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Ginter’s LGF money fix signed by the governor

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) announced Friday Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 163, which includes Ginter’s amendment correcting state law that cuts Local Government Fund (LGF) money in 2021 for Columbiana County communities.

Last year, Ginter said in a news release, the transportation budget legislation, under House Bill 62, that became law contained an error in language that required communities with traffic cameras to report to the state the fine money generated, and that amount would then be deducted from the community’s annual state LGF allocation if the fines exceeded the LGF allocations received by the communities from the cameras.

“An amendment I introduced last month corrects a technical oversight that reduced non-offending jurisdictions’ LGF payments within the same county as the offending jurisdiction,” said Ginter. “When I discovered this error had been made, I worked diligently to correct it. I am very pleased to see the governor sign this bill today with my amendment that will make this critical fix for LGF payments in our communities across Columbiana County.”

Specifically, Ginter’s amendment would fix the problem by:

— Correcting a technical oversight that reduced non-offending jurisdictions LGF payments within the same county as the offending jurisdiction.

— Reimbursing any LGF payment reductions to non-offending jurisdictions in fiscal year 2021. The offset will occur in the next monthly payment after the amendment is signed into law.

— Requiring the reimbursement to be transferred from the Ohio Highway and Transportation Safety Fund to the Local Government Fund.

— Holding other subdivisions in the same county harmless in the event that the traffic camera offset exceeds the amount of the subdivisions using traffic cameras would have otherwise received from the LGF.

Last month, Ginter introduced and the General Assembly passed the amendment as a part of Senate Bill 163. The legislation was then sent to the governor’s desk. Groups that supported the amendment includes the Department of Taxation, Ohio Township Association and the County Commissioners Association.

The amendment will become law effective immediately.

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