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June 10, 2022

Ohio Legislative Update

Last Updated: June 10, 2022


With the Capital Budget bill done, the Ohio legislature recessed with no scheduled session dates until after the elections in mid-November. Before recessing at the end of May, more than 30 bills passed out of the House and Senate. Also, federal judges finally weighed in to set the General Assembly redistricting maps, however, the maps will only be valid for two years because they are deemed unconstitutional. Ohio will hold its second primary on August 2nd for the Ohio House and Senate. Meanwhile Governor DeWine and his administration have begun preliminary work on the FY24-25 budget and will follow the standard timeframe for introduction in early 2023. DeWine has stated mental health and addiction remain top priorities for his budget proposal. See G2G's full report on the Capital Budget, economic development, health issues, business, education bills, and other legislative activities below.

Capital Budget

On June 2, Ohio lawmakers passed the Capital Budget HB 687. The $3.5 billion biennial budget that funds construction projects for state agencies, colleges and universities and must be bondable includes nearly $1.1 billion for Intel for a chip fabrication plant, $100 million in school safety grants, and $191 million for Community Projects (a portion of the $1 billion total projects requested). More than one third of the Community Projects funding went to Ohio’s most populous counties with Cuyahoga County receiving the most ($23.8 million), then Hamilton County ($21.6 million), Franklin County ($21.3 million), and Montgomery County ($7.7 million). G2G worked closely with the House and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees throughout the process and can share additional insights so please let us know if interested.

Local Government Funding

A $500 million Appalachian development fund proposed by DeWine in his 2022 “State of the State” speech was amended into a COVID relief funding bill for local governments that passed just before summer recess. HB377 also picked up an omnibus amendment that included a $20 million appropriation for administration of the August 2nd statewide primary. Additionally, it provides $422 million in federal COVID relief funding for smaller, “non-entitlement” units of local government that did not receive direct funding from the federal government.

The Appalachian Community Grant Program, funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act, will award $15-30 million for planning grants, and the remainder for development projects focused on infrastructure, workforce, or health care. The Ohio Department of Development (DOD) will administer the program, with grant scoring criteria that give preference to projects that have region-wide scale or impact; are evidence-based; include public-private partnerships; are economically sustainable; and are transformative, per the text of the amendment to create the program. The bill directs $50 million to fund projects for applicants who did not receive a planning grant. All grants are to be approved by the end of 2024, and all grant funds must be expended by the end of 2026, after which the program terminates.

Business & Economic Development

Job Creation at Ford
The Ford Motor Co. announced plans to build an all-electric vehicle at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Lorain County, in line with their 2019 contract with the UAW that required bringing a new product to the Ohio Assembly Plant by 2023. This will create 1,800 new union jobs, doubling the workforce at the plant, and comes with a $1.5 billion investment. Ohio offered $200 million in incentives for Ford. The plant, a 419-acre site in Avon Lake, Sheffield, and Sheffield Lake, currently employs about 1,700 people, including just over 100 salaried workers.

The American Nitrile factory in Grove City just announced their plans to employ over 350 full-time employees and make around two billion pairs of medical gloves each year. Manufacturing is set to begin soon and by the end of the year, there will be about 250-280 new employees. The factory will have 12 production lines operating around the clock, generating $25 million in annual payroll. There will be 141 million gallons of water recycled each year and it has capacity for 2.8 million pounds of bulk nitrile storage. There is potential for more American Nitrile facilities in Ohio as the demand is high. The U.S. used 120 billion nitrile gloves a year before the pandemic and that made up 40 percent of the global production. The industry has been growing and this is expected to continue into the 2030s.


Income Tax
Better than expected tax collections continued in May with $105.3 million collected in excess of forecasts, bringing the state’s FY22 tax collections to $2.55 billion over estimates with just one month left in the fiscal year.  Sales taxes accounted for most of May’s over-estimate collections. For the fiscal year to-date, sales taxes have brought in $590 million or 5.2% more than expected.  The personal income tax yielded $775.7 million in May versus $753.6 million expected, a 5.8% overperformance. Tax collections in the first 11 months of the fiscal year reached $25.4 billion, 11.2% more than expected.  Compared to this point in FY21, the state has collected $1.6 billion or 6.9% more in tax revenue.


Formula Shortage
To address the baby formula shortage, Ohio applied to USDA for a waiver to give families enrolled in the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) more formula options. This gives the Ohio WIC Office approval for 8 additional products that will be covered beginning June 13. Ohio is also working with the USDA to temporarily remove "burdensome requirements" for families enrolled in WIC who use special prescription formula to treat a medical condition. Currently, a WIC participant can only purchase the specific brand that is prescribed. This waiver will allow families enrolled in WIC to purchase store-brand equivalents of certain formulas without returning to their health care provider for a new prescription. In addition, ODH, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and Mead Johnson (the contracted manufacturer for WIC participants) are working to allow Ohio families to purchase alternate, non-contracted brands. These arrangements will expand formula access for families enrolled in WIC during the shortage in the coming weeks, the administration said. All this follows Governor DeWine joining 18 other governors in encouraging President Biden to remove red tape involved in importing safe formula from other countries and to issue a report to better avoid shortages in the future. ODH and Ohio WIC are encouraging participants to reach out to their local WIC office for information about their benefits and what formula is available.


Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) received a $3.3 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support Ohio’s new 988 Capacity and Quality Improvement Development Project through April 2024. This funding helps improve responses to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline contacts, including calls, chats, and texts. The Lifeline is scheduled to transition from the current 10-digit number to a new 988 dialing code in mid-July. Ohio’s Lifeline/988 call centers will use these funds to enhance the quality of crisis connections by assigning a lead for quality and performance improvement at each center. Specifically, the positions will focus on improving the speed and rate of answering calls, data collection for quality analysis, and development of policies and protocols for effective operation and caller support.


Pediatric Behavioral Health
Governor DeWine announced the Pediatric Behavioral Health Initiative, an $84 million investment to increase access to care and expand capacity across the state so youth and their families can receive services and supports for their behavioral health needs in or near their communities. This initiative uses dedicated federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to expand infrastructure and strengthen local partnerships so Ohio youth can receive the specialty care they need. It will expand inpatient and outpatient behavioral health supports regionally. Recipients include:

  • Akron Children’s Hospital ($7 million) to help create regional behavioral health centers
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ($10 million) to help fund their new inpatient facility at the College Hill Campus
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital ($25 million) to help build a new mental health building
  • ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children’s Hospital in Toledo ($17 million) to renovate existing space in their inpatient pediatric psychiatry unit and establish an ambulatory outpatient building
  • University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s in Cleveland ($15 million) to renovate and expand their inpatient Children Adolescent Psychiatric Unit
  • Appalachian Children’s Coalition: Integrated Services for Behavioral Health ($6.45 million) to expand the Youth and Family Wellness Center in Chillicothe, strengthening Southeast Ohio’s Behavioral Health System of Care and reducing long distance travel to receive specialized care
  • Appalachian Children’s Coalition: Hopewell Health Centers ($3.55 million) to renovate space in local schools in Southeast Ohio to house fully integrated health centers to help meet the primary care, behavioral health, and therapeutic needs for the schools

Each year, one in five children experience a mental health condition nationally. There are currently 10 child psychiatrists per 100,000 kids and teens in Ohio, but approximately 47 child psychiatrists are needed per 100,000 children, according to the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association. Also, between 2020 and 2021, the number of children hospitalized for a mental health reason increased 163% nationally. Hence, Governor DeWine and many in the Statehouse will continue to make mental health a priority in next year’s biennial Operating Budget.

Addition and OneOhio
Governor DeWine briefed regional members of OneOhio Recovery Foundation’s Board of Directors on the state’s unique local approach to Ohio’s $808 million opioid settlement and allocation for drug prevention, intervention, and treatment. The Board’s job is to identify a disbursement timetable for OneOhio’s $444.4 million, the 55% share of the settlement, and how to spend it. OneOhio aims to ensure those battling the drug epidemic benefit directly from opioid dollars. Under the agreement, another 30% of the settlement money will be distributed among more than 2,000 local governments in Ohio. The final 15% will go to the state though OneOhio might also gain control over spending some of the state’s share. OneOhio board members include Senate and House appointments: Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County), Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Rep. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) and representatives of most of OneOhio's 19 regions. G2G is monitoring this closely, if your organization could benefit from settlement funding, please let us know.


Education Omnibus Bill

House Bill 583, sponsored by Reps. Adam Bird (R- New Richmond) and Don Jones (R-Freeport), passed the House and Senate and was sent to Governor DeWine for signature. It was initially aimed at providing school districts continued flexibility on qualifications for substitute teachers, but now contains many other education-related provisions. Highlights include:

  • Inclusion of Sen. Brenner’s (R-Powell) SB306 which creates a tutoring, training, and placement program
  • Revisions to the income-based Educational Choice scholarship
  • Requiring the Department of Education to compile a list of tutoring programs that it considers to be of high quality by issuing a request for qualifications, creating a rubric to evaluate the programs, and determining a minimum score needed to be placed on the list and to post the initial list of tutoring programs on its website not later than October 1, 2022
  • Permitting a low performing community school that is otherwise prohibited from entering into a contract with a new sponsor based on the school's state report card issued for the 2021-2022 school year to do so without approval from the Department of Education for only the 2022-2023 school year
  • Designating October as "Ohio School Safety Month”
  • Revisions to the Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) educational savings account (ESA)
  • Prohibiting the State Board of Education and the Department of Education from limiting the subject areas in which an individual may receive an alternative resident educator license for five years
  • Revisions to the Cleveland scholarship program


State Superintendent
Recently appointed State Superintendent of Education Stephen Dackin resigned from the post less than a month after being selected. Stephanie Siddens will once again serve as interim superintendent, pending formal appointment by SBOE at its June meeting.  Dackin served as the board’s point person for much of its search for a new state superintendent. He resigned as vice president of the SBOE in March to apply for the position himself ahead of the application deadline. After rounds of interviews, the board selected him in May. Dackin cites “revolving door” questions about his acceptance of the position as the impetus for his resignation. Dackin is refusing any compensation for his time.

Politics & Elections

Legislator Retirements
Over the past few months, G2G has met with Reps. Kaptur, Brown, Ryan, Joyce, Beatty, Balderson, Chabot, and Johnson as well as Senator Brown in D.C. and Ohio and discussed the redistricting and elections. All see a Republican wave likely flipping the House this fall, most are 50:50 about the Rep. Tim Ryan v. J.D. Vance senate race, and all speak highly of the Ohio delegation, regardless of party. G2G sees our continued statewide initiatives prospering among these members into next year.

In the Statehouse, retirements have brought in new legislators. After decades in office, Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) is resigning from the legislature on June 8th. While she is term limited from her current seat, she had intended to run for the Ohio House but will instead pursue a career in the private sector. The Senate Democrats selected retired IBEW Local 673 member Dale Martin to replace Williams, but Martin will not be on the ballot in the primary election so he will leave the Statehouse when the term expires at the end of the year. In addition, House Democrats voted to seat economic development expert, Bishara Addison to fill the 9th District seat, succeeding Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), who left to serve as the new regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Addison will not be on the ballot in the primary election and so she will leave the Statehouse when the term expires at the end of the year as well.


Nearly nine months after Ohio was supposed to have legislative maps for the 2022 election and five rejected maps later, a decision by a federal district court gave Republicans the green light to use twice-rejected unconstitutional legislative maps. Calling it "the best of our bad options," the panel of three federal judges ruled 2-1 that Ohio must hold its legislative primary August 2nd using the third set of maps produced by the Ohio Redistricting Commission but invalidated by the Ohio Supreme Court, but for this year's elections only. The House map has a 54-45 GOP advantage Senate has an 18-15 GOP advantage. However, nearly 20 of the Democratic House districts and about 10 in the Senate are considered political toss-ups. None of the Republican districts are considered a toss-up, which is why the maps were consistently deemed unconstitutional.

Ohio’s Congressional redistricting also faced many challenges due to being unconstitutional, however, maps were approved in time for the May 3rd primary. Republicans currently have a 12-to-4 majority in the state’s House delegation and could extend that advantage to 13-to-2 if all the competitive seats break their way. Ohio lost one of its 16 seats in Congress after the 2020 census. The Republican-drawn map is in place for the next four years instead of 10 because it passed without Democratic support. Some highlights from redistricting:

  • 1st Congressional DistrictCurrently held by Congressman. Steve Chabot (R), the map drew the Cincinnati-area 1st District from a seat former President Donald Trump carried by 3 points to a district Biden would have carried by 9 points. Chabot will take on Cincinnati Councilman Greg Landsman, both ran unopposed in the primary. Chabot is at a disadvantage as he is introducing himself to nearly one-third of voters in his newly drawn district that he doesn’t currently represent. The race is currently marked as a toss-up.
  • 9th Congressional District — The newly-drawn 9th Congressional District, currently held by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D), looks significantly different. About half of the population is new to Kaptur and it went from being a seat Biden would have carried by 19 points to one Trump would have carried by 3 points. The race is currently marked as a toss-up.
  • 11th Congressional District — The new boundaries eliminate Ohio’s only Black-majority seat, the 11th District, currently held by Congresswoman Shontel Brown (D). The district had previously included Akron and Cleveland, but the new map moves Akron into another district. Still, the district is marked as a solid Democratic district.
  • 13th Congressional District — The newly-drawn 13th District, currently held by Congressman Tim Ryan (D), takes territory in northeastern Ohio from multiple other current districts, including those represented by Reps. Gonzalez (R), Gibbs (R) and Ryan (D). However, Ryan is running for Senate, and Gonzalez and Gibbs aren’t running at all, making this an open seat. Biden would have carried the new district by just 3 points. The race is currently marked to lean Republican.


The May 3rd primary, which did not include State House and Senate or State Central Committee candidates, produced mostly expected results with some surprises. Some highlights include:

  • Governor DeWine v. Whaley – Governor DeWine easily won his primary with 48% of the vote earning more than a half a million votes. Jim Renacci earned 28% of Republican votes. Governor DeWine will take on Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley who won her primary against former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, with 65% of the Democratic vote. Mayor Whaley’s Lieutenant Governor running mate is Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Cheryl Stephens. Whaley is the first woman to be nominated by a major party to be governor in Ohio. With five months until the election, DeWine is comfortably leading Whaley, in a new political poll sponsored by USA Today. Per the poll, 45% of likely voters said they’d vote for DeWine, compared to 30% for Whaley and 11% for Neil Petersen, a right-wing, independent challenger. More than half of respondents also said they have a favorable view of DeWine.
  • S. SenateRyan cv. Vance – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan will be the Democratic nominee in Ohio’s 2022 U.S. Senate race. Ryan was widely seen as the favorite in the primary election and received about 71% of the vote over attorney/community organizer Morgan Harper who came in second with 17%. Congressman Ryan will take on author J.D. Vance. After Vance earned the endorsement of Trump, his poll numbers began to rise, and he secured his candidacy with 32% of the vote. Former Treasurer of State Josh Mandel received 24%, and Sen. Matt Dolan received 23%.
  • 7th Congressional DistrictMiller v. Diemer – Congressman Bob Gibbs announced he will retire after six terms instead of trying to run in a substantially new district. The new 7th Congressional District stretches much farther north with two-thirds being new turf due to redistricting. Gibbs retirement benefited former Trump White House staffer, Max Miller, who won the primary. He had outraised Gibbs and secured Trump’s endorsement last year when he launched his campaign to take Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s (R) seat. Gonzalez announced his retirement in September, as he faced an uphill battle as one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the former president. Miller will take on entrepreneur Matthew Diemer (D) but is expected to win this strong Republican seat.
  • 9th Congressional District — Kaptur v. Majewski – Air Force Veteran J.R. Majewski emerged as the surprise winner of a 9th Congressional District’s Republican primary with 35% of the vote. He beat out Ohio House Representative Craig Riedel and Ohio Senator Theresa Gavarone who earned 30% and 28% of the vote respectively. Majewski’s surprise win is likely due to his endorsement from Trump. Majewski will take on Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, the Dean of the Ohio Delegation and senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, and longest-serving woman in U.S. House of Representatives history.
  • 11th Congressional DistrictBrown v. Brewer – Former State Senator Nina Turner again ran against Congresswoman Shontel Brown after she was defeated in last November’s special election for the seat vacated by now Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge. Congresswoman Brown won with 66% of the vote and will take on former Mayor of East Cleveland, Eric Brewer, though the seat is a likely solid win for the Congresswoman.
  • 13th Congressional DistrictSykes v. Gilbert – This open seat is currently held by Congressman Tim Ryan. Democrat Ohio House Representative Emilia Sykes will face Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, an attorney endorsed by Trump, who was the winner from a crowded field of seven Republicans in the primary. This new district leans Republican so Gilbert is expected to win.

The General Election will be held on November 8th. Be sure to vote!