130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 490  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 490


Representatives Dovilla, Landis 



A BILL
To amend sections 149.01, 317.24, 3333.31, and 5902.02 of the Revised Code to change the law regarding a County Recorder's release of a veteran's record of discharge, to modify the duties of the Director of Veterans Services with respect to publishing information about Veterans Services offices, to modify the composition of the Veterans Advisory Committee, and to grant in-state tuition for nonresident spouses and dependents of veterans who served on active duty and are deceased.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 149.01, 317.24, 3333.31, and 5902.02 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 149.01.  Each elective state officer, the adjutant general, the adult parole authority, the department of agriculture, the director of administrative services, the public utilities commission, the superintendent of insurance, the superintendent of financial institutions, the superintendent of purchases and printing, the state commissioner of soldiers' claims, the fire marshal, the industrial commission, the administrator of workers' compensation, the state department of transportation, the department of health, the state medical board, the state dental board, the board of embalmers and funeral directors, the Ohio commission for the blind, the accountancy board of Ohio, the state council of uniform state laws, the board of commissioners of the sinking fund, the department of taxation, the board of tax appeals, the division of liquor control, the director of state armories, the trustees of the Ohio state university, and every private or quasi-public institution, association, board, or corporation receiving state money for its use and purpose shall make annually, at the end of each fiscal year, in quadruplicate, a report of the transactions and proceedings of that office or department for that fiscal year, excepting receipts and disbursements unless otherwise specifically required by law. The report shall contain a summary of the official acts of the officer, board, council, commission, institution, association, or corporation and any suggestions and recommendations that are proper. On the first day of August of each year, one of the reports shall be filed with the governor, one with the secretary of state, and one with the state library, and one shall be kept on file in the office of the officer, board, council, commission, institution, association, or corporation.
Sec. 317.24.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Authorized party" means any of the following:
(a) The person who is the subject of the record of discharge;
(b) A county veterans service officer, or an who is certified by the department of veterans services;
(c) An attorney-in-fact, agent, or other representative of the person who is the subject of the record of discharge, if authorized to inspect or copy the record of discharge by that person in a power of attorney or other document;
(c)(d) A person authorized, for good cause shown, by a court of record to inspect or copy the record of discharge;
(d)(e) If the person who is the subject of the record of discharge is deceased, the executor or administrator, or an heir, legatee, or devisee, of the person's estate or a funeral director who is to perform the funeral for the deceased person.
(2) "Separation code" or "separation program number" means the coded number or numbers used to specify the reasons for a person's separation from active duty, as contained in one of the following:
(a) Regarding a separation code, as contained in line 23 or 26 of a veteran's discharge paper, United States department of defense form DD-214;
(b) Regarding a separation program number, as contained in line 9(c) or line 11(c) of a veteran's discharge paper, under prior versions of United States department of defense form DD-214.
(3) "Service-related document" means any United States department of defense form DD-215 or DD-220, or any National Guard Bureau form NGB-22 or NGB-22A.
(B)(1) Upon request of any discharged member of the armed forces of the United States and presentation of the member's discharge, the county recorder shall record the discharge in a book to be furnished by the board of county commissioners for that purpose. There shall be no fee for the recording. The record of discharge, or a certified copy of the record, shall be received in evidence in all cases where the original discharge would be received.
(2)(a) A discharge recorded under division (B)(1) or (D) of this section is not a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code for a period of seventy-five years after the date of the recording. During that period, the county recorder's office shall make the record of discharge available only to an authorized party or to a person other than an authorized party as provided by division (B)(2)(b) of this section. Except as provided in section 317.27 of the Revised Code, the authorized party shall pay the reasonable costs of copying the record of discharge.
(b) A person other than an authorized party may request to view or receive a copy of a discharge record recorded under division (B)(1) or (D) of this section. Upon such a person's request, the county recorder's office shall provide a copy of the discharged record to the person that shall be redacted to contain only the name, rank, date of birth, date of discharge, and type of discharge of the person who is the subject of the discharge record. Except as provided in section 317.27 of the Revised Code, a person other than an authorized party shall pay the reasonable costs of copying the record of discharge.
(3) A county veterans service officer, who is an authorized party, may request to receive, from a county recorder's office, a record of discharge if the veterans service officer has a need for access to the record of discharge for the purpose of supporting a veteran's claim for benefits, and the county recorder's office shall make the record available to the county veterans service officer.
(C) Upon application by a person whose discharge has been recorded pursuant to this section, the county recorder shall, without fee, expunge the person's record of discharge, expunge the person's separation program number or separation code from the person's record of discharge and from any of the person's other service-related documents that have been recorded, or expunge the person's social security number from the person's record of discharge and from any of the person's other service-related documents that have been recorded. The application shall be in the following form:
"APPLICATION FOR EXPUNGEMENT
OF DISCHARGE RECORD OR OTHER INFORMATION
I, ................ (Name of Applicant), the undersigned, hereby request the County Recorder of the County of ............ (Name of County), state of Ohio, to expunge my .......... (Insert Record of Discharge, Separation Program Number or Separation Code from my Record of Discharge and other service-related documents, or Social Security Number from my Record of Discharge and other service-related documents).
Dated this .......... day of .........., .....
.................................
(Signature of Applicant)      
Sworn to and subscribed before me by ............ (Name of Applicant) on .........., .....
........................................
Notary Public                      
My commission expires .........., ....."
(D) Upon the request of any person who served during World War I or World War II as a member of any armed force of the government of Poland or Czechoslovakia and participated while so serving in armed conflict with an enemy of the United States and who has been a citizen of the United States for at least ten years, and the presentation of the person's discharge, the county recorder shall record the person's discharge in a book to be furnished by the board of county commissioners for that purpose. No fee shall be charged for the recording. The record, or a certified copy of it, shall be received in evidence in all cases where the original would be received.
Sec. 3333.31.  (A) For state subsidy and tuition surcharge purposes, status as a resident of Ohio shall be defined by the chancellor of the Ohio board of regents by rule promulgated pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. No adjudication as to the status of any person under such rule, however, shall be required to be made pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. The term "resident" for these purposes shall not be equated with the definition of that term as it is employed elsewhere under the laws of this state and other states, and shall not carry with it any of the legal connotations appurtenant thereto. Rather, except as provided in divisions (B) and (D) of this section, for such purposes, the rule promulgated under this section shall have the objective of excluding from treatment as residents those who are present in the state primarily for the purpose of attending a state-supported or state-assisted institution of higher education, and may prescribe presumptive rules, rebuttable or conclusive, as to such purpose based upon the source or sources of support of the student, residence prior to first enrollment, evidence of intention to remain in the state after completion of studies, or such other factors as the chancellor deems relevant.
(B) The rules of the chancellor for determining student residency shall grant residency status to a veteran and to the veteran's spouse and any dependent of the veteran, if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The veteran either:
(a) Served one or more years on active military duty and was honorably discharged or received a medical discharge that was related to the military service;
(b) Was killed while serving on active military duty or has been declared to be missing in action or a prisoner of war.
(2) If the veteran seeks residency status for tuition surcharge purposes, the veteran has established domicile in this state as of the first day of a term of enrollment in an institution of higher education. If the spouse or a dependent of the veteran seeks residency status for tuition surcharge purposes, the veteran and the spouse or dependent seeking residency status have established domicile in this state as of the first day of a term of enrollment in an institution of higher education, except that if the veteran was killed while serving on active military duty or, has been declared to be missing in action or a prisoner of war, or is deceased after discharge, only the spouse or dependent seeking residency status shall be required to have established domicile in accordance with this division.
(C) The rules of the chancellor for determining student residency shall not deny residency status to a student who is either a dependent child of a parent, or the spouse of a person who, as of the first day of a term of enrollment in an institution of higher education, has accepted full-time employment and established domicile in this state for reasons other than gaining the benefit of favorable tuition rates.
Documentation of full-time employment and domicile shall include both of the following documents:
(1) A sworn statement from the employer or the employer's representative on the letterhead of the employer or the employer's representative certifying that the parent or spouse of the student is employed full-time in Ohio;
(2) A copy of the lease under which the parent or spouse is the lessee and occupant of rented residential property in the state, a copy of the closing statement on residential real property of which the parent or spouse is the owner and occupant in this state or, if the parent or spouse is not the lessee or owner of the residence in which the parent or spouse has established domicile, a letter from the owner of the residence certifying that the parent or spouse resides at that residence.
Residency officers may also evaluate, in accordance with the chancellor's rule, requests for immediate residency status from dependent students whose parents are not living and whose domicile follows that of a legal guardian who has accepted full-time employment and established domicile in the state for reasons other than gaining the benefit of favorable tuition rates.
(D)(1) The rules of the chancellor for determining student residency shall grant residency status to a person who, while a resident of this state for state subsidy and tuition surcharge purposes, graduated from a high school in this state or completed the final year of instruction at home as authorized under section 3321.04 of the Revised Code, if the person enrolls in an institution of higher education and establishes domicile in this state, regardless of the student's residence prior to that enrollment.
(2) The rules of the chancellor for determining student residency shall not grant residency status to an alien if the alien is not also an immigrant or a nonimmigrant.
(E) As used in this section:
(1) "Dependent," "domicile," "institution of higher education," and "residency officer" have the meanings ascribed in the chancellor's rules adopted under this section.
(2) "Alien" means a person who is not a United States citizen or a United States national.
(3) "Immigrant" means an alien who has been granted the right by the United States bureau of citizenship and immigration services to reside permanently in the United States and to work without restrictions in the United States.
(4) "Nonimmigrant" means an alien who has been granted the right by the United States bureau of citizenship and immigration services to reside temporarily in the United States.
Sec. 5902.02.  The duties of the director of veterans services shall include the following:
(A) Furnishing the veterans service commissions of all counties of the state copies of the state laws, rules, and legislation relating to the operation of the commissions and their offices;
(B) Upon application, assisting the general public in obtaining records of vital statistics pertaining to veterans or their dependents;
(C) Adopting rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code pertaining to minimum qualifications for hiring, certifying, and accrediting county veterans service officers, pertaining to their required duties, and pertaining to revocation of the certification of county veterans service officers;
(D) Adopting rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the education, training, certification, and duties of veterans service commissioners and for the revocation of the certification of a veterans service commissioner;
(E) Developing and monitoring programs and agreements enhancing employment and training for veterans in single or multiple county areas;
(F) Developing and monitoring programs and agreements to enable county veterans service commissions to address homelessness, indigency, and other veteran-related issues individually or jointly;
(G) Developing and monitoring programs and agreements to enable state agencies, individually or jointly, that provide services to veterans, including the veterans' homes operated under Chapter 5907. of the Revised Code and the director of job and family services, to address homelessness, indigency, employment, and other veteran-related issues;
(H) Establishing and providing statistical reporting formats and procedures for county veterans service commissions;
(I) Publishing annually, promulgating change notices for, and distributing electronically a listing of county veterans service officers, offices and county veterans service commissioners, state directors of veterans affairs, and national and state service officers of accredited veterans organizations and their state headquarters. The listing shall include the expiration dates of commission members' terms of office and the organizations they represent; the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of county veterans service officers and state directors of veterans affairs offices; and the addresses and telephone numbers of the Ohio offices and headquarters of state and national veterans service organizations.
(J) Establishing a veterans advisory committee to advise and assist the department of veterans services in its duties. Members shall include a member of the national guard association of the United States who is a resident of this state, a member of the military officers association of America who is a resident of this state, a state representative of congressionally chartered veterans organizations referred to in section 5901.02 of the Revised Code, a representative of any other congressionally chartered state veterans organization that has at least one veterans service commissioner in the state, three representatives of the Ohio state association of county veterans service commissioners, who shall have a combined vote of one, three representatives of the state association of county veterans service officers, who shall have a combined vote of one, one representative of the county commissioners association of Ohio, who shall be a county commissioner not from the same county as any of the other county representatives, a representative of the advisory committee on women veterans, a representative of a labor organization, and a representative of the office of the attorney general. The department of veterans services shall submit to the advisory committee proposed rules for the committee's operation. The committee may review and revise these proposed rules prior to submitting them to the joint committee on agency rule review.
(K) Adopting, with the advice and assistance of the veterans advisory committee, policy and procedural guidelines that the veterans service commissions shall adhere to in the development and implementation of rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines for the administration of Chapter 5901. of the Revised Code. The department of veterans services shall adopt no guidelines or rules regulating the purposes, scope, duration, or amounts of financial assistance provided to applicants pursuant to sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code. The director of veterans services may obtain opinions from the office of the attorney general regarding rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines of the veterans service commissions and may enforce compliance with Chapter 5901. of the Revised Code.
(L) Receiving copies of form DD214 filed in accordance with the director's guidelines adopted under division (L) of this section from members of veterans service commissions appointed under section 5901.02 and from county veterans service officers employed under section 5901.07 of the Revised Code;
(M) Developing and maintaining and improving a resource, such as a telephone answering point or a web site, by means of which veterans and their dependents, through a single portal, can access multiple sources of information and interaction with regard to the rights of, and the benefits available to, veterans and their dependents. The director of veterans services may enter into agreements with state and federal agencies, with agencies of political subdivisions, with state and local instrumentalities, and with private entities as necessary to make the resource as complete as is possible.
(N) Planning, organizing, advertising, and conducting outreach efforts, such as conferences and fairs, at which veterans and their dependents may meet, learn about the organization and operation of the department of veterans services and of veterans service commissions, and obtain information about the rights of, and the benefits and services available to, veterans and their dependents;
(O) Advertising, in print, on radio and television, and otherwise, the rights of, and the benefits and services available to, veterans and their dependents;
(P) Developing and advocating improved benefits and services for, and improved delivery of benefits and services to, veterans and their dependents;
(Q) Searching for, identifying, and reviewing statutory and administrative policies that relate to veterans and their dependents and reporting to the general assembly statutory and administrative policies that should be consolidated in whole or in part within the organization of the department of veterans services to unify funding, delivery, and accounting of statutory and administrative policy expressions that relate particularly to veterans and their dependents;
(R) Encouraging veterans service commissions to innovate and otherwise to improve efficiency in delivering benefits and services to veterans and their dependents and to report successful innovations and efficiencies to the director of veterans services;
(S) Publishing and encouraging adoption of successful innovations and efficiencies veterans service commissions have achieved in delivering benefits and services to veterans and their dependents;
(T) Establishing advisory committees, in addition to the veterans advisory committee established under division (K) of this section, on veterans issues;
(U) Developing and maintaining a relationship with the United States department of veterans affairs, seeking optimal federal benefits and services for Ohio veterans and their dependents, and encouraging veterans service commissions to maximize the federal benefits and services to which veterans and their dependents are entitled;
(V) Developing and maintaining relationships with the several veterans organizations, encouraging the organizations in their efforts at assisting veterans and their dependents, and advocating for adequate state subsidization of the organizations;
(W) Requiring the several veterans organizations that receive funding from the state annually to report to the director of veterans services and prescribing the form and content of the report;
(X) Investigating complaints against county veterans services commissioners and county veterans service officers if the director reasonably believes the investigation to be appropriate and necessary;
(Y) Taking any other actions required by this chapter.
Section 2. That existing sections 149.01, 317.24, 3333.31, and 5902.02 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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