News and Analysis
Infrastructure Week is coming to a close as businesses and organizations across the country have dedicated the past several days to focus on America’s infrastructure challenges. Infrastructure Week is especially relevant in Ohio, which is home to five interstates, 13 inter-modal rail terminals, 11 ports, and four major airports.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), of Ohio’s 122,987 miles of public roads, 18% are in poor condition and 6% of Ohio’s bridges are rated structurally deficient. The Cleveland Section of the ASCE has given Northeast Ohio an overall grade point average of “D+” for the region’s infrastructure.
You can show your support for making critical infrastructure a top priority in Ohio and across the U.S. by signing The National Association of Manufacturers’ petition to federal lawmakers. 5/16/2019
Members are invited to register for the June 5 OMA Government Affairs Committee meeting. Guest speaker will be J.P. Nauseef, the new president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio, the state’s economic development organization.
Mr. Nauseef and Dana Saucier, vice president and head of economic development, will provide OMA members with an update on JobsOhio activity and answer questions. Register now. 5/16/2019
OMA members are invited to participate in a dynamic lunch discussion with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown on America’s role in the world and the positive impact of global affairs programs in Ohio. The event will be held Friday, May 31, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower. Other speakers will include Devry Boughner Vorwerk, corporate vice president of global corporate affairs for Cargill, as well as former Gov. Bob Taft.
Hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the event is free to attend and lunch will be provided, but you must register in advance. If you have any questions, please e-mail Robert Watson. 5/15/2019
In his nationally syndicated column published this week at Real Clear Politics, economic pundit and recent nominee to the Federal Reserve Board Stephen Moore called Ohio the “comeback state.” The former Wall Street Journal editorial board member lauded the economic progress made by Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Moore writes, “Ohio is no longer the Rust Belt. It’s an arsenal of growth. I wish I could say that about my home state of Illinois.” 5/15/2019
Among the multitude of changes to the state’s main operating budget under House Bill 166 was a provision to tie drug prices to an unproven foreign-based pricing index.
Medicaid spending is always a controversial topic in budget legislation, but any time the heavy hand of government is inserted into the marketplace, customers tend to lose in the long term as innovation is stifled. For these reasons, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) submitted testimony in the Senate this week.
The OMA is concerned that price controls would not stop with medication, but would apply to other products purchased by government. 5/16/2019
This week, the Ohio Senate voted along party lines to approve Senate Bill 1, legislation that would require state agencies to trim regulations by 30%. The bill is a priority for Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). The House has introduced companion legislation, House Bill 115, which has already had two hearings. SB 1 now moves to the other chamber for debate. 5/9/2019
The U.S. Senate this week confirmed Kimberly Reed as president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), and two other Trump administration appointees to the board. Now the bank can once again approve loans greater than $10 million, helping U.S. companies compete overseas. The OMA has been strongly supportive of Ex-Im and the need to have the proper personnel in place to allow the bank to carry out its mission.
According to Ex-Im data, the bank serves 200 exporters in Ohio with a combined $1 billion in exports. Nearly 28% of Ohio’s manufacturing employment stems from exports, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). 5/9/2019
Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently unveiled a new Ohio Opportunity Zone website with tools for businesses and investors. The site notes that the 2017 federal tax law included the Opportunity Zone program, giving “states the chance to examine census tracts and nominate low-income areas with potential for long-term investment to be targeted for a tax-incentive program. … After being designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Ohio’s 320 Opportunity Zones began generating attention from investors interested in taking advantage of their favorable tax benefits.”
There are opportunity zones in 73 of Ohio’s 88 counties. 5/6/2019
The production of food and beverages contributes nearly $13 billion annually to the Ohio economy, making it the third-largest manufacturing sector in the Buckeye State. That’s why the OMA is hosting the Ohio Food Manufacturers’ Policy Council on Tuesday, June 4, in Columbus.
This is the most important public policy event of the year for Ohio’s food, beverage and food packaging manufacturers.
This year’s “Food Day” agenda will provide opportunities to learn about the important issues and initiatives affecting food and beverage manufacturers. The day’s agenda includes updates from the new state directors of Ohio’s departments of agriculture, transportation and Ohio EPA. The event will also feature experts discussing the impact of tariffs; regulations; workforce development; and national trends, including in the areas of energy and taxation.
For more information or to register, call (800) 662-4463, or register online. 5/8/2019
Two Cincinnati-area legislators have introduced a bill to make the sugar cookie the state cookie. No kidding. State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park) have offered House Bill 235 at the request of a third-grade language arts class from All Saints School in Cincinnati. Currently, at least two states — Massachusetts and New Mexico — have an official state cookie, according to reports. 5/8/2019