130th Ohio General Assembly
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(127th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute House Bill Number 293)



AN ACT
To amend sections 901.04, 4501.21, 4503.77, and 4503.78 and to enact sections 901.90, 4503.503, 4503.504, and 4503.553 of the Revised Code to establish a threshold of 500 annual special license plate registrations for all special license plates, to create "Ohio Agriculture" license plates and to create the Ohio Agriculture License Plate Scholarship Program, to create "Ohio Sustainable Agriculture" license plates, and to create "Ohio's Horse" license plates and to provide that money from the contributions for the license plates be paid to the Ohio Coalition for Animals, Incorporated.

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

SECTION 1. That sections 901.04, 4501.21, 4503.77, and 4503.78 be amended and sections 901.90, 4503.503, 4503.504, and 4503.553 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 901.04.  (A) The department of agriculture may solicit or accept from any public or private source and shall deposit in the state treasury to the credit of the agro Ohio fund any grant, gift, devise, or bequest of money made to or for the use of the department in fulfilling its statutory duties or for promoting any part of the public welfare that is under the supervision and control of the department. The department may also accept and hold on behalf of this state any grant, gift, devise, or bequest of other property made to or for the use of the department or for promoting any part of the public welfare that is under the supervision and control of the department. The department may contract for and carry out the terms and conditions of any devise, grant, gift, or donation that may be so made.

(B) There is hereby created in the state treasury the agro Ohio fund, to which shall be credited all sums received under division (A) of this section and, divisions (A)(2) and (C) of section 2105.09 of the Revised Code, and section 4503.504 of the Revised Code. All money received under divisions (A)(2) and (C) of section 2105.09 of the Revised Code shall be used for the benefit of agriculture. All money received under section 4503.504 of the Revised Code shall be used for the benefit of sustainable agriculture markets in the state as determined by the director of agriculture.

(C) The director may use all or any portion of the moneys in the agro Ohio fund to award grants for the purpose of promoting agriculture in this state. With respect to such grants that consist of moneys other than federal moneys, the director shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing all of the following:

(1) Specific purposes for which grants may be awarded;

(2) Procedures for soliciting grant applications, applying for grants, awarding grants, and otherwise administering grants;

(3) Eligibility criteria for receiving grants that must be satisfied by applicants for the grants;

(4) Any other procedures and requirements that are necessary to administer a grant program.

(D) Federal moneys deposited into the agro Ohio fund shall be used in accordance with any terms that federal law prescribes for their use.

Sec. 901.90. (A) There is hereby created in the state treasury the Ohio agriculture license plate scholarship fund consisting of the contributions the registrar of motor vehicles receives pursuant to section 4503.503 of the Revised Code. Money shall be expended from the fund only as provided in division (C) of this section.

(B)(1) There is hereby created the Ohio agriculture license plate scholarship fund board, consisting of the director of agriculture or the director's designee and one representative appointed by each of the following organizations:

(a) The Ohio agriculture council;

(b) The Ohio corngrowers association;

(c) The Ohio farm bureau federation;

(d) The Ohio soy association;

(e) The Ohio state university college of food, agricultural, and environmental sciences;

(f) The Ohio young farmers association.

(2) All original appointments to the board shall be made not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, and all vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for the actual expenses they incur in performing their duties. The director of agriculture or the director's designee shall serve as chairperson. The board shall adopt rules governing their meetings and proceedings.

(C) There is hereby established the Ohio agriculture license plate scholarship program to benefit students who attend an institution of higher learning located in this state and are enrolled in a program that is related to agriculture. The board shall adopt rules governing all aspects of the program, including any additional eligibility requirements, the application process, scholarship amounts, and any requirements a student must meet in order to retain a scholarship.

All decisions of the board relating to the scholarship program, including the decision to award, renew, not renew, or revoke a scholarship, are final.

Sec. 4501.21.  (A) There is hereby created in the state treasury the license plate contribution fund. The fund shall consist of all contributions paid by motor vehicle registrants and collected by the registrar of motor vehicles pursuant to sections 4503.491, 4503.493, 4503.50, 4503.501, 4503.502, 4503.51, 4503.522, 4503.545, 4503.55, 4503.551, 4503.552, 4503.553, 4503.561, 4503.562, 4503.591, 4503.67, 4503.68, 4503.69, 4503.71, 4503.711, 4503.72, 4503.73, 4503.74, 4503.75, and 4503.85 of the Revised Code.

(B) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar collects in the fund as follows:

(1) The registrar shall pay the contributions received pursuant to section 4503.491 of the Revised Code to the breast cancer fund of Ohio, which shall use that money only to pay for programs that provide assistance and education to Ohio breast cancer patients and that improve access for such patients to quality health care and clinical trials and shall not use any of the money for abortion information, counseling, services, or other abortion-related activities.

(2) The registrar shall pay the contributions received pursuant to section 4503.493 of the Revised Code to the autism society of Ohio, which shall use the contributions for programs and autism awareness efforts throughout the state.

(3) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.50 of the Revised Code to the future farmers of America foundation, which shall deposit the contributions into its general account to be used for educational and scholarship purposes of the future farmers of America foundation.

(4) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.501 of the Revised Code to the 4-H youth development program of the Ohio state university extension program, which shall use those contributions to pay the expenses it incurs in conducting its educational activities.

(5) The registrar shall pay the contributions received pursuant to section 4503.502 of the Revised Code to the Ohio cattlemen's foundation, which shall use those contributions for scholarships and other educational activities.

(6) The registrar shall pay each contribution the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.51 of the Revised Code to the university or college whose name or marking or design appears on collegiate license plates that are issued to a person under that section. A university or college that receives contributions from the fund shall deposit the contributions into its general scholarship fund.

(7) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.522 of the Revised Code to the "friends of Perry's victory and international peace memorial, incorporated," a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of this state, to assist that organization in paying the expenses it incurs in sponsoring or holding charitable, educational, and cultural events at the monument.

(8) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.55 of the Revised Code to the pro football hall of fame, which shall deposit the contributions into a special bank account that it establishes and which shall be separate and distinct from any other account the pro football hall of fame maintains, to be used exclusively for the purpose of promoting the pro football hall of fame as a travel destination.

(9) The registrar shall pay the contributions that are paid to the registrar pursuant to section 4503.545 of the Revised Code to the national rifle association foundation, which shall use the money to pay the costs of the educational activities and programs the foundation holds or sponsors in this state.

(10) In accordance with section 955.202 of the Revised Code, the registrar shall pay to the pets program funding board created by that section the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.551 of the Revised Code and any other money from any other source, including donations, gifts, and grants, that is designated by the source to be paid to the pets program funding board. The board shall use the moneys it receives under this section only to support programs for the sterilization of dogs and cats and for educational programs concerning the proper veterinary care of those animals.

(11) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.552 of the Revised Code to the rock and roll hall of fame and museum, incorporated.

(12) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.553 of the Revised Code to the Ohio coalition for animals, incorporated, a nonprofit corporation. Except as provided in division (B)(12) of this section, the coalition shall distribute the money to its members, and the members shall use the money only to pay for educational, charitable, and other programs of each coalition member that provide care for unwanted, abused, and neglected horses. The Ohio coalition for animals may use a portion of the money to pay for reasonable marketing costs incurred in the design and promotion of the license plate and for administrative costs incurred in the disbursement and management of funds received under this section.

(13) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.561 of the Revised Code to the state of Ohio chapter of ducks unlimited, inc., which shall deposit the contributions into a special bank account that it establishes. The special bank account shall be separate and distinct from any other account the state of Ohio chapter of ducks unlimited, inc., maintains and shall be used exclusively for the purpose of protecting, enhancing, restoring, and managing wetlands and conserving wildlife habitat. The state of Ohio chapter of ducks unlimited, inc., annually shall notify the registrar in writing of the name, address, and account to which such payments are to be made under division (B)(12) of this section.

(13)(14) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.562 of the Revised Code to the Mahoning river consortium, which shall use the money to pay the expenses it incurs in restoring and maintaining the Mahoning river watershed.

(14)(15)(a) The registrar shall pay to a sports commission created pursuant to section 4503.591 of the Revised Code each contribution the registrar receives under that section that an applicant pays to obtain license plates that bear the logo of a professional sports team located in the county of that sports commission and that is participating in the license plate program pursuant to division (E) of that section, irrespective of the county of residence of an applicant.

(b) The registrar shall pay to a community charity each contribution the registrar receives under section 4503.591 of the Revised Code that an applicant pays to obtain license plates that bear the logo of a professional sports team that is participating in the license plate program pursuant to division (G) of that section.

(15)(16) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.67 of the Revised Code to the Dan Beard council of the boy scouts of America. The council shall distribute all contributions in an equitable manner throughout the state to regional councils of the boy scouts.

(16)(17) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.68 of the Revised Code to the great river council of the girl scouts of the United States of America. The council shall distribute all contributions in an equitable manner throughout the state to regional councils of the girl scouts.

(17)(18) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.69 of the Revised Code to the Dan Beard council of the boy scouts of America. The council shall distribute all contributions in an equitable manner throughout the state to regional councils of the boy scouts.

(18)(19) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.71 of the Revised Code to the fraternal order of police of Ohio, incorporated, which shall deposit the fees into its general account to be used for purposes of the fraternal order of police of Ohio, incorporated.

(19)(20) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.711 of the Revised Code to the fraternal order of police of Ohio, incorporated, which shall deposit the contributions into an account that it creates to be used for the purpose of advancing and protecting the law enforcement profession, promoting improved law enforcement methods, and teaching respect for law and order.

(20)(21) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.72 of the Revised Code to the organization known on March 31, 2003, as the Ohio CASA/GAL association, a private, nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code. The Ohio CASA/GAL association shall use these contributions to pay the expenses it incurs in administering a program to secure the proper representation in the courts of this state of abused, neglected, and dependent children, and for the training and supervision of persons participating in that program.

(21)(22) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.73 of the Revised Code to Wright B. Flyer, incorporated, which shall deposit the contributions into its general account to be used for purposes of Wright B. Flyer, incorporated.

(22)(23) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.74 of the Revised Code to the Columbus zoological park association, which shall disburse the moneys to Ohio's major metropolitan zoos, as defined in section 4503.74 of the Revised Code, in accordance with a written agreement entered into by the major metropolitan zoos.

(23)(24) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.75 of the Revised Code to the rotary foundation, located on March 31, 2003, in Evanston, Illinois, to be placed in a fund known as the permanent fund and used to endow educational and humanitarian programs of the rotary foundation.

(24)(25) The registrar shall pay the contributions the registrar receives pursuant to section 4503.85 of the Revised Code to the Ohio sea grant college program to be used for Lake Erie area research projects.

(C) All investment earnings of the license plate contribution fund shall be credited to the fund. Not later than the first day of May of every year, the registrar shall distribute to each entity described in divisions division (B)(1) to (24) of this section the investment income the fund earned the previous calendar year. The amount of such a distribution paid to an entity shall be proportionate to the amount of money the entity received from the fund during the previous calendar year.

Sec. 4503.503. (A) The owner or lessee of any passenger car, noncommercial motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, or other vehicle of a class approved by the registrar of motor vehicles may apply to the registrar for the registration of the vehicle and issuance of "Ohio agriculture" license plates. The application for "Ohio agriculture" license plates may be combined with a request for a special reserved license plate under section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of the completed application and compliance with division (B) of this section, the registrar shall issue to the applicant the appropriate vehicle registration and a set of "Ohio agriculture" license plates with a validation sticker or a validation sticker alone when required by section 4503.191 of the Revised Code.

In addition to the letters and numbers ordinarily inscribed thereon, "Ohio agriculture" license plates shall be inscribed with words and markings selected and designed by the Ohio farm bureau federation, in consultation with representatives of agricultural commodity organizations of this state. The registrar shall approve the final design. "Ohio agriculture" license plates shall bear county identification stickers that identify the county of registration by name or number.

(B) "Ohio agriculture" license plates and validation stickers shall be issued upon payment of the regular license tax as prescribed under section 4503.04 of the Revised Code, any applicable motor vehicle tax levied under Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code, any applicable fee prescribed by section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code, a bureau of motor vehicles administrative fee of ten dollars, the contribution specified under division (C) of this section, and compliance with all other applicable laws relating to the registration of motor vehicles.

(C) For each application for registration and registration renewal received under this section, the registrar shall collect a contribution of twenty dollars. The registrar shall transmit this contribution to the treasurer of state for deposit in the Ohio agriculture license plate scholarship fund created in section 901.90 of the Revised Code.

(D) The registrar shall deposit the bureau administrative fee of ten dollars specified in division (B) of this section, the purpose of which is to compensate the bureau for the additional services required in the issuing of the applicant's "Ohio agriculture" license plates, into the state bureau of motor vehicles fund created in section 4501.25 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4503.504.  (A) The owner or lessee of any passenger car, noncommercial motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, or other vehicle of a class approved by the registrar of motor vehicles may apply to the registrar for the registration of the vehicle and issuance of "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates. The application for "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates may be combined with a request for a special reserved license plate under section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of the completed application and compliance with division (B) of this section, the registrar shall issue to the applicant the appropriate vehicle registration and a set of "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates with a validation sticker or a validation sticker alone when required by section 4503.191 of the Revised Code.

In addition to the letters and numbers ordinarily inscribed thereon, "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates shall be inscribed with words and markings selected and designed by the department of agriculture. The registrar shall approve the final design. "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates shall bear county identification stickers that identify the county of registration by name or number.

(B) "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates and validation stickers shall be issued upon payment of the regular license tax as prescribed under section 4503.04 of the Revised Code, any applicable motor vehicle tax levied under Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code, any applicable fee prescribed by section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code, a bureau of motor vehicles administrative fee of ten dollars, the contribution specified under division (C) of this section, and compliance with all other applicable laws relating to the registration of motor vehicles.

(C) For each application for registration and registration renewal received under this section, the registrar shall collect a contribution of twenty dollars. The registrar shall transmit this contribution to the treasurer of state for deposit in the agro Ohio fund created in section 901.04 of the Revised Code.

(D) The registrar shall deposit the bureau administrative fee of ten dollars specified in division (B) of this section, the purpose of which is to compensate the bureau for the additional services required in the issuing of the applicant's "Ohio sustainable agriculture" license plates, into the state bureau of motor vehicles fund created in section 4501.25 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4503.553. (A) The owner or lessee of any passenger car, noncommercial motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, or other vehicle of a class approved by the registrar of motor vehicles may apply to the registrar for the registration of the vehicle and issuance of Ohio's horse license plates. An application made under this section may be combined with a request for a special reserved license plate under section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of the completed application and compliance by the applicant with divisions (B) and (C) of this section, the registrar shall issue to the applicant the appropriate vehicle registration and a set of Ohio's horse license plates and a validation sticker, or a validation sticker alone when required by section 4503.191 of the Revised Code.

In addition to the letters and numbers ordinarily inscribed on the license plates, Ohio's horse license plates shall be inscribed with identifying words or markings that are designed by the Ohio coalition for animals, incorporated and approved by the registrar. Ohio's horse license plates shall display county identification stickers that identify the county of registration by name or number.

(B) The Ohio's horse license plates and a validation sticker, or validation sticker alone, shall be issued upon receipt of a contribution as provided in division (C)(1) of this section and upon payment of the regular license tax as prescribed under section 4503.04 of the Revised Code, any applicable motor vehicle license tax levied under Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code, any applicable additional fee prescribed by section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code, a fee of ten dollars for the purpose of compensating the bureau of motor vehicles for additional services required in the issuing of Ohio's horse license plates, and compliance with all other applicable laws relating to the registration of motor vehicles.

(C)(1) For each application for registration and registration renewal notice the registrar receives under this section, the registrar shall collect a contribution in an amount not to exceed forty dollars, as determined by the Ohio coalition for animals, incorporated. The registrar shall deposit this contribution into the state treasury to the credit of the license plate contribution fund created in section 4501.21 of the Revised Code.

(2) The registrar shall deposit the additional fee of ten dollars paid to compensate the bureau for the additional services required in the issuing of Ohio's horse license plates into the state treasury to the credit of the state bureau of motor vehicles fund created by section 4501.25 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4503.77.  (A) As used in this section, "nonstandard:

(1) "Nonstandard license plate" means all of the following:

(1)(a) A license plate issued under sections 4503.52, 4503.55, 4503.56, 4503.57, 4503.70, 4503.71, 4503.72, and 4503.75 of the Revised Code;

(2)(b) A license plate issued under a program that is reestablished under division (D) of this section and that meets the requirements contained in division (B) of section 4503.78 of the Revised Code;

(3)(c) Except as may otherwise be specifically provided by law, any license plate created after the effective date of this section August 21, 1997.

(2) For purposes of license plates issued under sections 4503.503 and 4503.504 of the Revised Code, "sponsor" includes the Ohio agriculture license plate scholarship fund board created in section 901.90 of the Revised Code and the director of agriculture.

(B)(1) If, during any calendar year commencing with 1998, the total number of motor vehicle registrations involving a particular type of nonstandard license plate is less than one thousand five hundred, including both new registrations and registration renewals, the registrar of motor vehicles, on or after the first day of January, but not later than the fifteenth day of January of the following year, shall send a written notice to the sponsor of that type of nonstandard license plate, if a sponsor exists, informing the sponsor of this fact. The registrar also shall inform the sponsor that if, during the calendar year in which the written notice is sent, the total number of motor vehicle registrations involving the sponsor's nonstandard license plate again is less than one thousand five hundred, the program involving that type of nonstandard license plate will be terminated on the thirty-first day of December of the calendar year in which the written notice is sent and, except as provided in division (C) of this section, no motor vehicle registration application involving either the actual issuance of that type of nonstandard license plate or the registration renewal of a motor vehicle displaying that type of nonstandard license plate will be accepted by the registrar or a deputy registrar beginning the first day of January of the next calendar year. The registrar also shall inform the sponsor that if the program involving the sponsor's nonstandard license plate is terminated under this section, it may be reestablished pursuant to division (D) of this section.

(2) If, during any calendar year commencing with 1998, the total number of motor vehicle registrations involving a particular type of nonstandard license plate is less than one thousand five hundred, including both new registrations and registration renewals, and no sponsor exists for that license plate, the registrar shall issue a public notice on or after the first day of January, but not later than the fifteenth day of January of the following year, stating that fact. The notice also shall inform the public that if, during the calendar year in which the registrar issues the public notice, the total number of motor vehicle registrations for that type of nonstandard license plate, including both new registrations and registration renewals, again is less than one thousand five hundred, the program involving that type of nonstandard license plate will be terminated on the thirty-first day of December of the calendar year in which the registrar issues the public notice and, except as provided in division (C) of this section, no motor vehicle registration application involving either the actual issuance of that type of nonstandard license plate or the registration renewal of a motor vehicle displaying that type of nonstandard license plate will be accepted by the registrar or a deputy registrar beginning on the first day of January of the next calendar year.

(C) If the program involving a type of nonstandard license plate is terminated under division (B) of this section, the registration of any motor vehicle displaying that type of nonstandard license plate at the time of termination may be renewed so long as the nonstandard license plates remain serviceable. If the nonstandard license plates of such a motor vehicle become unfit for service, the owner of the motor vehicle may apply for the issuance of nonstandard license plates of that same type, but the registrar or deputy registrar shall issue such nonstandard license plates only if at the time of application the stock of the bureau contains license plates of that type of nonstandard license plate. If, at the time of such application, the stock of the bureau does not contain license plates of that type of nonstandard license plate, the registrar or deputy registrar shall inform the owner of that fact, and the application shall be refused.

If the program involving a type of nonstandard license plate is terminated under division (B) of this section and the registration of motor vehicles displaying such license plates continues as permitted by this division, the registrar, for as long as such registrations continue to be issued, shall continue to collect and distribute any contribution that was required to be collected and distributed prior to the termination of that program.

(D) If the program involving a nonstandard license plate is terminated under division (B)(1) of this section, the sponsor of that license plate may apply to the registrar for the reestablishment of the program. If the program involving that nonstandard license plate is reestablished, the reestablishment is subject to division (B) of section 4503.78 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4503.78.  (A) Except as may otherwise be specifically provided by law, after the effective date of this section, the registrar of motor vehicles shall not be required to implement any legislation that creates a license plate and provides for its issuance until the registrar receives written statements from not less than one thousand five hundred persons, indicating that they intend to apply for and obtain such license plates for their motor vehicles. The registrar may require such statements to be made on a form the registrar provides.

(B) If a program involving a nonstandard license plate is terminated under division (B)(1) of section 4503.77 of the Revised Code, the sponsor of that license plate may apply to the registrar for the reestablishment of that program, as permitted by division (D) of that section. The registrar shall not reestablish the program involving that nonstandard license plate until the registrar receives written statements from not less than one thousand five hundred persons, indicating that they intend to apply for and obtain such license plates for their motor vehicles. The registrar may require such statements to be made on a form approved by the registrar.

In determining whether one thousand five hundred persons have so indicated their intentions, the registrar shall include in the total the number of motor vehicles that continue to display the nonstandard license plate of the terminated program, as permitted by division (C) of section 4503.77 of the Revised Code.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 901.04, 4501.21, 4503.77, and 4503.78 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3.  Section 4501.21 of the Revised Code is presented in this act as a composite of the section as amended by both Am. Sub. H.B. 68 and Sub. H.B. 298 of the 126th General Assembly. The General Assembly, applying the principle stated in division (B) of section 1.52 of the Revised Code that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation, finds that the composite is the resulting version of the section in effect prior to the effective date of the section as presented in this act.

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