Ehemann, Bornhorst testify in Columbus




COLUMBUS — Two Shelby County commissioners tesitifed Wednesday before committees concerning Ohio’s budget bill.

Commissioner Tony Bornhorst testified before the Ohio Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee and asked for support for several agriculture and water quality initiatives in Substitute HB 166. Bornhorst serves on the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the Water Quality Task Force.

Commissioner Julie Ehemann testified before the Ohio Senate Higher Education Committee and asked for support of provisions in HB 166 which should fully fund indigent defense reimbursement to the counties beginning in FY 2021. Ehemann also serves as CCAO president.

“Agriculture is Ohio’s No. 1 industry, contributing over $100 billion annually to the state’s economy. A strong agriculture industry benefits all 88 counties, whether they be urban, rural or someplace in between. Counties work collaboratively with the state and other partners to promote agriculture’s strengths while also addressing its challenges,” Bornhorst said.

In his testimony, Bornhorst discussed CCAO’s support for increased funding for the entities who are leaders in research, education and innovation for Ohio’s agriculture industry and water quality improvement efforts. Those entities include Ohio’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts, OSU Extension, Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center, and the proposed H2Ohio Fund.

“CCAO’s main legislative priority for this budget is to have the state fully reimburse the counties for their costs incurred in fulfilling the state’s constitutional obligation to provide counsel to indigent defendants,” Ehemann said. “We appreciated this committee’s members Vice Chair Gavarone, Senator McColley and Senator Wilson who joined with several other senators in sending a letter to Governor DeWine asking that he include full funding for indigent defense reimbursement in his budget request. “

Ehemann also shared her appreciation for Gov. Mike DeWine and the House’s actions regarding indigent defense funding. DeWine’s budget committed $60 million each year in general revenue funds for indigent defense. The House included an additional $35M in the second year of the biennium with the intention of providing full reimbursement for indigent defense beginning in July 2021.

“CCAO greatly appreciates these actions and asks the Senate to support the combined actions of Governor DeWine and the House reflected in Substitute HB 166 as passed by the House.”

To listen to Bornhorst’s testimony, visit

To listen to Ehemann’s testimony, visit

The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.