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Budget Nears Finish Line; OMA Calls for Changes

June 29, 2023

This week, House and Senate leaders continued to negotiate differences between their respective versions of Ohio’s two-year budget (House Bill 33). On June 26, the OMA issued an action alert to members and urged lawmakers to remove two key budget provisions that threaten the competitiveness of Ohio’s manufacturing sector.

As highlighted in this press release, the OMA seeks the removal of proposals that would:

  • Significantly narrow the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) base. Despite some division within the business community, the budget plan — as passed by the Senate — would undo the benefits of Ohio’s 2005 tax reform, which has made manufacturers more competitive. See this one-page summary and this quote from Ross McGregor, a smaller manufacturer in Springfield.
  • Allow utility companies to charge customers more to build infrastructure for speculative economic development, while eroding customer protections. See this two-page summary, as well as the related story in this Leadership Briefing.

The OMA has also provided budget conferees with its recommendations to ensure competitive markets in the development of Ohio’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Under the Ohio Constitution, the budget is supposed to be completed by June 30. However, the House this week informally approved a temporary measure to keep state government operating in case the new budget isn’t finalized by the deadline. When the new budget has been passed and signed, the OMA will report on the provisions that affect manufacturers. 6/29/2023

OMA Stands Up for Business Contract Rights

June 29, 2023

The OMA this week testified against House Bill 203, which seeks to impose state-mandated payment terms in private construction contracts, thereby eliminating manufacturers’ right to negotiate.

Similar to a measure offered in the last General Assembly, HB 203 would require contracts to be paid within 30 days; otherwise, an 18% penalty would be applied to late payments.

Construction law expert Chris McCloskey of Bricker Graydon, the OMA’s general counsel, testified before the House Commerce and Labor Committee on behalf of the OMA. Read or watch McCloskey’s testimony. No immediate action was taken on the bill. 6/27/2023

Early Voting Begins July 11 for Special Election

June 29, 2023

Early voting begins July 11 for Ohio’s special election to decide State Issue 1, which would establish a 60% voter-approval standard to amend the state constitution.

The OMA has published this one-page summary of the ballot measure. It includes the arguments for and against State Issue 1, as stated by supporters and opponents.

Members who want to help educate interested employees can share this document electronically or distribute printed versions. 6/29/2023

Manufacturers to White House: Don’t Let Regulations Kill Our Momentum

June 29, 2023

As recently reported, the National Association of Manufacturers’ Q2 survey found that U.S. manufacturers’ concerns about federal regulations have reached a six-year high. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons told news media that the current level of regulatory activity has never been seen before.

The OMA has joined NAM to request that a senior-level adviser coordinate efforts at the White House to ensure federal regulators are implementing policies aligned with the president’s pledge to promote U.S. manufacturing growth. Read the letter. 6/27/2023

Jeff Oravitz Elected OMA Chair

June 23, 2023

On Tuesday, June 20, the OMA board held its Q2 meeting and the association’s annual meeting. Among the actions taken was the election of officers and new directors.

Jeff Oravitz, CEO of Seal for Life Industries and Arsenal Capital Partners, was elected chair of the OMA board. Read the OMA press release.

Oravitz succeeds Dale Laws, Whirlpool Corporation’s vice president of manufacturing operations. Laws has led the OMA for the past two years and remains on the board as immediate past chair.

Rod Cundiff, senior business development specialist for Cenovus Energy, was elected first vice-chair. Several other board members were reappointed, while Keith Strickland, East Liberty Auto Plant Lead for Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, was elected to the board. Ian Kalinosky, president of KDC/One, announced his resignation from the board due to his retirement. 6/20/2023

OMA Board Tours Glove Maker American Nitrile

June 23, 2023

Following their meeting in Columbus this week, OMA board members toured Grove City facilities of OMA member American Nitrile, a major manufacturer of gloves for medical, lab, and industrial use. Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, also participated in the tour.

American Nitrile has been spotlighted nationally as a reshoring success story in the effort to boost American-made PPE following the supply shortages brought by the pandemic. 6/20/2023

House OKs OMA-Opposed Union Hiring Mandate

June 23, 2023

On June 21, in a 64-30 vote, the Ohio House approved House Bill 205, OMA-opposed legislation that would force defined manufacturers to hire union workers, establishing a precedent that could impact other industries. (Here are the House members who stood with manufacturers and voted against the bill.)

Earlier on the same day, Matt Austin, a Columbus-based attorney specializing in labor relations, testified against HB 205 on behalf of the OMA. He told the House Homeland Security Committee the bill is “overly broad, unduly burdensome” and gives unions “a virtual monopoly.” He added that the bill would worsen labor shortages and authorize a $10,000-a-day penalty on employers for non-compliance. Read and watch the OMA’s testimony.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to face tougher opposition. 6/21/2023

Budget Plan Heads to Conference

June 23, 2023

Ohio’s two-year main operating budget (House Bill 33) has gone to conference committee, where legislative leaders are negotiating nearly 900 points of differences between the House and Senate spending plans. Disagreements include tax changes, education policy, and various earmarks.

The budget-writing process is supposed to be completed by June 30. However, Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) this week said lawmakers might not meet the deadline. That would force lawmakers to pass a temporary measure to keep state government operating. 6/22/2023

Supreme Court: August Election Can Proceed

June 23, 2023

On a 4-3 vote, the Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that the state’s special election can go forward on Aug. 8. That’s when voters will decide the fate of State Issue 1, which would implement a 60% voter-approval standard to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution. Early in-person and absentee voting by mail begin July 11. 6/22/2023

Study Examines Auto Supplier, OEM Relationships

June 23, 2023

OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran has released the results of its 2023 Working Relations Index® — a comprehensive survey providing a quantitative measure of working relations between auto suppliers and OEMs. The study includes a look at supplier-relation trends for the six major vehicle manufacturers. 6/21/2023