Monday, April 30, 2012

St. Rep. Huffman Introduces Legislation to Revise the Ohio School Facilities Commission Equity Funding List

COLUMBUS—House Majority Floor Leader Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced legislation earlier this month that would revise the Ohio School Facilities Commission Equity List. The legislation, House Bill 504, would eliminate the inclusion of rapidly phasing out Tangible Personal Property (TPP) in the calculation for Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) projects. Additionally, it gives schools in the Expedited Local Partner Program a chance to sign the best deal for the district, saving the school districts local money. “At a point where school districts need to think of how they conserve funds, it just wasn’t practical to continue to use a “ghost” number in calculating a school’s wealth,” said Representative Huffman. “This will lower the cost to local taxpayers in the Bath School district and shift more of the burden to the state. We have schools eager to start construction, bringing jobs to their area, and there is a fund set up for this. Superintendents and school boards are ready to build so we should get these projects going.” Representative Huffman has been working closely with the Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio School Facilities Commission and his local superintendents to craft this legislation so that projects can commence as soon as possible, infusing construction projects with OSFC monies. He hopes to have the legislation go into effect for the upcoming school year. Superintendent Dale Lewellen of Bath School District supports the legislation. “I want to thank you (Representative Huffman) for sponsoring HB 504 that would adjust the Ohio School Facilities formula to reflect a more accurate representation of school district valuations as they stand today. The Bath school community has graciously stepped forward in this difficult economy to fund a new elementary building within the guidelines of the Expedited Local Partnership Program. This legislation would recognize recent reductions to our district's funding and give us a needed boost to our facility improvement funding. Without it, our children would certainly be deprived of needed improvements that enable them to become prepared with a 21st century education.”