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In This Issue

Association News
April is National County Government Month
- OCCO Legislative Reception - registration open
- Downtown redevelopment districts webinar – April 12
Legislative Briefing Update
Wolford hired to assist policy staff


State News
LGIC announces grants for public safety services
ODOT accepting comments on future of transportation
Ohio START: pilot program for families harmed by parental opioid abuse
- State Health Improvement Plan released

ODA Conservation Farm Family Awards
- OAG issues opinion on public communication and testing of algal blooms

Federal News
Trump budget template released
-
House pulls health care bill

NACo News
NACo Arts and Culture Awards applications available
NACo Annual Conference: Franklin County…here we come!


Education and Grants
- CyberOhio business summit - Mar. 31

Job Postings
CCAO publishes classified ads on our website free of charge as a service to counties. When submitting your ad to CCAO, please provide a link to the online job posting and a deadline date. Email your classified ad to Mary Jane Neiman, CCAO Public Relations Associate. 

Statehouse Report
Check out the Statehouse Report for the CCAO Policy Team's updates about legislative activity affecting Ohio's counties. 

Dates

Print Version
April is National County Government Month
 
National County Government Month (NCGM), held each April, is an annual celebration of county government. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has encouraged counties to actively promote the services and programs they offer. Counties can schedule activities any time during the month. NCGM is an excellent opportunity for your county to highlight effective county programs and raise public awareness and understanding about the various services provided to the community.
 
The theme for this year’s celebration of NCGM is “Brilliant Ideas that Work,” showcasing how counties are trailblazing new approaches to seize opportunities and overcome community challenges.


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OCCO Legislative Reception – registration open
 
During National County Government Month, the Ohio Council of County Officials (OCCO) is hosting a Legislative Reception on Wednesday, Apr. 26 from 5-7 p.m. for county elected officials and members of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly. Statewide office holders have also been invited.
 
OCCO is an organization that strives to unite the associations representing county auditors, commissioners, clerk of courts, coroners, engineers, prosecuting attorneys, recorders, treasurers, sheriffs and judges in order to promote sound, efficient and fiscally responsible government. It serves as a forum to provide information about issues of importance to county elected officials and allows members the opportunity to work on legislative issues of mutual concern.
 
Since April is National County Government Month, we hope county commissioners, county executives, county council members and all county elected officials will join OCCO for this Reception/Open House on Apr. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus.
Personally invite your members of the Ohio General Assembly to the reception and make an appointment to discuss issues of importance to your county.
 
Online registration is open. There is no charge to attend, but registration is necessary for planning purposes. Click here for more information.


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Downtown redevelopment districts webinar – April 12

CCAO is pleased to offer a one-hour webinar on April 12 at 9:30 a.m. on “Downtown
Redevelopment Districts”. During the past year, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to provide additional tools to meet the challenges of local governments establishing downtown redevelopment districts (DRD). DRDs operate similarly to tax increment financing districts except that the collected service payments can be used for a wider array of uses, including grants and loans to owners of historic buildings for renovation. This is a potential tool for courthouse restoration and renovation.
 
This webinar will focus on:
  • What is a downtown redevelopment district?
  • What is an innovation district?
  • Who establishes a downtown redevelopment district?
  • What is the territory of the district?
  • What are the economic development plan requirements?
  • What are the revenue sources and uses?
  • What are the reporting requirements?
  • How do you certify a courthouse as a historic building?
How can DRDs be used to address maintenance and rehab costs with historic county courthouses? 
Our speaker is David J. Robinson, the principal and founder of the Montrose Group, LLC. Previously, David worked for a decade managing government relations practices’ in large law firms and served in the Ohio House of Representatives. David is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the Fisher School of Business Advanced Management Program.
 
Click here to register. If you experience difficulty in registering, please contact Curt Pratt, CCAO
administrative assistant, and provide him with your name, title, employer and email address. For
additional information regarding the topic for this webinar, please contact Brad Cole, CCAO
managing director of research, at (614) 220-7981 or (888) 757-1904. Read more…


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Legislative Briefing Update

We are down to our last two CCAO regional legislative briefings. If yours is still to come…it’s time to RSVP for your briefing session. Also, personally call you legislator to remind them of the invitation they received from CCAO and encourage them to attend. 

As our best advocates, your presence at these legislative briefing sessions will allow our
counties to tell their stories to their legislators about the real consequences to service delivery that will be effectuated by HB 49, the proposed FY 18/19 Executive Budget. The governor’s budget casts huge doubt on the administration’s commitment to a viable state/county partnership.
  • Monday, Mar. 27 at 11:30 a.m. - Rootstown
    New Center – Cook Alumni Hall, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4211 State Route 44, Rootstown
    Counties:  Ashtabula, Columbiana, Geauga, Lake, Mahoning, Portage and Trumbull
  • Friday, Apr. 7 at 11:30 a.m. - Ashland
    Jake’s, 1040 Sugarbush Drive, Ashland
     Counties: Ashland, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne
For more information, please contact John Leutz, CCAO Legislative Counsel, at (614) 220-7994 or Curt Pratt, CCAO Administrative Assistant, at (614) 220-7985.

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Wolford hired to assist policy staff
 
CCAO members will be seeing a familiar face around the CCAO office for a few months. Gwen Wolford, formerly with OSU Extension, has been hired as a legislative consultant to assist the staff on various policy matters. Gwen hit the ground running last Thursday and will be working for us until the end of June.  
Last December, Gwen retired from OSU with over 30 years of service. She was a liaison between OSU Extension and CCAO since 2000. Gwen holds a B.S., M.S.and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Gwen can be contacted at (614) 221-5627 ext. 307, (888) 757-1904 or gwolford@ccao.org.


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LGIC announces grants for public safety services

The Local Government Innovation Council (LGIC) within the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded 49 grants totaling $10 million to help local communities across the state enhance public safety and cut costs through the Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program (LGSC). This is the second round of awards for the LGSC, which provides grants for the purchase of vehicles, equipment, facilities or systems needed to enhance public safety. The counties receiving funding
are Erie, Hocking, Logan, Morgan, Paulding, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Vinton. Read more…

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ODOT accepting comments on future of transportation

The Ohio Department of Transportation is accepting public comments on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) for 2018 to 2021. The plan identifies the multi-modal transportation improvement projects that are scheduled for some phase of implementation throughout the state over the next four years. Ohioans are encouraged to be a part of the process to shape the future of transportation in our state.    

Draft documents will be available for public review and comment at 35 locations statewide from Mar. 27 through Apr. 7 during normal business hours. Click here for additional STIP information and locations of STIP Open Houses. Written comments must be received by the close of business on Apr. 14. Read more…


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Ohio START: pilot program for families harmed by parental opioid abuse

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the creation of Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma), a new pilot program that will serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse, in 14 southern Ohio counties (Athens, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Hocking, Ross and Vinton). Ohio START is an intervention program that will provide specialized victim services to children who have suffered victimization due to parental drug use. The program will also provide drug treatment for parents of children referred to the program.

The program will primarily be funded through a $3.5 million Victims of Crime Act grant from the OAG’s Office which will be shared among the counties over two and a half years. These grant funds will be spent to help county child welfare agencies identify children who have been victimized due to parental drug use and provide them with specialized treatment for any behavioral or emotional trauma. The grant will also fund victim services for parents with underlying victimization that may be contributing to their addiction. Casey Family Programs, which partnered with the OAG’s Office to develop the Ohio START program, is providing an additional $75,000 for the pilot program.  Both grants will be administered by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. Read more…


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State Health Improvement Plan released

During the past 18 months, the Ohio Department of Health and the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation have worked with the Health Policy Institute of Ohio and other state and local partners to conduct a new State Health Assessment and develop a new State Health Improvement Plan.

The plan includes three priority health topics – mental health and addiction (including outcomes for drug dependence and abuse, and drug overdose deaths); maternal and infant health (including outcomes for infant mortality); and chronic disease. It also includes cross-cutting drivers of health, including health equity; social determinants of health; the public health system, prevention and health behaviors; and the healthcare system and access. Read more…


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ODA Conservation Farm Family Awards

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is accepting nominations to honor Ohio farm families who are leaders in conservation for the 2017 Conservation Farm Family Awards. The program has recognized Ohio farm families since 1984 for their efforts in managing natural and human resources while meeting both production and conservation goals. Five area finalists will be selected from across the state.  

Individual farmers, partnerships or family farm corporations are eligible for nomination, provided a substantial portion of their income is derived from farming. The judging is based on the nominee's use of new and traditional conservation techniques, comprehensive management, individual initiative in applying conservation measures and the nominee’s willingness to share conservation information, experiences and philosophy with others.

Nomination forms can be obtained from local county soil and water conservation districts or by visiting ODA’s website at www.agri.ohio.gov. Nomination deadline: Wednesday, May 17. Read more…


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OAG issues opinion on public communication and testing of algal blooms

 SYLLABUS: 2017-009

1. Pursuant to R.C. 3709.11, the health commissioner of a general health district shall inform the public of the presence of a harmful algal bloom in a river when the harmful algal bloom constitutes a matter affecting the health of the district.

2. The health commissioner of a general health district has implied authority to test, or obtain testing, for harmful algal blooms in a river within or abutting the boundaries of the general health district that isaccessibleby3. A board of health of a general health district may test for harmful algal blooms in a river within

the public when the testing is necessary in order for the health commissioner to inform the public of a matter affecting the health of the district pursuant to R.C. 3709.11.
or abutting the boundaries of the general health district that is accessible by the public and may inform the public of the results of that testing when it is necessary to protect the public health from a public nuisance.

4. A public water supply system that uses a river as a source of its water shall perform testing for harmful algal blooms in the river and inform the public of the results of that testing in accordance with 7D Ohio Admin. Code Chapter 3745-90 (2016-2017 Supplement).


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Trump budget template released
 
The initial step in the annual federal appropriation process has been taken with the introduction of President Trump’s proposal. This initial proposal, called the “skinny” budget, follows the tradition of first budgets from new presidents that typically contain few details at this point. 

Here are some of the highlights of the proposal that could impact counties:
  • Eliminates funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the popular grant program used by communities to leverage investment to fund community, infrastructure and economic development projects to the tune of $3 billion in FY17
  • Decreases by $482 million the EPA categorical grant funds offered to state and local governments that are used for clean water and air quality programs, leaking underground storage tank and brownfields programs, etc.
  • Eliminates Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which generally help fund community action agency programs
  • Eliminates LIHEAP program that delivers short-term aid to help vulnerable populations pay for heating and cooling their homes
  • Cuts funding for Payments in Lieu of Taxes for counties with federal lands
  • Eliminates TIGER grants used to support local enhanced road safety projects
  • Provides a $4 million increase over FY 17 for EPA water and wastewater infrastructure funding
  • May provide additional funding for addressing the opiate epidemic, but need clarity on if the proposal does or does not include steps already taken by Congress
For a more detailed analysis prepared by NACo, please click here. Stay tuned for advocacy action steps as we coordinate with our NACo partners.

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House pulls health care bill

After hours of debate, the House Republicans pulled H.R. 1628 - American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) (introduced 3/20/17), the legislation that would have repealed and replaced provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There were not enough votes to pass the bill.

The Republicans advocate repealing or trimming the ten essential health benefits that all insurance policies are required to cover under the ACA. Since the required benefits are spelled out in the ACA, the law would have to be changed to eliminate entire categories or to make them less generous than typical employer coverage.

The AHCA would impact counties in several ways: 1) alter the important federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid; 2) have indirect and direct impacts on county health systems, including county public health departments; and 3) delays the ACA's 40 percent excise tax (the "Cadillac Tax") on employer health benefits until 2024.
The AHCA proposes significant structural changes to the nation's health care system, particularly to Medicaid, and would shift federal costs to the states and perhaps then onto counties. Read more of NACo’s analysis.


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NACo Arts and Culture Awards applications available

The NACo Arts and Culture Award recognizes county governments for their efforts to enrich American cultural and intellectual life, promote lifelong learning and protect our national heritage. These efforts include activities from arts education to historic preservation to the support of local museums, cultural institutions and nonprofit arts organizations.

Both ongoing programs and onetime projects are eligible. The eligible program/project must have become operational after Jan. 1, 2012 and have measurable results. County officials and/or staff, as part of their official duties, must have played a significant role in developing and implementing the program or project.

Application deadline: Apr. 17. Presentation of the award will be made at the Arts and Culture Commission Awards function held at the NACo Annual Conference hosted by Franklin County in July. For more information about the Arts and Culture Awards Program, please contact Jenna Moran, NACo Program Manager, at (202) 942-4224. Read more…


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NACo Annual Conference: Franklin County…here we come!

Franklin County Commissioners John O’Grady, Marilyn Brown and Kevin Boyce are proud to host the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference on July 21-24 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High Street, in Columbus, O-H…I-O!

Columbus, the 15th largest city in the country (right behind San Francisco), is the largest and fastest-growing city in Ohio. Columbus is located within a one-day drive or one-hour flight from more than half of the U.S. population. Read more…
 
This is a great opportunity for Ohio officials who have never attended a NACo Conference to see what they have been missing! When registering, notice the new option for those that cannot attend the entire conference - you can register for two days at a reduced price. And remember to register online to save $25! Register here…
 
If your county is not a member of NACo, new members that join this year get unlimited free registrations for a year…a $865 value per registration. Contact Andrew Goldschmidt, NACo Membership/ Marketing Director, at (202) 942-4221 for membership information.


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CyberOhio business summit – Mar. 31

The Ohio Attorney General’s office will hold a CyberOhio Business Summit on Friday, Mar. 31 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Nationwide Conference Center, 100 Green Meadows Drive S, in Lewis Center. The Summit will feature cybersecurity experts from across the country to provide business owners with practical, understandable, and actionable cybersecurity information.  Attendees will learn how to better protect their businesses and themselves from the evolving cyber threat landscape. There is no cost to attend. More information…

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