News and Analysis
Appearing before a joint session of the Ohio House and Senate on Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine used the occasion of his first State of the State Address to press lawmakers to enact a responsible increase to the motor fuel tax in order to fund infrastructure improvements.
The governor sounded traditional themes: children’s initiatives, opioid abuse prevention and recovery, workforce preparedness, and water quality.
On the subject of water, the governor announced his budget bill will include the creation of a new state fund, “H2-Ohio Fund” to invest in targeted solutions to ensure safe and clean water all across the State of Ohio.
Regarding energy, DeWIne said, “Mr. Speaker, I share your interest in making sure that the air we breathe is as clean as it can be. I look forward to working with you and all the members of the General Assembly on an all-the-above energy strategy for our state that not only will ensure that Ohio’s economy remains competitive, but that also generates clean electricity that lights our homes and powers our businesses.”
You can watch the recorded address here. 3/7/2019
The Ohio House this week completed work on the state transportation budget. The transportation budget allocates monies from the federal government and state gas tax collection toward specific transportation construction projects.
The current gas tax is not producing adequate revenue to maintain, repair and improve Ohio’s roads and bridges. Never a popular thing to do, DeWine urged lawmakers to responsibly update the tax rate. It was most recently increased in 2005.
Currently, 28 cents on every gallon of motor fuel is collected by the state. In his budget proposal, the governor increased the amount by 18 cents or 64%.
In the end, the House passed the transportation budget, HB62 (Oelslager), 71-27 with bi-partisan support. The House amended the bill to bifurcate the tax so a higher rate applies to diesel gasoline. The House plan will gradually phase-in a 10.7 cent increase on gasoline over two years. Diesel will be taxed by an additional 20 cents per gallon or 70% increase with a three-year phase-in. The bill also imposes a new annual fee on hybrid vehicles ($100 per year) and electric vehicles ($200 per year). Finally, the bill appropriates $100 million for public transit.
The governor released a statement in reaction to the House amendments, saying: “The House-passed bill is far from ideal, but I appreciate the strong bipartisan acknowledgement that our state and local jurisdictions have a major revenue shortage to deal with vital transportation needs.”
Next the bill moves to the Senate. Leading senators have taken a dim view of the proposal.
Members of the OMA’s Government Affairs Committee gathered this week in Columbus to assess the state’s political climate and discuss top legislative and regulatory issues affecting manufacturers.
The agenda focused on motor fuel tax hikes, electricity-generation bailouts, the Lake Erie Bill of Rights and workforce development. The agenda also included a preview of anticipated state budget priorities.
The next scheduled meeting of OMA’s Government Affairs Committee is June 5 in Columbus. Save the date and plan to join the discussion. 3/7/2019
OMA members Arthur Pang (l.), Government Affairs Representative, and Jeff Oravitz (r.), Vice President, both of PPG, attended Gov. DeWine’s State of State Address as guests of the governor. Prior to the governor’s address, they met with Ohio Senate Majority Floor Leader Matt Huffman (R-Lima).
A new report by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, The Economic Impact of the Trade Skirmish of 2018 on the Nation and Ohio, examines impacts with an emphasis on Ohio.
The researchers found that the trade war has not had a great impact on the economy to date, with the 2017-2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act providing enough stimulus to overcome harm from the tariffs and retaliatory tariffs.
However, the study notes that Ohio is the state that is most affected by the retaliatory tariffs put in place by Canada. And a poll of Ohio manufacturers that was completed in January shows that more of Ohio’s manufacturers were harmed by the trade skirmish than benefited from it.
The report offers cautions about the continuation or expansion of the trade actions as there are signs that metal-users are beginning to make adjustments in their supply chains including where they source metal-intense products.
Access the report here. 3/7/2019
JobsOhio has released its 2018 Annual Report and 2019 Strategic Plan.
In it, JobsOhio announced 266 projects last year. With these projects, companies committed to create 27,071 new jobs. That is apparently a 19% growth over the previous year, and $1.3 billion in new payroll, a 23% increase from the previous year.
Additionally, these companies committed to retain 69,905 existing jobs and make $9.6 billion in new capital investments, which is also a new high for JobsOhio. 3/1/2019
For the seventh year in a row, Ohio has finished second in Site Selection Magazine’s 2018 Governor’s Cup, a competition that measures the economic development power of states by qualifying new site selections. Each of those years, Ohio was bested only by Texas.
Ohio reported 454 qualifying projects to Texas’s 608.
States are also ranked by qualifying projects per capita. In this race, Ohio ranked third, after Nebraska and Kentucky.
To be included, projects must meet one of three criteria: a minimum investment of $1 million, creation of 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 square feet or more of new space. 3/5/2019
Vice President Mike Pence appeared at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) board meeting in Arizona this week. OMA president Eric Burkland is a member of the NAM board.
The vice president touched on taxes, immigration, energy infrastructure and the political debates ahead.
You can watch the 35-minute speech here. 3/6/2019
OMA’s Ohio Food Manufacturers’ Policy Council on Tuesday, June 4, in Columbus, is one of the most important public policy events of the year for Ohio’s food and beverage manufacturers.
- Meet the new state directors of Agriculture, Transportation and Ohio EPA.
- Dive deep on the impacts of federal tariffs on Ohio’s food & beverage industries.
- Understand the threats to Ohio’s food & beverage packaging regulations.
- Find out what you can do about Ohio’s plans to regulate manufacturers’ water supply.
- Participate with peers in round table discussions on national trends and Ohio impacts.
Register now to put this on your calendar! There is no charge for this event. Manufacturers only, please. 3/1/2019
Governor Mike DeWine will deliver his first State of the State address to a joint session of the Ohio General Assembly at the Statehouse on Tuesday, March 5.
Members can watch the noon speech live at The Ohio Channel.
OMA members can join the March 6 meeting of the OMA Government Affairs Committee to learn how the governor’s policy priorities line up with the manufacturing competitiveness agenda.
Ohio’s lawmakers will be in Columbus almost continuously now through the end of June according to the House and Senate session calendar. The state budget bill is required to be passed by the end of June and will dominate legislative activity until that time. 2/28/2019
This week the OMA submitted testimony in support of Senate Bill 1. The Senate’s highest priority bill requires each state agency to reduce the regulatory restrictions contained in its rules by 30% by 2022.
The bill also prohibits a state agency from adopting new regulatory restrictions that would increase the percentage of restrictions in the agency’s rules.
OMA described its support in testimony: “… it is also important to ensure that the regulations promulgated are necessary, non-duplicative, and the least burdensome possible while still providing their intended protections. Manufacturers are regulated by all levels of government, from local jurisdictions through the federal government and also internationally. We believe that Senate Bill 1 will help ensure that Ohio’s regulatory structures provide necessary protections while making Ohio more business friendly by eliminating unnecessary regulations that can stifle growth.” 2/28/2019