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Ohio House, Senate Pass Bill to Limit Governor’s Health Orders

March 12, 2021

The Ohio House and Senate this week approved a measure to give more legislative oversight to state health orders. Senate Bill 22 has been sent to Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said he will veto it because the bill’s passage would leave Ohioans vulnerable to future threats such as Ebola. “There’s no governor I can think of in Ohio that would not have vetoed the bill,” the governor said.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has said he would schedule a veto override vote on SB 22 at the next session after Gov. DeWine’s veto. House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has said he has the votes to override the veto. 3/11/2021

Marcia Fudge Confirmed as New HUD Secretary; Ohio’s 11th Congressional District Seat Currently Vacant

March 12, 2021

This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of former U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Warrensville Heights) as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This leaves Ohio’s 11th Congressional District seat vacant until a successor is chosen in a special election, which must be called by the governor. 3/10/2021

Distracted Driving Remains a Problem for Policymakers

March 12, 2021

Ohio House lawmakers recently stripped Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal to crack down on distracted driving from the upcoming two-year budget. Nonetheless, the OMA continues to support efforts to address this growing problem. To illustrate the human toll of distracted driving, Ohio Farm Bureau recently published this story of Leah Fullenkamp, whose husband, John, was killed in 2018 when the tractor he was driving was hit from behind by a large SUV. The driver had been using her cell phone. 3/11/2021

JobsOhio Issues Annual Report, Key Issues Summary

March 12, 2021

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, JobsOhio has released its 2020 annual report. Despite the pandemic, the statewide economic development corporation last year helped encourage 307 projects, which are expected to create more than 19,000 new jobs with $1 billion in payroll, and $7.8 billion in new investment.

JobsOhio has also published this summary of key issues impacting economic development, including workforce, infrastructure, taxes, energy, and employment law. The report notes that labor policy has been “a reason to consider or reject locations at an early stage during national site selection projects, especially within the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors.” 3/9/2021

Ohio Awarded Governor’s Cup for New Facility Projects

March 5, 2021

For the second year in a row, Ohio has captured the Governor’s Cup awarded by Site Selection magazine for the most new corporate facility projects per capita in 2020. For total projects overall, the Buckeye State came in No. 2 with 419, second only to Texas. Of Ohio’s largest 25 projects, 14 were manufacturing related. Gov. Mike DeWine credited Ohio’s manufacturers for recognizing the critical need and unprecedented opportunity to produce PPE as a key component to the state’s success during the pandemic.

Several Ohio metro areas made Site Selection‘s population-based top 10 lists, including Toledo, which was ranked No. 1 among metros with 200,000 to 1 million residents. Ohio’s micropolitan areas — with populations between 10,000 and 49,999 — fared especially well, comprising 25 of the nation’s top 100. Findlay took top honors with 22 projects. 3/1/2021

IndustryWeek Spotlights Central Ohio’s U.S. 33 Corridor

March 5, 2021

Central Ohio’s U.S. 33 Corridor is getting more national attention. In an IndustryWeek article, J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO, discussed how the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor — a 35-mile stretch of highway that is both fiber-connected and hardware-enabled — has been used for innovation for the automotive sector. The corridor runs through Marysville, which is home to many manufacturers such as Honda, Honda R&D, Nestle, Scotts Miracle-Gro, and Parker Hannifin. 3/4/2021

OMA Testifies on Key Budget Issues

March 5, 2021

This week, Rob Brundrett, the OMA’s managing director of public policy services, testified in support of the Development Services Agency’s (DSA) budget request, which would help ensure the competitiveness of Ohio manufacturers and their employees.

Referencing a letter of support from 13 manufacturing sector partnerships from across Ohio, Brundrett told House members that the OMA supports DSA’s funding request for the Industry Sector Partnership Grant program, as well as for Ohio TechCred and Ohio’s Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs). “These three state-supported services … are making a real difference in the training requirements of our citizens,” he said.

The OMA also provided written comments in support of the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC). 3/4/2021

OMA Government Affairs Committee Reviews Recent Statehouse Activity, COVID-19 Vaccine Progress

March 5, 2021

This week, the OMA Government Affairs Committee met virtually for its first meeting of 2021. Members were briefed on the latest Statehouse developments, regulatory activity, and new legislation in the areas of energy, environment, taxes, and legal reform. Guests included Aaron Crooks, Gov. Mike DeWine’s deputy director for legislative affairs, who discussed the administration’s budget priorities.

Chaired by Scott Corbitt, region vice president for Anheuser-Busch, the meeting also featured updates on COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution as presented by Kevin Orr, director of government relations for Pfizer, and Ray Drake, vice president of state government affairs for UPS. The committee will meet next on June 15. 3/3/2021

ODJFS Searching for New Director

March 5, 2021

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Henderson will step down this month from her position. Henderson was recently married and will be relocating to North Carolina. Matt Damschroder, director of the Department of Administrative Services, will be the interim ODJFS director. Priorities for the next director will be fixing the state’s overwhelmed unemployment compensation system and addressing fraudulent claims. 3/1/2021

USMCA: Qualify Your Products Using These Four Steps

March 5, 2021

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is bringing added oversight to ensure compliance with the new trade rules. Accurate documentation is required, audits are coming, and fines and penalties await those who don’t comply. OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran has published this guidance to help companies make USMCA compliance more manageable. 3/2/2021