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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

Ohio Added More Manufacturing Jobs in March

April 23, 2021

Ohio’s unemployment rate in March fell to 4.7% compared to 6% nationwide, while the participation rate was 62.1% compared to 61.5% nationwide. Meanwhile, Ohio’s manufacturing employment grew last month by 2,200. Year over year, Ohio manufacturing has lost 33,000 jobs, with 30,700 fewer positions in durable goods and 2,300 fewer in non-durable goods, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. 4/19/2021

First Democrat Is in 2022 Governor’s Race

April 23, 2021

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) announced this week she will take another run at becoming Ohio’s next governor. Whaley, who mounted an unsuccessful campaign for governor during the 2018 cycle, is the first Democrat to enter the 2022 race, but Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has said he’s interested.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is expected to run for re-election, but some fellow Republicans have hinted at a possible primary challenge, including former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and current U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (OH-8). 4/20/2021

Stivers Retirement Means Another Special Election

April 23, 2021

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15) has announced he will retire from Congress in mid-May to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The Republican, 56, has served in the U.S. House for the past decade. The OMA thanks Rep. Stivers for his service to our country and looks forward to working with the chamber to further improve Ohio’s business climate.

Politico reports that Stivers’ departure will create a special election in “a deep-red seat in central Ohio that backed former President Donald Trump by double-digit margins in both 2016 and 2020.” State Rep. Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) and Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) have already announced they will seek the open seat.

Prior to Stivers’ announcement, Ohio was already planning to hold a special congressional election in November to fill the 11th Congressional District seat of former Rep. Marcia Fudge (D), who is now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. 4/19/2021

Ohio’s U.S. Senators Aim to Boost Trade Remedy Laws

April 23, 2021

Ohio’s U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) have introduced legislation aimed at strengthening U.S. trade remedy laws to fight what the lawmakers see as unfair trade practices. Bill supporters say the measure is necessary to address the unfair advantages held by China’s state-owned enterprises due to massive government subsidies and dumping practices. 4/20/2021