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Week in Review: Sept. 18, 2022

Written on Sep 16, 2022

Is Issue 2 a simple constitutional amendment that would shut the door on local municipalities' allowing noncitizens to vote in elections, or is it full of hidden language that restricts the right to vote for 17-year-olds and ties the hands of future legislatures on expanding voting registration? Proponents of the proposed amendment, which was put on the ballot by the General Assembly as HJR4 (Seitz-Edwards), say it is the former, while an opponent argues it is the latter, and that the language was intentional. Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), a sponsor of the resolution and one of the authors of the official arguments in favor of Issue 2, told Hannah News that he saw the need for the amendment after New York and San Francisco began to allow noncitizens to vote on their local issues.


Census data released Tuesday analyzed income changes, poverty and health insurance in 2021. The new data highlighted the role of federal pandemic aid in reducing child poverty to one of the lowest rates on record. The child poverty rate fell 46 percent in 2021 from 9.7 percent in 2020 to a record low of 5.2 percent in 2021, as measured by the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). This is the lowest SPM child poverty rate on record, officials with the Census Bureau said, and it would not have been achieved without expanded federal assistance like Child Tax Credits. "In the absence of the Child Tax Credit, we would have had poverty only falling from 9.7 to 9.2 percent, so 4 percentage points of the 4.5 percentage point decline are due directly to the Child Tax Credit," Liana Fox, an assistant division chief with the Census Bureau, said.


The state is currently experiencing an "economic renaissance," Ohio Department of Development (DOD) Director Lydia Mihalik told attendees at the Opportunity Ohio forum Wednesday as part of her keynote address, with Intel's groundbreaking the latest example of that. Mihalik said this includes "great things" in both large cities and small towns across the state as well. The daylong event was hosted by Columbus-based consulting firm the Montrose Group. Among examples of "external validation," Mihalik noted Ohio rankings in Site Selection Magazine and CNBC's Top States for Business. The DeWine administration has slashed state spending by $1.2 billion and cut taxes by over $2.2 billion, she continued, while receiving the highest bond rating since 1979 and a recent AAA credit rating. Panel discussions at the event covered topics such as Intel, housing challenges, logistics and electric vehicles.


President Joe Biden, Ohio leaders and Intel officials praised the company's official groundbreaking of its semiconductor plant Friday as a great victory for Ohio and the U.S., while also expressing their commitment to preparing the workforce that will be needed in the coming years. The event came a month after Biden's Aug. 9 signing of the long-awaited CHIPS and Science Act, and several speakers discussed that legislation as well. "This is about our economic security, it's about our national security. It's about good-paying union jobs you can raise a family on. ... Jobs now, jobs for the future, jobs in every part of the country -- we're not going to leave a part behind, there's no need to not develop the whole country. Jobs that show the industrial Midwest is back," Biden said. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said the company will benefit from Ohio's long tradition of manufacturing and the capabilities of its universities. He discussed the idea of making a "Silicon Heartland" in Ohio as the center of leading-edge technology and the workforce needs that will entail, while also noting he started at Intel as a technician with an associate's degree. Gelsinger further said the development was a testament to public and private collaboration, calling it a proud moment regardless of political affiliation.

Intel announced the first phase of funding its Ohio Semiconductor Education and Research Program on the occasion of Friday's groundbreaking ceremony. The tech giant is providing $17.7 million over three years for eight proposals led by the University of Cincinnati, Central State University, Columbus State Community College, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, Ohio University and two from Ohio State University. More than 80 higher education institutions will be involved in the projects. The investment is phase one of Intel's plans to directly invest $50 million in grants to Ohio higher education institutions over the next 10 years as part of efforts to build the necessary manufacturing workforce.


Sometime challenger Bryan Williams left the door open Friday to another run at Ohio Republican Party (ORP) Chairman Bob Paduchik should the latter fall short of expectations for addressing stalled Central Committee business and apparent inconsistencies in party rules after the November election. Central Committee supporters of Vice Chair Williams first tried to amend the agenda with an immediate vote for chair but withdrew the motion in favor of adjourning the organizational meeting with no action on business items and reconvening after Nov. 8 for a possible leadership vote before the regular January meeting. That also failed, despite Williams' support, and members went on to complete the short agenda by reauthorizing executive and finance committees and a campaign account for federal candidates.

The Ohio Democratic Party's Executive Committee Tuesday selected new officers and issued endorsements for candidates for the State Board of Education in a virtual meeting. Andre Washington, who also serves as president of the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, was re-elected as vice chair of the party. Washington was first selected for the position when Chair Elizabeth Walters took over the party. Walters praised Washington on Tuesday, calling him a good partner, and said Washington wears many hats across many groups. Former Ohio Education Association President Patricia Frost Brooks was re-elected as the party's treasurer, while Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney was elected as party secretary. Feeney succeeds long-time party secretary Bill DeMora, who is running for Ohio Senate.


The race to replace U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is virtually tied, according to a new poll from USA Today Network Ohio and Suffolk University. Democratic candidate Tim Ryan holds a slight lead over Republican candidate J.D. Vance, at 46.6 percent to 45.6 percent. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent. The poll also shows Gov. Mike DeWine with a commanding lead over Democratic challenger Nan Whaley, at 53.8 percent to 39.2 percent. DeWine holds the lead despite signing 133-SB23 (Roegner), which bans abortion when fetal cardiac activity is detected. According to the poll, 68 percent of likely voters disapprove of the "heartbeat" law.

According to the poll, Justice Sharon Kennedy leads Justice Jennifer Brunner for chief justice 42.20 percent to 41.80 percent, with 15.8 percent undecided. Justice Pat Fischer is leading Democrat Terri Jamison 42.20 percent to 40.60 percent, with 16.80 percent undecided. Justice Pat DeWine leads Democrat Marilyn Zayas 43.40 percent to 41 percent, with 15.40 percent undecided.

Among other questions asked by the poll:

- 84 percent said the candidates for governor and U.S. Senate should debate before the November election, while 10 percent said no. U.S. Senate candidates J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan have committed to debating each other before the election, but Gov. Mike DeWine has not accepted a debate invitation with opponent Nan Whaley.

- Inflation and the economy were the issues most important to respondents (27.8 percent), followed by "threats to democracy" (19.8 percent) and abortion (13.4 percent). Drugs/opioids was the least chosen issue at 1.8 percent.

- Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) said they have never heard of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), who is expected to go on trial next year on charges of corruption.


The Fair Districts Ohio coalition Thursday said they were still looking into a new redistricting reform effort as the Ohio Redistricting Commission took no action on a new congressional plan and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor indicated she would join efforts to pass a reform during her "State of the Judiciary" speech.


As part of a "Next Generation Jobs Tour," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted Monday announced a new project to add high-speed Internet at three community recreation centers in Dayton, helping both children and adults have service there and enabling on-site programs teaching digital skills. The project will also provide educational support for afterschool and summer camp programming. The state's Office of BroadbandOhio is contributing $250,000 for the effort, which supports the Greater Dayton Recreation Center, Lohrey Recreation Center and Northwest Recreation Center.

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

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