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Final Bill Analysis

Legislative Service Commission

Effective Date from the Status Report of Legislation: 09/20/02 Effective
Because of Ohio Supreme Court interpretations, effective dates published in the Status Report of Legislation are not authoritative, and users of the Status Report of Legislation rely upon them at their own risk. The effective dates have been unofficially and undefinitively determined by the LSC Division of Legal Review and Technical Services solely for the convenience of users.

Signed by Governor: 06/21/02
Subject: Education

Am. Sub. S.B. 187
124th General Assembly
(As Passed by the General Assembly)

Compensation for school district board members
Under continuing law, the board of education of a city, local, exempted village, or joint vocational school district or the governing board of an educational service center may adopt a resolution to provide compensation for its members. Currently, that compensation cannot exceed $80 for each meeting a member attends.[1] The act increases the maximum compensation district boards and educational service center governing boards may pay their members to $125 per meeting attended. If, however, a district board or a governing board votes to raise its members' compensation, an individual member cannot receive the higher pay until he or she begins a new term on the board (see COMMENT).
In addition, the act allows district boards and educational service center governing boards to compensate their members for attendance at approved training programs.[2] Each board may set its own rate of compensation within the limits established by the act. Under the act, the maximum reimbursement a member may receive for attendance at a training program is $60 per day if the program is three hours or less in length or $125 per day if the program is longer than three hours. (Secs. 3311.19 and 3313.12.)
Compensation of joint ambulance board members
Under current law, townships and municipal corporations may create joint ambulance districts. The governing body of a district is a board of trustees that must include one representative appointed by each board of township trustees and one representative appointed by the legislative authority of each municipal corporation in the district. Members of the board of trustees may be compensated at a rate of up to $20 per meeting for up to 12 meetings per year, plus reimbursement for necessary expenses. The act increases the "per meeting" maximum compensation from $20 to $75 and increases the number of meetings for which compensation may be paid annually from 12 to 15 (sec. 505.71).
Article II, 20 of the Ohio Constitution provides that the General Assembly "shall fix the term of office and the compensation of all officers; but no change therein shall affect the salary of any officer during his existing term." According to an Ohio Attorney General opinion, school board members are public "officers" and, thus, they are subject to the constitutional limitations on changes in compensation (Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 80-050 (1980)). Consequently, a school district board or the governing board of an educational service center may pass a resolution at any time to increase (or decrease) its members' compensation, but all sitting members must continue to be paid at the rate in effect prior to passage of the resolution for the remainder of their current terms. However, if a member serves a subsequent term, that member must receive the new level of compensation beginning the first day of the subsequent term.
Because members' terms are staggered, the effect of this constitutional provision is that some members of the board may receive more (or less) compensation than other members of the same board. The different levels of compensation will continue until all members who voted to increase compensation are either reelected or replaced by a new member.
The board may not authorize the payment of retroactive compensation for a reelected member.
With respect to members of a joint ambulance board it is not as clear whether the members would be classified as "officers" because no cases or Attorney General opinions have been located that are directly on point. However, there are several Attorney General opinions that are relevant. For example, a 2000 Attorney General opinion determined that township trustees, who appoint the members of a joint ambulance board, are "officers" for purposes of art. II, 20 of the Ohio Constitution (Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 2000-043). In a later opinion, the Attorney General determined that members of a county veterans service commission, who are appointed as members, are "officers" even though the board of county commissioners votes on a pay increase for members of a county veterans service commission (Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 2001-038). Thus, it is possible that members of a joint ambulance board would also be considered "officers" and thus be subject to the same restrictions on receiving the benefits of a pay increase, as discussed above.

10-30-01p. 1020
    Reported, S. Education
01-23-02p. 1343
    Passed Senate (33-0)
01-23-02pp. 1352-1353
    Reported, H. Education
03-13-02pp. 1546-1547
    Passed House (89-6)
05-14-02pp. 1748-1751
    Senate refused to concur in
    House amendments (31-0)


pp. 1786-1787
    House requested conference


p. 1812
    Senate acceded to request for
    conference committee


p. 1836
    House agreed to conference
    committee report (92-1)


pp. 1885-1886
    Senate agreed to conference
    committee report (33-0)


pp. 1872-1873

[1] Members of an educational service center governing board may also be reimbursed for the cost of travelling to and from meetings at a mileage rate determined by the governing board (sec. 3313.12).
[2] Under continuing law, school district boards and educational service center governing boards may by resolution set aside each year from the general fund $2 per pupil or $20,000, whichever is greater. This set aside amount must be placed in the "service fund" which may be used only to pay the expenses of board members incurred in the performance of their duties. (Sec. 3315.15, not in the act.)

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