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Week in Review: Aug. 14, 2022

Written on Aug 14, 2022

FY23-24 CAPITAL APPROPRIATIONS

Office of Budget and Management Director (OBM) Kimberly Murnieks told Hannah News that her office has not yet dipped into the General Revenue Fund (GRF) reserves it was authorized to use in lieu of borrowing for the capital appropriations budget. In the FY23-24 capital appropriations budget, HB687 (Oelslager), lawmakers provided for up to $1.5 billion in GRF cash transfers to finance projects instead of selling bonds, and allowed Murnieks to make additional cash transfers unless disapproved by the House speaker or Senate president. Murnieks said she anticipates transferring GRF to capital accounts this fall. "It will be an iterative process throughout the year," she said. The case for using cash instead of selling bonds has only gotten stronger since passage of HB687, she observed.

FY24-25 BUDGET

As it prepares for the coming FY24-25 budget cycle, the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) is departing from recent practice by not giving state agencies a specific spending level to aim for in their budget requests. The change is enabled by an updated IT system supporting the budget process that will focus on outcomes and supporting data, OBM Director Kim Murnieks told Hannah News in a phone interview. In recent cycles, OBM has often directed agencies to fit their spending requests within a specified proportion of current fiscal year appropriations, sometimes giving them two scenarios to respond to -- 100 percent of current spending and 90 percent, for example. This cycle, maintaining current services is the benchmark, without a percentage figure tied to prior spending. OBM has four deadlines for submission of budget requests:

- Friday, Sept. 16 for licensing boards and commissions.

- Friday, Oct. 14 for small to mid-size agencies.

- Friday, Oct. 28 for cabinet agencies and all other executive agencies.

- Tuesday Nov. 1 for legislative, judicial and statewide elected offices.

ECONOMY

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation added 528,000 jobs in July and the national unemployment rate edged down to 3.5%. Both total nonfarm employment and the unemployment rate have returned to their February 2020 pre-pandemic levels, the agency said Friday. The number of jobs added in July was higher than any other monthly gain in the last four months, which averaged 388,000 jobs. BLS said the nation has added 22 million jobs since its April 2020 low.

WORKFORCE

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted told reporters Tuesday the Intel project has been like climbing a series of mountains, with the initial steps of getting the company to select Ohio and then passage of the CHIPS Act already achieved. Now, he said, the state needs to build Intel's supply chain ecosystem and generate the needed workforce for facility construction and operations. Work on the Licking County site has already begun and is "going full speed ahead." There will be "a lot" of construction jobs, which he told Hannah News are the immediate priority. Ohio's educational institutions -- including four-year colleges, community colleges and high school career centers -- are preparing to build workforce capacity. The workers will also need housing in the area. In addition, Ohio State University's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis recently held two discussions on transportation and environmental effects.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Tuesday that four training providers will receive a total of $592,215 in the third round of the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP), supporting 410 credentials. This round of the program – which helps provide free workforce training to Ohioans who are low-income, under- or unemployed -- was focused on broadband and 5G-related credentials. Credential pathways will include 5G and Broadband Deployment, Wireless Broadband Infrastructures and Certified Fiber Optic Installer, among others. Training will be offered in-person and online so Ohioans can take advantage of the program throughout the state. The training providers are Youngstown State University, Ashland University, the Tri-County Career Center and Washington County Joint Vocational School District. They will be reimbursed up to $3,000 for each completed credential issued.

This feature was provided by Hannah New Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations Staff.