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Week in Review: Aug. 20, 2023

Written on Aug 18, 2023


Changes added in the House version of the budget will shift the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) from having a chair and vice chair to House and Senate co-chairs. The committee will meet at the call of the House co-chair during the first year of a general assembly and at the Senate co-chair's call during the second year, reflecting the current arrangement of a representative as chair in the first year.

States coffers are generally flush now, but states are also generally expecting a decline in growth this fiscal year and face potential landmines in the near future, fiscal experts said Monday. Attendees faced a "Fiscal Jeopardy" board, and panelists used the questions as a segue to discussing taxation, revenue and policy topics of interest. Erica MacKellar, a program principal for NCSL; Geoffrey Buswick, managing director and governmental sector leader for U.S. public finance at S&P Global Market Intelligence; Marcia Howard, executive director of Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS); and Morgan Scarboro, vice president of tax policy for MultiState Associations, participated on the panel. Jonathan Ball, legislative fiscal analyst for the Utah Legislature, emceed the panel and provided answers for the game. "States have a lot of cash," said MacKellar, noting that state carryover and rainy day balances generally ran about 10 percent pre-pandemic but are now closer to 20 percent, according to preliminary information from a survey NCSL is in the midst of circulating to states. A large influx of federal money related to the pandemic helped to drive that trend. "States were able to use some of those federal funds for purposes they maybe would have had to use general funds for," she said.


A new Ohio historical marker is now on display outside the Summit County Courthouse, commemorating the 1847 meeting there of a group of educators who founded the organization that would go on to become the Ohio Education Association (OEA). OEA leaders joined with the Summit County executive Thursday afternoon, Aug. 10 to unveil the historical marker, which is one of about 1,750 placed around the state by the Ohio History Connection to tell the unique stories of Ohio's communities.


A proposed constitutional amendment changing the way the state draws legislative and congressional lines backed by two former members of the Ohio Supreme Court -- former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and former Justice Yvette McGee Brown -- has been filed with the attorney general's office with a goal of making the 2024 ballot. Citizens Not Politicians, the group behind the proposed amendment, said it would create a 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of Republican, Democratic and independent citizens who represent broadly different geographic areas and demographics of the state. The amendment would also ban current or former politicians, political party officials, lobbyists, and large political donors from sitting on the commission. It would require fair and impartial districts by making it unconstitutional to draw voting districts that discriminate against or in favor of any political party or individual politician. It also requires the commission to operate under an open and independent process, the group said.


The use of artificial intelligence (AI) should not be regulated at the state level, but state governments should have policies for how the technology is used at state agencies, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted told Hannah News on Thursday. "Regulating it at the state level is not the way to go about it. You need to have a national policy on it. And I think we should be slow to regulate something that we don't fully understand," Husted said following a meeting of the Governor's Executive Workforce Board at the Nationwide Insurance headquarters in Columbus, during which generative AI was the primary topic.

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

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