RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
Members of the Ohio Municipal League met this month for their quarterly meeting in Columbus, and discussed what legislation they might endorse in the coming session of the Ohio General Assembly. New Boston Councilman Mike Payton is the only active League member from Scioto County, and he’s asked for their support of a bill to provide disability benefits to municipal police, fire and EMT employees who lose all or partial vision or hearing on the job.
The Ohio Municipal League is a non-profit organization, established in 1952, to provide state assistance to municipal village and city governments across Ohio. According to its website, any city or village — by proper action of its legislative body and payment of the annual membership fee — may become a member. Mayors of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati are also members of the Ohio Municipal League. Payton was appointed to a one-year unexpired term of the Ohio Municipal League in 2010, and was re-appointed to a full two-year term.
During the quarterly meeting of the Ohio Municipal League earlier this month, members were asked to submit legislation they would like to see League endorse in the upcoming session of the Ohio General Assembly. Payton recommended House Bill 346, which was proposed by Rep. Kenny Yuko (D-7th District). The bill proposes amendments to sections of the Ohio Revised Code to provide disability benefits a firefighter, police officer or public emergency medical services worker who is disabled as a result of specified types of cancer, or certain contagious or infectious diseases incurred while performing official duties.
Payton said he likes the bill and he is asking the League to support it, but with stronger language to include vision and hearing loss.
“If you read the details of the bill, there are some specifics alluded to for hearing and vision impairment. But in my opinion, really not nearly what it ought to be,” Payton said.
Payton has sent emails to Yuko and local Rep. Terry Johnson.
“I’m really hoping that he (Johnson) gets on the bandwagon of this; especially because him being a doctor anyway. I really want him to take a good look at it. I think it’s well worth more attention, and it’s kind of become my priority as far as pushing something for the Municipal League to endorse,” Payton said.
The League will meet again in August and review all of the legislation recommended by its members, and then will announce to which bills they will offer their support.
More information about the Ohio Municipal League can be found at www.omlohio.org.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.