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At a Glance: Biggest Trading Partners for Every State

June 4, 2021

HowMuch.net has published this map showing the top export partners for every state. Canada is the single largest trading partner for the vast majority of states — including Ohio — receiving the most exports of 33 states. China is the main export partner for only five states, which helps explain America’s large trade deficit. 6/2/2021

Business Groups Urge Caution on School Funding Overhaul

May 28, 2021

Ohio’s major business associations, including the OMA, joined forces this week to encourage the Senate to carefully consider legislative changes approved by the House to revise Ohio’s school funding formula. The business groups question the actual cost of the reforms and adequacy of accountability controls. Read the letter. 5/27/2021

Ohio’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 4.7% in April

May 28, 2021

Last week the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported that Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in April 2021, unchanged from 4.7% in March.

Month to month, manufacturing lost 800 jobs. However, from April 2020 to April 2021, manufacturing added 74,500 jobs in

durable goods (+52,800) and nondurable goods (+21,700). 5/24/2021

House Eliminates Businesses’ Right to Negotiate Payment Terms in Construction Contracts

May 21, 2021

This week, on an 86-10 vote, the Ohio House trampled on the right of private businesses to freely negotiate payment terms in construction contracts by approving House Bill 68, which the OMA opposed. (The OMA notified the speaker about the bill’s problems.)

HB 68 requires the state to set payment terms in construction contracts and allows for a potential windfall against manufacturers. It eliminates the right to negotiate payment terms and instead requires all construction contacts to be paid within 30 days. The bill also establishes new penalties by imposing an 18% annual interest rate to payments not made within 30 days.

The OMA and other business allies will continue to fight this bill in the Senate to protect one of the most important pillars in a free market – the freedom of contract. 5/20/2021

Timmons Delivers 2021 State of Manufacturing Address

May 21, 2021

Last Friday, May 14, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the 2021 State of Manufacturing Address, spotlighting manufacturers’ ongoing COVID-19 efforts, while identifying the key federal policy priorities for the industry. Watch the address.

Timmons said: “Manufacturers are not victims of history, never have been. Because we literally build the future.” 5/17/2021

Governor Signs Broadband Expansion Bill

May 21, 2021

This week, Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 2, OMA-supported legislation that will expand internet access to unserved areas of Ohio. It dedicates $20 million up front via the newly created Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program. Future funding is expected to be included in the state operating budget.

For more, read this summary by the OMA’s general counsel, Bricker & Eckler. Also, here’s what the OMA had to say about the new law. 5/17/2021

Industrial Companies at High Risk for Cyberattack

May 21, 2021

A new national survey finds 85% of Americans are concerned about cyberattacks. Industrial companies are especially vulnerable to such attacks, according to OMA Connections Partner RSM.

While not all companies need highly complex security programs, all industrial environments should have an industrial control security program in place. For a list of basic cyber hygiene steps, read RSM’s guidance.

Also, check out the key takeaways from President Joe Biden’s cybersecurity executive order as summarized by OMA Connections Partner Squire Patton Boggs. 5/20/2021

Filing Deadline Passes for 15th Congressional District

May 21, 2021

The filing deadline has passed for those interested in running for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District after U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) resigned to become president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber.

Of the 14 candidates who filed to represent the Republican-leaning district, there are 12 Republicans and two Democrats. Republicans include Reps. Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) and Jeff LaRe (R-Canal Winchester) and Sens. Bob Peterson (R-Sabina) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), and former Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville). Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) also filed.

According to the secretary of state’s special elections calendar, the primary will be held Aug. 3, with the general election Nov. 2. 5/18/2021

Fifteen Running for 11th Congressional District Seat

May 21, 2021

The filing deadline has also passed for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District race. The special election will feature 13 Democrats and two Republicans running to replace Marcia Fudge, who’s now secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Former legislators Nina Turner, John Barnes, and Shirley Smith are among the candidates vying to represent the heavily Democratic district. The primary will be Aug. 3 and the general election Nov. 2. 5/18/2021

Governor Announces Staff Changes

May 21, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that Laurel Dawson, his current chief of staff, will be assuming the role of counselor to the governor, and that his policy director, Michael Hall, will take over the role of chief of staff. Ann O’Donnell, chief advisor to the governor, will remain in her current role. Read more. 5/20/2021