Senate Bill 565 (Department of State Revenue), authored by Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle), passed the full Senate on Tuesday. This is the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) “agency bill” that largely includes items to help it do its job, but a couple added provisions were of concern to the Chamber. Those were remedied on Monday with a second reading amendment from Sen. Holdman, who worked with us on the two issues. Both were what we labeled overreaches by the DOR. One would have restricted the interest paid on refund claims. The other would have limited what evidence a taxpayer could bring forward to substantiate their position when they failed to keep certain records. Senator Holdman agreed to remove the provisions that would have limited interest payment on refunds. And the recordkeeping provision was amended to allow a court to weigh all evidence and consider the fact that certain records were not kept by the taxpayer. As the bill currently stands, the Chamber is now in full support of it.
Senate Bill 358 (Worker’s Compensation), authored by Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage), passed the full Senate on Tuesday 38-11. The bill increases benefits for injuries and disablements by 2% each year for three years, beginning on July 1. The Chamber opposes the bill and is seeking to have a benefit for employers packaged with the worker’s comp benefit increase. We are already working with the House sponsor, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne), to improve the bill.
Senate Bill 567 (Virtual Education), authored by Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond), passed the full Senate on Tuesday. This Chamber-supported bill would establish and implement an onboarding process and orientation for students of a virtual charter school so they adequately understand and are equipped to succeed in these unique learning environments. This is necessary given that students enrolled in virtual schools tend to underperform their peers in traditional bricks-and-mortar and blended-learning schools.