(LFC Comments: Thanks to a lobbyist for this update. We will be asking our State Representative, Jamie Callender, what was has rational for changing the Primary Election to all paper ballots, and why on April 28th?)
State lawmakers have approved a major package of legislation to help Ohio weather the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
COLUMBUS – State lawmakers have approved a major package of legislation to help Ohio weather the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
State Representative Jamie Callender (R-Concord), who played a key role in helping craft the plan, said the legislation is an important step to help the state and its communities continue providing services to the people of Ohio.
“This is an historic, global pandemic, one that has impacted the lives of all Ohioans,” Callender said.
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder praised Callender’s work on the measure.
“Representative Callender’s continued leadership for his community and the people of Ohio was an important part of getting this bill passed,” Householder said.
Highlights of the bill include:
- K-12 School Testing – The bill suspends all state-mandated K-12 student assessments for the 2019-20 school year, and directs the state to seek a waiver from federal student testing requirements, which Callender believes will be granted.
- 2020 Primary Election – Primary election in-person voting was cancelled due to the public health crisis. Ohioans that were eligible to vote on March 17, 2020, will be able to cast their ballot by mail on or before April 28, 2020. Those Ohioans that cast their ballot early will have their vote count. The Ohio Secretary of State will mail all voters a postcard informing them on how they will be able to request their ballot by mail from their local county Board of Elections. The board will send them their ballot and a postage paid return envelope.
- EdChoice – In order to give schools greater certainty for the upcoming school year regarding the state’s largest student voucher program, EdChoice, the bill freezes the 2019-20 performance-based EdChoice building eligibility list, which stands at 517 schools, for the 2020-21 school year. The bill expressly prohibits expansion of the building list to 1,227 buildings.
Ohio’s state tax filing deadline will be the same as the federal filing deadline, July 15.
Other notable provisions in the bill include flexibility for child care centers, help for teachers and nurses to secure provisional licenses if they are unable to take licensure exams during the coronavirus outbreak, and changes to unemployment compensation to help Ohioans impacted by the pandemic.