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North Central Ohio Industrial Museum Opens Soon

May 7, 2021

Those who appreciate Ohio’s manufacturing history will soon be able to visit the North Central Ohio Industrial Museum in Mansfield. It will officially open to the public this summer inside the historic Ohio State Reformatory (OSR). The museum will be open the same hours as OSR and will be free to tour with the purchase of a ticket to the prison-turned-museum. Read about it in the Mansfield News Journal. 5/4/2021

At a Glance: Social Media Use in 2021

May 7, 2021

The Pew Research Center’s latest survey on social media use finds that among the vast majority of Americans who use socials, YouTube (81%) and Facebook (69%) dominate. Other findings include:

  • A majority of 18- to 29-year-olds use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%).
  • Roughly half of adults who have a bachelor’s or advanced degree (51%) use LinkedIn.
  • About half of Hispanic (52%) and Black Americans (49%) use Instagram, compared to 35% of White Americans.

While social media use has remained steady in recent years, its use by 35- to 49-year-olds (81%) has nearly caught up to that of 18- to 29-year-olds (84%). Meanwhile, there are now more than 100 widely recognized social media platforms. 5/3/2021

CEOs Say Ohio Is 7th Best State for Business

April 30, 2021

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Ohio has jumped two spots in Chief Executive magazine’s 2021 rankings of “Best and Worst States for Business.” Based on feedback from CEOs across the nation, the comparison places the Buckeye State at seventh best overall.

The publication recognized Ohio’s “continuous groundbreakings and expansions” during COVID-19, as well as the business community’s high regard for JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development organization. 4/29/2021

Ohio Broadband Expansion on Verge of Approval

April 30, 2021

This week, the Ohio Senate passed a slimmed-down broadband expansion bill to expand internet access to unserved areas of Ohio. House Bill 2, which includes an emergency clause, creates a Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program to fund last-mile infrastructure. It has been a priority for both chambers and the DeWine administration throughout the pandemic.

The bill is now set for a House concurrence vote as early as next week. 4/29/2021

Portman: U.S. Needs Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan

April 30, 2021

Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) is urging the Biden administration and Democratic Congress to embrace a bipartisan infrastructure bill, such as U.S. Sen. Shelly Capito’s (R-WV) $568 billion infrastructure proposal. According to Hannah News Service, Portman called for “traditional infrastructure” including roads, bridges, transit systems, port authorities, waterways, and broadband expansion in underserved areas — “rather than the kinds of things in the Biden package.”

Meanwhile, this infographic by HowMuch.net illustrates how $2.65 trillion would likely be spent under the Biden infrastructure proposal. 4/28/2021

Ohio to Lose Another Congressional Seat

April 30, 2021

As expected, Ohio will lose one of its 16 U.S. House seats after the 2022 mid-term elections. New data from the 2020 Census shows the Buckeye State will have 15 House seats through 2032. (Ohio lost two seats after the 2010 Census.)

Ohio is one of seven states — including neighboring Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — that will lose a House seat; six states will gain at least one seat.

While Ohio remains the seventh most populous state and grew at 2.3% since 2010, it hasn’t kept pace with the fastest growing states. The 2022 election will bring the fewest U.S. House seats for Ohio since 1823 to 1833. The historical high-water mark was from 1963 to 1973 when the state had 24 House members. 4/26/2021

Ohio’s Redistricting Complicated by Census Data Delay

April 30, 2021

The 2020 Census data released this week was state-level only. Localized data showing what parts of Ohio have lost or gained population — information that is necessary to redraw Ohio’s legislative and congressional districts — won’t be released until Sept. 30. (Normally, the localized data arrives by April 1.)

Due to this delay, Ohio lawmakers can’t meet their Sept. 1 mapping deadline set by the Ohio Constitution, says Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) — especially under the new redistricting rules that voters approved in 2015 and 2018. Huffman is proposing a constitutional amendment to let lawmakers set their own redistricting deadlines when the Census data isn’t available on time. The General Assembly must act quickly since changing the state Constitution requires voter approval — and May 5 is the deadline to place the question on the ballot for the Aug. 3 election, the next regularly scheduled election. 4/27/2021

Tim Ryan Is First Democrat to Enter U.S. Senate Race

April 30, 2021

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13) is the first Democrat to enter Ohio’s 2022 race to replace U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R), who will not seek re-election. The 10-term congressman’s video announcement says Ryan will focus on boosting the number of industrial jobs in Ohio.

Meanwhile, Republicans have four announced candidates: Former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio GOP Party Chairman Jane Timken, and Cleveland-area businessmen Bernie Moreno and Mike Gibbons. More Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10), are considering a run. 4/27/2021

Two Congressional Districts Will Hold Special Elections Nov. 2

April 30, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine has set Nov. 2 as the date for the special election to replace U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15). Stivers announced last week that he will leave Congress on May 16 to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Ahead of the Nov. 2 general election will be an Aug. 3 primary. The election dates are the same as those for the 11th Congressional District special election prompted by the resignation of now-HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Meanwhile, five central Ohio Republicans have already launched their campaigns for the seat being vacated by Stivers. They are Sen. Bob Peterson (Washington Courthouse); Sen. Stephanie Kunze (Hilliard); Rep. Jeff LaRe (Violet Township); Rep. Brian Stewart (Ashville); and Fairfield County Commissioner Jeff Fix. 4/27/2021

State Budget Includes Tax Relief, School Funding Overhaul

April 23, 2021

This week, the Ohio House voted 70-27 to approve its version of the state operating budget for fiscal years 2022-23. With $74.7 billion in total General Revenue Fund appropriations and $162.8 billion in all-funds appropriations, the two-year budget (HB 110) includes a 2% across-the-board income tax cut and a nearly $2 billion school funding overhaul. (Here’s how your local school districts would be affected.)

Additionally, the House-approved budget contains the following provisions of interest:

  • A new tax deduction for taxpayers with capital gains from the sale of an ownership interest in an Ohio-based business. (Taxpayers with at least $1 million invested in a business headquartered in Ohio for at least five years would be eligible for the deduction starting in 2026.)
  • Another new income tax deduction to allow investors in Ohio-based, state-certified venture capital companies to deduct all or a portion of capital gains starting in 2026.
  • A buy-U.S.-and-Ohio preference for personal protective equipment for state government agencies.
  • An exemption for self-generated electricity users from the kilowatt hour tax in certain situations.
  • $25 million in funding for the TechCred program.
  • $2.5 million to be spent both years on industry sector partnership grants.
  • $155 million in COVID-19 relief for small businesses.

The budget now goes to the Senate, where it will undergo more changes. The General Assembly must pass a balanced budget by June 30. 4/22/2021