- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. John Kasich signed dozens of bills into law Friday including legislation to shield the names of companies providing lethal injection drugs and a measure to require a police officer’s presence for traffic camera tickets.

Hunters could use noise suppressors under certain conditions, teenagers will need parental permission for tanning beds and Ohioans get a three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday next August, under other bills signed by Kasich in a private ceremony.

The 40 bills were among many that lawmakers approved earlier this month during a lame-duck session following the November elections. Laws in Ohio generally take effect 90 days after they’re signed by the governor.

Laws signed Friday would:

-Shield the names of participants in Ohio executions, in addition to the names of companies providing the drugs. Supporters say such confidentiality is necessary to obtain supplies of the drugs, and the measure is needed to restart Ohio executions. Opponents say it’s naive to think the bill can truly protect companies’ names from being revealed.

-Regulate the statewide use of traffic camera devices, though opponents say it’s tantamount to a ban. Traffic cameras surged in use but have faced increasing pushback, including challenges to their constitutionality and criticism they’re nothing more than moneymakers for cities.

-Require minors to get their parents’ permission to use tanning beds, with parents signing a consent form in the presence of a salon operator or employee for a 16- or 17-year-old to tan. It’s valid for 90 days. Parents of children under 16 must sign the form before each tanning session, and they must be present for the duration of the tanning sessions. The form describes the health risks of tanning.

-Allow licensed hunters to use noise suppressors while hunting certain birds and other wild game. Supporters say such suppressors help protect hunters’ hearing by diminishing the sound of the muzzle blast, but they don’t silence the gun. Opponents say quieter weapons are not as safe and are easier to use illegally. The measure also reduces the training time to get a concealed weapons permit from a minimum of 12 hours to eight, including two hours devoted to range time and live-fire training.

-Allow cats, dogs and other pets to be included within the scope of protection orders obtained by victims of domestic violence or other offenses. Under the bipartisan bill, courts could issue orders that keep alleged offenders from threatening or interfering with the care of victims’ animals.

-Overhaul Ohio’s municipal tax system after years of debate between businesses faced with a patchwork of tax rules across hundreds of local jurisdictions, and cities that say certain changes in tax collections will mean huge revenue losses to their struggling communities. Cities said a provision that allows businesses to use one year’s losses to reduce their local tax burden for up to five years will cost combined millions to their bottom lines. Proponents said most cities already allow it, and the legislation reduces red tape for businesses.

-Allow Ohio to designate a state poet laureate, as do 44 other states and the District of Columbia.


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