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OMA Board Reaffirms Need to Protect Employers’ Rights

December 10, 2021

Earlier this week, the OMA board of directors held its Q4 meeting at the OMA’s headquarters in Columbus, with directors attending both in person and virtually. Among the key actions taken by the board was a unanimous vote to oppose OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers, as well as state legislation (House Bill 218) that would restrict private employers’ workplace safety options during the pandemic.

The vote reaffirmed the organization’s previous positions on both matters.

Directors also heard from Dr. Ned Hill, professor of economic development at The Ohio State University, who presented his economic outlook for the coming year. The presentation examined recent federal activity, as well as the ongoing supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. 12/7/2021


Sykes to Step Down as House Minority Leader

December 10, 2021

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) has announced she will step down from her leadership position at the end of the year. In a statement, Rep. Sykes said she is “considering any and all” options to continue to serve — whether in elected office or as a private citizen — following her exit from the role she has held for the past three years. 12/8/2021

OMA ‘Food Day’ Features Insights on Packaging, Overview of Ohio’s Food Production

December 10, 2021

On Dec. 9, the OMA hosted its annual Ohio Food and Beverage Manufacturers Policy Council via Zoom. Chaired by Jennifer Sweeney, Campbell Soup Company’s head of government affairs and public liaison, the event featured remarks from Dorothy Pelanda, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), and Terri Gerhardt, ODA’s food safety chief.

In addition to public policy updates from OMA staff, members were presented an overview of Ohio’s food production capacity by Tim Derickson, senior director of food and agribusiness at JobsOhio. Dan Felton, executive director of the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN), briefed members on recycling and recovery issues facing the packaging industry.

Other presenters included Rebecca Singer, president and CEO of OMA Connections Partner Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), and Laura Factor, assistant director at the Ohio EPA. 12/9/2021

Lawmakers Gather Input on Consumer Data Protection Bill

December 10, 2021

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company this week provided technical expertise on behalf of the OMA as the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee heard testimony on House Bill 376, which aims to protect consumer data.

In his testimony as an interested party, Lewis Dolezal, corporate counsel at Scotts, told lawmakers the bill — dubbed the Ohio Personal Privacy Act — gives Ohio the opportunity to help shape the data privacy debate while positioning the state as a leader in legislative solutions. (Watch the testimony beginning at the 1:02:15 mark.)

The OMA continues to engage policymakers to ensure HB 376 strikes a proper balance among all stakeholders in a rapidly evolving area of the law. 12/9/2021

OMA’s Brundrett to Lead Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice

December 10, 2021

Rob Brundrett, the OMA’s managing director of public policy, has been elected chair of the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice (OACJ). In this leadership role, Rob will shepherd the Alliance’s mission of promoting a healthy economic climate in Ohio by stopping lawsuit abuse and promoting a common-sense civil justice system — both of which are policy priorities for manufacturers.

In addition to the OMA’s participation, the OACJ is supported by representatives from NFIB-Ohio, the Ohio Society of CPAs, the Ohio State Medical Association, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, the Ohio Hospital Association, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Congrats, Rob, for earning the confidence of your peers to lead this organization. 12/9/2021

Nick Miller Joins OMA Staff

December 10, 2021

Nick Miller has joined the OMA staff as the director of development and member services.

A Toledo native, Nick previously worked at the Ohio Trucking Association where he served as vice president of membership. Prior to that, he spent six years in Washington, D.C. at various trade associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he worked in membership engagement.

Nick is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In his spare time, Nick is a senior counselor at the American Legion Buckeye Boys State program, where he has volunteered more than 2,000 hours to help high school students develop their leadership skills and engage in positive civic engagement.

Email Nick to say hello. 12/6/2021

Reminder: OMA’s ‘Food Day’ Is Dec. 9

December 3, 2021

A reminder: This year’s OMA Food and Beverage Manufacturers’ Policy Council is set for Thursday, Dec. 9. This all-virtual event will provide important legislative and regulatory updates for Ohio’s food and beverage manufacturers. (Here’s the agenda.)

There’s no charge to attend, but this event is reserved for OMA members that are food and beverage manufacturers. If you haven’t already, register by calling (800) 662-4463 or emailing the OMA’s Rob Brundrett. 12/1/2021

Last Chance: Year-End Survey for Ohio Manufacturers

December 3, 2021

The OMA and its Connections Partner Schneider Downs are conducting a very brief survey to examine Ohio manufacturers’ biggest challenges and their responses to those challenges. OMA members are strongly encouraged to participate to ensure an accurate representation of our manufacturing community. Findings will be published in a future Leadership Briefing. 12/2/2021

DeWine Signs Bill Allowing Business Parity During Health Emergency Shutdowns

December 3, 2021

This week, Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 215, which will allow any business to remain open during future pandemics as long as it can meet safety protocols required of “essential businesses” that are not mandated to close. Due in large part to the work of the OMA, most Ohio manufacturers and their suppliers were permitted to operate during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak during the spring of 2020. 12/2/2021

Ohio’s New Congressional Districts Map Has National Implications

December 3, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed Senate Bill 258, which authorizes Ohio’s newly redrawn congressional districts map. In a statement, the governor said the map established by SB 258 provided the best option.

The new map will be in effect for only four years (rather than 10) since it had no Democratic support. It faces legal challenges from a left-leaning national group and some state organizations. Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio) says the legal challenges should be expedited due to the approaching 2022 election.

At last check, Ohio was one of just 18 states that had finalized the redistricting process based on the 2020 census. The maps that have so far been finalized add a net of five seats that Republicans should win, reports say. (The GOP needs to flip five U.S. House seats in 2022 to regain control of the chamber.) 12/1/2021