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H. B. No. 142 As IntroducedAs Introduced
|129th General Assembly|
Representatives Murray, Yuko, Hagan, R., Antonio, Celeste, Ramos
To create "ListenFirst" panels, to repeal Sections 1,
2, and 3 of this act, and to declare an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. A ListenFirst panel shall conduct a series of six
town hall meetings on each of the following major policy issues:
(A) Collective bargaining law.
(B) Public employee pension systems.
(C) Privatization of the Ohio Turnpike.
(D) Privatization of corrections services.
The President and Minority Leader of the Senate and the
Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives,
acting together, may identify additional major policy issues. A
ListenFirst panel shall conduct a series of six town hall meetings
on any such major policy issue thus identified.
The town hall meetings conducted by the ListenFirst panels
are to create a framework for positive and productive dialogue
between citizens and government, and to ensure that the opinions
of citizens are heard and given full and fair consideration before
decisions are made on major policy issues and the public policy
choices they entail.
The Director of Administrative Services shall give reasonable
advance notice of town hall meetings in the Register of Ohio and
by other media that are reasonably likely to inform persons who
would be interested in the major policy issues that are the
subject of the meetings. Such a notice shall inform interested
persons where and when the meetings will be held and shall
identify the major policy issue that will be the subject of the
There shall be a total of six townhall meetings devoted to
each major policy issue for which a ListenFirst panel is convened.
Meeting series may be conducted simultaneously.
The chairperson of each ListenFirst panel shall coordinate
and facilitate ongoing meetings of interested parties regarding
the panel's policy issue. The meetings shall occur between the
dates of the first and last town hall meeting for that policy
Within thirty days after the conclusion of the six town hall
meetings on a particular policy issue, the ListenFirst panel
conducting the meetings shall prepare a report summarizing the
public comments made at the meetings. The panel shall transmit a
copy of its report to the Governor, the President and Minority
Leader of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the
House of Representatives, who shall review the report and consider
its recommendations for public policy. The panel shall also
transmit copies of its report to the news media.
Section 2. The first ListenFirst panel shall be appointed not
later than thirty days after the effective date of this act, and
the panel shall conduct the first town hall meeting not later than
sixty days after the effective date of this act.
Section 3. A separate ListenFirst panel shall be appointed
for each major policy issue identified under this act.
A ListenFirst panel consists of the Governor or the
Governor's designee and members appointed as follows:
(A) The President and Minority Leader of the Senate each
shall appoint a member of the Senate.
(B) The Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives each shall appoint a member of the House of
(C) The President and Minority Leader of the Senate shall
jointly appoint a representative of business who does not hold any
public office, and a representative of organized labor who does
not hold any public office.
(D) The Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives shall jointly appoint a representative of business
who does not hold any public office, and a representative of
organized labor who does not hold any public office.
(E) The Governor shall appoint an individual who holds office
in a city government, and an individual who holds office in a
(F) The President and Minority Leader of the Senate jointly
shall appoint a member of the public who does not hold any public
(G) The Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives jointly shall appoint a member of the public who
does not hold any public office.
A member may be appointed to one or several ListenFirst
panels. But, in making appointments to a ListenFirst panel, the
appointing authorities may appoint only individuals who are
knowledgeable in the major policy issue concerning which the panel
is to conduct a series of six town hall meetings. A member serves
at the pleasure of the member's appointing authority.
In making appointments to a ListenFirst panel, an appointing
authority may not appoint an individual if the individual's
service on the panel would create a conflict of interest.
A ListenFirst panel shall select a chairperson from among its
members. The chairperson shall moderate the town hall meetings
conducted by the panel, and shall ensure that the panel prepares
its report completely and accurately.
A member of a ListenFirst panel is not entitled to
compensation for the member's services, but is entitled to
reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses the member incurs
in performing the member's duties as a member of the panel.
The Director of Administrative Services shall provide
suitable meeting space in which a ListenFirst panel can
comfortably conduct its town hall meeting. The director shall
provide a ListenFirst panel with equipment necessary for
successful and efficient conduct of its town hall meeting and
preparation of its report. The director shall assign professional,
technical, and clerical employees of the Department of
Administrative Services to a ListenFirst panel as are necessary to
assist the panel in successfully and efficiently performing its
Section 4. That Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this act are
repealed effective January 1, 2015.
Section 5. This act is an emergency measure that is necessary
for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and
safety. Ohio faces urgent fiscal crises. Addressing these crises
requires difficult public policy choices to be made. And citizen
comment on those choices is essential if they are to be
intelligently and fairly made. Therefore this act goes into