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Our team is here to make navigating government easier for you. Every month, the G2G staff compiles and synthesizes the big government news, and distills it into the high-level, hard-hitting information you need. These summaries make it easier to find and understand the policy changes and legislative updates that impact you and your goals.
It is budget season in Ohio! Because the state of Ohio operates on a biennial budget, the first six months of this year will be mostly dedicated to the budgets that fund our state. The state transportation budget (HB 23) must be passed by March 30th and the state operating budget (HB 33) must be passed by June 30th. The Ohio House is currently hearing the transportation budget with passage expected this week. Following the tragedy in East Palestine, rail safety is top of mind for legislators in this budget. Hours of hearings have been dedicated to rail safety, worker safety, and transportation of hazardous materials. The transportation budget has already started hearings in the Senate so it may quickly make it through the legislative process and to Gov. DeWine’s desk before the end of March.
The Ohio House of Representatives and Senate concluded the 134th General Assembly after marathon sessions – some say the longest they’ve seen in decades – before Christmas. During this period, several key bills were passed and sent to Governor DeWine’s desk. Farewells were said to many legislators as a result of retirements, term limits, and election losses and to agency heads who opted to retire at the end of the year. The opening of the 135th General Assembly led to dramatic results in the Ohio House during the election of the new Speaker, and the ripple effects continue.
With the General Election behind us, the Ohio Legislature will now swing right into Lame duck action. Ohio’s election results were as expected with Republicans easily sweeping all statewide seats and deepening their margins in both the House and Senate as they picked up seats in both chambers. In Lame duck, we will see a flurry of bills passed before the end of the year. All bills that were introduced in this General Assembly will die at the end of the year. While Ohio still has $1B in federal ARPA funding available to spend, all eyes will be on how or if the funding will be spent in Lame duck. This legislative update will focus on election results, what we expect to see in Lame duck, and insights into the next General Assembly, including the State Operating Budget which will take place at the top of 2023.