Friday, June 24, 2005

Ohio E-Check lives--at least for two more years.

[Update 12/29/2005: Woo Hoo!: No more E-Check in Southwest Ohio]

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...Sorry, wrong metaphor.

Let's try again: Pulling the point of the wooden stake away from the heart of the dreaded, money sucking E-Check, the Ohio Legislature has given it a two year reprieve.

Final version of the Ohio Budget bill passed is not online yet, but Porkopolis contacted Senator Schuler's office and they confirmed that the final bill has language on E-Check similar to that in version of the legislation passed in the Senate:

(+)

Sec. 3704.14. (A) The director of environmental protection shall continue to implement an enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program for a period of two years beginning on January 1, 2006, and ending on December 31, 2007, in counties in which a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program is federally mandated. The program shall be substantially similar to the enhanced program implemented in those counties under a contract that is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2005. The program, at a minimum, shall do all of the following:

(1) Comply with the federal Clean Air Act;

(2) Provide for the extension of a contract for a period of two years, beginning on January 1, 2006, and ending on December 31, 2007, with the contractor who conducted the enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program in those federally mandated counties pursuant to a contract entered into under former section 3704.14 of the Revised Code as that section existed prior to its repeal and reenactment by Am. Sub. H.B. 66 of the 126th General Assembly;

(3) Provide for the issuance of inspection certificates;

(4) Provide for a new car exemption for motor vehicles four years old or newer and provide that a new motor vehicle is exempt for four years regardless of whether legal title to the motor vehicle is transferred during that period.

(B) The director shall not implement a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program in any county other than a county in which a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program is federally mandated.

(C) The director shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that the director determines are necessary to implement this section. The director may continue to implement and enforce rules pertaining to the enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program previously implemented under former section 3704.14 of the Revised Code as that section existed prior to its repeal and reenactment by Am. Sub. H.B. 66 of the 126th general assembly, provided that the rules do not conflict with this section.

(D) There is hereby created in the state treasury the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance fund, which shall consist of money received by the director from any fees for inspections that are established in rules adopted under this section. The director shall use money in the fund solely for the implementation, supervision, administration, operation, and enforcement of the enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program established under this section.

(E) The enhanced motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program established under this section expires on December 31, 2007, and shall not be continued beyond that date unless otherwise federally mandated.

Update: NixGuy (in the comments) provides this link to a related news article that provides details on a possible deal for Northeast counties. But this is inconsistent with the following section of the same bill passed by the Senate:
Sec. 3704.035. There is hereby created in the state treasury the clean air fund. Except as otherwise provided in division (K) of section 3745.11 of the Revised Code, all moneys collected under divisions (C), (D), (F), (G), (H), (I), and (J) of that section and under section 3745.111 of the Revised Code, and any gifts, grants, or contributions received by the director of environmental protection for the purposes of the fund, shall be credited to the fund. The director shall expend moneys from the fund exclusively to pay the cost of administering and enforcing the laws of this state pertaining to the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution and rules adopted and terms and conditions of permits, variances, and orders issued under those laws, except that the director shall not expend moneys credited to the fund for the administration and enforcement of motor vehicle inspection and maintenance programs and requirements under sections 3704.14, 3704.141, 3704.16, 3704.161, and 3704.162, and 3704.17 of the Revised Code.

3704.14 is the section noted immediately above in this original post. We won't know the final details of this mess until the final bill that Taft signs is available online.

Update 2: The Enquirer is reporting that E-check is ending in southwest Ohio but will continue in northeast Ohio.

1 Comments:

Anonymous dave said...

check this: http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/11732299.htm

What may be going on is this is how they cover the costs for e-check in NE Ohio.

June 24, 2005 at 4:07 PM  

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