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Week in Review: Jan. 8, 2023

Written on Jan 6, 2023

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/URBAN REVITALIZATION

Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted recently announced $88 million in state support for 123 brownfield remediation projects. The projects will clean up hazardous and underutilized sites throughout the state, the governor's office said. The Ohio Department of Development (DOD) is funding the awards through the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, which is designed to clean up and prepare hazardous brownfield sites for redevelopment. The projects announced will affect communities in 35 counties. The $88 million grant announcement includes approximately $79.3 million for cleanup/remediation projects and $8.8 million for 51 assessment projects. These grants are in addition to the $60 million in Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program grants awarded in April 2022 and $192 million awarded in June 2022.

ECONOMY

Economic experts gave their 2023 forecasts for the region at the Columbus Metropolitan Club's forum Wednesday, with Regionomics founder Bill LaFayette saying there may be a "bumpy road" ahead but the long-term future is bright for Central Ohio. He predicted a net gain of 10,300 jobs -- or 0.9% -- that would bring the Columbus metro area to 1.136 million jobs, but he said there will be declines in employment compared to 2022 for part of the year. With Intel underpinning his long-term outlook, LaFayette said there will be a "crucial unknown" regarding suppliers and other indirect sources and so the overall project could see the addition of up to 67,000 jobs. Construction will also be a "bright spot" for this year that will continue into the 2030s. Nationwide Mutual Chief Economist Kathy Bostjancic said she expects the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to above 5% and hold them there for the rest of the year to try to reduce inflation. She also predicted a recession in the second half of 2023 but that it would not be "very severe."

GAMING/GAMBLING

At least 28 companies were eligible to begin offering sports betting services on the universal start date for the new industry -- Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. According to a preliminary list provided by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), 16 type A mobile sportsbooks and 12 type B brick-and-mortar sportsbooks had received final approval from the commission.

Ohio's new sports gambling industry began on New Year's Day without any significant problems, according to OCCC and the Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC). "Anecdotally, there may have been some instances where maybe some of the operators, their apps or their websites weren't working precisely at midnight. But I am unaware of any issues at launch that would require the commission's attention. As far as we're concerned, it was a successful launch," OCCC spokesperson Jessica Franks told Hannah News. Similarly, OLC spokesperson Danielle Frizzi-Babb said, "Lottery sports gaming launched successfully on Jan. 1."

BetMGM, Caesars and DraftKings are each being fined $150,000 for violations of Ohio law and administrative rules pertaining to sports betting advertising and promotions, the OCCC announced Thursday. "The sports gaming industry has received multiple reminders of the rules and standards for advertising and promotions, yet continues to disregard Ohio law. These repeated violations leave the commission no choice but to pursue administrative action to bring operators into compliance," OCCC Executive Director Matt Schuler said.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

The following are all of the Senate committees for the 135th General Assembly and their chairs:

- Agriculture and Natural Resources - Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster)

- Community Revitalization - Sen. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott)

- Education - Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell)

- Energy and Public Utilities - Sen. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin)

- Finance - Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls)

- Financial Institutions and Technology - Sen. Steve Wilson (R-Maineville)

- General Government - Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem)

- Government Oversight - Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson)

- Health - Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City)

- Insurance - Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London)

- Judiciary - Sen. Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville)

- Local Government - Sen. Sandra O'Brien (R-Rome)

- Medicaid - Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario)

- Rules and Reference - Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima)

- Small Business and Economic Opportunity - Sen. George Lang (R-West Chester)

- Transportation - Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard)

- Veterans and Public Safety - Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction)

- Senate Ways and Means - Sen. Louis Blessing (R-Cincinnati)

- Workforce and Higher Education - Sen. Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland)

SECRETARY OF STATE

Secretary of State Frank LaRose Thursday announced 13,420 new business filings in November 2022, down 93 filings from November 2021. "Ohio remains the destination for entrepreneurs and innovation with nearly 200,000 new filings each year," said LaRose. "As we look forward to 2023, we will continue to look for new ways to support new business growth." According to the secretary of state's office, 165,624 new businesses have been created in 2022 so far, averaging 15,056 per month; 184,494 had been created at the same point last year, which set the filing record with 197,010 business filings.

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