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Criminal Justice Update

Legislative initiatives would assist law enforcement


The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is working with the Ohio legislature to push for passage of the following bills, which are aimed at supporting local law enforcement. For more information on these efforts, contact Scott Corbitt, the office’s director of policy and legislation, at 614-728-2279 or

Cyber fraud bills

Senate Bill 223, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Bacon

House Bill 329, sponsored by Rep. Ross McGregor

Status: Passed Senate unanimously; now being considered by House.*

This legislation would give the Attorney General more power to assist local law enforcement in fighting fraud carried out via the Internet, telephone communications, or financial wire transfers. It would:

• Give the Attorney General subpoena power, allowing the office to build cyber fraud cases and present them to local prosecutors

• Commit Attorney General’s Office resources to local cyber fraud investigations and prosecutions

• Increase criminal penalties for cyber fraud and tie them to the dollar value of the fraud

Blue Alert bill

Senate Bill 285, sponsored by Sens. Gayle Manning and Tom Patton

Status: Passed Senate unanimously; now being considered by House.*

This legislation would permit local law enforcement to request a statewide Blue Alert when a law enforcement officer has been severely injured or killed or to aid in locating a suspect or missing officer. Specific criteria would have to be met, such as:


• Local law enforcement agency would have to confirm an officer has been killed or severely injured and the suspect has not been apprehended, or a law enforcement officer went missing while on duty.

• There must be sufficient description of the suspect or the circumstances surrounding an officer’s injury, death, or disappearance to believe that an alert could help locate the suspect or missing officer.


Sweepstakes bill

House Bill 195, sponsored by Reps. Marlene Anielski and Nan Baker

Status: Being considered by House, then expected to head to Senate.*


The bill would clarify what constitutes sweepstakes/Internet cafes and slot machines as well as:

• Require licensing and testing by a state-approved laboratory funded by owners and distributors, making it easier for law enforcement to determine if an operation is complying with the law

• Limit the number of licenses per county and owner

• Restrict the number of machines per location

• Limit merchandise prizes to a value of $10 and prohibit cash payouts

* Indicates status of the legislation as of press time in mid-January.