The Ohio House State Government Committee took testimony November 27 on HB 306 which would require a building or structure constructed using state capital budget moneys to adhere to certain energy efficiency and building standards and to encourage the use of Ohio-produced products.

Rep. Connie Pillich D-(Montomery) said the bill would require public buildings constructed under the state capital budget to adhere to certain energy efficient building standards and encourage the use of Ohio bio-products. Capital requirements would also apply to the school facility trust fund.

“It’s basically a green bill,” Pillich said.

Rep. Terhar cited the required return on investment of “not more than 20 years” in the bill.  “That’s a horrific return on investment,” he said. “I don’t think tax payers should suffer a return on investment at that level.”  Pillich noted that a more recent analysis suggested green requirements would pay for themselves within 18 months.

Rep. Damschroder asked why, if green standards are such a good idea, they should be subject to exemption for public buildings smaller than 5,000 feet, as provided in the bill.  The sponsor said “industry experts” had advised her it would be a reasonable cutoff, and that implementing the standards would not be cost-effective above that point.

“It behooves the people of Ohio to have some checks and balances on those people in power who are spending their money,” Pillich said. “If we’re going to spend tax dollars to build a building — and likely operate it — we ought to be smart with our money.”