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NAM Kicks Off 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour

February 24, 2017

Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will tour manufacturing facilities across six states to “show the country the true story of modern manufacturing and the incredible, rewarding careers we offer.”

The 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour tour was kicked off in Austin, Texas earlier this week. Tour stops in Ohio include Honda, Anheuser-Busch, and Worthington Industries on Monday, February 27. Other states on the tour include New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  2/22/2017

Ex-Im Bank Requires Functioning Board

February 24, 2017

While the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which is an important “lender of last resort” for industry, secured a long-term reauthorization in December 2015, the bank still lacks a quorum for its board of directors, leaving the agency unable to review and approve transactions over $10 million.

All five board seats are currently open and will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is urging President Trump to take action to support the thousands of manufacturers that turn to the Ex-Im Bank for financing and insurance when the private sector cannot provide comparable tools.

NAM will also be urging members of the Senate Banking Committee to move quickly on consideration of nominees when the president announces them.

NAM is interested in identifying local exporters who plan to grow U.S. jobs if they can secure Ex-Im Bank financing support and in gathering examples of transactions in the pipeline that require bank board approval to move forward. Contact NAM’s Amy Rawlings. More from NAM.  2/22/2017

On the Road Again: Governor Taking State of State to Sandusky

February 17, 2017

In preparation for his annual State of the State address, Governor Kasich sent a letter to the General Assembly requesting a joint session in Sandusky at 7:00 p.m. on April 4, 2017 at the Sandusky State Theatre.

The proposal to convene the General Assembly in Sandusky marks the sixth year in a row that Kasich has asked to hold State of the State outside of the Ohio Statehouse. In previous years the governor has delivered his address in Steubenville, Lima, Medina, Wilmington and Marietta.  2/13/2017

NAM Event will Honor Rep. Steve Stivers

February 17, 2017

On Thursday, February 23, PPG and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) will honor Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) a recipient of the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence. The event will take place at the PPG facility located at 559 Pittsburgh Road Circleville, OH 43113-9436. The program will begin promptly at 2:15 p.m.

The NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence recognizes Representative Stivers’ exemplary voting record in the 114th Congress and his solid support for a strong manufacturing economy and a forward-thinking manufacturing agenda.

The meeting will also include an informal discussion of key issues. Register here.  2/14/2017

Favorable Employment Discrimination Bill Gets First Hearing

February 17, 2017

House Bill 2, recently introduced by Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), proposes to comprehensively overhaul Ohio’s employment discrimination statutes in a manner that would benefit employers and bring Ohio’s laws more in line with federal discrimination laws while continuing to provide individuals avenues to assert state law discrimination violations.

In sponsor testimony Rep. Seitz said, “Ohio is currently at a competitive disadvantage with employment discrimination laws which are substantially dissimilar to their counterparts at the federal level. Drastically differing state and federal laws create an administrative burden for employers and human resource professionals. Shaping Ohio law to mirror federal law will create greater predictability in matters of workplace discrimination for both employers and employees.”  2/16/2017

OMA Opposes County Regulation of Motor Vehicles

February 17, 2017

The OMA this week expressed caution to the sponsor of legislation that would empower county governments to regulate motor vehicles. Senator John Eklund (R-Chardon) introduced SB 30; he testified that the law change is needed to clarify a 1993 Supreme Court decision that took away local regulatory authority.

In a joint letter with other business organizations, the OMA contends that the bill “will enable and encourage a patchwork of differing county-wide traffic regulations making it difficult, inefficient, and unsafe to move goods throughout the state of Ohio.”  2/16/2017

Interns Available for Your Export Project

February 17, 2017

The Ohio Development Services Agency is searching for companies that are interested in exporting products into international markets. The Ohio Export Internship Program matches businesses with highly-motivated college students who have taken export-focused coursework.

This year, 50 students from 12 different Ohio universities have been selected to participate in the program. The Ohio Development Services Agency offers participating small to medium-sized businesses a 50% reimbursement for the wages of the intern.

The deadline for companies to apply is March 1, 2017. The summer internship runs from May 16 through August 11, 2017. Ohio companies can apply here. The program is a partnership among the Ohio Development Services Agency, The Ohio State University and Youngstown State University.  2/13/2017

State Budget Bill Arrives

February 10, 2017

A little more than week after the governor’s budget roll out and press conference, the State Operating Budget Bill was officially introduced as HB 49. The bill, which funds state government for two years and proposes numerous and significant policy changes, clocked in at 3,512 pages.

Administration officials continued to testify at the House Finance Committee this week on a variety of the proposals, including the always controversial primary and secondary education funding portions of the bill, as well as tax proposals that include lowering personal income tax, increasing the sales tax and centralizing municipal income tax collections.

Testimony and hearings will continue through June. The legislature and governor have a deadline of June 30 to pass and sign the bill.  2/9/2017

Kasich Produces His Final Biennial Budget

February 3, 2017

On Monday, Governor Kasich unveiled his final biennial budget. His FY18-19 budget proposes to spend $71.5 billion in FY18, a 4.4% increase from FY17, and $72.8 billion in FY19, a 1.8%  increase from FY18.  Budget director Tim Keen called it the “most difficult” budget he’s ever put together due to “significant uncertainties we have faced.”

The governor seeks an aggregate increase of $3.1 billion over the two years in sales and other taxes to pay for a 17% cut in revenues generated by the personal income tax.

In K-12 education, Kasich plans to increase funding by nearly $200 million over the two years, or about 1% per year. School districts will see small increases or be flat-funded. District breakdowns will be available later.  Districts that have lost more than 5% of their student population from 2011 to 2016 would see less funding.

Kasich would freeze tuition and other fees at Ohio’s public colleges and universities for two years.

The governor’s budget proposal will be put into bill form and introduced by a House member (the chairman of the House Finance Committee). The Finance Committee began hearings this week with testimony from administration officials.  1/30/2017

General Assembly Introduces Priority Bills

February 3, 2017

The House and Senate this week introduced their top ten priority bills for the 132nd General Assembly. These will be the first of probably 1,000 bills introduced over the next two years. Only a small percentage will be enacted as law.

The House, which had previously announced its top priority as dating violence, introduced House Bill 1 to authorize the issuance of dating violence protection orders and to provide access to domestic violence shelters for victims of dating violence. Here are more House priorities.

The Senate’s priority bills include Senate Bill 1, which deals with the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Other priority bills of interest include House Bill 2 which deals with employment; Senate Bill 2, which deals with EPA issues, including a long sought after beneficial slag amendment; Senate Bill 3 covers workforce development issues; and Senate Bill 6 concerns bridge infrastructure.

Committee hearings are tentatively scheduled to begin in earnest next week. We’ll keep you posted here and in OMA policy committee meetings on the bills of interest to manufacturers. 2/2/2017