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Latest Government News From Ohio

Week in Review

Friday, June 14, 2019

AGING

The Ohio Supreme Court wants to help probate judges and magistrates prevent the growing number of Ohio’s elderly population from being abused, neglected or exploited. The Court has worked with community partners including adult protective services, law enforcement and health care providers to produce a “toolkit” with practical resources and information. The toolkit includes a bench card on laws for adult protective services, sample court orders and policies, as well as state and local resources. It was developed for team training sessions the Court held in 2018 for probate judicial officers and local partners working to prevent elder abuse.

AGRICULTURE

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODAg) has announced it will begin aerial treatments designed to disrupt gypsy moth mating on 61,070 acres in 12 counties across the state.

Farmers in 27 counties are eligible to receive funding assistance through the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODAg). Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency, ODAg and local soil and water conservation districts, CREP targets high-priority conservation concerns in exchange for removing environmentally-sensitive land from production. In return for establishing permanent resource-conserving plant species, farmers are paid an annual rental rate along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 15 years.

ARTS, SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) a state and regional partnership agreement grant exceeding $1 million, OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins announced recently. The OAC will receive $1,007,950 to help support arts initiatives throughout the state. This is the fifth-highest NEA grant awarded to the OAC in the agency’s 54-year history.

AUDITOR OF STATE

Auditor of State Keith Faber Thursday released the findings of a performance audit of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Office of Fleet Management, recommending changes that could save over $6 million over the next two years.

Even if the General Assembly passes legislation removing the cap on the number of performance audits the state auditor’s office can perform on institutions of higher education per year, it will still take a while before the auditor of state’s office can complete one on every public university and community college, the auditor’s office told a House committee Thursday. Tim Keen, the former Office of Budget and Management Director under Gov. John Kasich who now serves as chief financial officer and a senior adviser in Auditor Keith Faber’s office, told the committee that under current law, it would take the auditor’s office 74 years to conduct performance audits of the 14 public universities and 23 community colleges. Keen gave proponent testimony before the House Higher Education Committee on SB120 (McColley-Rulli), which will remove the cap on the number of performance audits that the office can do. Currently, he said the office plans to do three audits in the upcoming biennium.

FY18-19 BUDGET

Tax collections beat estimates by $65.6 million in May, putting the state about 3 percent ahead of projections for the month and the fiscal year to-date, according to preliminary figures from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Sales taxes provided the biggest boost in May, netting $944.4 million versus $897.5 million expected, a 5.2 percent increase. Non-auto sales taxes were the bulk of that overperformance, coming in 5 percent or $37.6 million ahead. Auto sales taxes brought in 6.8 percent or $9.3 million more than expected.

FY20-21 BUDGET

Senate Republicans unveiled their budget revisions Tuesday, proposing to largely restore a tax deduction for small businesses and cut incomes taxes overall while putting more money toward water quality, local governments, libraries and children in crisis. House Republicans proposed to shrink the threshold for the pass-through entity income tax deduction from $250,000 to $100,000 and require those businesses to pay standard income tax rates on income above the threshold, repealing a special 3 percent flat rate. The substitute version of HB166 (Oelslager) accepted in Senate Finance Committee restores the $250,000 threshold and delays repeal of the 3 percent rate to the second year of the biennium.

Senate Republicans also sent more money to capped districts and the EdChoice program in changes to the state budget bill unveiled Tuesday, while eyeing further action on testing, school takeovers, report cards and graduation in a second round of revisions yet to come. The Senate Finance Committee’s revisions provide nearly $40 million over the biennium to help school districts that experienced enrollment growth from 2016 to 2019. The new version also increases the appropriation for the income-based EdChoice expansion program by $50 million to support the addition of several grades.

The Senate will introduce its final budget changes in an omnibus amendment in the middle of next week, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and Senate Finance Chairman Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said Wednesday. The two sat down with reporters Wednesday for about an hour of questions about the recently revised HB166 (Oelslager), as well as a few on the proposed energy policy overhaul in HB6 (Callender). Obhof said the Senate substitute budget bill and its tax policy changes are structurally balanced and sound, and said while he does maintain some worry about an eventual recession, national economic indicators “have been pretty good for the last two years.”

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said Wednesday he’s still skeptical about the benefits of the state’s deduction for pass-through business income, which he tried to trim but the Senate largely would restore in its latest version of the budget bill. Householder also said redirection of money the House dedicated to wraparound services to in part give money to capped districts is “a sort of rob from the poor and give to the rich type of thing.”

DISASTERS

Thousands of Cleveland area residents were subjected to a moderate earthquake on Monday morning, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). “According to preliminary reports, a naturally-occurring 4.2 magnitude earthquake took place approximately one-half mile off the coast of Eastlake along the southern edge of Lake Erie in Lake County at 10:51 a.m.,” ODNR spokesperson Eric Heis told Hannah News.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) said Monday that it will provide $500,000 to help Montgomery County workers who lost their jobs because of tornadoes that touched down over Memorial Day weekend.

Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration and federal assistance for 10 counties impacted by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and landslides last month. A total of 21 tornadoes touched down in Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry and Pickaway counties during the severe storms that passed through Ohio during the evening of May 27 and into May 28.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) told reporters Tuesday he and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke to President Donald Trump regarding disaster relief funds for Ohio following recent tornadoes that struck the state near the Dayton area.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

A former newspaper printing facility in Franklin, Ohio will see new life as a manufacturing and logistics hub for Modula, an Italy-based manufacturer of automated storage and retrieval systems. Gov. Mike DeWine and JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer J.P. Nauseef joined Modula CEO Antonio Pagano in announcing the project Tuesday, saying it will represent $26.5 million in investment and at least 100 new jobs. This will be Modula’s second U.S. location, following a 2015 project in Maine, and DeWine noted that another Italian company, tissue paper manufacturer Sofidel, opened a plant in Circleville last year.

The Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee met at the Statehouse for the first time Thursday, having previously convened around Ohio before that. Members heard presentations on current and potential legislation and the efforts of regional and statewide development groups.

EDUCATION

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recently announced five honorees for its Teachers of Ohio Representing Character and Heart (TORCH) recognition program. The program commends teachers who model strong character and heart for their students, colleagues and communities. Those recognized include Alicia Spears, a science teacher at STEM+M Early College High School in South Point; Sarah Thornburg, a social studies teacher at Columbus Alternative High School; Tami Blue, a multimedia arts teacher at Sylvania Northview High School; Leila Kubesch, an English language learner teacher at Norwood Middle School; and Tequila Pennington-Calwise, a third-grade teacher at Euclid Park Elementary in Cleveland.

Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio (CDF-Ohio) Thursday announced its 2019 Beat the Odds Scholars class, highlighting Ohio students who have overcome adversity, showed academic commitment and given back to their communities. Five students were chosen from 206 nominated for the scholarship, which provides each of the recipients $5,000, a laptop and an invitation to join CDF-Ohio’s youth leadership development programs.

Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) said Monday he’ll soon introduce legislation to require Ohio schools to name a valedictorian and salutatorian in each graduation class. In a statement announcing the planned legislation, Antani cited recent announcements from school officials in Mason, Tippecanoe and Springboro that they planned to cease naming valedictorians or salutatorians. Local boards of education would have discretion on determining how to select students to be named valedictorian and salutatorian.

State Board of Education President Laura Kohler said Monday she’s discussed having the attorney general’s office represent the board independently of the Ohio Department of Education’s counsel in the narrow set of circumstances where the board’s and the agency’s interests diverge. Kohler said at Monday’s meeting of the board’s Executive Committee she reached out to the AG’s office after hearing interest in having separate counsel from board members John Hagan and Nick Owens.

Standards create a common language and a common skillset. That was the primary message of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and a supporting group of three educators who testified to the value of social and emotional learning (SEL) standards before the State Board of Education (SBOE) Monday. The board voted Tuesday to adopt the SEL standards amid concerns from some members about their intent, their role in the classroom and the feasibility of their implementation.

The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, which sponsored the now defunct Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), will pay nearly $900,000 in a settlement. Attorney General Dave Yost announced the agreement Wednesday, saying Lake Erie West will pay $897,000 by the end of the fiscal year; the total represents “all funds in question for sponsorship fees it received from ECOT.”

Many local school officials testifying in the Senate Thursday on school turnaround proposals urged support of the House plan to abolish academic distress commission and criticized a draft Senate concept as looking too much like the current and highly controversial state oversight system. The Senate Education Committee called the hearing Thursday for input on a plan Chair Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) drafted as a budget amendment and circulated earlier this week.

ELECTIONS

Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a new directive this week requiring county boards of elections to implement significant security upgrades. In issuing the directive, LaRose’s office said Ohio will be in a strong position to serve as a national leader in election security. While acknowledging the demands of the directive are significant, he said “they provide the redundancy necessary to ensure Ohio’s election systems are prepared and in the best possible position for the 2020 election.”

ELECTIONS 2020

Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown) announced recently that she has pulled petitions to run for the 4th Senate District in 2020. Meanwhile, Rep. George Lange (R-West Chester) told the Hamilton Journal-News that he is considering running for the seat as well, which would set up a primary with Keller.

EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

The nation added 75,000 jobs in May, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while the national unemployment rate remained steady at 3.6 percent. BLS said the number of unemployed persons in May was little changed at 5.9 million. The unemployment rates for major worker groups showed little or no change over the month.

ENERGY

Chairman Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee asked House sponsors of nuclear subsidy legislation to state their primary concern in HB6 (Callender-Wilkin) Tuesday, while several other Republicans on the committee questioned Reps. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) and Shane Wilkin’s (R-Hillsboro) additional claims around clean energy and reduced costs for all Ohio ratepayers. Callender identified HB6′s “holistic” goals as retained jobs, zero-carbon generation and lower bills, though Wilkin called it fundamentally an “economic incentive” policy. He said the existing energy efficiency (EE) mandate had “run its course” and that renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which the “clean-air” program would replace, currently allocates $50 million in ratepayer dollars to out-of-state renewable energy credits (REC).

ENVIRONMENT

A total of 35 local government entities will receive nearly $660,000 to help mitigate the spread of mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika, West Nile and La Cross Encephalitis, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) Director Laurie Stevenson and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton announced Friday.

GAMING/GAMBLING

Statewide totals for casino revenue and racino video lottery terminal (VLT) revenue increased in May 2019 as compared to May 2018 and April 2019, according to data reported Friday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) and the Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC). Ohio’s four casinos raked in $73.5 million in May 2019, up from $68.7 million in May 2018 and $70.6 million in April 2019. The state’s seven racinos hauled in $95.9 million in May 2019, up from $84.8 million in May 2018 and $89.6 million in April 2019.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) named a Nationwide Insurance executive as chief administrative officer Tuesday, following through on a promise to professionalize human resources functions in the House. Kimberly Zianno Hartman, director of HR compliance, policy governance and ADA/FMLA for Nationwide, will join the House staff in the new fiscal year. Householder vowed to hire a trained HR professional as part of his bid to win the speakership earlier this year, and convened a working group after his election to develop a job description and consider applicants.

Knife manufacturers and groups representing knife enthusiasts urged a Senate committee to adopt legislation that eliminates an existing ban on manufacturing spring-loaded knives in Ohio, as well as allows knives to be possessed and carried openly or concealed. Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) gave sponsor testimony on his SB140 (Uecker) before the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on Tuesday, and was joined by other witnesses who said that Ohio’s laws regarding knife manufacture and possession are a patchwork, confusing and outdated.

House priority bills addressing tobacco cessation, prenatal care and children’s behavioral health were amended and unanimously reported out by the House Health Committee on Tuesday. HB11 (G. Manning-Howse), which increases coverage for tobacco cessation services and provides additional funding for prenatal health and dental services, among other provisions, passed 15-0 after lawmakers added two amendments without objection. HB12 (D. Manning-West), which creates the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Prevention Network Stakeholder Group, passed 15-0 after lawmakers added three amendments without objection.

The Senate Wednesday unanimously passed SB2 (Peterson-Dolan) to establish a watershed planning structure in the state that one of its sponsors said will make sure that any dollars allocated to clean up Ohio’s waterways will be “wisely spent and effectively used.” The chamber also passed SB95 (Kunze-Peterson), which would extend the maximum term of the job creation tax credit for businesses making substantial fixed asset and employment investments.

Thursday’s House session included passage of two bipartisan priority bills: HB10 (Brown-Stoltzfu), to create a drug policy office under the governor; and HB12 (Manning-West), to create the Ohio Children’s Behavioral Health Prevention Network.

In other legislative action, House Transportation and Public Safety Committee reported out numerous license plate creation and road-naming bills, including HB233, HB254, HB256, HB262, HB274, HB234, HB257, HB259, HB266, HB267, HB275 and HB276; House Commerce and Labor Committee reported out HB220, regarding use of blockchain technology by government; and House State and Local Government Committee reported out HB160, regarding alcoholic ice cream.

GOVERNOR

Appointments made during the week include the following:

- Patrick J. Tiberi of Galena (Delaware County) to the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board for a term beginning June 10, 2019, and continuing at the pleasure of the governor, and to serve as chairperson.

- Richard E. Dalton of Miamisburg (Montgomery County); Lori M. Gillett of Westerville (Franklin County); Andrea N. Kramer of Findlay (Hancock County); Director Kevin L. Miller of Columbus (Franklin County); Deborah L. Saunders of Gallipolis (Gallia County) reappointed to the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board for a term beginning June 10, 2019, and continuing at the pleasure of the governor.

- Elizabeth Barry of Aurora (Portage County); Eric L. Burkland of Bexley (Franklin County); Superintendent Paolo A. DeMaria of Columbus (Franklin County); Sean P. Dunn of New Albany (Franklin County); Kenneth W. Field of Brunswick (Medina County); Christine A. Gardner of Galena (Delaware County); Chancellor Randy Gardner of Bowling Green (Wood County); Martin L. “Mick” Given of Sidney (Shelby County); Michelle Greenfield of Millfield (Athens County); Director Kimberly Lowe Hall of Westerville (Franklin County); Barbara A. Johnson of Springboro (Warren County); Para M. Jones of Canton (Stark County); Michael A. Knisley of Lima (Allen County); Michael D. Linton of Laurelville (Hocking County); Joseph J. Luzar Jr. of Holland (Lucas County); John C. Marschhausen of Hilliard (Franklin County); Scot A. McLemore of Columbus (Franklin County); Dan F. Meyer of Cincinnati (Hamilton County); Director Lydia L. Mihalik of Findlay (Hancock County); Randy Niekamp of New Bremen (Auglaize County); Rocky J. Parker of Columbus (Franklin County); Neville G. Pinto of Cincinnati (Hamilton County); Christiane S. Schmenk of Marysville (Union County); Melissa E. Wideman of Cincinnati (Hamilton County); and Marjorie E. Zyble of Mason (Warren County) to the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board for a term beginning June 10, 2019, and continuing at the pleasure of the governor.

- Jasmine Hoff of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) to serve as a student member on the Kent State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning June 11, 2019, and ending May 16, 2021.

 - Abigail J. Klare of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) to serve as a student member on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees for a term beginning June 11, 2019, and ending May 13, 2021.

 - Olivia P. Sneary of Bluffton (Allen County) to serve as a student member on the Wright State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021.

 - Kumar Subramanian, DDS of Upper Arlington (Franklin County) reappointed to the State Dental Board for a term beginning April 7, 2019, and ending April 6, 2023.

 - Kathy Brisley-Sedon, DDS of Medina (Medina County); Murali K. Lakireddy, DDS, GPR of Strongsville (Cuyahoga County); and Michele Carr, RDH of Pataskala (Licking County) to the State Dental Board for terms beginning June 17, 2019, and ending April 6, 2023.

GREAT LAKES

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, said recently that based on preliminary data, new record high monthly mean water levels were set on Lakes Erie, St. Clair and Superior in the month of May. Additionally, record high water levels are possible on all the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair this summer.

GUNS

Following the city of Columbus, the city of Cincinnati filed a lawsuit against the provisions of 132-HB228 (T. Johnson) recently, claiming that the state law is unconstitutionally infringing on the city’s right to “enact common-sense gun regulations to stem the tide of violence.” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced the lawsuit during a press conference in Cincinnati on Thursday. He said the state is passing laws backed by the National Rifle Association that are prohibiting cities from protecting their citizens.

Ohioans for Gun Safety filed an initiated statute petition with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Monday, seeking to close “loopholes” in Ohio’s firearm sales background check law. The proposal would require that sales and transfers of firearms in Ohio be conducted by a federally-licensed firearms dealer, and that sales or transfers of firearms be conditioned on the person receiving the firearm being subject to a background check pursuant to federal law.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) this week announced a new partnership that will provide pregnant women educational resources and tracking technology aimed at preventing stillbirths. ODH is partnering with Count the Kicks, an awareness campaign that teaches expectant mothers to track their baby’s movements once a day to establish how long it normally takes for the baby to move 10 times. If that pattern changes during the third trimester of pregnancy, it could be a sign of potential problems that need to be brought up with a health care provider.

Aaron Westbrook outgrew his prostheses while in high school, so he decided to make a new one himself using 3-D printing technology. The 20-year-old Ohio State University (OSU) sophomore now runs a non-profit to donate 3-D printed prostheses, but concerns were recently raised about whether this conflicts with regulations that pre-date 3-D printing. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Director Carrie Kuruc joined Westbrook at a press conference Thursday to announce an upcoming budget amendment offering a solution to the issue.

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) Thursday released a request for information (RFI) to gather public input as it begins the process to select new managed care contractors. ODM’s first step in the process is collecting feedback on current Medicaid services, what is working and ideas for improvement.

JUDICIAL

Sarah Morrison, the former administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) under Gov. John Kasich, was confirmed Tuesday to serve as U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Ohio. Her confirmation was praised by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who had recommended Morrison’s nomination for the vacancy in Columbus. The vacancy was created by the retirement of U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost.

The former Ohio attorney who was previously responsible for $104,718 in state reimbursements to defrauded clients is now prompting a much smaller payment to a victim of legal theft in Summit County. The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection awarded another $866 this week to a former client of Mark Andrew Chuparkoff, who surrendered his law license with discipline pending in September 2018. Earlier this year, the board reimbursed $5,000 to an additional victim in Summit County. In total, the Board of Commissioners issued $14,866 in its latest round of client reparations. Along with Chuparkoff, five former or suspended Ohio attorneys misappropriated funds.

MARIJUANA/HEMP

Ohioans suffering from anxiety and autism will have to wait at least another month to find out if they can use medical marijuana to treat their conditions. The State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) on Wednesday unanimously voted to table consideration of adding anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder as qualifying conditions under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP). Additionally, the board unanimously voted to reject proposals to add depression, insomnia and opioid use disorder.

Greg McIlvaine has been appointed as a senior policy adviser for the Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC), and will soon take over the agency’s leadership of the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP). McIlvaine, most recently an executive with Washington D.C. lobbying firm the Cypress Group and a former legislative assistant to then-U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, will take over for Mark Hamlin, who has accepted a position at the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI).

Most of the medical marijuana dispensaries that have yet to receive a state certificate of operation are being held up by local zoning issues, Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP) representatives told the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee (MMAC) on Thursday.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz convened the first-ever “Inland Fish Ohio Day” at Cowan Lake State Park in Wilmington on Saturday. The governor fished on a boat with several of his grandchildren, according to a news release from ODNR.

The sixth “Ohio Women’s Outdoor Adventures” weekend will kick off on Friday, Sept. 13 and run through Sunday, Sept. 15 at Mohican State Park, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

PENSIONS

State pension systems, like most other investors, saw their portfolios take a hit amid the volatility of late 2018, but they fared better than the markets in general, an investment consultant told lawmakers Thursday. The state treasurer’s office, meanwhile, promised more engagement and transparency on its upcoming bid solicitation for the pension funds’ custodial banks, sometimes a point of contention between the treasurer and the systems.

PEOPLE

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced Tuesday the election of Dr. Lisa Bohman Egbert, an OB-GYN from Dayton, as the vice speaker of the AMA’s House of Delegates.

Jim Siegel, longtime Statehouse reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, died Tuesday at age 46. His untimely death unleashed an outpouring of tributes from across Capitol Square, where leaders from the governor on down praised his professional dedication and personal pleasantness.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton announced Thursday the appointment of Dr. Mark Hurst to the position of medical director. Previously, Hurst worked at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) for more than 26 years, most recently holding the positions of director and medical director of the agency.

PUBLIC SAFETY

The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on a public safety issue that has occupied Gov. Mike DeWine for the past three years and that the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board is now addressing in an effort to minimize the dangers of high-speed pursuits. The family of a woman severely injured in a crash by Coitsville police is suing the township for negligent hiring, training and supervision of the officer. The township says such omissions do not meet the exception to government immunity enacted by the General Assembly.

The Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Office of Fire Services issued a reminder that the nomination period for the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame and Fire Awards closes on Thursday, June 20. The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS offer a joint awards program that provides an opportunity for firefighters, family members and friends to honor the sacrifices made by Ohio’s firefighters and educators.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Legislators of both parties on the Controlling Board called out state agencies in the last meeting of the fiscal year, telling them that while they understand there will be some growing pains when new administrations take over, there is concern over the number of no-bid and out-of-state contracts that were submitted for the meeting. Monday’s meeting was the busiest for the Controlling Board of the fiscal year as agencies looked to get contracts and spending approved before the end of the month. There were 241 items total on the agenda, with most of them getting approved without comment from lawmakers. But many of those that were held were for out-of-state entities or were asking for a waiver of competitive selection.

Save for two Board of Pharmacy rules placed in “To Be Refiled” status before Thursday’s meeting per an early morning request from the board, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) cleared the 85 items on its agenda for the day with no comment or testimony. The committee returns to its regular schedule in July, next meeting on Monday, July 15 at 1:30 p.m.

TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE

Companies that allow car owners to share their vehicles with others appeared before the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee Thursday to say that, while they do not oppose regulation or some form of “guardrails” around their emerging industry, some of the provisions of SB161 (Hottinger-Dolan) treat them too much like traditional car rental companies.

TREASURER OF STATE

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague said Thursday that a new ResultsOHIO initiative seeks to improve on, rather than replace, current government-funded interventions that may lack a track record of success.

WORKFORCE

The “national spotlight” will soon focus on the Midwest, Gov. Mike DeWine said in his administration’s first meeting of the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board Wednesday, and Ohio should be in the lead when that happens. Board members, including Chairman Pat Tiberi, were appointed on Monday, and they heard presentations on several components of the DeWine administration’s workforce development and education initiatives.

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