Ohio Becomes Paid Sick Leave Preemption State

Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed Senate Bill 331, making Ohio the fifteenth PSL preemption state.The press release from the governor’s office concerning the signing of numerous bills, including SB 331, is here.

In my earlier post on SB 331, I surmised that the 57-page bill had so many diverse topics within it that it appeared to have been crafted by master legislative sausage-makers. Buried in the middle of SB 331, somewhere after the regulations for “the sale of dogs from pet stores and dog retailers,” after the increased penalties for “cockfighting, bearbaiting or pitting an animal against another,” after the ban prohibiting “a person from engaging in sexual conduct with an animal and related acts,” but before the rules governing “construction and attachment activities related to micro wireless facilities in the public way,” and before various appropriations, beginning on page 32,  are a few paragraphs that bar political subdivisions from intruding on a laundry list of employment fringe benefits, including sick pay.  Those benefits are to be determined exclusively by federal or state law, or agreement between the employer and its employees or a union representing them.

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That a miscellanea such as SB 331 could even be enacted in Ohio requires a bit of linguistic and legislative gymnastics. Section 15(D) of the Ohio Constitution states that “No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.” The initial bill met those requirements.  Its title was “Establishes Regulations for Dog Sales” and dealt with that issue only. Then the sausage making began. The title now has 38 lines of text and references 42 sections of new or amended state law. A clear expression of one subject?