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(127th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 285)
To enact section 119.14 of the Revised Code to waive
fines or penalties for paperwork violations that
are first-time offenses committed by small
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
SECTION 1. That section 119.14 of the Revised Code be
enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 119.14. (A) For any small business that engages in a
paperwork violation, the state agency or regulatory authority that
regulates the field of operation in which the business operates
shall waive any and all administrative fines or civil penalties on
that small business for the violation, if the paperwork violation
is a first-time offense.
(B) When an agency or regulatory authority waives an
administrative fine or civil penalty under this section, the state
agency or regulatory authority shall require the small business to
correct the violation within a reasonable period of time.
(C) Notwithstanding this section, a state agency or
regulatory authority may impose administrative fines or civil
penalties on a small business for a paperwork violation that is a
first-time offense for any of the following reasons:
(1) The violation has the potential to cause serious harm to
the public interest as determined by a state agency or regulatory
(2) The violation involves a small business knowingly or
willfully engaging in conduct that may result in a felony
(3) Failure to impose an administrative fine or civil penalty
for the violation would impede or interfere with the detection of
(4) The violation is of a law concerning the assessment or
collection of any tax, debt, revenue, or receipt;
(5) The violation presents a direct danger to the public
health or safety, results in a financial loss to an employee as
defined in section 4111.03 of the Revised Code, or presents the
risk of severe environmental
harm, as determined by the head of
the agency or regulatory
(6) The violation is a failure to comply with a federal
requirement for a program that has been delegated from the federal
government to a state agency or regulatory authority and where the
federal requirement includes a requirement to impose a fine.
(D)(1) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a state agency
regulatory authority from waiving administrative fines or
penalties incurred by a small business for a paperwork
that is not a first-time offense.
(2) Any administrative fine or civil penalty that is waived
under this section, may be reinstated and imposed in addition to
any additional fines or penalties associated with a subsequent
violation for noncompliance with the same paperwork requirement.
(E) This section shall not apply to any violation by a small
business of a statutory or regulatory requirement mandating the
collection of information by a state agency or regulatory body if
that small business previously violated any such requirement
mandating the collection of information.
(F) Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish
the responsibility for any citizen or business to apply for and
obtain a permit, license, or authorizing document that is required
to engage in a regulated activity, or otherwise comply with state
or federal law.
(G) As used in this section:
(1) "Small business" has the same meaning as defined by the
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 13, Chapter 1, Part 121.
(2) "Paperwork violation" means the violation of any
statutory or regulatory requirement in the Revised Code mandating
the collection of information by a state agency or regulatory
(3) "First-time offense" means the first instance of a
violation of the particular statutory or regulatory requirement
mandating the collection of information by a state agency or