COLUMBUS, OH — State Rep. Phil Robinson, a Democrat from Solon, celebrated the passage of House Bill 197, an omnibus legislative package which addresses a wide-range of topics, including: Ohio's primary, state tax filing, state testing standards for schools and EdChoice vouchers. The package passed the Ohio House unanimously.
“It was important for the legislature to come together in bipartisan and bicameral action to address the most immediate concerns facing the state in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic; that’s why I supported this omnibus package,” said Robinson.
Here are the key tenets of the bill:
- Absentee voting by mail will be extended until April 28 for the Ohio primary
- State testing will be waived for the 2019-2020 school year and students who were on track to graduate will be allowed to graduate
- EdChoice school buildings will be limited for the 2020-2021 school year
- Schools can use distance learning to make up for missed days or hours of instruction caused by statewide K-12 closures
- The state tax deadline is moved from April 15 to July 15
- State licenses will be valid for longer and Ohioans will have a 90-day period to renew their licenses
- Public bodies will be permitted to meet electronically, as long as the public can attend the meeting digitally
- Water shut-offs are prohibited during the COVID-19 crisis
“This bill will help working families a great deal as they face struggles from the crisis. Although this does not resolve all my concerns from the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing, I was glad we could all work together in addressing some essential kitchen-table issues and look forward to future legislation to deal with additional concerns," Robinson said.