Ohio’s Legislature Takes Action to Respond to Pandemic

The Ohio House and Senate held sessions today to vote on a bill that has several provisions designed to address the coronavirus pandemic. The measure now goes to Gov. DeWine for his approval. While there are numerous provisions in the bill, the provisions below will likely be of most interest to OIA members:

The measure extends the validity of licenses issued by state agencies and political subdivisions until the sooner of 90 days after the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D ends or December 1, 2020, if the license would otherwise expire during the emergency.

Bottomline: Insurance agents whose license is set to expire soon will get an extension to renew their license. That extension will go until either 90 days after Gov. DeWine ends Ohio’s emergency status or until December 1st  — whichever date comes sooner. Driver’s licenses will also fall under this. Note that ODI issued Bulletin 2020-06 yesterday directing insurers to “temporarily suspend certain actions which they would otherwise be permitted to take due to the expiration of the driver license of a name insured or other covered family member.”

The measure makes several changes that are all due to the federal government moving the tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th:

a. Extends the date for estimated payments
b. Waives interest payments (penalties already able to be waived)
c. Not withstands the “20-day rule” under municipal income tax for employees working from home during the health emergency plus 30 days
d. Extends the due date of the state-administered municipal net profit tax

Ohio’s Primary Election
Absentee voting by mail for primary election has been extended to April 28, 2020. Didn’t vote yet? Request your absentee ballot here.

Statute of Limitations
The measure includes language to temporarily stop the clock from running on statutes of limitations, including civil, criminal, and administrative statutes of limitations. Specifically, statutes of limitations and other court time limitations and deadlines that are set to expire between March 9, 2020, and July 30, 2020, will be tolled. The language specifies that the tolling expires on the date the period of emergency ends or July 30, 2020, whichever is sooner.

It is our understanding that the driver behind this change is that courts may close or otherwise be unable to accept the filing of complaints. This protective measure would still give parties access to courts when the courts reopen and also prevent a rush on the courts the day after the terminating time comes.

      Please contact carolyn@ohioinsuranceagents.com with any questions.

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