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Week in Review: July 16, 2023

Written on Jul 16, 2023


The Ohio Third Frontier Commission Tuesday approved $1.1 million in grants to support "breakthrough" medical and aviation technology development by eight companies as part of the Technology Validation and Start-up Fund. The fund helps companies aiming to license institution-owned technologies "accelerate commercialization through activities such as market research and further prototyping," according to the Ohio Department of Development (DOD). "This helps companies raise funds and get the licensed technology to the marketplace faster."


Early voting for the Aug. 8 special election for all voters began on Tuesday. Voters statewide are being asked to weigh in on Issue 1, which would raise the passage threshold of constitutional amendments to 60 percent in the future. According to the secretary of state's office, there are currently 7,947,090 registered voters in Ohio. Early, in-person voting hours at local county boards of elections will be as follows:

- Tuesday, July 11-Friday, July 14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Monday, July 17-Friday, July 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Monday, July 24-Friday, July 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

- Monday, July 31- Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

- Saturday, Aug. 5, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

- Sunday, Aug. 6, 1-5 p.m.

Polls will be open on Election Day, Aug. 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


The nation added 209,000 jobs in June and the federal unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Friday. The unemployment rate dropped from May's 3.7 percent level. BLS said the rate has ranged from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent since March 2022. The number of unemployed persons at 6.0 million was little changed. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Whites declined to 3.1 percent in June. The jobless rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (11.0 percent), Blacks (6.0 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little change over the month. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.1 million, changed little in June and accounted for 18.5 percent of the total unemployed.


Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can now treat their disorder with marijuana, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) decided Wednesday. The board unanimously voted to add IBS to the list of qualifying conditions under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP). Two other proposed conditions were unanimously rejected by the board -- autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

There are now more than 370,000 patients registered in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP), according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP). Specifically, there are 370,287 patients registered in the program, OBP said in its May patient and caregiver numbers update. Of registered patients, 22,039 are military veterans; 23,132 are classified as "indigent"; and 1,336 patients have a terminal diagnosis. Of the 370,287 registered patients, only 174,591 have both an active registration and active recommendation.


Panelists at the Columbus Metropolitan Club discussed Wednesday the current capabilities and limits of artificial intelligence (AI), while also receiving responses from OpenAI's ChatGPT technology itself. The discussion title, "Exploring the Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence," was even crafted by ChatGPT. The human panelists included Padma Sastry, adjunct professor at Franklin University and vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Andrew Perrault, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Ohio State University (OSU); and Kevin Lloyd, chief operating officer at Color Coded Labs. The discussion was hosted by David Staley, director of the OSU Center for the Humanities in Practice. Staley's initial question was what is ChatGPT, and he directed it at the chatbot first. That led to a lengthy answer, including that the technology is an "advanced language model ... designed to generate human-like responses in natural language based on the input it receives." The response also noted ChatGPT answers may be incorrect at times.


Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced Monday that 367 employers were approved for funding in the May round of TechCred, which will enable Ohioans to earn 4,297 tech-focused credentials. It is the 20th round of the program. Manufacturing, Transportation and Warehousing, and Educational Services were among the top industries for awards in this round. The recent budget invests $50 million over the biennium into TechCred. The July round will be open until 3 p.m. on Monday, July 31.

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

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