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OMA Publishes State Budget Wrap-Up Report

July 14, 2023

As reported last week, the Ohio House and Senate recently passed and the governor signed a final version of the two-year state budget (House Bill 33). The new budget includes some significant wins for manufacturers, as well as a concerning tax change.

The OMA Public Policy Services team has produced this in-depth report, providing details on the budget provisions of interest to manufacturers. 7/13/2023

Early Voting Begins on State Issue 1

July 14, 2023

Early voting is underway for Ohio’s special election on State Issue 1, which would make it more difficult to amend the state constitution, requiring a 60% voter-approval threshold versus a simple majority. Here’s important information for voters regarding the Aug. 8 election.

This document published by the Secretary of State includes the ballot language, as well as arguments for and against the measure (see page 2), as stated by supporters and opponents. If passed, the amendment would take effect immediately. 7/14/2023

Webinar: Cybersecurity and Manufacturers

July 14, 2023

On July 19, OMA Connections Partner HBK and its manufacturing solutions team will host a no-cost webinar to examine the results of the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Based on data provided by cybersecurity firms, this report informs organizations about cybersecurity threats and how to guard against them. Learn more and register. 7/13/2023

Ohio No. 12 in CNBC Business Competitiveness Study

July 14, 2023

Ohio has improved its overall standing in CNBC’s “Top States for Business” study, climbing from No. 15 in 2022 to No. 12 this year.

In its analysis of 86 metrics in 10 broad categories, Ohio finished fourth best for cost of doing business, fifth for infrastructure, and sixth for access to capital. Dragging down Ohio’s overall ranking were its marks in workforce (No. 39), business friendliness, and education (No. 40 for both). 7/13/2023

Manufacturers Score Budget Victories

July 7, 2023

Late last week, the Ohio House and Senate settled their differences and passed a compromise version of the two-year state budget (House Bill 33). During his review of the budget plan, Gov. Mike DeWine protected manufacturing interests by vetoing OMA-opposed “economic development” language that would have made anti-consumer changes to the state’s utility law.

The vetoed provisions (item 12) would have allowed electric and natural gas utility companies to charge customers hundreds of millions of dollars to fund infrastructure for speculative economic development, while removing important consumer protections. In this statement, the OMA commended the governor’s action. (Read Gongwer News Service’s report.)

The budget includes several OMA-supported initiatives to grow the manufacturing workforce and boost economic development. These include:

  • Modernizing Career-Tech Equipment: The budget provides Ohio’s career-tech centers $50 million per fiscal year ($100 million total) for the purchase of modern equipment.
  • Expanding Career-Tech Facilities: The budget authorizes $200 million total in FY 2024 to support construction or expansion of career-tech facilities.
  • Sustaining TechCred: A popular training reimbursement program among Ohio manufacturers, TechCred will receive $25.2 million per fiscal year ($50.4 million total).
  • Connecting Students to Credentials: The budget authorizes $16 million per fiscal year ($32 million total) to fund industry recognized credentials for high school students.
  • Supporting ISPs: The budget provides qualifying industry sector partnerships with $5 million per fiscal year, an increase of $1.5 million from the previous budget.
  • Focusing on Workforce in K-12 Education: The budget contains an OMA-supported plan to ensure additional workforce focus through the renamed Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. The agency will assume many duties of the State Board of Education.
  • Attracting New Economic Development: The budget makes a significant investment of $750 million to Gov. DeWine’s All Ohio Future Fund to ensure shovel-ready industrial sites.

Meanwhile, the budget makes imprudent changes to the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT). Instead of reducing CAT rates and minimums by 25% across the board — as originally proposed by the Senate Finance Committee — the budget significantly narrows which businesses will pay the CAT, shifting the burden to larger businesses, which are manufacturers in many cases. The OMA will monitor this development and its impact on the manufacturing community, especially during the next economic downturn.

Members can expect an in-depth budget report from OMA Public Policy Services next week. 7/6/2023

Ohio Manufacturers Post New Record: $134B GDP

July 7, 2023

Ohio manufacturing’s annual economic output hit a record $134.24 billion in Q4 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The seasonally adjusted data show the state’s annual manufacturing GDP grew more than $44 billion from a decade earlier. Meanwhile, Ohio reported nearly 692,000 manufacturing jobs as of May. 7/3/2023

10 Tips to Fuel Manufacturing Innovation

July 7, 2023

MAGNET, Northeast Ohio’s MEP and an OMA Connections Partner, reports that its survey found 75% of local manufacturers have deprioritized innovation in the wake of the pandemic and recent supply chain chaos. The organization says it’s time to get innovating again — and has published this infographic offering 10 tips to fuel innovation. 7/6/2023

Budget Nears Finish Line; OMA Calls for Changes

June 29, 2023

This week, House and Senate leaders continued to negotiate differences between their respective versions of Ohio’s two-year budget (House Bill 33). On June 26, the OMA issued an action alert to members and urged lawmakers to remove two key budget provisions that threaten the competitiveness of Ohio’s manufacturing sector.

As highlighted in this press release, the OMA seeks the removal of proposals that would:

  • Significantly narrow the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) base. Despite some division within the business community, the budget plan — as passed by the Senate — would undo the benefits of Ohio’s 2005 tax reform, which has made manufacturers more competitive. See this one-page summary and this quote from Ross McGregor, a smaller manufacturer in Springfield.
  • Allow utility companies to charge customers more to build infrastructure for speculative economic development, while eroding customer protections. See this two-page summary, as well as the related story in this Leadership Briefing.

The OMA has also provided budget conferees with its recommendations to ensure competitive markets in the development of Ohio’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Under the Ohio Constitution, the budget is supposed to be completed by June 30. However, the House this week informally approved a temporary measure to keep state government operating in case the new budget isn’t finalized by the deadline. When the new budget has been passed and signed, the OMA will report on the provisions that affect manufacturers. 6/29/2023

OMA Stands Up for Business Contract Rights

June 29, 2023

The OMA this week testified against House Bill 203, which seeks to impose state-mandated payment terms in private construction contracts, thereby eliminating manufacturers’ right to negotiate.

Similar to a measure offered in the last General Assembly, HB 203 would require contracts to be paid within 30 days; otherwise, an 18% penalty would be applied to late payments.

Construction law expert Chris McCloskey of Bricker Graydon, the OMA’s general counsel, testified before the House Commerce and Labor Committee on behalf of the OMA. Read or watch McCloskey’s testimony. No immediate action was taken on the bill. 6/27/2023

Early Voting Begins July 11 for Special Election

June 29, 2023

Early voting begins July 11 for Ohio’s special election to decide State Issue 1, which would establish a 60% voter-approval standard to amend the state constitution.

The OMA has published this one-page summary of the ballot measure. It includes the arguments for and against State Issue 1, as stated by supporters and opponents.

Members who want to help educate interested employees can share this document electronically or distribute printed versions. 6/29/2023