FILE - OH Tina Maharath

Ohio state Sen. Tina Maharath speaks from the floor of the Ohio Senate.

Bill would require presidential candidates to release tax returns

State Reps. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, and Tavia Galonski, D-Akron, are sponsoring legislation, House Bill 475, that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

“As the leader of our country, the President of the United States ought to be held to the highest possible standard,” Galonski said in prepared remarks to the House Federalism Committee.

Asking candidates to disclose five years of income tax returns “is not an outrageous request,” Galonski said. “This legislation is simply codifying part of the vetting process to ensure that candidates have fulfilled their obligation to the (taxpayer) prior to appearing on the ballot.”

Bill gives limited liability protections for private campgrounds

The state House has approved House Bill 355, which grants limited liability protections for privately-owned campgrounds in Ohio.

“This legislation will grant camp operators qualified immunity from civil liability for any harm to a camper or visitor that results from a risk inherent to camping,” state Rep. Scott Oelslager, R–North Canton, said in a column.

The bill could offer state and local government agencies that operate camps a potential one-time cost savings to comply with new signage requirements and potential savings from litigation and settlement costs, according to a legislative review of the proposal.

State senator wants to ban questions about salary history

State Sen. Tina Maharath, D-Canal Winchester, has introduced legislation, Senate Bill 149, to bar employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

“When employers rely on a job candidate’s prior salary in hiring or establishing pay, any pay disparity or discrimination the candidate faced in his or her past employment can be perpetuated throughout their career,” Maharath said in a news release. “The use of salary history in hiring also penalizes candidates who are returning to the workforce full time after raising a family or reducing their hours to care for a loved one. In these ways, salary history questions can inadvertently cause inequalities to snowball over time.”

Proposal would require prompt payments of contractors

A proposed measure pending before the House Commerce and Labor Committee would require owners of commercial and public construction projects to pay contractors within 30 days of receiving a request for payment.

If approved, House Bill 380 would apply an 18 percent annual interest on payments not timely made.

If approved, the bill might lead to additional civil lawsuits and more costs for municipal and county courts and courts of common pleas, according to a Legislative Service Commission (LSC) review of the proposal. However, the losing party of any lawsuit would likely be saddled with the additional costs.