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House Moves Harmful Contract Bill Out of Committee

May 7, 2021

This week, the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee unanimously moved House Bill 68 out of committee despite the objections of the OMA, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, and the Ohio Hospital Association. The bill would erode the right of parties to freely negotiate contracts, and would instead require government to dictate certain payment terms to private parties in construction contracts.

The bill would also require parties to pay construction contracts within 30 days, regardless of the negotiated contract terms. If an entity failed to pay, it would be subject to exorbitant penalty and attorney’s fees.

The OMA previously testified in opposition to the bill, stressing there was no need for such a change and the bill was an about-face on free-market contracting. The OMA will continue to oppose the measure as it moves through the legislative process. 5/6/2021

House Republicans Unveil Long-Awaited Election Reform Bill

May 7, 2021

Following the lead of Republican-led legislatures in other states, Ohio House Republicans have introduced their own election reform bill. House Bill 294 would make a litany of changes to Ohio’s elections laws, with provisions addressing drop boxes, voter registration, absentee voting, and voter identification. Democrats have already announced their opposition to the bill. The OMA will have a full breakdown at our next Government Affairs Committee meeting, set for June 15. 5/6/2021

Broadband Plan Sent to Governor

May 7, 2021

The Ohio House this week voted 91-3 to concur with Senate changes made to House Bill 2, which will expand internet access to unserved areas of Ohio. The legislation has been sent to Gov. Mike DeWine, who is expected to sign it.

The bill contains an emergency clause, meaning it becomes law immediately upon the governor’s signature. The bill creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program to fund last-mile infrastructure. It will provide $20 million during the current fiscal year. 5/6/2021

New Bill Aims to Tackle Distracted Driving in Ohio

May 7, 2021

Holding a cell phone or other electronic device while driving in Ohio would be a primary offense under House Bill 283, introduced at the Statehouse this week. The bill, which has the OMA’s support, reflects a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine offered earlier this year. Read the AP’s summary. 5/5/2021

Study: Ohio No. 4 for Economic Development Competitiveness

May 7, 2021

Ohio is No. 4 in Site Selection magazine’s 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, a comparison of state competitiveness in economic development. Released this week, the rankings are based on 10 criteria, including new and expanded facilities, capital investment, and jobs created.

This news comes weeks after Ohio won its second consecutive Governor’s Cup, also presented by Site Selection, for having the largest number of economic development projects per capita. 5/5/2021

Study: Ohio Lags in Economic Recovery

May 7, 2021

Ohio trails the U.S. average when it comes to the economic recovery, according to a study by WalletHub. The Buckeye State is ranked 36th — well behind neighbors Indiana (15th) and Kentucky (19th), but ahead of West Virginia (44th), Pennsylvania (48th), and Michigan (51st).

Meanwhile, the “Back to Normal Index,” published by Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business, shows Ohio’s economic activity was at 90% its pre-pandemic level as of April 30. 5/4/2021

Supply Shortages, Too Few Workers Threaten Manufacturing’s Recovery

May 7, 2021

U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in April, falling from its recent 37-year high due to shortages of supplies and labor, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) latest report. Still, the index indicated solid growth with all 18 major manufacturing sectors reporting expansion — the first time that has happened since 2014.

Meanwhile, the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing report indicated that manufacturing activity expanded at a record pace last month.

Despite the strong demand, supply chain disruptions, “crazy” prices for inputs, and exacerbated labor shortages pose a threat to the recovery, as reported by MarketWatch. 5/4/2021

Manufacturers Oppose Federal Price Controls for Drugs

May 7, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers this week expressed its opposition to Congressional Democrats’ drug pricing bill (HR 3), which would allow the federal government to negotiate for decreased prices on behalf of Medicare.

The OMA echoes the warnings sounded in NAM’s letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.): “Price controls of any kind are never a correct solution.” PhRMA says HR 3 threatens access to medicines, future innovation, and U.S. jobs. 5/5/2021

May 11 Webinar Will Focus on Exporting Fundamentals

May 7, 2021

Do you want to begin exporting or expand your current global footprint? A free May 11 webinar hosted by the Ohio Development Services Agency and others will provide an overview of the export process and steps required to do business overseas. Learn more. 5/6/2021

Cybersecurity for Manufacturers

May 7, 2021

When it comes to cyberattacks, manufacturers have their own unique risks. This includes intellectual property theft, interruption of operations, and direct theft of funds. Check out this audiocast by OMA Connections Partner RSM to discover how manufacturers can boost their cybersecurity. 5/6/2021