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Week in Review: Sept. 24, 2023

Written on Sep 22, 2023


The All Ohio Future Fund allocating money for securing economic development projects was a budget item Gov. Mike DeWine previewed in his “State of the State” address, and it underwent several changes during the legislative process and then through DeWine's vetoes. His executive proposal transferred up to $2.4 billion from the FY23 General Revenue Fund ending balance to the fund. The House set that transfer at $500 million, the Senate increased it to $917 million and the conference committee settled on $667 million, according to the Legislative Service Commission (LSC) comparison document. The fund is a renaming of the Investing in Ohio Fund and expands its economic developments purposes, though a list of activities it would have supported was removed in the House-passed version.


Joby Aviation Inc. announced plans Monday to build an electric air taxi manufacturing facility at Dayton International Airport, creating 2,000 new jobs in the region. The facility is set to come online in 2025 and will produce an all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that will carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of 200 miles per hour over a 100-mile range. Joby plans to operate them as part of aerial ridesharing networks in cities and communities world-wide. The company will invest at least $477.5 million in a 140-acre site, with construction beginning next year. It will use nearby existing buildings for its operations in the interim and plans to produce up to 500 aircraft per year. The total new payroll is expected to surpass $140 million.

The DeWine administration announced Wednesday that a multi-state regional initiative led by Ohio had been awarded one of eight regional hub designations and $24.3 million in FY23 federal funds under the Microelectronics Commons (ME Commons) program. The Midwest Microelectronics Consortium (MMEC) comprises over 65 public, private and nonprofit entities and has leadership from many key Ohio institutions, according to the DeWine administration. It is dedicated to advancing the research and production of crucial microelectronics for the defense industry. The ME Commons program is a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD).


Ohio's unemployment rate rose to 3.4% in August, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), a slight increase from July's 3.3%, as the state's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 3,500 over the month. ODFJS said the state's employment, which went from a revised 5,636,200 in July to 5,639,700 in August, marks the highest payroll employment reported since the series started in 1990. The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in August was 196,000, up from 194,000 in July. The number of unemployed has decreased by 37,000 in the past 12 months from 233,000. The August unemployment rate for Ohio decreased 0.7 percent from 4.1 percent in August 2022.


The Senate Ways and Means Committee held its first hearing Wednesday on legislation to address the rise in property valuations and taxation, a day after the House Ways and Means Committee reported out a similar bill -- HB187 (Hall-Bird) -- for that chamber. Sen. George Lang (R-West Chester) testified on his and Sen. Terry Johnson's (R-McDermott) SB153, which "seeks to address the precipitous rise in property valuations, and therefore property taxes, across Ohio due to the 2023 triennial update." Lang explained how the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) conducts the triennial update and said there is discretion to weigh data points for each of the previous three years' valuations differently. Currently, ODT puts the most weight on the third year as that is considered by them to be most reflective of the coming year. However, Lang said, that has meant "some valuations are more than doubling."


The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) this week announced it will be providing $368,000 to expand OhioMeansJobs in Fayette County in advance of a new lithium-ion battery plant currently under construction in Jeffersonville.

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

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