On March 24 the Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee unanimously approved HB 71 which would prohibit certain indemnity agreements in motor vehicle carrier transportation contracts.
Written proponent testimony was provided by Jeff Smith, director of government affairs and general counsel for the Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio. He made the following statement:
The Ohio House of Representatives Commerce and Labor Committee took testimony March 24 on HB 77 which woud require statewide registration of home improvement contractors and modify the membership of the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board.
Members took opponent testimony from Executive Director Shari Bates of the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and Mike Hoffmaster, president of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Cincinnati and president of Greatway Homes, who said he was not actually speaking on behalf of HBA.
Both said the bill will not stop unscrupulous contractors and protect homeowners and will only increase regulatory burdens and costs on reputable contractors.
A conference committee cleared the transportation budget on March 24 with changes including stripping out language that would have raised the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on certain rural highways.
The Conference Committee on HB53 (Grossman) ironed out more than 50 differences between the House-passed version and the Senate passed version, including reverting back to the 70 miles per hour speed limit, removing the restriction on driving in the left-hand lane on three-lane highways but retaining the requirement that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODO)T post signs saying "Keep Right Except to Pass."
The Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee took testimony April 17 on HB 71 which would prohibit certain indemnity agreements in motor carrier transportation contracts.
Tom Balzer, president of the Ohio Trucking Association, said the industry has "no problem" indemnifying its customers from actions of the trucking company.
"[W]e do not think that in a traffic accident involving a truck that the customer should be brought into a lawsuit just because their product was on board," Balzer said. "What we do have an issue with, is having to defend and hold harmless a customer for acts by the customer the trucking company has no control over."
He told Chairman Butler that these cases often go to arbitration, and have had mixed results in court.