News and Analysis
The Washington Post recently examined Ohio’s approach to a statewide mask requirement and how the manufacturing sector played a leading role in developing endorsed safety practices. OMA members Vitamix and RPM International Inc. are spotlighted in the article.
OMA President Eric Burkland is quoted as saying that “the DeWine administration has a deeply collaborative leadership style” which “allowed us to engage industry subject matter experts in identifying safety and health best practices.” 7/27/2020
The OMA has recently expanded its rolling list of news stories spotlighting Ohio manufacturers that have served their communities, state, and nation by producing or donating protective equipment and other goods to save lives and help defeat COVID-19. These articles, which have been shared on OMA social media, clearly show that Ohio manufacturers are leading the way during the pandemic. 7/29/2020
Last week, the OMA continued to lead the fight against attempts to erode Ohio’s petition process and the validity of ballot security by filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief with five other statewide business groups in support of the state’s appeal.
The merit brief seeks the reversal of a U.S. district court ruling that dealt a blow to business interests. The unprecedented ruling would allow electronic signature collections — as opposed to the traditional, in-person signatures — for several pending Ohio ballot measures. That decision, which was stayed by the Sixth Circuit while the appeal is pending, would have provided a lifeline to out-of-state groups trying to change or undermine the Ohio Constitution. 7/30/2020
In this article published by Indiana University’s Manufacturing Policy Initiative, Michael Mandel — chief economic strategist for the Progressive Policy Institute, a Democratic think tank — writes that the analysis of recent U.S. job postings “suggests that domestic manufacturers are not shifting toward digital jobs in response to the pandemic.”
“Digital manufacturing is one plausible route towards reviving U.S. manufacturing productivity growth,” Mandel writes. “But it may be progressing slower than expected.” 7/28/2020
Cyberattacks are on the rise amid the pandemic. A recent notable example is the ransomware attack on Garmin, the GPS technology company, which was shut down by hackers who demanded $10 million in ransom. OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran has published this insight on the attack, noting that “it’s of the utmost importance that your IT systems are up to date and constantly being monitored.” 7/29/2020
Nearly a year ago, former OMA General Counsel Kurt Tunnell was taken too soon after he was hit by an impaired driver in rural Hilliard while cycling. Prior to his retirement in January 2018, Kurt had worked with the OMA for nearly a quarter century, while leading his law firm, Bricker & Eckler, and serving in numerous other roles.
Last week, the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) honored Kurt by posthumously presenting him with the Ohio Bar Medal — the OSBA’s highest honor. The medal was bestowed on Kurt for his legacy of leadership and service. Well-deserved recognition of Kurt and his family. 7/28/2020
With fewer than 100 days until Election Day, we’re pleased to announce that the 2020 Ohio Election Guide is ready for voters statewide. The OMA produces this publication during every major election cycle. This non-partisan publication serves as a comprehensive resource, offering details and insight on the following:
- All 99 Ohio House contests;
- The 16 Ohio Senate seats up for election this year;
- Ohio’s 16 congressional races; and
- Key judicial races.
Look for fresh demographic and economic data about each district, as well as the political indices that shed light on the relative Republican/Democrat voting strength of each district.
While the digital version will remain available through the election, printed copies of the guide will be available around Aug. 10 for $30 each, which includes shipping and handling. Reserve your copy now by emailing the OMA. 7/30/2020
Tuesday morning, July 21, FBI agents arrested House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and four associates. Later in the day, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers summarized the details of a $60 million federal bribery case tied to the speaker and his dark-money enterprise called Generation Now. The sham organization was allegedly established for personal and political gain — and to ensure passage of last year’s House Bill 6, the ratepayer-funded bailout of two nuclear power plants. See the OMA’s summary of Tuesday’s events here.
DeVillers said the case is “likely the largest bribery, money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio.” He added, “This was bribery, plain and simple. This was a quid pro quo. This was pay to play.”
Now the Statehouse is in a state of flux, even as important COVID-related legislation awaits action, including a bill to limit liability for businesses. Gov. Mike DeWine and several lawmakers have called for Householder to resign. A member of the Ohio House can be expelled for “disorderly conduct” with a vote of two-thirds (66) of legislators.
Meanwhile, DeVillers has said this week’s arrests are not the end of the investigation — and that federal agents will continue to interview potential witnesses and execute search warrants in the coming days and weeks. 7/22/2020
Due to the unfolding events surrounding Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder, the OMA will hold a members’ briefing via Zoom at noon (ET) Tuesday, July 28. OMA staff and counsel will provide a review and analysis of events stemming from the public corruption and bribery charges, shed light on implications for House Bill 6 — the nuclear bailout legislation — and provide thoughts on restoring the functionality of the General Assembly. This event is open to all interested OMA members. 7/24/2020
Gov. Mike DeWine has joined 20 other governors by signing onto a letter to congressional leaders, calling for reasonable, limited liability protections for businesses, health care workers, and others during the pandemic. The letter calls for predictable, timely, targeted liability protections to shield employers from legal risks associated with the spread of the coronavirus, so long as they are following the appropriate standards of care to protect employees and customers. 7/23/2020