed the measure on April 1. According to state records, it takes effect on July 1.

Read the final bill here.


March 25, 2014 — House Finance & Appropriations Committee Approves HB 497, the Capital Bill

The House Finance & Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over most state budget matters, has approved HB 497, the capital appropriations bill, a $2.39 billion brick and mortar funding bill that appropriates about $450 million to higher education.

Read the bill here.

The measure is expected to be approved by the full House and to receive consideration in the Senate by early April.

March 25, 2014 – Mid-Biennium Budget Review

Here are a list of the MBR bills that impact higher education and the issues that are included in them.

HB 483 — MBR General — Please view the bill here.

  • Includes a $3.1 million increase for community colleges in State Share of Instruction.

HB 484 — Higher Education Reform Issues. Please view the bill here.

Includes these issues:

  • Community College Funding Formula
  • Tuition Guarantee for Community Colleges
  • Course and Program Share
  • Workforce Program Inventory
  • Reciprocity — Online Distance Education
  • Bonding or Insurance for state community college treasurers.
  • Globalization/International Student Issues

HB 487 – Education Reform Bill. Please view the bill here.

Includes College Credit Plus

HB 488 — Issues Surrounding Veterans. Please view the bill here.

Includes recommendations surrounding education for veterans including:

  • The Ohio Board of Regents developing a set of standards for credit transfer.
  • Priority registration for veterans.
  • A specific contact person on campus for veterans.
  • Development of a dispute resolution appeals process.
  • No charge for credit.

HB 486 — Workforce Development Issues. Please view the bill here.

Includes these issues:

  • High school equivalency to career study/recommendations
  • Development of evaluation criteria for workforce development programs.
  • A single state plan for ABLE, Perkins and WIA
  • $2.5 million for adult dropout recovery pilot program for community colleges and Ohio Technical Centers.

Feb. 24, 2014 — Ohio Association of Community Colleges Reaction To Gov. John R. Kasich’s State of the State Address

The following can be attributed in whole or in part to OACC Interim President Karen E. Rafinski in reaction to Gov. John R. Kasich’s State of the State address:

(On the development of the performance based funding model for community colleges):

“The presidents of Ohio’s community colleges have worked diligently on this performance based funding model for the past year, leading our nation’s community colleges in this comprehensive outcome-based initiative,” said Dr. Karen E. Rafinski, Interim President of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC).

“We commend Governor Kasich for his encouragement and recognition of the central role that community colleges play in workforce training, transfer and career education,” she said.

“While community college leaders realize there remains more work to do, they believe that with legislative support and adoption, this proposed funding system will be a tool to tackle the larger issue of Student Success and making sure that as many students as possible complete credentials with a high value in the labor market,” she said.

(In Connection with the pilot program for Adult Dropout Recovery)

“Community Colleges specialize in taking people from where they are to where they want to go,” said Rafinski. “We are pleased to learn of the pilot program and are grateful for the opportunity to further assist people who are trying to help themselves.”


Jan. 24, 2014 – Higher Education Funding Commission Releases Report and Recs for Public Campus Improvements

The Higher Education Funding Commission, made up of several presidents of public two-year and four-year colleges and universities, released its report and recommendations Thursday on facilities needs at public institutions.

It is the hope that these recommendations are included by state leaders and the state Legislature into the upcoming two-year capital bill expected to be unveiled next month. The capital bill is expected to be adopted by the Legislature later this spring.

The commission’s recommendations are supported by the leaders of every public campus in Ohio. The recommendations, which total about $405 million in projects, include:

  • $166.7 million in critical maintenance projects and repair to protect Ohio’s investment in important state assets in public higher education.
  • $71.7 million in investments to make Ohio’s public campuses more efficient in the areas of roofing, electrical and mechanical projects.
  • $117.5 million in modernizing college classrooms to make them equipped to train students for the jobs of today and tomorrow and investments of $15.8 million to upgrade technology on our public campuses.
  • A $16 million pool as an opportunity for smaller community colleges to fund critical projects on their campuses that have a local financial commitment and that meet other criteria.

Read the commission’s report and recommendations here:

Kevin Boys, President at Southern State Community College who co-chaired the commission along with Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, said the following in remarks prepared for a Thursday press event to unveil the recommendations.

“We are appreciative of the Governor’s confidence in this group of presidents to rise to the challenge of collaboration. This was indeed a team effort. Did every president get everything he or she wanted? Probably not. But we are extremely grateful for this opportunity to partner with the State of Ohio to preserve and improve efficiency in our aging facilities, to provide new experiences for our students, and above all, contribute to a highly trained workforce to maintain the growth trend in new jobs for Ohio.”

As the president of a small rural community college, I am particularly grateful to our colleagues in larger institutions for understanding the unique needs of our small colleges. One of the recommendations in our report is to establish a $16 million pool so that small colleges would have the ability to submit projects of a larger scope that would typically be beyond the scope of a single capital bill. The commission envisions a process that is administered through the Chancellor’s office. Each funded project would require some local match by the college.

And finally, we understand that these are recommendations made to the General Assembly and respectfully ask our friends in the House and Senate to support these recommendations. We stand ready to provide any additional information or help that may be needed.”

Also serving on the commission were: Interim Ohio State University President Joseph Alutto; Wright State University President David Hopkins; Cleveland State University President Ronald Berkman; Columbus State Community College President David Harrison; Zane State College President Paul Brown.

Nov. 13, 2013 — Ohio Senate Approves Senate Bill 69

The Ohio Senate, by a unanimous vote, approved SB 69, the course and program share bill crafted with the primary input of the Ohio Associatio of Community Colleges.

The bill, which moves the Course and Program Share program from Lorain County Community College to the Ohio Board of Regents, now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, has been assigned to the House Education Committee for further study.

Nov. 6, 2013 — Ohio Senate Finance Committee Approves Senate Bill 69

The Ohio  Senate Finance Committee, by a unanimous vote, approved SB 69, the course and program share bill. The bill now now hopefully heads to the Senate floor for final action.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, and supported by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, would house the Course and Program Share program at the Ohio Board of Regents. It previously had been housed at Lorain County Community College.

The Course and Program Share program encourages University System of Ohio institutions to share progamming where possible and backers say the program encourages efficiency for taxpayers and costly program duplication as well as allowing a very quick response to businesses for workforce development. Participation had lagged but backers say the housing of the program at a central location such as the Board of Regents will encourage more participation to the ultimate benefit of students.

We will keep our members advised on this meassure.

July 1, 2013 — HB 59, the biennial state budget bill becomes effective.

Read the analysis of the state budget bill for FY14-FY 15 here.

June 4, 2013 — Ohio Senate Finance Committee Releases Omnibus Amendment

Read the Senate Finance Committee’s Omnibus Amendment here. 

May 29, 2013 — Legislative Service Commission Releases Comparison on Senate Version of Budget

Read the LSC’s Comparison document on the Senate version of HB 59 here.

April 30, 2013 — OACC Testifies Before Senate Education: Finance Subcommittee

Read the proponent testimony offered by OACC Vice Chair Paul Brown, President of Zane State College,here.

April 18, 2013 — House Clears HB 59

The House cleared HB 59 on a 61-35 vote. Read the analysis of the House-passed version here.

April 16, 2013 — OACC Offers Proponent Testimony on SB 1

Read testimony from Jim Buck, CFO, Southern State Community College, on behalf of the OACC here.

Feb. 4, 2013 – Gov. Kasich’s FY 14 FY 15 Executive Budget Proposal Released

Gov. John R. Kasich’s FY 14- FY 15 executive state budget proposal has been released. Read the “Blue Book” here.

Nov. 30, 2012 – Higher Education Funding Commission Report

The final report of the Higher Education Funding Commission is available here. Recommendations, developed by presidents of Ohio’s community colleges and public universities, are expected to be incorporated into the executive proposal of the FY14-FY15 state budget for consideration by the Ohio General Assembly.

Sept. 12, 2012 – Pension Reform Bills Clear General Assembly

Bills to reform the state’s five public pension systems have cleared the Ohio General Assembly.

The full House approved bills Wednesday that included committee-adopted changes for most of them except the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) that give the pensions boards of trustees authority to make modifications to employee contribution levels without legislative approval. The Senate concurred in the House-passed legislation later in the day.

The OACC is tracking these bills: SB 341 (School Employees Retirement System), SB 342 (State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio) and SB 343 (Public Employees Retirement System). Pursuant to direction from our Presidents, the OACC was an interested party on these bills.

Links to the three pension bills tracked by the OACC are available on the OACC’s Ohio Legislation pagehere.

June 4, 2012 – Pension Reform Bills Pending in the Ohio House

Bills to reform the state’s five pension systems have passed the Ohio Senate and are pending in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Senate Bills 341 (School Employees Retirement System), 342 (State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio) and 343 (Public Employment Retirement System) join bills to reform the state’s police and fire pension system and the State Highway Patrol pension system that are pending or expected to be pending in the House Health and Aging Committee.

The Ohio Senate passed SBs 341, 342 and 343 and the police and fire pension reform bill on May 17 and passed the State Highway Patrol retirement system reform bill on May 24.

Links to the three pension bills tracked by the OACC are available on the OACC’s Ohio Legislation pagehere.

May 23, 2012 – Legislature Passes Main Mid-Biennium Budget Review; Education MBR Pending In House (Updated)

The Ohio General Assembly has given final approval to the main Mid-Biennium Budget Review bill (HB 487) and it is awaiting review by Gov. John R. Kasich.

The main MBR contains policy and language changes that affect many state agencies and areas of state government.

The education MBR (SB 316) was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on June 7.

Links to both bills can be found on the OACC’s Ohio Legislation page here.

April 2, 2012 — Governor Signs Capital Bill (HB 482); Capital Reappropriations Bill Has Also Been Signed

Gov. John R. Kasich has signed into law House Bill 482, the capital bill. The law becomes effective 90 days after being filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

HB 482 contains the recommendations of the Ohio Higher Education Funding collaborative that have been endorsed by every public college president in Ohio. Read the bill here.

Also, the capital reappropriations bill, Senate Bill 312, has passed final legislative consideration and has been signed by Gov. Kasich. It becomes law 90 days after being filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. Senate Bill 312 contains projects approved in previous capital bills. Read the bill here.

Feb. 15, 2012 — Ohio Higher Education Capital Funding Collaborative Recommendations

Read the report and recommendations of the Ohio Higher Education Capital Funding Collaborative here.

Jan. 5, 2012 – Public Policy Update

Two key issues will have a major impact on our members and will be winding their way through the Statehouse: the proposed Capital bill for FY2013-FY2014 and issues surrounding Workforce Development.


Gov. John R. Kasich’s administration has said it anticipates offering to the Legislature for its consideration a Capital Bill in February or March 2012.

As part of the upcoming Capital Bill, the Kasich administration has expressed its intent to move away from the formula that has traditionally provided capital funding to higher education. Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen has said that he expects the Capital Bill to be “restrained” in size and that the emphasis will be on renovations and repairs to existing assets and not new construction.

On Dec. 13, Gov. Kasich and key members of his administration met with university and college presidents in Columbus to describe his approach to the Capital Bill.

Currently, a committee to be convened by Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee and to be made up of Ohio Association of Community Colleges President Ron Abrams and Inter-University Council of Ohio President Bruce Johnson as well as Lakeland Community College President Morris Beverage, Zane State College President Paul Brown, Miami University President David Hodge and University of Toledo President Lloyd A. Jacobs will be meeting to develop a process for determining priorities for the capital bill. Recommendations are due to the Kasich administration by Feb. 15.

The OACC will actively advocate for the needs of all of our members.


Gov. John R. Kasich’s administration is very interested in workforce development and the role that community colleges can play in this very important issue.

On Dec. 13, Gov. Kasich and key staff members called together workforce development representatives from Ohio’s community colleges to get an update on efforts to link community college students and graduates with job opportunities including those offered through the Web

Community college representatives updated the governor and his staff on their efforts and described the powerful work being done by community colleges to link students and graduates to high-demand positions.

The Ohio Association of Community Colleges is starting a monthly dialogue of workforce development officials from our community colleges and it’s anticipated that the Kasich administration will partner with the OACC and our member colleges to see how they can assist the good work being done by our members on this.

Please stay tuned for more details on this issue as they develop.

The OACC is also monitoring issues surrounding the topics of the Mid-Biennium Budget Review, Shared Services, Construction Reform Rules and other issues. The association will provide updates as warranted.

June 4, 2010 – Ohio General Assembly Passes Casino Implementation Legislation

Last night the Ohio General Assembly came to a conference committee compromise and passed the Casino Implementation Legislation HB 519.

Two significant provisions are included for Community Colleges.

First, HB 519 includes a provision to give preference to University System of Ohio colleges and universities, private career colleges and schools, and proprietary institutions for the training of casino employees.

Some community colleges in other states had reported some difficulty with new “fly-by-night” institutions springing up to train casino workers, some of whom did not provide quality service to students. As a result, OACC advocated that the legislature include language to give preference to University System of Ohio colleges and universities for casino training opportunities.  While this language was expanded in the legislative process to also include career colleges and proprietary institutions, OACC is hopeful that this provision will serve to primarily limit this preference to existing institutions operating in Ohio and will limit the number of opportunistic new-comers; or, at minimum, provide a vehicle for discussing the problem, should it arise.

Secondly, a portion of the compromise entailed appropriating $100 million of the $200 million in one-time workforce funds available under the constitutional amendment through a separate piece of legislation, SB 181. This $100 million was appropriated to the Ohio Board of Regents as follows:

  • $50 million in FY 11 to the Co-op/Internship Program
  • Requires the Chancellor to develop a work force development pilot program for areas of the state with high unemployment and appropriates $25 million for the pilot program for urban areas and $25 million for rural areas.
  • Requires that, of the $25 million for rural areas, $12.5 million must be used for areas in Appalachia and $12.5 million must be used for areas elsewhere in the state.
  • Requires a supermajority of the Controlling Board, including the votes of at least two Senators and two Representatives, to approve the pilot program.


Note:The constitutional amendment passed by voters in November 2009 specified that $200 million in one-time licensure fees would go to workforce development.  The remaining $100 million has not yet been appropriated and likely will be appropriated in the FY 12-13 biennial budget.


March 30, 2010 – President Obama signs Education Reconcilation Bill

This legislation terminates the Federal Family Education Loan program, with all colleges moving to the Direct Loan program by July 1, 2010; ensures a maximum Pell Grant of $5,550 beginning July 1, with additional increases over the next four years; and funds a new Commmunity College and Career Training Grant Program. Learn more at the American Association of Community Colleges

Links to the three pension bills tracked by the OACC are available on the OACC’s Ohio Legislation page here.