COLUMBUS—State Senator Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati) today announced the Senate passage of legislation providing Ohio's school districts a new, alternative option for accessing state support for facility needs like technology infrastructure and safety features.
"The safety and security of our students should be a paramount concern for school officials," said Terhar. "This legislation seeks to make additional resources available for districts to address facility needs, without requiring stringent state requirements."
Senate Bill 8 creates a new 1:1 match option for schools that have not yet received any state support or entered into an agreement with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, which is approximately 229 districts.
Sponsored by Senators Terhar and Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), the bill allows school districts that have not accepted money in the traditional school construction program to accept smaller amounts of state facilities aid in exchange for a reduced local match.
The plan is expected to fund school districts faster, while saving state tax dollars from the traditional classroom construction fund. The Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio School Board Association and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators have all endorsed the legislation.
“We have a real opportunity to make a difference toward better support options for schools," said Gardner.
Since 1997, Ohio has dedicated more than $11.5 billion in state aid to update and improve school facilities across the state.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Clarifying Ohio Lending Laws
Additionally, the Ohio House of Representatives today passed Senate Bill 24, sponsored by Senator Terhar, which will clarify Ohio's installment lending laws to help eliminate confusion for consumers and lenders as well as simplify the role of industry regulators.
Senate Bill 24 now goes to Governor John Kasich to be signed into law.