Obhof signs bill

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof signs House Bill 17. He is joined by members of the State Highway Patrol's Lisbon Post, State Representative Tim Ginter and State Senator Michael Rulli.

COLUMBUS -- Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof on Wednesday signed House Bill 17, which allows an increased homestead exemption for spouses of fallen first responders.

Obhof, whose district includes Richland and Ashland counties, was joined by bill sponsor state Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem), state Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem), and members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lisbon Post.

Obhof and Rulli each co-sponsored the bill in the Senate.

House Bill 17 will exempt $50,000 of a home’s appraised value from property taxes or manufactured home taxes for the surviving spouse of a peace officer, firefighter, or paramedic who dies in the line of duty or as a result of an injury or illness sustained in the line of duty. The $50,000 homestead exemption doubles the exemption allowable under current law.

“Police, firefighters, and other first responders risk their own lives every day to keep our families and communities safe,” Obhof said. “This is the least we can do for the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

 Ginter said, "There could be no more appropriate description of the spirit and goal of House Bill 17. "To provide some monetary relief to the spouses of our first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the public.”

House Bill 17 has been sent to Gov. Mike DeWine for his consideration. The bill will become law 90 days after his signature.

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