A bill halfway through the legislature would allow the state to deduct the amount cities take in from traffic cameras from their state funding. Even though only about a dozen or so communities in Ohio are using cameras, cities are fighting the proposal.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled cities can’t be required to have police officers present with cameras, so this bill allows cameras without cops. But it also takes away the same amount of state funding that cities raise through cameras. Supporters say they don’t need both sources of funding. But Kent Scarrett with the Ohio Municipal League says this is about cities being able to govern themselves under home rule. “It’s the state getting larger, kind of bullying our communities, saying ‘we don’t like what you’re doing, so we’re going to hit you where it counts, in your wallet.’ And where is counts is to our taxpayers.”
The bill was approved by the House. And Scarrett says a lawsuit is a possibility if the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law.