Ohio’s Budget Bill (HB49) contains provisions that address the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision against the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners that ruled they violated federal antitrust laws because members of the state’s dental board were active participants in the profession they regulated.

Due to this Supreme Court ruling, certain vulnerabilities have been identified in Ohio’s current licensing system. HB49 proposes the creation of a third-party review process by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), in which the DAS would review any action taken by or on behalf of a board that could be subject to antitrust laws. Not only would this protect boards from costly legal action for antitrust-related concerns, it would also prevent unnecessary delays in business decisions the boards make and promote better coordination and efficiency within the licensing boards structure.

Following are the details governing DAS Antitrust review:

  • Requires the Director of Administrative Services to review and approve or disapprove actions or proposed actions that have been referred to the Director and that may have antitrust implications taken by boards and commissions.
  • Voids an action or proposed action disapproved by the Director.
  • Allows a board or commission that has taken or proposes to take an action, person who is affected or is likely to be affected by an action taken or proposed to be taken by a board or commission, or a person granted a stay in court under the bill to refer an action for review by the Director.
  • Allows a party adversely affected by the Director’s approval or disapproval to appeal to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
  • Requires a person to obtain a determination from the Director before pursuing a court action for a violation of antitrust laws and grants the state, a board or commission, or a member of a board or commission the right to request a stay of antitrust proceedings pending in a court that lasts until the Director approves or disapproves the action.
  • Requires the Director to adopt rules under the Administrative Procedure Act to implement and administer the bill’s review provisions.