130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(Substitute Senate Bill Number 82)



AN ACT
To enact section 9.481 of the Revised Code to generally prohibit political subdivisions from imposing residency requirements on certain employees.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That section 9.481 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 9.481. (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Political subdivision" has the same meaning as in section 2743.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Volunteer" means a person who is not paid for service or who is employed on less than a permanent full-time basis.

(B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, no political subdivision shall require any of its employees, as a condition of employment, to reside in any specific area of the state.

(2)(a) Division (B)(1) of this section does not apply to a volunteer.

(b) To ensure adequate response times by certain employees of political subdivisions to emergencies or disasters while ensuring that those employees generally are free to reside throughout the state, the electors of any political subdivision may file an initiative petition to submit a local law to the electorate, or the legislative authority of the political subdivision may adopt an ordinance or resolution, that requires any individual employed by that political subdivision, as a condition of employment, to reside either in the county where the political subdivision is located or in any adjacent county in this state. For the purposes of this section, an initiative petition shall be filed and considered as provided in sections 731.28 and 731.31 of the Revised Code, except that the fiscal officer of the political subdivision shall take the actions prescribed for the auditor or clerk if the political subdivision has no auditor or clerk, and except that references to a municipal corporation shall be considered to be references to the applicable political subdivision.

(C) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, employees of political subdivisions of this state have the right to reside any place they desire.

SECTION 2. In enacting section 9.481 of the Revised Code in this act, the General Assembly hereby declares its intent to recognize both of the following:

(A) The inalienable and fundamental right of an individual to choose where to live pursuant to Section 1 of Article I, Ohio Constitution.

(B) Section 34 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, specifies that laws may be passed providing for the comfort, health, safety, and general welfare of all employees, and that no other provision of the Ohio Constitution impairs or limits this power, including Section 3 of Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution.

SECTION 3. The General Assembly finds, in enacting section 9.481 of the Revised Code in this act, that it is a matter of statewide concern to generally allow the employees of Ohio's political subdivisions to choose where to live, and that it is necessary to generally prohibit political subdivisions from requiring their employees, as a condition of employment, to reside in any specific area of the state in order to provide for the comfort, health, safety, and general welfare of those public employees.

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