Friday, Aug. 11, 2017
Ohio Third Frontier Commission voted unanimously to award $8 million to
NineSigma to manage the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge. The challenge will focus
on attaining and advancing new ideas through competition, to find innovative
solutions to address prevention, treatment and overdose response. According to
Keith Jenkins of the Ohio Development Services Agency, $1 million of the award
will go to administrative overhead, while $7 million will be used to pay out
prize money to organizations. Jenkins also pointed out that NineSigma has
managed similar competitions all over the country.
Donald Trump's announcement that his administration will be taking steps to
declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency and providing more federal
resources to fight it drew applause from Ohio figures. Trump told reporters
that the White House is working on the official paperwork.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
what may come next in the federal health care debate, Jocelyn Guyer of Manatt
Health Solutions in Washington, D.C., told attendees at this week's National
Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit that U.S. Sen. Rob
Portman's (R-OH) proposal could well be one that returns to active
consideration. According to Guyer, Portman's plan -- included in the Senate
replacement bill to the Affordable Care Act repeal and replace proposal -- was
designed to give states a way to replace some of the coverage lost if the
Medicaid expansion were eliminated.
Ohio State Fair's 2017 Sale of Champions livestock auction brought in a total
of $284,000, according to the Ohio Expositions Commission. On the sale bill
were grand champion and reserve champion market lambs, market barrows and
market cattle, as well as grand champion market goats, grand champion and
reserve champion market chickens, grand champion market turkeys, and a block of
Swiss cheese to represent the seven dairy champions. This year's sale broke one
record. The Reserve Grand Champion Market Barrow sold for $32,000, breaking the
previous record of $31,000 set in 2013.
2017 Ohio State Fair concluded its 12-day run with an estimated 801,031
attendees entering the gates, reflecting a 13 percent decrease from 2016,
according to the Ohio Expositions Commission. Fair attendance was 921,214 in
2016 and 982,305 in 2015, according to the Ohio Expositions Commission. Next
year's fair will run Wednesday, July 25 through Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.
Ohio Attorney General's Office has been asked to weigh in on whether a county
board of elections is in fact a political subdivision or a function of the
state, and whether boards of elections may therefore impose residency
requirements on their members and employees.
AUDITOR OF STATE
schools subject to claw-back after being overpaid by the state could face
further financial penalties if they don't seek a proportional reimbursement
from their sponsors and management companies, Auditor of State Dave Yost said.
In a guidance letter to charters, Yost said schools found to have been overpaid
by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) for lacking documented proof of
student participation should retain legal counsel to determine whether
restitution should be sought.
campaign supporting the Drug Price Relief Act has filed a complaint seeking to
force their opposition to reveal a more detailed list of their campaign
contributors. "The complaint filed with the Ohio Elections Commission
alleges that the opponents have failed to comply with state campaign finance
disclosure laws, including failing to file a complete and accurate list of
donors, the essence of such laws," said Don McTigue, an election law attorney
for Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices, the proponents of Issue 2 slated for
the November ballot.
new poll conducted by SurveyUSA for WOIO-TV in Cleveland finds that despite a
large marketing blitz that started earlier in the summer by both sides, Ohioans
still don't know much about Issue 2, the Drug Price Relief Act. The proposal
would limit what the state pays for prescription drugs to no higher than what
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for the same drug. Proponents say
it will reduce the costs of prescription drugs and save the state money, while
opponents argue it will raise the cost of drugs for those who don't obtain
their drugs through a state source.
on Issue 2, the campaign committee supporting the Drug Price Relief Act on the
November ballot, said Thursday that it has filed an additional complaint with
the Ohio Elections Commission accusing opponents of the issue of intentionally
hiding their funding sources, in violation of Ohio law.
off to a good start," Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Tim
Keen told Hannah News after
preliminary revenue figures came out for July -- the first month of the new
biennium and the new revenue forecasts. Estimates were only off "one-tenth
of 1 percent" or approximately $2.2 million out of revenues of nearly $1.7
billion for the month.
push for tighter peace officer recruiting and training standards begun in the
last General Assembly continues in the new biennium with remaining GRF funds
from 131-HB64 (R. Smith) and new grant money for law enforcement agencies being
certified by the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS). The FY18-19
biennial budget, HB49 (R. Smith) provides the community-police collaborative $1
million in each fiscal year for law enforcement grants and support for database
development on police use of force, a public awareness campaign, and state
assistance with policy-making and policing manuals at law enforcement agencies.
new report in a series of studies conducted by the Woodstock Institute shows
that, in various cities around the country, banks are reluctant to make small
loans to businesses in low-income areas and minority communities. It's the
third in the "Patterns of Disparity" series focusing on specific
American cities, this time examining Detroit, Michigan and Richmond, Virginia.
W. Halkias, a member of the Plain Local Schools Board of Education in Stark
County, has been nominated as the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA)
president-elect. If he is elected during OSBA's statewide conference in
November, he will become president of the organization in 2019 after a term as
Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) has introduced legislation ensuring all money
recovered from overpayments to charter and online schools would go to local
school districts. SB175, introduced Monday, would establish that all money
recovered from overpayments to charter schools would be returned to the
district from which it was deducted, regardless of the type of audit or review.
Board of Education Freshman Martha Manchester told Hannah News in an interview that, despite being appointed to the
board by Gov. John Kasich in January 2017, it was beneficial to endure the rigors
of a campaign first. Manchester ran in Western Ohio's 1st District, where Linda
Haycock won with approximately 38 percent of the vote, while Manchester
received 24 percent of the vote in the four-person contest.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria this week announced the 10
teachers who now have the title of 2018 Teacher of the Year for their State
Board of Education districts, according to the Ohio Department of Education
(ODE). The awards are part of the Ohio Teacher of the Year program.
face a new challenge in light of a recent Brookings Institution report on the
long-term effects of pre-K programs: What needs to be done to avoid squandering
the billions spent on pre-K education? How can a system be created to sustain
the boost pre-K education gives the children? These questions grew out of a
recently completed review of 400 studies regarding the effectiveness of pre-K
programs by a group of leading pre-K researchers released in April by the
Brookings Institution and the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has switched its position on the way Ohio
cleans up its voter rolls, filing an amicus brief supporting Ohio Secretary of
State Jon Husted in a lawsuit challenging the state on removing voters for not
casting ballots in several consecutive elections. The U.S. Supreme Court will
be hearing an appeal in A. Philip
Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition (NEOCH) v. Jon Husted,
which challenged the way Ohio cleans up its voter rolls through what it calls
the supplemental process.
around Ohio saw 11 local issues on Tuesday's special election ballot, and they
rejected more than half of them, according to unofficial election results. Portage
County voters rejected a combo levy to build and renovate Crestwood Local
School District facilities, and also rejected an additional tax levy for
Waterloo Local School District to pay for current expenses. Voters in Madison
and Franklin counties rejected an additional tax levy for Madison-Plains Local
national unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.3 percent in July, down from 4.4
percent in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Total
non-farm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, with the country
seeing increases in food services and drinking places, professional and
business services, and health care, the bureau said in a news release.
Employment growth has averaged 184,000 per month thus far this year, in line
with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.
first-ever American Wind Week runs Monday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 12 to
mark the contribution of wind generation to the U.S. energy market, the
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced Monday. AWEA designated the
week to recognize that wind power is now the largest source of renewable energy
capacity in the U.S. and supports over 100,000 jobs throughout the 50 states.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that oversees Ohio's regional
transmission organization (RTO), will return to its first quorum in half year
following U.S. Senate confirmation of two appointees of President Donald Trump.
The Senate voted last week to confirm Neil Chatterjee, senior energy advisor to
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Robert Powelson, member and
former chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and current
president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
the electric distribution grid from one managed by traditional utilities to one
operated by a "financially disinterested entity" could help Ohioans
and other Americans tap the advantages of distributed energy, the Solar Energy
Industries Association (SEIA) says in a new white paper. The report says
distribution grid planning must evolve from the largely closed process that is
its current state -- an energy "black box" -- to one that allows for
transparency and ensures distributed energy resources like rooftop solar is
Sen. Sean O'Brien (D-Cortland) this week was named the 2017 Legislator of the
Year by the Ohio Propane Gas Association during its 69th annual summer
convention in Geneva-on-the-Lake.
Fuels Ohio named Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) its 2017 Public Official of the
Year at their annual Midwest Green Fleet Forum.
legislators and energy officials are busy addressing the rapid expansion of
solar power by creating policies, regulations and programs that reflect their
state's goals and energy markets, according to a new report issued by the
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Association
of State Energy Officials (NASEO). The report was released this week during NCSL's
43rd annual Legislative Summit in Boston.
University of Toledo (UT) graduate student in biology who has been working to
restore giant, ancient sturgeon to Lake Erie was recently selected as a
finalist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Sea
Grant Knauss Fellowship. As a finalist, Jessica Sherman Collier will spend a
year working in Washington, D.C. on water resource policy, according to a news
release from UT.
diesel fuel constituents found in the spilled drilling fluid in Stark County
wetlands did not appear as a result of the horizontal directional drilling
(HDD) process, according to Rover Pipeline LLC. Energy Transfer Partners Vice
President Chris Sonneborn wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) saying that Rover never requested or approved the use of diesel fuel in
its HDD process. He said the company will reiterate to employees and
contractors the importance of following the FERC certificate, hire additional
security and have a third-party engineer oversee drilling operations.
in statehouses across the United States have approved 133 immigration-related
laws this year, representing a 90 percent increase compared to 2016, according
to a report issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures during the
Legislative Summit in Boston. The "Report on State Immigration Laws"
summarizes laws and resolutions enacted between January and June 2017.
casinos and racinos saw a moderate increase in revenue in July, in most cases
easily beating out many earnings figures from a year ago. According to the
monthly report released Monday by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the
casinos earned a combined $69.9 million in July, up from $64 million last month
and $66.1 million in July 2016. Ohio's seven racinos report $84.5 million in
the first month of this new fiscal year, up from $78.1 million in June and
$80.1 million in July 2016.
Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) of the Speaker's Task Force on Alzheimer's and
Dementia announced non-legislative members of the panel Friday and its calendar
for August–October. The task force was formed to spread dementia awareness and
understanding and to provide those living with dementia and Alzheimer's
resources to keep them independent longer and to decrease the cost of the
disease, according to Pelanda. She says the panel has the goal of providing
collaboration between counties and the state through dementia outreach efforts,
creating dementia friendly programs, and creating the availability of respite
care for those in need.
their first meeting, members heard about the scope of the disease, how Ohioans
are affected by it, and programs that are in place to help those with dementia.
Pelanda said no more than three bills will come out of the task force, which
must report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by the end
of the year. Lawmakers hope to create a statewide Alzheimer's and dementia care
plan out of the task force's work.
than 6,000 state legislators, legislative staff, federal officials and others
from across the country and world made their way to Boston for the
annual National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Summit from Sunday to Wednesday, Aug. 6-9.
President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said Thursday that he anticipates the chamber
will take up some of the House veto overrides when the Senate is next in
session on Wednesday, Aug. 23, but also that the chamber could wait to do so
during September sessions.
effective are state legislatures was a question posed to lawmakers gathered in
Boston for the 43rd Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures. To
answer that, one must first determine how to measure effectiveness, said Karl
Kurtz, director of NCSL's Trust for Representative Democracy, a civic education
campaign, and a principal in Legis Matters based in Colorado, who moderated the
made during the week include the following:
Michael L Gonidakis of Dublin (Franklin County) reappointed to the State
Medical Board for a term beginning Aug. 8, 2017 and ending July 31, 2022.
Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) (Montgomery County) and Rep. Andrew Brenner
(R-Powell) (Delaware County) to the Early Childhood Advisory Council for terms
beginning Aug. 8, 2017 and continuing at the pleasure of the governor.
HEALTH AND HUMAN
Monday report on health care costs, accessibility and outcomes by personal
finance site WalletHub found that Ohio is near the middle among all 50 states
and the District of Columbia. The report said Ohio was 22nd overall, with
sub-rankings of ninth in costs, 14th in access and 38th in outcomes. Analysts
used "35 measures" related to the three areas to determine the
overall rank, according to WalletHub.
Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is urging parents to make sure their kids are
up-to-date on vaccines against serious diseases for the back-to-school season. To emphasize the importance of vaccinations,
and to ensure that children are protected with all the immunizations they need,
ODH is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in
recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
Ohio Academy of Family Physicians has announced that Dr. John (Jack) O'Handley
will receive its 2017 Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award. O'Handley is
the medical director for Mount Carmel Health System Community Outreach in
Columbus, where he precepts medical students and residents on the Outreach
Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) offered an overview of health services
provided in Ohio schools in a recently issued report that called for more
health services across the board. The report is the second in a series of four
about intersections of health and education outcomes, and it focuses on the
types of health professionals working in schools; partnerships for providing
health services; and the growing need for mental health services in schools.
Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice (OCHCH) announced Thursday that it has
selected former House aide and lobbyist Joe Russell to serve as its new executive
director. Prior to joining OCHCH, Russell served as the director of policy and
advocacy for the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental
Wednesday report by personal finance site WalletHub found that Ohio leads the
U.S. for the most student debt among all 50 states and the District of
Columbia. Analysts used 10 key metrics, ranging from "average student debt
to unemployment rate among the population aged 25 to 34 to share of students
with past-due loan balances," according to WalletHub.
Ohio State University (OSU) researcher is conducting a multi-state study
testing for swine flu as pigs infected with a flu virus were confirmed at two
recent county fairs in Ohio. Andrew Bowman of OSU's Department of Veterinary
Preventive Medicine has found that, on average, one out of every four fairs he
attends every year has at least one pig infected with the Influenza A Virus
Infecting Swine (IAV-S).
said donors gave in record numbers in FY17, with more than 267,000 donors
contributing over $532 million to education, research, athletics and
innovation, including a cash total of $403 million. The university said
fundraising increased almost 17 percent from FY16, when the university drew a
then-record $457 million, including $396 million in cash, from 246,000 donors.
The new figures included nearly $105 million in contributions from more than
78,000 alumni, while current students and parents gave more than $5 million.
attorneys face a persistent gender barrier in courtrooms ranging from state to
federal, trial to appellate, and civil to criminal. That's the word from the
New York State Bar Association, which finds only one out of four lawyers
serving in a lead counsel role are women. The Task Force on Women's Initiatives
under the bar association's Commercial & Federal Litigation Section has
issued the report "If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women
Attorneys in the Courtroom and in Alternative Dispute Resolution."
Justice Maureen O'Connor has been elected president of the Conference of Chief
Justices (CCJ) and chair of the National Center for State Courts' (NCSC) Board
of Directors. The one-year positions became effective this week during CCJ's
annual conference and NCSC's Board of Directors meetings in Philadelphia.
Thursday report by personal finance site WalletHub found Ohio is the third most
lenient for DUI offenses among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The
first and second spots were held by South Dakota and D.C., respectively, with
Idaho and North Dakota tied for fourth and Maryland rounding out fifth.
Analysts used 15 key metrics, according to WalletHub, that were divided into
criminal penalties and prevention. Ohio was ranked 16th most lenient for
criminal penalties and fifth most lenient for prevention.
first pot cultivator licenses will likely be awarded in November, Kasich
administration officials running the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program
(MMCP) said Thursday. Addressing members of the Medical Marijuana Advisory
Committee, officials also sought to ease worries about the potential lack of
institutions of higher education to provide laboratory testing in the first
year, noting private labs can be issued licenses as early as June 5, 2018. The
entire program is required by law to be up and running by Sept. 8, 2018.
top level officials in the Trump administration's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) addressed attendees at the National Conference of State
Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit Sunday, giving basically the same answer
to some of the stickier questions from the state legislators: "We don't
want to tell the states what to do." This is why this administration
supports giving states greater flexibility because "they know" best
how to handle issues ranging from safety net questions, mental health parity,
opioid response, etc.
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has published a new
primer on the Medicaid program. Entitled "Understanding Medicaid: A Primer
for State Legislators," the publication summarizes key elements of the
months of being pushed by public officials from both major parties to release
their strategy to stop Asian Carp from invading the Great Lakes, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers (USACE) at last issued its tentative plan Monday. The
tentatively selected plan is the "Technology Alternative – Complex Noise
with Electric Barrier," according to a news release from USACE. The plan
includes the following measures: non-structural measures, complex noise, water
jets, engineered channel, electric barrier, flushing lock, boat launches and
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has released its outdoor recreation
public survey, which aims to help park districts, nature preserves and others
in the community understand trends in Ohio and set priorities for funding and
improvements. Ohio University's (OU) Voinovich School of Leadership and Public
Affairs' final report for the 2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation
Plan (SCORP) analyzed 5,059 completed surveys from respondents from all of
Ohio's 88 counties, providing insight into the desires of the state's
are now being accepted for the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame (HOF), the
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced Tuesday. Selection
criteria and a nomination form are available at ohiodnr.gov/HallOfFame. Online nominations
must be submitted no later than Tuesday, Sept. 5. The online form may also be
printed and mailed to ODNR Communications, 2045 Morse Rd., Building D-3,
Columbus 43229. Printed forms also must be received no later than Sept. 5.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced Wednesday that it has
signed a memorandum of understanding with American Electric Power (AEP) by
which the parties will negotiate for the state to purchase a major portion of
AEP's 60,000-acre ReCreation Land property in Eastern Ohio. The deal could
become the most significant expansion of public recreation opportunities in the
state's recent history, according to a news release from the department. ODNR
Director James Zehringer said the land could be used by the state for a wide
range of outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing.
she avoided the fray of upcoming elections, former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann
Davidson shared ways she's seen the political landscape change and her goals
for increasing the number of women in public office during a forum at the
Columbus Metropolitan Club Wednesday. The event also featured former Columbus Dispatch editor Joe Hallett,
who asked questions before the floor was opened to the audience.
legislators from all 50 states gathered in Boston for the annual National
Conference of State Legislatures Summit Sunday and will continue swapping ideas
on policymaking through Wednesday. The opening session, titled "From
Politics to Statesmanship: Solving Problems in a Bipartisan World," was a
panel discussion about how Massachusetts lawmakers have managed to get things
accomplished despite the fact that the governor is Republican while the House
and Senate are firmly under the control of Democrats.
want problem-solvers, not partisan ideologues, political consultant and
pollster Frank Luntz told a gathering of state lawmakers from across the
country at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Boston.
Deb Peters of South Dakota became the 45th president of the National Conference
of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the annual Legislative Summit in Boston.
Peters, a Republican, succeeds Democratic Senator Dan Blue of North Carolina.
NCSL, a bipartisan organization that serves the nation's 7,383 state lawmakers
and more than 20,000 legislative staff throughout the country, alternates its
leadership annually between the two parties.
presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin closed out the 2017 Legislative
Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Wednesday by
providing some insights into the presidency of Donald Trump and finding some
bits of advice for him in the way three of the presidents she has "lived
with the longest" conducted themselves: Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt
and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR).
manufacturer of the Fire Ball ride that malfunctioned on the first day of the Ohio
State Fair, killing an 18-year-old man and injuring seven others, said over the
weekend that "excessive corrosion" was to blame for the accident.
Albert Kroon, product manager for KMG International, said in a statement posted
on the company's Facebook page that the company conducted an investigation into
what caused the ride to malfunction on July 26 when a passenger-carrying
gondola detached from the supporting sweep arm.
Ohio Optometric Association (OOA) is urging Ohioans to educate themselves on
how they can safely view North America's first solar eclipse since 1979. Now
less than two weeks away, the eclipses will cover 80 to 90 percent of the sun
in in Ohio and will last from two to three hours, according to the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Controlling Board members approved all 71 items before them Monday, including
one for $53.5 million in highway operating funds by the Ohio Department of
Transportation (ODOT). Nine requests drew questions before approval and one on
the agenda was deferred by agency request.
Department of Commerce (DOC) Director Jacqueline Williams on Monday announced
the appointment of William Spurgeon to the position of chief deputy state fire
marshal. Spurgeon was previously the chief of the Division of State Fire
Marshal's Code Enforcement Bureau. In his new role, he will be responsible for
assisting State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey with identifying the division's goals
and objectives, and leading day-to-day operations of the office. He started his
new position on Monday, according to a news release from DOC.
10 years after lawmakers created a commission to study and advocate for the
interests of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, the group finally held its
first meeting at the Riffe Center Thursday. At Thursday's meeting, members
introduced themselves and discussed plans for future work, including
preliminary plans to determine a more exact number of African immigrants living
in the state.
Drenkard told lawmakers gathered in Boston for the annual National Conference
of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit Sunday that taxing final
consumption requires taxes on all goods and services in a discussion on the
future of the sales tax.
last minute addition to a National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
panel, White House Council on Environmental Quality's Associate Director for
Infrastructure Alex Herrgott took the opportunity to promote President Donald
Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure initiative that is currently in the process
of being developed.
Smith, an assistant professor of law and nationally recognized expert on AVs at
the University of South Carolina, said that state laws regulating autonomous
vehicles (AVs) were made in good faith but fall short. Bryant was part of a
panel discussing the legal landscape of AVs at the Legislative Summit of the
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Boston.
Office of Ohio Inspector General (IG) issued a 34-page report Thursday that
found "no reasonable cause" to believe the Ohio Bureau of Workers'
Compensation (BWC) had acted improperly in issuing $8 million in refunds to
public universities and colleges participating in the state insurance fund. BWC
Internal Audit Manager Keith Elliott had contacted the IG in January 2014 to
question the 2013 refunds -- ostensibly for excess contributions paid to the