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Week in Review: July 23, 2023

Written on Jul 21, 2023


After months of legislative deliberations and negotiations, Ohio's FY24-25 biennial budget ended up fairly close to Gov. Mike DeWine's proposed spending levels for state revenue sources but substantially lower when looking at federal dollars. According to the Office of Budget and Management (OBM), DeWine's 44 line-item vetoes did not affect final spending totals reflected in the Legislative Service Commission's (LSC) appropriations spreadsheet on the conference committee version of HB33 (Edwards). In terms of state-only General Revenue Fund spending, the as-enacted budget comes in at $27.9 billion for FY24 and $29.4 billion for FY25, compared to an executive proposal of $28.1 billion and $29.4 billion, respectively.

All Funds spending in the final version ended up at $95 billion in FY24 and $95.7 billion in FY25, compared to $103.3 billion in FY24 and $99.7 billion in the executive proposal. In comparison, the budget that passed two years prior, 134-HB110 (Oelslager), included state-only GRF spending of $24.2 billion for FY22 and $26 billion in FY23, while All Funds spending was $80.8 billion and $81.1 billion, respectively.


More than 28,000 Ohioans have signed up to be poll workers for the Tuesday, Aug. 8 special election, surpassing the minimum number of 27,587 poll workers necessary, the Ohio Secretary of State's Office announced Tuesday. Poll worker recruitment stands at 89 percent of the statewide goal, with 32 counties at full recruitment and another 18 counties reaching their minimum recruitment level, Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office said. That leaves 38 counties without the minimum number of poll workers necessary at this point. Hamilton County is the furthest from reaching its minimum level, with only 1,067 poll workers signed up when the minimum number is 2,080.


Secretary of State Frank LaRose officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Monday. LaRose, a native of Akron and graduate of Ohio State University, said his proven ability to win statewide elections is one of several reasons he is the best candidate to face U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in 2024. "I'm running against two former Democrats in the Republican primary and an incumbent senator who has one of the most liberal voting records in the Congress," LaRose said. "I'm the only candidate who can point to a consistently conservative voting record. I'm also the only veteran in the race, the only member of the military and the only parent of grade-school kids. It's time Ohio had a senator who lives like us, believes like us, and fights for us, and I'm not one to back down from a fight." The other announced Republican candidates for U.S. Senate are businessman Bernie Moreno and Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls).


U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Wednesday held a conference call with reporters, promoting his "Building Chips in America Act" that he said is aimed at reducing red tape that would delay the Intel project in New Albany and other projects affected by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. That law was written to help make the Intel project and the production of semiconductors at other plants in the U.S. happen, he said, and any delays need to be prevented. He said his bill would ensure that federal environmental reviews are done in a timely manner, saying that some big projects can be bogged down in the red tape of endless reviews. He said the review process can be redundant and cause unnecessary delay. He also argued that water and air quality reviews would not be affected by the bill, just redundant processes.


Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday that a new Ohio Persistent Cyber Improvement (O-PCI) program will provide free services to local governments on cybersecurity preparedness and resilience. The program was developed by CyberOhio with help from the state's Homeland Security Advisory Committee - Cyber (HSAC-Cyber), led by DeWine's Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor Kirk Herath. It will guide local government agencies through three preparedness levels, with each including the steps of education, training, exercising, mentoring and improvement. O-PCI is funded by a grant from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with $4.9 million provided during the first year.

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

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