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Bob Paduchik to Lead Ohio Republicans

March 5, 2021

Bob Paduchik, a long-time player in Ohio politics, has been elected the new chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. In the past, Paduchik has presented to the OMA board and Government Affairs Committee. Endorsed by former President Trump, Paduchik replaces Jane Timken, who resigned last month to launch her bid to replace U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who is not seeking re-election. 3/1/2021

U.S. Manufacturing Surges to Three-Year High

March 5, 2021

New reports show U.S. manufacturing activity increased to a three-year high last month, but soaring costs for inputs amid labor shortages continue to be areas of concern. The U.S. Manufacturing Outlook Index published by OMA Connections Partner RSM increased for the seventh consecutive month. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index rose to 60.8 in February, up from 58.7 in January — the highest level since February 2018. Private manufacturing construction spending grew 4.9% to $65.6 billion in January. 3/2/2021

Statute of Limitations Reform Bill Sent to Governor

February 26, 2021

This week, the Ohio House unanimously passed Senate Bill 13. This OMA-supported legislation would reduce the statute of limitations for oral and written contracts. Under SB 13, the statute of limitations for written contracts would be reduced from the current eight years to six; for oral contracts, it would be reduced from six years to four. SB 13 now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature or veto. 2/25/2021

Senate President Seeks to Fix Ohio’s Unemployment Insurance System

February 26, 2021

As state lawmakers work on the new biennial budget, Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) wants a fix by June 30 for Ohio’s unemployment compensation system. According to Gongwer News Service, the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund — which at last check was borrowing an average of nearly $7 million a day to pay benefits — owes the federal government more than $1.4 billion, due in large part to government restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

To address the insolvency of the trust fund, lawmakers must conduct “a serious examination of the premiums that employers pay into the fund and the benefits unemployed workers receive,” Huffman said. 2/25/2021

U.S. Government to Review Nation’s Supply Chains

February 26, 2021

President Biden this week signed an executive order calling for a 100-day review of U.S. supply chains for large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals, and semiconductors to identify vulnerabilities that might impact key sectors of the economy. The new order will include reviews for defense, public health, IT, energy, transportation, and food production — and is intended to lead to policy ideas that will both increase domestic production for critical inputs and stabilize relationships with international partners to ensure reliable trade.

The National Association of Manufacturers said it shared the administration’s goal of increasing manufacturing investment in the U.S. 2/25/2021

Report: China May Curb Rare Earth Exports to Hinder U.S. Defense Industry

February 26, 2021

A report in the Financial Times (subscription) says China could cripple America’s defense industry by limiting the export of rare earth minerals needed to manufacture F-35 fighter jets and other vital weaponry.

According to the publication, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has proposed controls on the production and export of 17 rare earth minerals, of which China controls about 80% of global supply. Another report says China is considering a ban on the export of rare earth minerals as part of its sanctions on individual companies due to arms sales to Taiwan. 2/22/2021

Ohio Receives Poor Grades for Roads, Bridges

February 26, 2021

Despite spending more than $3.5 billion last fiscal year on transportation infrastructure, Ohio gets poor grades for its roads (D grade) and bridges (C+) in the Ohio Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 report card for infrastructure. The report says that 6% of the state’s 44,736 bridges and 17% of its nearly 123,000 miles of public roads are in poor condition.

For an overview of the state’s transportation infrastructure funding, Ohio’s non-partisan Legislative Service Commission has produced this infographic. 2/22/2021

RSM: Conditions Ripe for Manufacturers to Make Investments

February 26, 2021

OMA Connections Partner RSM has produced this article to explain why historically low interest rates are providing a rare opportunity for many manufacturing businesses to make long-term strategic investments in technology and other improvements, such as facility upgrades. The firm’s recent survey of middle-market businesses showed that more than half of respondents (52%) expect to boost investment in productivity-enhancing capital expenditures such as software, equipment, and intellectual property over the next six months. 2/24/2021

Dan French Celebrates 50 Years at French Oil

February 19, 2021

Longtime OMA board member Daniel P. French, the chairman and CEO of Piqua-based French Oil Mill Machinery Company, is celebrating 50 years of service with the family-owned business. Read the company’s announcement regarding Dan’s milestone.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) surprised Dan with an on-site visit to present him with a framed copy of the remarks printed in the Congressional Record honoring Dan’s career and service. 2/16/2021

Addressing Ohio’s Truck Parking Shortage

February 19, 2021

This week, the OMA participated in the second meeting of the Ohio Freight Advisory Committee, convened by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The meeting highlighted the statewide shortage of commercial truck parking. (View the meeting materials.)

Next month, the Federal Highway Administration and ODOT will host a truck parking workshop (online) over the course of three days on March 15, 17 and 19. Space is limited. If you have transportation and logistics directors who would be interested in attending the workshops as part of the OMA delegation, please contact staff soon. 2/18/2021