December 21, 1998 House Bill #194 (increasing the widows pension)
We begin the 133rd General Assembly with numerous changes including a new Governor’s Administration, Speaker of the Ohio House, and a clean slate of legislative initiatives. The following legislative update pertains to last General Assembly’s efforts, but we may see these bills reintroduced in the coming year, if necessary:
SB 247 – Requires the Public Employees Retirement System to permit certain spouses of retired or deceased members to continue receiving allowances to pay for health care expenses under the System's group health care plans.
Status: Sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan and receive one hearing in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee.
SB 296 - Revises the payments that surviving family members receive from the Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund and to permit surviving spouses and children to participate in the health, dental, and vision benefits offered to state employees as if the survivors were employees of this state.
Status: Sponsored by Senator Jay Hottinger, SB 296 passed out of both chambers with amendments that dealt with elected official pay raises and the development of InnovateOhio under Governor DeWine’s Administration. Because of these amendments, Governor Kasich vetoed the legislation, but the Legislature overrode the veto late in 2018. The bill is now enacted.
SB 317 - Requires the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund Board of Trustees to elect a retirant member as chairperson every third year.
Status: Sponsored by Senator Steve Wilson, SB 317 received two hearings in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee. We have been informed that the OPF Pension Fund Board of Trustees plan to deal with the issue internally. If this does not occur, the bill is expected to be reintroduced before the legislature.
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