Special Legislative Update
Special Legislative Update
Greetings from The Ohio Environmental Health Association Board of Directors
2020 was a busy year in the Ohio General Assembly. Many bills related to local public health and specifically environmental public health were introduced and considered. Two bills that have direct impact on OEHA members that passed and were signed by Governor DeWine are HB 404 and HB 442. Below you will find a summary of each of these bills as it impacts OEHA members. It is important to note that the OEHA Board of Directors and Hicks Partners worked hard to make sure that member interests were considered.
H.B. 404 (https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA133-HB-404) was signed by Governor DeWine and enacted under an emergency on November 22, 2020. The bill impacts include:
- HB 404 extends license expiration dates until July 1, 2021 for any license in the state as the definition includes any “license, permit, certificate, commission, charter, registration, card, or other similar authority that is issued or conferred by a state agency, political subdivision, or official of a political subdivision.”
- It is important to note that this affects Food Service and Retail Food Establishment renewals. We are still awaiting clarification on Pool and Campground renewals. The definition of license includes permits and certificates including contractor registrations at the State level.
- OEHA will continue to work with State partners to get clarification on implementation of this Act.
H.B. 442 (https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-documents?id=GA133-HB-442) was signed by Governor DeWine on January 8, 2021 and will be in effect on April 12, 2021. The bill impacts include:
- Changes the professional title of “sanitarian-in-training” and “registered sanitarian” to “environmental health specialist in training” (EHST) and “registered environmental health specialist” (REHS), respectively (R.C. Chapter 4736 and makes conforming changes).
- Removes the requirement that the Director of Health create and conduct EHST and REHS registration examinations, and instead requires an REHS or EHST registration applicant to pass the credential examination conducted by the National Environmental Health Association (R.C. 4736.02, 4736.03, 4736.08, 4736.09, and 4736.10).
- Removes the requirement that an REHS applicant be of good moral character (R.C. 4736.08).
- Extends the period of validity of EHST and REHS certificates of registration from one year to two years (R.C. 4736.11).
- Requires an REHS to complete a continuing education program every two years (instead of every year) (R.C. 4736.11).
- Specifies that an REHS must complete 24 hours of continuing education (instead of an amount determined by the Director that is between six and 25 hours) (R.C. 4736.11).
- Previously was set at 18 hours annually
- Reduces specified registration application and renewal fees for REHSs and EHSTs (R.C. 4736.12).
- REHS: Change licensure fees from $160 initial fee and $90 renewal fee to $100 initial fee and $75 renewal fee.
- EHS-IT: Change licensure fees from $80 initial fee and $90 renewal fee to $50 initial fee and $35 renewal fee.
OEHA will continue to work closely with our State partners to clarify implementation of the provisions above. We are also reviewing the provisions of the State of Ohio budget and making sure member interests are considered. Members can reach out to any Board Member for further information on legislative efforts of the association and how it impacts the state of environmental public health in Ohio. The Board of Directors is committed to providing a voice for our membership before, during, and after passage of legislation. We are thankful for the input of membership, the dedication of our technical committee chairs and previous Board Members, and Hick’s Partners for all their hard work.