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Week in Review: Nov. 12, 2023

Written on Nov 12, 2023


According to numbers posted on the secretary of state's website, 855,076 Ohioans cast absentee ballots ahead of Tuesday's election, with more than half of those cast in-person. The numbers show that 566,404 total votes were cast at county boards of elections, including 79,338 this past weekend. Sunday was the final day of early-in person voting after legislation passed in the last General Assembly, 134-HB458 (Hall) eliminated Monday voting to give boards of elections more time to prepare for the Tuesday election days. Those numbers may not be final as Friday and Saturday voting numbers from Cuyahoga County were not available. County boards of elections reported 223,732 ballots were returned by mail by voters, while 19,081 were personally delivered to a board of elections, and 45,859 were returned through a drop box. There were 410,600 absentee ballots mailed to voters, meaning about 121,928 absentee ballots are still outstanding.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nation added 150,000 nonfarm jobs in October as the national unemployment rate ticked up from 3.8% in September to 3.9% in October. BLS said the number of unemployed persons, at 6.5 million, was little changed in October, though it is up 849,000 from a recent low in April, and the unemployment rate is up from April's 3.4% rate. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.3%), teenagers (13.2%), Whites (3.5%), Blacks (5.8%), Asians (3.1%), and Hispanics (4.8%) showed little change in October.


Thirteen organizations across the state are receiving more than $244,000 in environmental education grants, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) announced recently. The grants will support habitat restoration, sustainability, litter control, biodiversity and butterflies, among other projects, according to a news release from the agency.


Adults ages 21 and older could have to wait nine months to purchase recreational marijuana from a dispensary in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC). "Non-medical cannabis will not be immediately available to purchase in dispensaries, and the general public at this moment is not permitted in dispensaries unless the individual is a registered patient or caregiver in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP). There are currently no entities licensed to sell non-medical cannabis in the state of Ohio," DOC said Wednesday. Voters approved adult use marijuana legalization initiated statute Issue 2 by a vote of 57 percent to 43 percent on Tuesday. Initiated statutes become effective 30 days after Election Day. The new law establishes the Division of Cannabis Control under DOC, and gives the division up to nine months to write rules and issue licenses. DOC is providing updates on the new adult use program at

With the new law is expected to take effect in 30 days, the panel was asked whether lawmakers are under a deadline to make any adjustments before it takes effect with a panelist noting that anything that lawmakers pass would still take 90 days to go into effect, unless they add an emergency clause. The biggest issue could see lawmakers addressing home grow, so that people do not use it as a way to grow and sell unregulated product.

There are nearly 400,000 patients registered in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP), according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP). Specifically, there are 398,057 patients registered in the program, OBP said in its September 2023 MMCP patient and caregiver update. Of registered patients, 23,258 are military veterans, 24,233 are classified as "indigent" and 1,374 have a terminal diagnosis. Of the 398,057 registered patients, only 184,958 have both an active registration and an active recommendation from a doctor.


Ohio was ranked 10th nationally among "most charitable states," according to a report released Monday by personal finance site WalletHub. That placed it second among neighboring states, as Pennsylvania was ranked seventh nationally. Other ranks for the region included Indiana, 33rd; Michigan, 36th; Kentucky, 38th; and West Virginia, 44th. The top five states were Utah, Wyoming, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine. The five lowest were Nevada, Rhode Island, Mississippi, New Mexico and Arizona. WalletHub also ranked states in the subcategories of "volunteering and service" and "charitable giving," with Ohio coming in 13th and 17th, respectively. That placed it first among neighbors for volunteering and service, and second to Pennsylvania for charitable giving.


The Ohio Manufacturers' Association (OMA) Workforce Summit Wednesday included discussion of a range of ways the industry can cultivate needed workers, both in the short-term and for the next generation. In initial remarks, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted described how a strong manufacturing industry and the associated workforce are part of keeping the U.S. as a world leader, and said Ohio is "critical" in efforts to rebuild the national industry. He urged businesses to promote careers, rather than just jobs, and noted the sector can't offer work-from-home opportunities in the way other sectors can. Husted further detailed the role of government in promoting manufacturing, including with industry sector partnerships, and said there has already been a change in attitudes regarding career centers and whether a college degree was the only pathway available. He additionally noted the $300 million in budget funding for career tech programs and talked about the over 70,000 credentials offered through TechCred, with manufacturing a lead industry as far as utilizing the program. Husted also said he hoped the federal government will recognize this lifelong training and adapt the Pell grant program for it. He closed by calling on manufacturers to help develop new ideas. In response to press questions, he said the most important part of building the manufacturing industry for the future is to ensure workers are available. That includes ensuring high school students graduate career ready, helping adults get reskilled and providing career pathways.

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

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