Columbus -- Gov. John Kasich put his pen to good use before leaving town for the holidays, signing more than three dozen bills into law. The list included a mix of hot button items -- legislation allowing guns stored in vehicles parked in the Statehouse garage, for example -- to a series of law changes aimed at drawing attention to different medical conditions. Here are a few new state laws set to take effect in the new year:
SB 130 will require high-volume puppy breeders to register with the state and meet care requirements and other standards.
Application fees will run from $150-$750, depending on the number of dogs sold in a year. Licenses could be denied to individuals convicted of animal cruelty or animal fighting crimes in the past 20 years or revoked if breeders mistreat their animals.
The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be responsible for establishing housing, nutrition, exercise and other care standards for breeders, with inspections annually to ensure those standards are being followed.
The governor signed Amended Senate Bill 70, which will require convicted arsonists to register with law enforcement, whether they live in Ohio or, for extended stays, visiting from out of state. A new registry of arson offenders will be used in subsequent arson investigations, though the information was exempted from the state's public records laws.
SB 114 includes a number of provisions related to specialized motor vehicles -- golf carts, scooters, etc. -- generally prohibiting their use on streets or highways with speed limits of more than 35 mpg.
Among other provisions, the bill prohibits motorcycle handlebars from rising "higher than the shoulders of the operator when the operator is seated in the operator's seat or saddle," according to an analysis. "Current law prohibits any motorcycle from being operated on a highway when the handlebars or grips are more than 15 inches higher than the operator's seat or saddle."
SB 141 allows physicians, chiropractors or physical therapists licensed in another state to provide services to athletic teams they accompany into Ohio for sporting events.
SB 222 requires rest stops along interstate highways and the Ohio Turnpike to display the U.S. flag, Ohio flag and POW/MIA flag, with a stipulation that purchasers of the flags "to the maximum extent possible" buy banners made in Ohio and the United States.
HB 278 increases minimum requirements for car insurance, to $25,000 from $12,500 to cover "bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident," to $50,000 from $25,000 for "bodily injury to or death two or more in any one accident," and to $25,000 from $7,500 for "injury to property of others in any one accident."
HB 543 requires public schools to train staff in youth suicide awareness and prevention.
A couple of bills (HB 325 and SB 300) named roads and bridges in honor of military men and women and officers killed in the line of duty. The former included about 40 separate road memorials. Another bill, HB 459 declares Ohio as a "Purple Heart State."
On the medical front, SB 40 designates November as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month, SB 135 sets September at Craniofacial Acceptance Month, SB 199 makes Oct. 13 Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, SB 304 designates May as Better Hearing and Speech Month, HB 184 sets March as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month, and HB 492 makes May Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.