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Democrats Fill Vacancy in Ohio House

October 1, 2021

Ohio House Democrats have selected Latyna Humphrey, a bailiff who works at the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, to fill a vacancy in the 26th District — the southeast quadrant of Columbus. Humphrey will succeed former Rep. Erica Crawley, who resigned to become a Franklin County commissioner. 9/30/2021

Grant Resources for Ohio Exporters

October 1, 2021

To help businesses build and diversify their customer base, Ohio has financial resources to start or expand export initiatives. Applications for the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program are accepted through Nov. 9. Learn more. 9/29/2021

Tips for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October 1, 2021

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. OMA Connections Partner GBQ Partners reports that in response to recent ransomware attacks and business email hacks, many cyber liability insurance carriers are requiring that insureds utilize multi-factor authentication. The firm has published this list of tips to help secure online assets.

Meanwhile, OMA Connections Partner Schneider Downs has created a dedicated Cybersecurity Awareness Month webpage. 9/29/2021

Sixth GOP Candidate Enters Ohio’s U.S. Senate Race

September 24, 2021

State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) has officially entered Ohio’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, becoming the sixth Republican vying to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman. Other GOP candidates include: Former Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel; author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance; former state GOP chair Jane Timken; car dealer Bernie Moreno; and investment banker Mike Gibbons. On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and attorney Morgan Harper have filed.

According to FiveThirtyEight — a polling aggregation website — a late August survey of Ohio voters found Mandel was the only Republican who would beat Ryan in the general election. However, the poll was taken before Dolan’s entrance into the race. 9/20/2021

Report: Consumers Are Postponing Larger Purchases

September 24, 2021

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index this month indicates consumers are delaying purchases of big-ticket items as they wait for prices to decline. OMA Connections Partner RSM reports that just 29% of respondents said it was a good time to buy a house or vehicle; only 38% said it was a good time to buy a major household item.

Meanwhile, the Money Anxiety Index — which measures consumer actions, not survey responses — actually shows declining money anxiety since the end of June. 9/20/2021

OMA Board Updated on Vaccine Mandate, Statehouse Activity

September 17, 2021

On Sept. 14, the OMA board of directors held a hybrid Q3 meeting, with roughly one-third of board members appearing in person in Columbus. Key topics of discussion were President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, as well as the effects of the ongoing workforce shortage, inflation, and supply shortages.

OMA staff briefed the board on Statehouse legislation that could impact manufacturing operations — including House Bill 248 to limit employers’ rights with respect to vaccination policies, and House Bill 401 to allow employees to sue employers for adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. Both bills are opposed by the OMA. (The sponsor of HB 248 has launched an effort to force a House vote on the bill.)

OMA General Counsel Chris Slagle of Bricker & Ecker updated board members on statewide ballot issues, tort reform, and redistricting. OMA staff also provided survey results revealing 18 to 45-year-olds’ perception of manufacturing, noting that more results would be disclosed at the Oct. 27-28 Ohio Manufacturers’ Workforce Summit. 9/15/2021

JobsOhio Data Is Bullish for State’s Economy

September 17, 2021

Gongwer News Service reports some bullish news from last week’s JobsOhio board meeting. According to JobsOhio President J.P. Nauseef, in a typical year, Ohio competes for about seven projects with the potential to create more than 500 jobs. Ohio is currently in competition for 41 such projects, an increase of 485%.

Over the past year, Ohio has been able to attract 25 companies from coastal states, resulting in 7,700 new jobs and more than $450 million in payroll. Another five companies have reshored, representing 2,497 jobs and $150 million in payroll.

In a Cleveland.com editorial this week, OMA President Ryan Augsburger extolled the achievements of JobsOhio, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. 9/14/2021

New Legislative District Maps Appear to Retain GOP Supermajorities in Ohio House and Senate

September 17, 2021

Shortly after the constitutional deadline passed this week, the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved new Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps.

With no support from the Democratic members of the commission, the maps will be valid for only four years. They will provide Republicans a 62-37 advantage in the House (compared to the current 64-35) and a 23-10 advantage in the Ohio Senate (compared to 25-8).

Next on the to-do list is the drawing of new boundaries of Ohio’s congressional districts. The commission has until Sept. 30 to draw those lines. 9/16/2021

Central Ohio Seeing Fastest Rates of Population Growth

September 17, 2021

According to U.S. Census data released last month, central Ohio claimed most of the state’s fastest-growing counties. Delaware County grew 22.9%, followed by Union (20%), Warren (13.9%), Franklin (13.8%), and Fairfield (8.7%) counties. Nearly two-thirds of Ohio counties lost population in the last decade. However, overall Ohio still gained 262,944 residents to remain the seventh largest state. 9/14/2021

Lawmakers Return to Columbus Next Week; Focus Is on Redistricting

September 10, 2021

Ohio lawmakers return from their summer break next week. Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) told Gongwer News Service earlier this week that addressing higher education COVID-19 vaccine mandates and redistricting will be among the chamber’s priorities.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Redistricting Commission this week accepted the newly proposed legislative district maps drawn by House and Senate Republican staff as the commission’s working document. (The maps and related information are posted on the commission’s website.) According to early analysis, under the GOP’s maps, Republicans would retain 67 of 99 seats in the Ohio House and 25 of 33 seats in the Ohio Senate — both veto-proof majorities. 9/9/2021