130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 551)



AN ACT
To amend sections 2743.49 and 5502.52 of the Revised Code to prohibit a person from making a false report that results in the implementation of the statewide emergency alert program or a local or regional emergency alert program and to revise the formula to be used by the Auditor of State in determining the amount of the adjustment to be made in the dollar figure specified by statute for a recovery by a wrongfully imprisoned individual.

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

SECTION 1. That sections 2743.49 and 5502.52 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2743.49. (A)(1) In January of each odd-numbered year, the auditor of state, in accordance with this division and division (A)(2) of this section, shall adjust the actual dollar figure specified in division (E)(2)(b) of section 2743.48 of the Revised Code or the actual dollar amount determined pursuant to this section. The adjustment shall be based on the yearly average of the previous two years of the consumer price index for all urban consumers or its successive equivalent, as determined by the United States department of labor, bureau of labor statistics, or its successor in responsibility, for all items, Series A. Using The auditor of state shall calculate the adjustment in the following manner:

(a) First, using the yearly average for the immediately preceding odd-numbered year as the base year, the auditor of state shall compare the most current average consumer price index with that determined in the even-numbered year immediately preceding that odd-numbered year and shall determine the percentage increase or decrease. The auditor of state shall multiply the percentage increase or decrease by the actual dollar figure specified in division (E)(2)(b) of section 2743.48 of the Revised Code or the actual dollar figure determined for the previous odd-numbered year under this section and shall add the product to or subtract the product from its corresponding actual dollar figure, as applicable, for the previous odd-numbered year.

(b) Second, using the yearly average for the immediately preceding even-numbered year as the base year, the auditor of state shall compare the most current average consumer price index with that determined in the preceding odd-numbered year immediately preceding that even-numbered year and shall determine the percentage increase or decrease. The auditor of state shall multiply the percentage increase or decrease by the actual dollar figure specified in division (E)(2)(b) of section 2743.48 of the Revised Code or the actual dollar figure determined under division (A)(1)(a) of this section for the previous odd-numbered even-numbered year under this section and shall add the product to or subtract the product from its corresponding actual dollar figure, as applicable, for the previous odd-numbered year. The resulting figure is the adjusted dollar amount determined under this section for purposes of this section and section 2743.48 of the Revised Code.

(2) The auditor of state shall calculate the adjustment under division (A)(1) of this section on or before the thirty-first day of January of each odd-numbered year. The auditor of state shall base the adjustment on the most current consumer price index that is described in division (A)(1) of this section and that is in effect as of the first day of January of each odd-numbered year.

(B)(1) The auditor of state shall certify the calculations made under division (A) of this section on or before the thirty-first day of January of each odd-numbered year.

(2) On or before the fifteenth day of February of each odd-numbered year, the auditor of state shall prepare a report setting forth the amount that a wrongfully imprisoned individual is entitled to for each full year of imprisonment in the state correctional institution for the offense of which the wrongfully imprisoned individual was found guilty as provided in division (E)(2)(b) of section 2743.49 of the Revised Code and as calculated in accordance with this section. The report and all documents relating to the calculations contained in the report are public records. The report shall contain an indication of the period in which the calculated amount applies, a summary of how the amount was calculated, and a statement that the report and all related documents are available for inspection and copying at the office of the auditor of state.

(3) On or before the fifteenth day of February of each odd-numbered year, the auditor of state shall transmit the report to the general assembly and to the court of claims.

Sec. 5502.52. (A) There is hereby created the statewide emergency alert program to aid in the identification and location of children who are under eighteen years of age, who are abducted, and whose abduction, as determined by a law enforcement agency, poses a credible threat of immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death to a child. The program shall be a coordinated effort among the governor's office, the department of public safety, the attorney general, law enforcement agencies, the state's public and commercial television and radio broadcasters, and others as deemed necessary by the governor.

(B) The statewide emergency alert program shall not be implemented unless all of the following activation criteria are met:

(1) The local investigating law enforcement agency confirms that an abduction has occurred.

(2) An abducted child is under eighteen years of age.

(3) The abduction poses a credible threat of immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death to a child.

(4) A law enforcement agency determines that the child is not a runaway and has not been abducted as a result of a child custody dispute, unless the dispute poses a credible threat of immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death to the child.

(5) There is sufficient descriptive information about the child, the abductor, and the circumstances surrounding the abduction to indicate that activation of the alert will help locate the child.

(C) Nothing in division (B) of this section prevents the activation of a local or regional emergency alert program that may impose different criteria for the activation of a local or regional plan.

(D) Any radio broadcast station, television broadcast station, or cable television system participating in the statewide emergency alert program or in any local or regional emergency alert program, and any director, officer, employee, or agent of any such station or system, shall not be liable to any person for damages for any loss allegedly caused by or resulting from the station's or system's broadcast or cablecast of, or failure to broadcast or cablecast, any information pursuant to the statewide emergency alert program or the local or regional emergency alert program.

(E) No person shall knowingly make a false report that a child has been abducted and that leads to the implementation of the statewide emergency alert program created under this section or that leads to the implementation of a local or regional emergency alert program. Whoever violates this division is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree.

(F) As used in this section:

(1) "Abducted child" means a child for whom there is credible evidence to believe that the child has been abducted in violation of section 2905.01, 2905.02, 2905.03, or 2905.05 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Cable television system" means a cable system, as defined in section 2913.04 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Law enforcement agency" includes, but is not limited to, a county sheriff's office, the office of a village marshal, a police department of a municipal corporation, a police force of a regional transit authority, a police force of a metropolitan housing authority, the state highway patrol, a state university law enforcement agency, the office of a township police constable, and the police department of a township or joint township police district.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 2743.49 and 5502.52 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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