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Week in Review: Oct. 23, 2022

Written on Oct 23, 2022

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Attorney General Dave Yost on Friday rejected the summary for a proposed constitutional amendment that would increase the state minimum wage rate. “Raise the Wage Ohio” would also modify existing requirements for various groups of employees, the Ohio Attorney General's Office said. “The attorney general's role in the petition process is to determine whether the summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed statute. The submitted petition does not meet that requirement,” the AG's office said.

BUSINESS/CORPORATE

Ohio State University (OSU) and the OSU Wexner Medical Center received the 2022 Governor's Inclusive Employer Award Monday, with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted making the announcement during an event on OSU's campus. The Cleveland Clinic and Meijer were also recognized as "Ohio Inclusive Employers." According to Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), this award recognizes OSU’s and Wexner Medical Center's "commitment to individuals with disabilities in the workplace and being leaders of diversity and inclusion best practices in Ohio."

Calling it the start of a "10-year conversation," Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Stivers joined other business leaders Tuesday in releasing a "Blueprint for Ohio's Economic Future" that was prepared by the Ohio Chamber and Accenture. Stivers said Accenture reviewed data on economic competitiveness from many different sources and prepared policy recommendations for state leaders. “Ohio is not just competing with other states, we are competing in a global economy," he said. "While there is much to be proud of regarding Ohio's efforts to be business friendly, we must take steps now to lay the foundation for future growth in the years to come."

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Honda and LG Energy Solution's investment of over $4 billion for electric vehicle production is expected to receive $156.3 million in state incentives, including an estimated $71.3 million in expanded Job Creation Tax Credits. Ohio Department of Development (DOD) Chief Communications Officer Todd Walker told Hannah News the tax credit will be considered at an upcoming meeting of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA). It is for 1.871 percent over 30 years and is performance-based. That will require fulfillment of job creation and payroll commitments as well as annual reports that verify progress. The project is expected to involve investment of at least $4.2 billion and creation of over 2,500 jobs. DOD is also working with the General Assembly for state investment of $85 million in local water and transportation infrastructure upgrades that ensure project success and benefit local communities.

ECONOMY

A report released this week by Washington, D.C.-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found less than 1% of Ohioans hold more than $850 billion of the state's wealth. The group released a 50-state report on wealth inequality, arguing that it limits economic opportunities for everyday

Ohioans and "both reflects and exacerbates racial inequality. … A very small number of households hold a staggering share of nationwide wealth, and they've been able to grow their fortunes in part because our tax system asks very little of them," said Carl Davis, ITEP's research director and an author of the report. "New and strengthened taxes on extreme levels of wealth could dramatically reduce the runaway inequality we face today."

Moody's Investors Service elevated Ohio's credit outlook to "positive" and affirmed the state's "Aa1" issuer rating, the DeWine administration announced recently. The announcement follows a similar move by Fitch Ratings, which upgraded Ohio's rating to "AAA" from "AA+." The Moody's analysis cites evidence of new economic development that can diversify the state economy.

SECRETARY OF STATE

There were 14,493 new business filings in September 2022, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Thursday. That number is an 8.4% decrease from August 2022, according to the Ohio Secretary of State's Office. However, that number is only 0.3% lower than September 2021's 14,543 new business filings.

STUDIES/POLLS

A report released by Washington, D.C.-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found less than 1% of Ohioans hold more than $850 billion of the state's wealth. The group released a 50-state report on wealth inequality, arguing that it limits economic opportunities for everyday Ohioans and "both reflects and exacerbates racial inequality. … A very small number of households hold a staggering share of nationwide wealth, and they've been able to grow their fortunes in part because our tax system asks very little of them," said Carl Davis, ITEP's research director and an author of the report. "New and strengthened taxes on extreme levels of wealth could dramatically reduce the runaway inequality we face today."

WORKFORCE

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Wednesday opened the registration period for the Nov. 2 OhioMeansJobs.com regional virtual job fairs it will host. Job seekers who register beforehand can have their resume viewed in advance and may be able to schedule meetings with employers on the day of the event. The job fairs run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and are organized by Ohio region, with one each for Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Ohio.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder announced Thursday that an additional tool has been added to the Apprentice.Ohio.gov website to help Ohioans find answers to questions about apprenticeship programs: a "Chat with Virtual Assistant" feature. This automated assistant, named "Antonio," was built with artificial intelligence software. Users can simply type in their questions or -- to see categories of information -- click "What can Antonio help you with?"

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