Columbus — Lawmakers moved dozens of bills during their end-of-year lame duck session in December.
Some, like one focused on Ohio’s concealed firearms laws, drew ample debate.
Others, like bills designating special days and license plates, moved without much in the way of comment or public opposition.
Here are 10 more of the law changes that were passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Kasich, most of which will take effect in about three months:
21. Concealed Firearms: Lawmakers amended SB 199 to include a number of provisions that potentially could expand the types of places where permitted individuals could carry concealed firearms.
The legislation removed child care centers, private aircraft and unsecured governmental buildings from the list of locations where concealed firearms are automatically prohibited.
The bill also would allow concealed firearms on public college and university campuses.
23. Military Men and Women and Guns: SB 199 also included language allowing military men and women on active duty to carry concealed firearms without the requisite state permit, so long as they have military IDs or other documentation proving they have completed firearms training requirements as part of their service.
24. Designations: Lawmakers moved a number of bill that set aside certain days or weeks to draw attention to diseases or memorialize individuals.
HB 440, for example, sets the Saturday before Thanksgiving as Ohio Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.
SB 291 designates September as Pain Awareness Month, recognizing “that physical pain affects tens of millions of Americans and that untreated or inadequately treated pain can diminish quality of life and result in economic loss to Ohio through medical expenses, lost wages, reduced productivity, and other costs.”
HB 580 designates November as Ohio Health Awareness Month and May 15 as All for the Kids Awareness Day, the latter drawing attention to families with children suffering from chronic or life-threatening injuries.
25. Malnutrition: HB 580 also created a Malnutrition Prevention Commission “to study malnutrition among older adults in health care settings,” according to an LSC analysis.
The panel will work to identify ways to reduce malnutrition in adults age 60 and older, with a report of its findings due within the next 12 months.
26. More Studies: There were other study groups formed to tackle specific issues.
SB 30 created an Ohio Family Stability Commission within the state’s Department of Job and Family Services. Members will study ways to reduce divorce rates, birth rates among unmarried individuals and domestic violence, plus issues related to child support and custody.
The group is to complete its work within four years.
27. Arson: If you’re thinking about burning down a vacant house, you better make sure you have the owner’s consent, because lawmakers added some language to state law, via HB 185, to ensure arsonists face criminal penalties when they destroy unoccupied structures.
28. Private Prisons: You may have heard of HB 185 for another reason — lawmakers added language allowing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to contract with private prisons to house inmates.
The amendment will enable the state to take advantage of inmate beds left vacant when the federal government ended contracts to house federal prisoners at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.
29. Suicide: HB 470 bans assisted suicide in the state state, prohibiting anyone from “knowingly causing another to commit or attempt to commit suicide….,” according to the Legislative Service Commission.
Violators would face felony charges, with potential prison terms.
The larger legislation includes language instituting requirements for discharge planning between hospitals and patients’ caregivers, plus a process for making recommendations for standards for memory care units.
30. Israel: Small business wanting to sell goods or services to state agencies won’t be able to boycott the state’s trading partners.
HB 476 bars the state from contracting with any companies that are boycotting Israel and other countries that buy from Ohio.
Among other provisions, the bill requires businesses wanting to sell goods and services to the state to formally declare that they are not boycotting or disinvesting from covered countries.
Backers say the legislation will help bolster Ohio’s trading activity in countries like Israel.
Opponents said the bill amounts to a restriction on Ohioans’ First Amendment right to criticize or not do business with areas.
Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.