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Week in Review: June 18, 2023

Written on Jun 18, 2023


With over 25,000 new electric vehicle (EV)-related jobs expected by 2030, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Tuesday a state strategy to strengthen Ohio's advanced manufacturing workforce specific to EVs. It was developed through collaboration by industry partners, employers, education and training organizations, and community partners in order to identify and develop solutions for industry workforce gaps.


In response to the Ohio Supreme Court's decision issued Monday, the Ohio Ballot Board voted 3-2 Tuesday to adopt a slightly adjusted ballot title and language for Issue 1 to reflect the Court's wishes. The board accepted new language that made minor changes to the previous language. Specifically, the second point in the language now reads that the amendment would "Require that any initiative petition filed on or after Jan. 1, 2024, with the secretary of state proposing to amend the Constitution of the State of Ohio be signed by at least 5 percent of the electors of each county based on the total vote in the county for governor in the last preceding election." LaRose also gave the issue the new title of "Elevating the standards to qualify for an initiated constitutional amendment and to pass a constitutional amendment."


Compared to the substitute bill version of HB33 unveiled the previous week, the version reported by committee Wednesday included about $58 million more in state-only General Revenue Fund (GRF) money for FY24 and about $43 million more for FY25. Funding totals remain below House-proposed levels by more than 2 percent in each fiscal year. Among major changes is the inclusion of SB83 (Cirino), a major rewrite of higher education laws sponsored by the finance committee vice chair, Sen. Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland), as well as the inclusion of SB1 (Reineke) which removes most of the authority of the State Board of Education, giving it to a new state education department under the governor.


A recent study by personal finance site WalletHub ranked Ohio as having the 37th-best state economy, with subrankings of 30th in economic activity, 33rd in innovation potential and 46th in economic health. Overall, the Buckeye State trailed Michigan (20th), Indiana (27th) and Pennsylvania (28th), while leading Kentucky (45th) and West Virginia (51st, including the District of Columbia.) The report measured which "states are pulling the most weight even during this time of economic difficulty caused by inflation" and had 28 key indicators of economic performance and strength. The top five states were Washington, Utah, Massachusetts, Colorado and California.


Full-time workers need to earn at least $19.09 an hour to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Ohio, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO). The 2023 Ohio Out of Reach report shows a significant and growing gap between renters' income and the cost of rent. Of the 10 jobs with the most employees in Ohio, only three earn more than the $19.09 an hour -- registered nurses, general operations managers, and truck drivers. In Ohio, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $993. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities -- without paying more than 30 percent of income on housing -- a household must earn $3,308 monthly or $39,702 annually, according to the report.


Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jack Marchbanks Friday announced $54 million from ODOT's Highway Safety Improvement Program will be going toward traffic safety projects in 30 counties. The projects will specifically reduce the risk of pedestrian-involved crashes and roadway departure accidents, both of which are responsible for increased fatalities in recent years.

Leaders of Columbus- and Cincinnati-area airports discussed how passenger travel is rebounding after the pandemic and the strength of Ohio's cargo market during a meeting of the House Aviation and Aerospace Committee Tuesday. Revitalization of the Wilmington Air Park for cargo was also a presentation topic. Seth Cutter, vice president of public affairs for the CVG Airport Authority, described the current state of operations at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. While airports were "significantly impacted" during the pandemic, it had 7.6 million passengers in 2022 and was about 15 to 20 percent below 2019 totals. Many airports have regained all 2019 seat capacity and passenger demand is strong, he continued, though passengers have less of a focus on business travel now.

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

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