Legislation approves to ease access to public records


COLUMBUS – Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) announced final Senate approval of legislation designed to make it easier for Ohioans to navigate the public records request process.

The Senate approved on Wednesday a minor House changes made to Senate Bill 321, which provides an expedited process to an individual who has had a public records request denied by a public office at the state, county and local levels.

“This legislation opens the doors of state government wide to ordinary Ohioans who are trying to access public records. By removing financial and legal barriers to settling public records disputes, we’re taking a major step to make the process of accessing public records more transparent, efficient and fair,” said Faber.

Senate Bill 321, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will establish procedures for filing a dispute if a person’s public records request is denied. In the case of a denial, the individual can file a complaint with the Court of Claims that will begin with a mediation process designed to resolve the dispute over access to the requested public records.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 15: Calling for Limits to Federal Overreach

Senate Faber also announced the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 15, which reasserts the principles of federalism found in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Sponsored by Faber and Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina), the resolution calls for the repeal of federal legislation that violates the Constitution.

House Bill 390: Reducing Costs for Employers by Paying State’s Unemployment Compensation Debt

The Senate approved a short-term plan to pay off the state’s unemployment compensation debt to the federal government, which was incurred during the Great Recession. The plan will save Ohio businesses an estimated $400 million in FY17 with no risk or loss to the state or taxpayers. Instead of paying $168 per employee in a 12-month period, employers will pay $87.

Faber was instrumental in crafting the plan. “This saves Ohio employers millions that can be used to hire, expand and reinvest in their businesses,” he said.

Senate Bill 321 and House Bill 390 will proceed to the governor for his signature.

Senate passes 36 bills

Staff report

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