Ohio Governor John Kasich signed SB 239 this week, authorizing local governments to implement procedures to encourage tourism in the Buckeye State. Imagine our surprise, therefore, to sign this sleepy little provision tucked away inside this Trojan Horse:
Sec. 3901.82. The Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance that was approved at the 2018 annual meeting of the American law institute does not constitute the public policy of this state and is not an appropriate subject of notice.
This is fascinating. Was the legislature concerned that this Restatement would curtail tourism in Ohio? Did Tom and Kyle misbehave at a conference in Cleveland? Will local governments in Ohio benefit from taking this principled stand against the ALI?
More substantively, what public policy of Ohio is affronted by this Restatement. Is the Restatement as a whole repugnant to public policy or is there a particular provision that some legislator or lobbyist is unhappy about.
As someone who was actively involved in the creation of this Restatement over the past five years, I am all for a vigorous public debate about what’s good and bad about this document. It strikes me, however, that what has just happened in Ohio is the legislative equivalent of putting on a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. It’s a good sentiment but what does it really mean?
Who knows? Stay tuned!