COLUMBUSRepresentative Matt Huffman (R-Lima) testified on his legislation that could help Ohio’s counties deal with their economic difficulties.

“I was pleased to be afforded the opportunity to provide sponsor testimony to the committee members,” Huffman stated. “House Bill 389 is designed to give local control to each Ohio county to decide what best works for their current economic condition.”

Huffman’s proposal is two-fold. One provision involves the funding of County Reserve Balance Accounts. These accounts are accounts that taxing authorities, such as boards of county commissioners, may create to accumulate deposits from current revenue to meet future spending needs. They were first authorized in 1995 as “rainy day” funds to stabilize budgets against cyclical changes in revenue and expenditures. Under current law, the amount of funds that may be deposited each year in any rainy day account is limited to 5% of the prior-year revenue credited to the fund in which the account is created. The proposal seeks to change the 5% threshold by authorizing counties to increase the amount credited to rainy day reserve balance accounts to one-sixth of the expenditures made in the preceding fiscal year.

Additionally, the legislation would authorize counties to adopt a direct deposit payroll policy. Many employers across the state pay their employees by direct deposit only. This legislation would allow county governments to have the same option on the table.

“Hopefully, this legislation will receive bipartisan support in the committee process,” Huffman added. “To allow our county governments to do what they must in these economic conditions is a nonpolitical issue that neither side should ignore.”