That stipulation was added in order to remain in compliance with federal Affordable Care Act requirements.
“Persistent staffing issues within local law enforcement, emergency medical services and fire departments have resulted in increased overall response times and large spans of unstaffed hours,” the release said.
Proponents of the bill say that while there are dedicated first responders ready and willing to help, Ohio’s part-time work hour limit prevents these townships from offering their staff more hours. Some have raised concerns regarding the safety of their communities, according to the news release.
“Our first responders work tirelessly to protect our communities,” Koehler said. “If this issue is not addressed, the part-time employees covering for current absentees will reach their maximum allowable hours by September of this year. The numbers don’t lie. For the safety of our communities, Ohio needs to be proactive.”
This measure would only apply to collective bargaining agreements entered into after the bill’s effective date.
The proposed bill is currently awaiting a committee referral.