Small Business Legislative Report
132nd General Assembly

This legislative report is intended to keep section members up to date on legislation pending before the Ohio General Assembly.
Prepared by: Government Affairs Staff
Report created on July 22, 2018
 
HB49OPERATING BUDGET (SMITH R) Creates FY 2018-2019 main operating budget.
 Current Status:   8/22/2017 - Consideration of Governor's Veto
 
HB75PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE-ARMED FORCES (GAVARONE T, MERRIN D) To establish an expedited process to grant a professional license to an individual who is on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is the spouse of such an individual, and holds a valid license in another state.
 Current Status:   3/15/2017 - House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, (Second Hearing)
 
HB78ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES (RETHERFORD W) To revise the laws governing the provision of adult protective services.
 Current Status:   3/9/2017 - House Aging and Long Term Care, (First Hearing)
 
HB138PAY DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS (SMITH K, BOYD J) To require the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to establish a system for individuals to make anonymous complaints regarding employers discriminating in the payment of wages.
 Current Status:   3/29/2017 - Referred to Committee House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor
 
HB158UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION-MILITARY TRANSFERS (PERALES R, CRAIG H) To permit persons who quit work to accompany the person's spouse on a military transfer to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.
 Current Status:   3/20/2018 - Senate Finance, (Second Hearing)
 
HB263OUTDOOR DINING-DOGS (LANESE L) To authorize a food service operation or retail food establishment to allow a person to bring a dog in an outdoor dining area of the establishment or operation under specified conditions.
 Current Status:   6/27/2018 - Consideration of Senate Amendments; House Does Concur, Vote 81-11
 
HB268WORKERS COMPENSATION-SELF-INSURERS (HENNE M) To make changes to the Workers' Compensation Law with respect to self-insuring employers.
 Current Status:   12/13/2017 - House Insurance, (Third Hearing)
 
SB3WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (BEAGLE B, BALDERSON T) To revise the laws governing the state's workforce development system, programs that may be offered by primary and secondary schools, certificates of qualification for employment, and the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency, and to designate the first week of May as In-Demand Jobs Week.
 Current Status:   11/6/2017 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; Eff. 2/5/2018
 
SB38RAISE MINIMUM WAGE (YUKO K) To raise the minimum wage; to eliminate the prohibition against political subdivisions establishing a different minimum wage; to raise the salary threshold above which certain employees are exempt from the overtime law; and to create a uniform standard to determine whether an individual performing services for an employer is an employee of that employer.
 Current Status:   2/7/2017 - Introduced
 
SB131EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION-TAX CREDITS (DOLAN M) To provide that compensation paid to certain home-based employees may be counted for purposes of an employer qualifying for and complying with the terms of a Job Creation Tax Credit.
 Current Status:   6/6/2017 - Referred to Committee House Ways and Means
 
SB140PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP GRANTS (SCHIAVONI J) To create the Public-Private Partnership Grant Program for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to develop, enhance, and promote educational programs to address regional workforce needs; to create the Sector Partnership Grant Program for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to identify and provide grants to industry partnerships; to support programs that improve access to workforce training opportunities for students; to support economic development and revitalization programs; and to make an appropriation.
 Current Status:   6/19/2018 - Senate Finance, (First Hearing)
 
SB147OHIO RURAL JOBS ACT (HITE C) To enact the "Ohio Rural Jobs Act" which authorizes a nonrefundable tax credit for insurance companies that invest in rural business growth funds, which are certified to provide capital to rural and agricultural businesses.
 Current Status:   9/27/2017 - Senate Ways and Means, (Second Hearing)
 
Week in Review

Week in Review

 

Friday, July 20, 2018

 

 

ADDICTION/SUBSTANCE ABUSE

 

A new series of reports from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) outlines what policies have helped improve opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery, and where the state has significant room for improvement. The "Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard" examines what policies implemented between 2013 and 2017 have had the most impact.

 

AGING

 

Nearly one year after members officially began holding meetings, the House Task Force on Alzheimer's and Dementia released its legislative recommendations for improving care that members hope will be considered before the Legislature heads into the next General Assembly. The report, issued by Task Force Chair Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) Tuesday, focused on two key areas: the training

requirements for individuals providing long-term services and support for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia, and the Ohio Department of Aging's definitions and guidelines governing respite and supportive services for such individuals, their families and their caregivers.

 

AGRICULTURE

 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODAg) is now offering produce growers free, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved consultations to help farmers comply with the upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule.

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a new initiative to help child victims of crime. Funded by grants from the federal Victims of Crime Act, DeWine's office said it is setting aside at least $25 million to fund children's programs in areas such as providing comprehensive services to child victims of physical or sexual abuse; addressing mental health issues in children who have experienced trauma; providing trauma-informed care training to interested Ohio schools; helping children whose families are struggling with substance abuse; researching the impact of child abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences; and locating safe, trauma-informed living environments for children.

 

Implementation of safe harbor for companies that meet cybersecurity requirements under SB220 (Hackett-Bacon) and further increasing youth engagement and entry in cybersecurity fields were key topics of discussion at Thursday's quarterly meeting of Attorney General Mike DeWine's CyberOhio Advisory Board.

 

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a multi-state action Thursday against a Florida-based "nonprofit" accused of misleading donors across the U.S. into believing their money would primarily benefit ex-service members. The action is part of a nationwide crackdown on sham veterans' charities, the AG said. Help the Vets reportedly collected more than $11 million from donors in Ohio and other states between 2014 and 2016 but used less than five percent of it on charitable programming. Instead, the vast majority of funds went to its founder and paid fundraisers, according to DeWine's office.

 

BALLOT ISSUES

 

Ohioans may once again be asked to change their constitution after two groups submitted signatures before the July 4 deadline seeking to put amendments on the November ballot. Secretary of State Jon Husted is expected to announce next week whether the amendments addressing dialysis clinics and drug penalties qualify for the ballot, or whether the groups behind them will need to collect more signatures. The two were among the seven that began the process of trying to get a constitutional amendment before voters since the presidential election in 2016. Where are the other five issues? A check by Hannah News found some have been abandoned, while others continue to collect signatures in hopes of making the ballot in 2019.

 

BUSINESS/CORPORATE

 

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce's Research Foundation Wednesday released recommendations outlining ways to expand the state’s "innovation economy" while leaving exact details on implementation up to policymakers after the November election. Implementing the report, referred to as "Ohio BOLD," would require hundreds of millions of dollars in spending over an extended period of time, according to Brian Hicks, president of the research foundation's board of directors. The report noted, however, that "significant revenue" already exists for the vast majority of resources required by drawing on the Ohio research and development bond fund and JobsOhio's liquor profits, as well as federal workforce funds and private capital investments.

 

CORRECTIONS

 

The rising number of Ohio inmates with severe mental illnesses (SMI) has resulted in increasing costs of psychotropic drugs and struggles to comply with state law, according to an ongoing series of reports from the Center for Community Solutions (CCS). The second and third installments of the center's "By the Numbers 4" report examined the mental health services currently offered in Ohio jails and presented survey results from jail administrators regarding mental health practices. The first installment of the report provided a broad overview and history of the institutionalization of individuals with SMI.

 

DEATH PENALTY

 

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) reported Wednesday morning that the execution of Robert Van Hook had been carried out at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. The time of death was 10:44 a.m.; he died by lethal injection.

 

EDUCATION

 

Sponsors who are shutting down charter schools have a longer and more detailed set of tasks to perform to assure the state the schools' affairs are in order, under a new policy from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) taking effect this summer. The new policy comes after the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West earlier this year shut down Ohio's largest online charter school, Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). Updates to the policy governing charter closings were already in the works before the January shutdown, according to ODE.

 

The second round of grants to help schools replace lead plumbing fixtures will conclude at the end of the month, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) notes. The program is offered through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), successor agency to the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

 

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recently posted application materials for organizations interested in becoming sponsors of charter schools. The deadline to apply for the 2018-2019 cycle is Monday, Dec. 31.

 

The Executive Committee of the State Board of Education voted Wednesday to approve board members' evaluation of Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, including a recommendation for a 2.75 percent raise and payment of $20,000 of his salary that is contingent on his being evaluated as effective. The committee met in executive session for more than an hour before returning to vote on the evaluation.

 

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria floated a template Wednesday for a new, customizable graduation pathway that would have high school students pursue an "anchor experience" -- internship, research, portfolio, community service project -- and then articulate their lessons learned via writing, data analysis, presentations and other means.

 

ELECTIONS 2018

 

Steve Dettelbach, Democratic candidate for attorney general and former U.S. attorney, said Monday that Republican leaders are making excuses for not having pursued Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) earlier. Democrats and critics of Attorney General Mike DeWine and Auditor Dave Yost have recently attacked the two men -- respectively the GOP candidates for governor and attorney general -- for not going after the online charter school sooner, including via criminal investigation. DeWine's office has responded by noting the law limits the attorney general's jurisdiction for original prosecutorial authority.

 

Meanwhile, Yost's campaign criticized Dettelbach over his law firm's defense of drug companies involved in litigation filed by Ohio over the addiction crisis. Citing reporting by the Associated Press, Yost's campaign criticized Dettelbach for not sharing documentation about firewalls he says are in place to protect against conflicts. The campaign also criticized him for not disclosing his firm's role when speaking out publicly in support of the state's litigation.

 

Four Democrats seeking to unseat Republican incumbents reported raising more than their November opponents, according to new campaign finance filings. Democrats in U.S. House Districts 1, 7, 10, and 15 all reported higher fundraising totals for the second quarter of the year, though the incumbents still had more money in the bank.

 

Five candidates have filed to run as Libertarians for statewide office a week after the Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO) regained its status as a minor party in the state. According to the secretary of state's office, Travis Irvine filed to run for governor along with lieutenant governor candidate J. Todd Grayson. Robert C. Coogan has filed to run for state auditor; Dustin R. Nanna has filed to run for secretary of state; and Bruce E. Jaynes has filed to run for U.S. Senate.

 

Secretary of State Jon Husted said Thursday that his office has mailed over 855,000 informational notices to potential voters throughout July as part of a partnership with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

 

The following endorsements were made over the week:

- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund endorsed Richard Cordray for governor.

- The re-election campaign of Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) announced the endorsements of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 and the Ohio State Medical Association PAC.

- Emily's List endorsed Randi Clites, Mary Lightbody, Beth Liston, Allison Russo and Bride Sweeney for the Ohio House and Sharon Sweda for the Ohio Senate.

- The Ohio Federation of Republican Women endorsed Jim Renacci for U.S. Senate; Mike DeWine and Jon Husted for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively; Dave Yost for attorney general; Keith Faber for auditor of state; Frank LaRose for secretary of state; Robert Sprague for treasurer; and Mary DeGenaro and Craig Baldwin for Ohio Supreme Court.

 

FEDERAL

 

President Donald Trump's joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin was met with swift condemnation from American leaders from both major political parties on Monday, including Gov. John Kasich, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). During the event, Trump took Putin's side and challenged the accuracy of the findings of his own law enforcement and intelligence agencies, which have concluded the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election. "The president's appearance with Putin was not in America's best interest. Simply put, President Trump is wrong. Putin's

words should never be given equal weight of our own director of national intelligence (DNI)," Kasich said in a statement.

 

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters that he was troubled that President Donald Trump contradicted U.S. intelligence agencies' assessments that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election during Monday's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he said Russia must be held accountable for its actions. Regarding whether or not Russia "meddled" in the 2016 election, Portman said, "I don't think that's a matter of question, I think it's a matter of fact."

 

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said Wednesday that intelligence officers he has spoken to believe that the Kremlin taped President Donald Trump's private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which occurred with only translators present apart from the two heads of state before Monday's media conference. He added that while he has not levied an allegation of treason against the president, he said he was "very concerned" with the president's comments.

 

Brown also highlighted his efforts to secure provisions on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would secure defense spending contracts for Ohio businesses and keep government intelligence and defense jobs in Ohio.

 

GAMING/GAMBLING

 

Gambling addicts seeking to ban themselves from Ohio's casinos and racinos will soon be able to do so anonymously under a one-stop-shop state program. Proposed administrative rules from the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) and Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC) creating the Ohio Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) were recently approved by both state agencies.

 

As the Legislature begins to look at legalizing sports betting in Ohio, the director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission said that they are still learning about what other states are doing to regulate it and the regulatory structure will ultimately be left up to lawmakers. Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) has introduced HB714 and Sen. John Eklund (R-Chardon), SB316, placeholder bills that will be used to explore sports gambling in Ohio after the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that a federal ban on the

practice is unconstitutional. Casino Control Director Matt Schuler told reporters Wednesday that if the General Assembly asks the commission to be the regulatory agency over sports gambling, "we will give it 100 percent, but it is really their call."

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

 

The House will meet next Tuesday, July 24 at 11 a.m. for a final vote on payday lending restrictions in HB123 (Koehler-Ashford) -- with co-sponsor Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) saying he will ask for agreement to Senate amendments. In addition, Republicans plan to name J. Todd Smith as the new 43rd District representative. Smith won the Republican primary in the race to replace former Rep. Jeff Rezabek (R-Dayton), who ran for Montgomery County juvenile judge rather than seek re-election. However, in the meantime, Gov. John Kasich appointed Rezabek to that office after the incumbent, Judge Nick Kuntz, died.

 

Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) members had lengthy questions for Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) witnesses on water system rules challenged by two churches and several system operators, but ultimately approved the rules in Monday's hearing. Also clearing the committee were rules from the Ohio Department of Transportation on advertising billboards that maintained a requirement for two permits when a billboard has a border or trim, in keeping with a federal agreement. All other JCARR items were approved without discussion.

 

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) is looking to take advantage of a legislative break to get Statehouse construction projects finished before lame duck session, though CSRAB Executive Director Laura Battocletti told the board Thursday that she is unsure if all will get done before lawmakers return later this year.

 

GOVERNOR

 

Appointments made during the week include the following:

- Erin B. Lunday of Beavercreek (Greene County) to the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children for a term beginning July 13, 2018, and continuing at the pleasure of the governor.

- Peter M. McLinden of Lebanon (Warren County) to the Ohio Real Estate Commission for a term beginning July 13, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019.

- William R. Knapke of Fort Recovery (Mercer County) reappointed to the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission for a term beginning July 13, 2018, and ending June 30, 2022.

- Kathryn "Kate" Bartter of Columbus (Franklin County) and Bethany Gibson of Ashville (Pickaway County) to the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission for terms beginning July 13, 2018, and ending June 30, 2022.

- Paul F. Wise of Westerville (Delaware County), Kelly Bensman of Toledo (Lucas County), and Francis J. Szollosi reappointed to the Materials Management Advisory Council for terms beginning July 13, 2018, and ending July 1, 2021.

- Helen S. Qin of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) to the New Americans Advisory Committee for a term beginning July 13, 2018, and ending May 14, 2019.

- Jay C. Russell of Medina (Medina County) reappointed to the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission for a term beginning July 16, 2018 and ending July 1, 2022.

- Rashmi V. Nemade of Columbus (Franklin County) to the Third Frontier Commission for a term beginning July 17, 2018, and ending Sept. 28, 2018.

- Jason R. Loree of Youngstown (Mahoning County) reappointed to the Statewide Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network Steering Committee for a term beginning July 18, 2018, and ending Dec. 31, 2020.

 

GREAT LAKES

 

Gov. John Kasich's recent executive order tightening regulations on agricultural enterprises in the Western Basin of Lake Erie is inappropriate, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) told reporters Monday. "They intentionally, I think, kept the Legislature in the dark about that," Obhof said following a non-voting session in the Senate chambers. "We have several branches of government. Significant policy decisions should be made by the legislative branch, and there is a process for that. Issuing orders that have not been discussed or shared with the Legislature is not the way to go about that." Kasich announced the executive order, which has also been criticized by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, during a Statehouse event last week.

 

Then on Wednesday, House Republican legislative leaders and farmers said Gov. John Kasich should rescind his executive order tightening regulations on agricultural enterprises operating in the

Western Basin of Lake Erie.

 

The Kasich administration was dealt a setback Thursday as the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission (OSWCC) rebuffed its request to declare eight watersheds in the Western Basin of Lake Erie as "in distress." By a count of 4-2, members of the commission voted to send the proposal to subcommittee for further consideration, which OSWCC Chairperson Tom Price said could take from six to nine months.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

 

Alan Michaels, dean of Ohio State University's (OSU) Moritz College of Law, will deliver the university's summer commencement address in August, where about 1,500 degrees will be awarded to graduates, the university announced. Michaels plans to step down as dean in June 2019 but will remain part of OSU faculty. The commencement takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

 

A federal class-action lawsuit filed by four former Ohio State University (OSU) wrestlers against the university alleged repeated complaints of sexual abuse and harassment were made against former physician Richard Strauss as early as 1978, without action taken to stop "his rampant sexual misconduct." Strauss committed suicide in 2005. The wrestlers, who were not identified in the filing, are represented by Columbus attorney Simina Vourlis and four attorneys who are part of a national coalition that seeks compensation for sexually abused athletes.

 

A fifth former wrestler, also unidentified, filed a separate federal class-action lawsuit against the university Tuesday making similar allegations. While the four wrestlers in the first lawsuit said they had been abused in the late 1980's and 1990's, the second suit alleged abuse between 1982 and 1984 and also seeks unspecified damages and attorney's fees.

 

Shawnee State University recently announced a new 15-credit hour certificate program focused on providing students an introduction to the history, culture and identity of the Appalachian region. The program will focus on the idea and perceptions around Appalachia and how it is regarded in contemporary culture, media, literature and the arts. It will include service- and project-based learning, as well as technological training and collaborative research.

 

Thanks to a gift from American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio, peer leaders from Ohio University will soon be heading out to lead science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workshops around Athens County. The $6,500 gift from AEP Ohio will support Ohio University's Peer-Led Community Engagement with STEM Program, which is conducted in partnership with the Athens-based Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery. The funding will provide stipends for student leaders, along with funding for venue rentals.

 

At the third meeting of the Joint Committee on Ohio College Affordability, members heard about both the achievements and challenges of providing education at Ohio's 51 independent colleges and universities, and received an overview of the innovative work being done at Western Governors University.

 

Ohio State University announced this week that it ended FY18 with over $600 million in financial gifts to academics, health care, research, athletics and innovation -- more than the university has ever raised in a single year. OSU reports that the gifts came from almost 270,000 donors, one-third of whom are alumni. The number of donors, fundraising activity and cash receipts all broke records for the university.

 

JUDICIAL

 

The Ohio Supreme Court is accepting public comment on a series of proposed rule amendments, one dealing with dispute resolution in cases regarding elder care and another two dealing with the responsibilities of mediators.

 

LIBRARIES

 

At a cost to the state of $7.75 per library per day, all Ohio public library card holders will soon have free, unlimited access to LinkedIn's library of workforce development resources at Lynda.com. The Ohio Library Council (OLC) formally announced the agreement Tuesday. The partnership between LinkedIn, OLC and the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) will be the nation's first such arrangement between LinkedIn and a state library system. The state will pay $710,000 per year as part of the three-year commitment.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 

The Ohio Mayors Alliance called local leaders' relationship with the current governor and Legislature "difficult" Thursday but projected better things for the next state executive, whether that is Democrat Richard Cordray or Republican Mike DeWine. The alliance -- or two key members of its board of directors -- said both candidates are responding positively to its concerns, laid out in two new reports, and both are riding platforms favorable to local governments. The alliance, comprising 20 Democratic and 10 Republican mayors, held a press conference in Columbus to announce the release of five recommendations to DeWine and Cordray as well as a second report on the importance of Ohio's metropolitan areas to Ohio's overall economy.

 

MARIJUANA

 

A 13th company has been awarded a level two provisional medical marijuana cultivator license following its administrative appeal hearing, Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC) senior policy adviser Mark Hamlin said Thursday. Pure OH LLC did not receive the minimum qualifying score on the security section of its application during its original examination by the department, Hamlin told members of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee (MMAC) at the Rhodes State Office Tower. During its Ohio Revised Code Chapter 119 hearing, the company demonstrated that its application included elements that should have resulted in more security section points, putting it over the threshold necessary for a license, Hamlin said.

 

MEDICAID/MEDICAID REFORM

 

Caremark, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) for most of Ohio's Medicaid managed care plans, is suing the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) to block release of the full version of a recent report about PBMs' practices. Caremark filed suit Monday afternoon, saying the report includes proprietary information, disclosure of which "would be devastating to Caremark's entire nationwide business model." The lawsuit is assigned to Judge Jenifer French of Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

 

The Bay Point Marina in Marblehead earned the state's first "platinum" Ohio Clean Marinas Program certification, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced. Bay Point is the first marina to participate in the new tiered certification structure offered by the program, which is a partnership between ODNR and Ohio Sea Grant. "Platinum" is the highest certification level available in the state.

 

The decision to name the state's newest public park and wildlife area after Ohio State University (OSU) and Olympic track legend Jesse Owens was a no-brainer, Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday at the park's dedication. The 5,735-acre Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area, which Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Jim Zehringer said will expand to more than 13,000 acres over the next three years, will provide opportunities for visitors to enjoy outdoor recreational activities including hunting, fishing, hiking and camping. It is located in Morgan County.

 

PENSIONS

 

A panel of witnesses Friday told the congressional Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multi-Employer Pensions that something needs to be done or else businesses will not survive and people who rely on their benefits will be left with nothing. Six witnesses testified as part of a hearing held in the Ohio Statehouse. It was the first hearing held outside of Washington, D.C. The witnesses ranged from business and labor interests to those invested in the pensions who worry they will lose everything. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), panel co-chair, said the solution needs to be bipartisan, a notion echoed by other members of the committee, including U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

 

PEOPLE

 

The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) announced it is looking for a new executive director after Chadwick Smith left to take a position out of state.

 

POLITICS

 

Linda McMahon, the administrator of the federal Small Business Administration, will speak at an Ohio Republican Party luncheon that will be held at noon on Friday, July 27, in Mason, OH. McMahon is the co-founder and former chief executive officer of WWE, based in Stamford, CT. She helped grow WWE from a 13-person regional operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein has told Columbus police to stop enforcing a law that regulates touching between nude and semi-nude dancers and the public, saying the Community Defense Act is "legally problematic" and creates an inequitable application of the law. The law was passed as a part of 127-SB16 (Harris) and regulates sexually-oriented businesses. It was brought to the General Assembly by Citizens for Community Values, and included language on when and where dancers can touch patrons, as well as operating hours for adult businesses. Former Gov. Ted Strickland allowed the bill to become law without his signature.

 

SECRETARY OF STATE

 

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted Monday announced 10,123 new entities filed to do business in Ohio last month, an increase of 289 when compared to June 2017. According to Husted's office, Ohio is currently on track for 2018 to be another record-breaking year for new business filings. Since January, the Buckeye State has seen 66,478 new businesses file, up 3,299 from the same six-month period last year.

 

TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Regional planning officials announced that a proposed high-speed route connecting Pittsburgh and Chicago is moving forward with feasibility and environmental studies. Meanwhile, the company behind the proposed Hyperloop tube transportation network said it hopes to start construction on its next phase sometime at the beginning of the next decade.

 

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

 

Seven people were convicted in June on workers' compensation fraud-related charges, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) announced Friday, and more than $269,000 is owed in restitution. The cases involved six employers and an injured worker who received BWC disability benefits while working in Colorado, with three of the employers accounting for most of the restitution amount.

 

Ohio private employers have until Wednesday, Aug. 15 to complete a "true-up" report for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) so their premiums can be accurately calculated, the bureau announced. "Prior to each policy year (July 1- June 30), employers estimate their projected payroll, allowing BWC to set their premium. At the end of that policy year, employers are required to 'true-up,' meaning they report actual payroll for the policy year that ended June 30 and reconcile any difference in premium paid," BWC explained.

 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Thursday announced a proposal to lower local government rates by 12 percent, with the BWC board of directors set to vote on it on Friday, Aug. 24.

 


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