130th Ohio General Assembly
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(125th General Assembly)
(Substitute Senate Bill Number 156)



AN ACT
To amend section 4511.63 and to enact sections 3701.65, 4503.81, 5533.62, 5533.643, 5533.81, 5533.82, 5533.83, 5533.84, 5533.85, 5533.86, 5533.87, 5533.88, 5533.89, and 5533.90 of the Revised Code to designate State Route 48 the "U.S.A.F. Pararescue Memorial Parkway"; to name the new Interstate Route 280 bridge spanning the Maumee River in Lucas county the "Veterans' Glass City Skyway"; to designate a portion of State Route 66 in Auglaize county as the "Kenneth Jutte-John Garman Memorial Highway"; to designate a portion of United States Route 35 within Gallia county as the "Bob Evans Highway"; to designate a portion of State Route 588 and Jackson Pike within Gallia county as the "Nehemiah and Permelia Atwood Memorial Highway"; to designate State Route 160 within Gallia county as the "Charles E. Holzer Highway"; to designate State Route 756 within Brown and Clermont counties as the "Ohio Army National Guard 216th Engineering Battalion Memorial Highway"; to designate a portion of State Route 209 within Guernsey county as the "Veterans' Memorial Highway"; to designate United States Route 24 within Defiance county as the "Defiance County Veterans Memorial Highway"; to designate a portion of United States Route 250 within Tuscarawas county as the "Bill Hinig Memorial Highway"; and to designate a portion of State Route 315 within Franklin county as the "Lawrence E. Hughes Memorial Highway; to designate a portion of State Route 711 within Mahoning County as the "Robert E. Hagan Memorial Highway"; to create "Choose Life" license plates and the "Choose Life" Fund and to provide that moneys in the fund be used by the Director of Health to fund eligible private, nonprofit organizations that provide services to pregnant women who are planning to place their children for adoption; and to establish procedures for the Public Utilities Commission to designate exempt railroad crossings where certain busses and specified vehicles may cross without making the stop otherwise required of those vehicles.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That section 4511.63 be amended and sections 3701.65, 4503.81, 5533.62, 5533.643, 5533.81, 5533.82, 5533.83, 5533.84, 5533.85, 5533.86, 5533.87, 5533.88, 5533.89, and 5533.90 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 3701.65. (A) There is hereby created in the state treasury the "choose life" fund. The fund shall consist of the contributions that are paid to the registrar of motor vehicles by applicants who voluntarily elect to obtain "choose life" license plates pursuant to section 4503.81 of the Revised Code and any money returned to the fund under division (E)(1)(d) of this section. All investment earnings of the fund shall be credited to the fund.

(B)(1) At least annually, the director of health shall distribute the money in the fund to any private, nonprofit organization that is eligible to receive funds under this section and that applies for funding under division (C) of this section.

(2) The director shall distribute the funds based on the county in which the organization applying for funding is located and in proportion to the number of "choose life" license plates issued during the preceding year to vehicles registered in each county. Within each county, eligible organizations that apply for funding shall share equally in the funds available for distribution to organizations located within that county.

(C) Any organization seeking funds under this section annually shall apply for distribution of the funds. The director shall develop an application form and may determine the schedule and procedures that an organization shall follow when annually applying for funds. The application shall inform the applicant of the conditions for receiving and using funds under division (E) of this section. The application shall require evidence that the organization meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Is a private, nonprofit organization;

(2) Is committed to counseling pregnant women about the option of adoption;

(3) Provides services within the state to pregnant women who are planning to place their children for adoption, including counseling and meeting the material needs of the women;

(4) Does not charge women for any services received;

(5) Is not involved or associated with any abortion activities, including counseling for or referrals to abortion clinics, providing medical abortion-related procedures, or pro-abortion advertising;

(6) Does not discriminate in its provision of any services on the basis of race, religion, color, age, marital status, national origin, handicap, gender, or age.

(D) The director shall not distribute funds to an organization that does not provide verifiable evidence of the requirements specified in the application under division (C) of this section and shall not provide additional funds to any organization that fails to comply with division (E) of this section in regard to its previous receipt of funds under this section.

(E)(1) An organization receiving funds under this section shall do all of the following:

(a) Use not more than sixty per cent of the funds distributed to it for the material needs of pregnant women who are planning to place their children for adoption or for infants awaiting placement with adoptive parents, including clothing, housing, medical care, food, utilities, and transportation;

(b) Use not more than forty per cent of the funds distributed to it for counseling, training, or advertising;

(c) Not use any of the funds distributed to it for administrative expenses, legal expenses, or capital expenditures;

(d) Annually return to the fund created under division (A) of this section any unused money that exceeds ten per cent of the money distributed to the organization.

(2) The organization annually shall submit to the director an audited financial statement verifying its compliance with division (E)(1) of this section.

Sec. 4503.81.  (A) The owner or lessee of any passenger car, noncommercial motor vehicle, motor home, or other vehicle of a class approved by the registrar of motor vehicles may apply to the registrar for the registration of the vehicle and issuance of "choose life" license plates. The application for "choose life" license plates may be combined with a request for a special reserved license plate under section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code. Upon receipt of the completed application and compliance with divisions (B) and (C) of this section, the registrar shall issue to the applicant the appropriate vehicle registration and a set of "choose life" license plates with a validation sticker or a validation sticker alone when required by section 4503.191 of the Revised Code.

In addition to the letters and numbers ordinarily inscribed on license plates, "choose life" license plates shall be inscribed with the words "choose life" and a marking designed by "choose life, inc.," a private, nonprofit corporation incorporated in the state of Florida. The registrar shall review the design and approve it if the design is feasible. If the design is not feasible, the registrar shall notify "choose life, inc," and the organization may resubmit designs until a feasible one is approved. "Choose life" license plates shall bear county identification stickers that identify the county of registration by name or number.

(B) "Choose life" license plates and a validation sticker, or a validation sticker alone, shall be issued upon receipt of a contribution as provided in division (C) of this section and upon payment of the regular license tax prescribed in section 4503.04 of the Revised Code, any applicable motor vehicle tax levied under Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code, any applicable additional fee prescribed by section 4503.40 or 4503.42 of the Revised Code, a fee of ten dollars for the purpose of compensating the bureau of motor vehicles for additional services required in the issuing of "choose life" license plates, and compliance with all other applicable laws relating to the registration of motor vehicles.

(C)(1) For each application for registration and registration renewal received under this section, the registrar shall collect a contribution of twenty dollars. The registrar shall transmit this contribution to the treasurer of state for deposit in the "choose life" fund created in section 3701.65 of the Revised Code.

(2) The registrar shall deposit the additional fee of ten dollars specified in division (B) of this section for the purpose of compensating the bureau for the additional services required in issuing "choose life" license plates in the state bureau of motor vehicles fund created in section 4501.25 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 4511.63.  (A) The Except as provided in division (B) of this section, the operator of any bus, any school vehicle described in division (C) of this section, or any vehicle transporting a material or materials required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Parts 100-185, before crossing at grade any track of a railroad, shall stop the vehicle and, while so stopped, shall listen through an open door or open window and look in both directions along the track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and shall proceed only upon exercising due care after stopping, looking, and listening as required by this section. Upon proceeding, the operator of such a vehicle shall cross only in a gear that will ensure there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing the crossing and shall not shift gears while crossing the tracks.

(B) This section does not apply at any street railway grade crossings within a municipal corporation, or to abandoned tracks, spur tracks, side tracks, and industrial tracks when the public utilities commission has authorized and approved the an exempt crossing of the tracks without making the stop required by this section as provided in this division.

(1) Any local authority may file an application with the commission requesting the approval of an exempt crossing. Upon receipt of such a request, the commission shall authorize a limited period for the filing of comments by any party regarding the application and then shall conduct a public hearing in the community seeking the exempt crossing designation. The commission shall provide appropriate prior public notice of the comment period and the public hearing. By registered mail, the commission shall notify each railroad operating over the crossing of the comment period.

(2) After considering any comments or other information received, the commission may approve or reject the application. By order, the commission may establish conditions for the exempt crossing designation, including compliance with division (b) of 49 C.F.R. Part 392.10, when applicable. An exempt crossing designation becomes effective only when appropriate signs giving notice of the exempt designation are erected at the crossing as ordered by the commission and any other conditions ordered by the commission are satisfied.

(3) By order, the commission may rescind any exempt crossing designation made under this section if the commission finds that a condition at the exempt crossing has changed to such an extent that the continuation of the exempt crossing designation compromises public safety. The commission may conduct a public hearing to investigate and determine whether to rescind the exempt crossing designation. If the commission rescinds the designation, it shall order the removal of any exempt crossing signs and may make any other necessary order.

(C) This section applies to As used in this section:

(1) "School vehicle" means any vehicle used for the transportation of pupils to and from a school or school-related function if the vehicle is owned or operated by, or operated under contract with, a public or nonpublic school.

(D) For purposes of this section, "bus(2) "Bus" means any vehicle originally designed by its manufacturer to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver, or carries sixteen or more passengers, including the driver.

(E)(3) "Exempt crossing" means a highway rail grade crossing authorized and approved by the public utilities commission under division (B) of this section at which vehicles may cross without making the stop otherwise required by this section.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one or more violations of this section or section 4511.76, 4511.761, 4511.762, 4511.764, 4511.77, or 4511.79 of the Revised Code or a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any of those sections, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Sec. 5533.62. The road known as state route number forty-eight, running in a northerly and southerly direction, commencing in Shelby county and continuing through the counties of Miami, Montgomery, and Warren and ending in Clermont county, shall be known as the "U.S.A.F. pararescue memorial parkway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers upon the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.643. That portion of the road known as state route number seven hundred eleven, commencing at interstate six hundred eighty in Mahoning county and extending in a northeasterly direction to the intersection of United States route four hundred twenty-two shall be known as the "Robert E. Hagan Memorial Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.81. The bridge spanning the Maumee River in Lucas county, being a part of the highway known as interstate route number two hundred eighty and having a scheduled completion date of approximately August of the year 2005, shall be known as the "Veterans' Glass City Skyway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers upon the bridge or its approaches indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.82.  That portion of state route sixty-six located in Auglaize county and running in a northerly and southerly direction between state route one hundred nineteen and state route two hundred seventy-four, shall be known as the "Kenneth Jutte-John Garman memorial highway.

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.83. That portion of the road known as United States route thirty-five, running in an easterly and westerly direction within Gallia county only, shall be known as the "Bob Evans Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.84.  The following portions of the following highways, located within Gallia county, shall be known as the "Nehemiah and Permelia Atwood Memorial Highway":

(A) State route number five hundred eighty-eight, commencing within the municipal corporation of Rio Grande and running in an easterly direction to the municipal corporation of Rodney to the intersection of that state route and Jackson pike;

(B) Jackson pike, commencing at the intersection of that highway and state route number five hundred eighty-eight and running in an easterly direction to the intersection of Jackson pike and state route number one hundred sixty.

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers upon those portions of those highways indicating their name.

Sec. 5533.85.  The road known as state route number one hundred sixty, running in a northerly and southerly direction within Gallia county only, shall be known as the "Charles E. Holzer Highway."

The director of transportation may erect markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.86. The road known as state route number seven hundred fifty-six, running in an easterly and westerly direction within Brown and Clermont counties only, shall be known as the "Ohio Army National Guard Two Hundred Sixteenth Engineering Battalion Memorial Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.87.  That part of the road known as state route number two hundred nine, located within Guernsey county and commencing at the intersection of that state route and Wheeling avenue within the city of Cambridge and extending in a southerly direction and ending at exit number one hundred seventy-eight of that state route, shall be known as "Veterans' Memorial Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.88. The road known as United States route number twenty-four, running in an easterly and westerly direction within Defiance county only, shall be known as the "Defiance County Veterans Memorial Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name only if the department of transportation receives private contributions sufficient to pay all costs of manufacturing, erecting, and maintaining the markers. Any private money received by the department for the purposes of this section shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the state highway operating fund or any other fund of the department as determined by the director. No public money shall be used to pay the costs associated with highway markers erected under this section.

Sec. 5533.89. The portion of the road known as United States route two hundred fifty, commencing at interstate route seventy-seven and extending in a southeasterly direction through the municipal corporation of Uhrichsville, shall be known as the "Bill Hinig Memorial Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name.

Sec. 5533.90.  That portion of the road known as state route number three hundred fifteen running in a north and south direction within Franklin county, commencing at the point where that state route crosses over King avenue and extending northward to the boundary of Franklin county and Delaware county, shall be known as the "Lawrence E. Hughes Memorial Highway."

The director of transportation may erect suitable markers along the highway indicating its name. The director may accept private contributions to pay all or part of the costs of manufacturing, erecting, and maintaining the markers. Any private money the department receives for the purposes of this section shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the state highway operating fund or any other fund of the department as determined by the director.

SECTION 2.  That existing section 4511.63 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

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