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Week in Review: Feb. 6, 2023

Written on Feb 5, 2023


After sketching out the major facts for lawmakers in his "State of the State" speech, Gov. Mike DeWine released his official executive budget plan near midnight Tuesday, recommending state General Revenue Fund (GRF) spending totals of about $28.1 billion in FY24 and $29.4 billion in FY25, representing increases of 3.2 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. All Funds appropriation totals are $103.3 billion for FY24, a 3.5 percent increase, and $99.7 billion in FY25, a 3.4 percent decrease. In an interview with Hannah News, Office of Budget and Management Director Kim Murnieks called it "a conservative, moderately growing general fund budget." State revenue sources are forecast to increase by 2.1 percent in FY24 and 4.6 percent in FY25. The income tax is projected to generate a modest increase of 0.9 percent in FY24, reaching $10.5 billion, but then grow more substantially by 7.5 percent in FY25, reaching $11.3 billion. Sales taxes likewise are forecast for greater growth in the second half of the coming biennium, with an increase of 1.7 percent predicted for FY24, bringing in $13.6 billion, and of 3.9 percent in FY25, bringing in $14.2 billion.

The budget proposal would appropriate more than $450 million in state fiscal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for a few one-time uses. That total is what remains after lame duck spending action. Murnieks said she did not have a total available for the various other federal COVID relief funds sprinkled throughout the budget.

The biennial tax expenditure report accompanying the executive budget proposal, which tallies the estimated amount of foregone revenue under various credits, exemptions and deductions, projects a collective effect across all taxes of slightly more than $11 billion in FY24 and $11.4 billion in FY25. Meanwhile, DeWine is proposing more than $200 million in additional tax expenditures, largely related to his suggested policies on children and housing. The report lists four criteria for a tax expenditure to be included: it reduces, or has the potential to reduce, revenue to the General Revenue Fund (GRF); persons, income, goods, services or property exempted would have been part of a defined tax base; persons, income, goods, services or property exempted are not subject to an alternate tax levied by the state; and the tax expenditure is subject to repeal or modification by the General Assembly, meaning, for example, the sales tax exemptions for groceries is not included because it is established in the Ohio Constitution.

Gov. Mike DeWine and administration officials focused on economic and workforce development visited Dayton Wednesday to share plans for the new Innovation Hubs meant to bolster talent development and advanced research, as part of a two-day tour of the state to highlight elements of the FY24-25 executive budget proposal. DeWine spoke at the National Museum of the United States Air Force alongside Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik, JobsOhio President and CEO JP Nauseef and Jeff Hoagland of the Dayton Development Coalition.

Officials also mentioned the proposed new $2.5 billion "All Ohio Future Fund," an economic development initiative meant to prepare shovel-ready sites across the state so other regions can attract the type of investment Central Ohio has seen recently with the likes of Intel and the Honda battery plant.


Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted Friday announced the locations of more blighted and vacant structures that will be demolished to make room for new economic development. A total of 599 additional structures in 15 counties will be demolished with support from the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, which was created by the DeWine-Husted administration to help local communities demolish dilapidated commercial and residential buildings. The projects announced today bring the total number of demolition projects funded through the program to 3,699 projects in 87 counties, including 825 projects announced in October and 2,275 projects awarded in early December.


House Speaker Stephens announced Republican committee assignments on Wednesday. The full list is available in the revised legislative directory under "Breaking News" at Stephens announced committee chairs and vice chairs on Monday, Jan. 23, and House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Columbus) announced Democratic committee assignments on Thursday, Jan. 26


The Internal Revenue Service has set the 2023 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes as follows:

- 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.

- 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, consistent with the increased midyear rate set for the second half of 2022.

- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2022.

These rates apply to electric and hybrid-electric automobiles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles and became effective Jan. 1, 2023.


Gov. Mike DeWine's administration announced Monday the approval of assistance for four projects expected to create 683 new jobs and retain 405 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought by JobsOhio and its regional partners. The projects are expected to collectively result in more than $43.7 million in new payroll and spur more than $588 million in investments across Ohio.


The state of Ohio significantly improved its national ranking for new unemployment claims, according to financial advisory website WalletHub. Ohio ranked 13 in states where jobless claims decreased the most week-over-week, with "1" being the best and "51" being the worst. Kentucky ranked 1, while Utah ranked 51. Kentucky ranked the highest among Ohio's neighbors, followed by West Virginia (2), Michigan (19), Indiana (29) and Pennsylvania (38).


According to the latest issue of the Ohio AFL-CIO Weekly News Briefs, the percentage and number of workers in Ohio belonging to unions increased in 2022, based on federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. Last year, 52,000 more Ohio workers joined the union movement than the previous year bringing the total number of union members in the Buckeye State to 699,000. Ohio had the third largest increase in union membership nationally last year, according to an analysis of BLS data by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Only California, with an increase of 99,000 union workers, and Texas, which added 72,000 union members, posted larger total gains.


The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) approved an average public-employer rate cut of 2.5 percent Friday and recommended a second decrease of 8 percent for private employers to be voted on at its February meeting. Actuaries say non-government savings might be even greater except for the ongoing drop in state investment income over the past two years -- a single-year loss of $1.611 billion as of Dec. 31, 2021 and $1.005 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022 -- or nearly half billion dollars more than BWC projections. The public-employer cut of 2.5 percent follows single- to double-digit decreases over the last nine years, save for increases of 6.1 percent in 2019 and 2.2 percent in 2022.

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