News and Analysis
Ohio Senate to Hold Hearings on Train DerailmentFebruary 24, 2023
Ohio lawmakers plan to begin hearings next week on the Feb. 3 train derailment in Columbiana County. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) wants to examine if any state laws need to be changed to enhance rail safety.
While interstate commerce is a federal issue, Huffman said “there are things the state controls like tort law, for example.” He said funding for East Palestine and the surrounding area could be added to the state budget.
Lawmakers are already proposing new rules for rail companies in Ohio’s next transportation budget. 2/23/2023
Rural Highway Infrastructure to See Large Funding BoostFebruary 24, 2023
The State of Ohio would establish a new Rural Highway Fund, with $1 billion in funds, under a substitute version of the transportation budget bill (HB 23). According to early details, 80% of those funds would be used to support projects on rural state highways; the remainder would be used for local governments.
The full House could vote on the transportation budget next week, according to Gongwer News Service. 2/22/2023
Husted Lays Groundwork for Future Statewide RunFebruary 24, 2023
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted this week revived his official campaign committee. The move signals a likely run for governor in 2026, reports say. In addition to filing the designation, the lieutenant governor has launched a new website. 2/23/2023
Analyzing America’s Defense Manufacturing CapabilitiesFebruary 24, 2023
Amid increased international conflict, the Washington Examiner (subscription) has published this analysis of the U.S. defense industry’s manufacturing capabilities.
A new report concludes the U.S. would exhaust its supply of key weapons in less than a week in a major conflict. (This four-minute video provides an overview of the report.) A “substantial decline” in competition in defense manufacturing and an over-dependence on manufacturing in hostile nations are key concerns. 2/20/2023
Manufacturing Dominates NE Ohio Economic DevelopmentFebruary 17, 2023
Manufacturing dominated northeast Ohio’s economic development in 2022, according to a new report. Team NEO — which represents 18 counties as one of JobsOhio’s six regional organizations — says nearly half of last year’s 88 projects were tied to “advanced manufacturing.” Another five were in the “automotive” or “aerospace and aviation” categories.
Cleveland Business Journal says much of this success can be tied to the JobsOhio model, which offers three competitive advantages when recruiting new investment and jobs. For more on JobsOhio, see this analysis recently published by the OMA. 2/15/2023
Check Out the Updated Connections Partners DirectoryFebruary 17, 2023
One of the benefits of OMA membership is access to trusted expertise. The OMA recently revised its Connections Partners Directory, an online resource that connects members to top experts in key issue areas — including energy, environment, HR, safety and workers’ compensation, taxes, and workforce.
See the full listing of categories in the updated Connections Partners Directory. 2/15/2023
Ohio Manufacturing in the Super BowlFebruary 10, 2023
No Bengals or Browns in this year’s Super Bowl. But when Kansas City and Philadelphia meet this Sunday, the footballs used by both teams will have been proudly made in Ohio.
OMA member Wilson Sporting Goods and the employees at the company’s Hardin County facility have been manufacturing NFL footballs since 1955 — the year in which the Browns won their third NFL championship of the 1950s.
Over the decades, more than 700,000 footballs a year have been handmade in Ada, population 5,256. Watch this video for a glimpse inside Wilson’s facility; then check out the company’s recent Super Bowl commercial.
And don’t forget: OMA member Riddell, with operations in Lorain County, is a top supplier of NFL helmets. 2/9/2023
ODOT Chief Briefs Lawmakers on BudgetFebruary 10, 2023
Under Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget, Ohio’s FY 2024-2025 transportation spending would grow 25% compared to the current levels, with much of the extra funding coming from the federal infrastructure law. About $2.2 billion would go towards pavement, $717 million for bridges, $360 million for safety upgrades, and $579 million for larger projects like reconfiguring urban interstates.
The budget also includes smaller amounts for things like public transit, electric vehicle infrastructure, and drone development.
Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks this week told the House lawmakers the cost of road and bridge-building materials soared 11.4% last year. (Read Hannah News Service’s story on Marchbanks’ testimony.) He also briefed lawmakers on ODOT’s effort to gather public input on alternatives to the state’s fuel tax. 2/8/2023
Webinar: 2023 Outlook for ManufacturersFebruary 10, 2023
On Feb. 15, OMA Connections Partner HBK will host a complimentary webinar to provide its manufacturing outlook for 2023. This event will identify external factors affecting manufacturers; address current economic conditions; and define steps manufacturers should take now. Learn more and register. 2/6/2023
DeWine Highlights Second-Term Priorities, New BudgetFebruary 3, 2023
On Jan. 31, Gov. Mike DeWine delivered his 2023 State of the State address, laying out his early priorities for his second term, including budget proposals.
Bricker & Eckler, the OMA’s general counsel, published this summary of the governor’s comments. Read the text of the speech or watch the full address.
Following the governor’s remarks, the OMA issued this press release, commending his proposals to invest in career-technical education, new innovation hubs, and infrastructure to attract new economic development. 1/31/2023