News and Analysis
Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, OMA staff will be working remotely, but will still be available to help meet your needs. This includes OMA Workers’ Compensation Services. Here is a list of staff emails and phone numbers.
We will re-evaluate our office policy in the coming days and will keep all OMA members informed of changes. In the meantime, if there is anything OMA staff can do for you, let us know. 3/18/2020
The OMA’s Food and Beverage Manufacturers’ Policy Council (also known as OMA Food Day) — which had been set for May 20 — has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. We are exploring opportunities to reschedule this event when conditions permit. 3/17/2020
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), which has regulatory authority over truckers and other commercial carriers, has suspended “hours-of-service” restrictions on the movement of motor vehicle fuel in the state during Ohio’s COVID-19 state of emergency. The hours-of-service waiver expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2020.
According to Hannah News Service, PUCO Transportation Director John Williams said the temporary move does not alter a motor carrier’s duty to monitor its drivers; maintain records of duty status; and ensure drivers are not ill, fatigued, impaired or otherwise unable to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely — in addition to other state and federal requirements. 3/19/2020
The Supreme Court of Ohio this week said it was expediting an Ohio Democratic Party lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose after he set a new primary date for June 2. (Note: The later date does not signal a new election; it’s simply an extended date for the previously scheduled March 17 primary. If you or your employees have already voted, either in person or via absentee ballot, you do not need to — and cannot — vote again.)
The Democrats’ lawsuit seeks to make LaRose direct county boards of elections to accept and process absentee ballot applications until April 25, and to accept and count all valid absentee ballots postmarked on or before April 28. 3/19/2020
OMA Connections Partner RSM is launching a weekly webcast series on issues related to the coronavirus — to share insights for business leaders on issues such as:
- The economic impact from this pandemic;
- How to prepare for the future; and
- How to mitigate risk.
RSM’s webcasts will be about 30 to 45 minutes, available every Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT. The first webcast addressing key actions for businesses to take was held this week. Future webcasts will be April 1 and April 8. Sign up here. 3/19/2020
The OMA continues to collect member concerns and ideas for possible actions that state policymakers can consider to help Ohio manufacturers during the COVID-19 outbreak and after. If you have suggestions or comments that you want the OMA to convey to the DeWine administration, email Jamie Karl. 3/18/2020
Ohio’s primary election is only days away, this year falling on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Due to coronavirus concerns, there have been many voting-related questions. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose reports that he’s working with Ohio’s 88 county board of elections and health officials to promote a safe and healthy voting environment. (Get the latest election updates here.)
Employers can provide non-partisan resources to employees — as long as communications are unbiased — so you may wish to share the following information:
- The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election (Saturday, Mach 14, for the primary). If mailed, absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted.
- Most Ohio counties provide early voting at their board of elections office, including 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, March 14) and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.
- The Secretary of State’s office is keeping a running tab of relocated voting locations.
- Before voting, you can study a sample ballot based on your specific location.
Following Wednesday night’s Oval Office remarks by President Trump on COVID-19, the White House released this proclamation announcing restrictions on travelers to the U.S. from countries in the EU Schengen Area. Those countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Specifically, the administration will ban entry by immigrants and non-immigrants who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT Friday, March 13, and will remain in effect until terminated by the president. These restrictions do not apply to U.S. goods imports from the European Union. According to the proclamation, “the free flow of commerce between the United States and the Schengen Area countries remains an economic priority for the United States.” 3/12/2020
Nearly 50 members participated in this week’s OMA Government Affairs Committee meeting. Key matters discussed included potential general election ballot measures, recent regulatory actions, and pending state legislation that could impact manufacturers.
Guest speakers included Senate Majority Floor Leader Matt Huffman (R-Lima), who addressed members’ questions regarding Statehouse topics such as the controversial school vouchers debate and last year’s House Bill 6 — the nuclear power bailout. Political adviser Jeff Longstreth provided insight into high-profile House races.
The next Government Affairs Committee meeting is set for Wednesday, June 3 in Columbus. 3/5/2020
The Manufacturing Institute has announced the winners of its STEP Ahead Awards for outstanding women in manufacturing. These 100 honorees and 30 emerging leaders — including eight Ohioans — work everywhere from the factory floor to the C-suite and show the true breadth of the industry’s talent. The honorees will travel to D.C. for a two-day career building seminar and an April 30 awards ceremony.
You can read about the winners, including those who represent Ohio companies. Congratulations to this year’s honorees! 3/3/2020