The Ohio historical society, chartered by this state as a corporation not for profit to promote a knowledge of history and archaeology, especially of Ohio, and operated continuously in the public interest since 1885, may perform public functions as prescribed by law.
The general assembly may appropriate money to the Ohio historical society each biennium to carry out the public functions of the society as enumerated in this section. An appropriation by the general assembly to the society constitutes an offer to contract with the society to carry out those public functions for which appropriations are made. An acceptance by the society of the appropriated funds constitutes an acceptance by the society of the offer and is considered an agreement by the society to perform those functions in accordance with the terms of the appropriation and the law and to expend the funds only for the purposes for which appropriated. The governor may request on behalf of the society, and the controlling board may release, additional funds to the society for survey, salvage, repair, or rehabilitation of an emergency nature for which funds have not been appropriated, and acceptance by the society of those funds constitutes an agreement on the part of the society to expend those funds only for the purpose for which released by the controlling board.
The society shall faithfully expend and apply all moneys received from the state to the uses and purposes directed by law and for necessary administrative expenses. If the general assembly appropriates money to the society for grants or subsidies to other entities for their site-related programs, the society, except for good cause, shall distribute the money within ninety days of accepting a grant or subsidy application for the money.
The society shall perform the public function of sending notice by certified mail to the owner of any property at the time it is listed on the national register of historic places. The society shall accurately record all expenditures of such funds in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.
The auditor of state shall audit all funds and fiscal records of the society.
The public functions to be performed by the Ohio historical society shall include all of the following:
(A) Creating, supervising, operating, protecting, maintaining, and promoting for public use a system of state memorials, titles to which may reside wholly or in part with this state or wholly or in part with the society as provided in and in conformity to appropriate acts and resolves of the general assembly, and leasing for renewable periods of two years or less, with the advice and consent of the attorney general and the director of administrative services, lands and buildings owned by the state which are in the care, custody, and control of the society, all of which shall be maintained and kept for public use at reasonable hours;
(B) Making alterations and improvements, marking, and constructing, reconstructing, protecting, or restoring structures, earthworks, and monuments in its care, and equipping such facilities with appropriate educational maintenance facilities;
(D) Administering a state historical museum, to be the headquarters of the society and its principal museum and library, which shall be maintained and kept for public use at reasonable hours;
(E) Establishing a marking system to identify all designated historic and archaeological sites within the state and marking or causing to be marked historic sites and communities considered by the society to be historically or archaeologically significant;
(F) Publishing books, pamphlets, periodicals, and other publications about history, archaeology, and natural science and offering one copy of each regular periodical issue to all public libraries in this state at a reasonable price, which shall not exceed one hundred ten per cent more than the total cost of publication;
(G) Engaging in research in history, archaeology, and natural science and providing historical information upon request to all state agencies;
(H) Collecting, preserving, and making available by all appropriate means and under approved safeguards all manuscript, print, or near-print library collections and all historical objects, specimens, and artifacts which pertain to the history of Ohio and its people, including the following original documents: Ohio Constitution of 1802; Ohio Constitution of 1851; proposed Ohio Constitution of 1875; design and the letters of patent and assignment of patent for the state flag; S.J.R. 13 (1873); S.J.R. 53 (1875); S.J.R. 72 (1875); S.J.R. 50 (1883); H.J.R. 73 (1883); S.J.R. 28 (1885); H.J.R. 67 (1885); S.J.R. 17 (1902); S.J.R. 28 (1902); H.J.R. 39 (1902); S.J.R. 23 (1903); H.J.R. 19 (1904); S.J.R. 16 (1905); H.J.R. 41 (1913); H.J.R. 34 (1917); petition form (2) (1918); S.J.R. 6 (1921); H.J.R. 5 (1923); H.J.R. 40 (1923); H.J.R. 8 (1929); H.J.R. 20 (1929); S.J.R. 4 (1933); petition form (2) (1933); S.J.R. 57 (1936); petition form (1936); H.J.R. 14 (1942); H.J.R. 15 (1944); H.J.R. 8 (1944); S.J.R. 6 (1947); petition form (1947); H.J.R. 24 (1947); and H.J.R. 48 (1947);
(I) Encouraging and promoting the organization and development of county and local historical societies;
(J) Providing to Ohio schools such materials as the society may prepare to facilitate the instruction of Ohio history at a reasonable price, which shall not exceed one hundred ten per cent more than the total cost of preparation and delivery;
(K) Providing advisory and technical assistance to local societies for the preservation and restoration of historic and archaeological sites;
(L) Devising uniform criteria for the designation of historic and archaeological sites throughout the state and advising local historical societies of the criteria and their application;
(M) Taking inventory, in cooperation with the Ohio arts council, the Ohio archaeological council, and the archaeological society of Ohio, of significant designated and undesignated state and local sites and keeping an active registry of all designated sites within the state;
(N) Contracting with the owners or persons having an interest in designated historic or archaeological sites or property adjacent or contiguous to those sites, or acquiring, by purchase, gift, or devise, easements in those sites or in property adjacent or contiguous to those sites, in order to control or restrict the use of those historic or archaeological sites or adjacent or contiguous property for the purpose of restoring or preserving the historical or archaeological significance or educational value of those sites;
(O) Constructing a monument honoring Governor James A. Rhodes, which shall stand on the northeast quadrant of the grounds surrounding the capitol building. The monument shall be constructed with private funds donated to the Ohio historical society and designated for this purpose. No public funds shall be expended to construct this monument. The department of administrative services shall cooperate with the Ohio historical society in carrying out this function and shall maintain the monument in a manner compatible with the grounds of the capitol building.
(P) Commissioning a portrait of each departing governor, which shall be displayed in the capitol building. The Ohio historical society may accept private contributions designated for this purpose and, at the discretion of its board of trustees, also may apply for the same purpose funds appropriated by the general assembly to the society pursuant to this section.
(Q) Submitting an annual report of its activities, programs, and operations to the governor within two months after the close of each fiscal year of the state.
The society shall not sell, mortgage, transfer, or dispose of historical or archaeological sites to which it has title and in which the state has monetary interest except by action of the general assembly.
In consideration of the public functions performed by the Ohio historical society for the state, employees of the society shall be considered public employees within the meaning of section 145.01 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 09-26-2003; 06-30-2005; 2008 HB562 06-24-2008
Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4