January 2009 Articles
by William Morris
Executive Assistant to the State Librarian & Legislative Liaison
County Law Libraries
A bill has been passed which repeals the county law library law and replaces it with a new law creating a county law library resources board in each county. Originally introduced as Senate Bill 345, the bill was combined into House Bill 420 and passed by the Ohio House on December 17, 2008.
- Creates a county law library resources board in each county to provide legal research, reference, and a library to the county government and its municipal corporations, townships, and courts.Creates a county law library resources fund in each county treasury to receive all revenue required to be deposited into the fund, appropriated to the fund from the general fund by the board of county commissioners, or designated for deposit by gift or bequest.
- Allows the boards of county commissioners of two or more adjacent counties to form a multi-county law library resources commission to carry out any or all of the duties and responsibilities conferred upon a library resources board.
- Requires that during calendar year 2009 the board of county commissioners compensate the librarian and up to two assistant librarians and pay for the space and utilities in the county courthouse or other building that the board of trustees of the law library association provides for the use of the law library and repeals the law establishing those responsibilities in other years effective December 31, 2009.
- Requires that beginning January 1, 2010, the allowance to law libraries from fines and penalties collected in municipal courts, county courts, courts of common pleas, and probate courts and from fines and penalties for violations of liquor laws and state traffic laws be deposited in the county law library resources fund.
- Creates a Statewide Consortium of County Law Library Resources Boards comprised of the library resources boards of each county and creates a Consortium Board and specifies its membership and responsibilities.
- Creates the Statewide Consortium of County Law Library Resources Boards Fund.
- Reconstitutes the Task Force of Law Library Associations.
- Requires a law library association, on or before January 1, 2010, to transfer all unspent fines and penalties in the law library's general fund, retained moneys, and all personal property purchased with such funds to the library resources board in the county where the law library association is located.
- Requires the law library association to retain all dedicated moneys or personal property that were not purchased with the fines and penalties in the law library's general revenue fund or retained moneys fund.
HB 420 also contains language to promote transparency with respect to state spending by requiring that certain information on state awards and earmarks, state real property management, state agency management, and state program effectiveness be collected and made available on-line; makes changes in several education programs, the Assisted Living Program and other miscellaneous provisions. The bill now goes to the Governor for signature before becoming law.