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September 01, 2022

Ohio Legislative Update

Last Updated: September 1, 2022

OVERVIEW

Ohio held its second primary on Tuesday, August 2nd for State Senate and House seats as well as State Central Committee. The legislature remains on recess until after the November 8th general election. Over the past several weeks, G2G has met with many public officials. On the local level, we’ve connected with Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin, and Cuyahoga County Executive Candidate Chris Ronayne on digital connectivity, healthy food access, and business development issues. In Columbus and Cleveland, we’ve talked with Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik, and Ohio Senate Finance Chairman Matt Dolan about issues ranging from economic development to bioscience innovation to K-12 education. Within Congress, we recently met up with Reps. Troy Balderson, Shontel Brown, Dave Joyce, and Tim Ryan about similar issues moving through Congress as well as implementation of the CHIPS Act and Inflation Reduction Act and the launch of the new Intel semiconductor manufacturing facility near Columbus. Many officials will be at the September 9th ribbon cutting for the facility with President Biden and G2G is working with the City Club of Cleveland to plan an event on how this facility connects to Northeast Ohio’s innovation ecosystem.

After the November elections, the legislature will return to a lame duck session to move a number of bills to the floor and onto Governor DeWine’s desk before the end of the year. All eyes are on how Ohio will spend its remaining $280M of ARPA funding as well as General Revenue Funds (GRF) that will shape just how expansive the next Operating Budget can be for FY2024-25. In January, the work begins on this two-year state Operating Budget that includes funding opportunities for nonprofits. If you are considering funding from the state for programming, now is the time to start planning. Join us for Part II of G2G’s Nonprofit Webinar Series on advocacy and accessing funding on Monday, October 3 at noon where we will talk to two nonprofit leaders who have successfully advocated for state policies and funding. You can register here to attend the webinar.

CHIPS act and intel

President Biden will deliver remarks at the Intel facility’s groundbreaking in Licking County on Friday, September 9th. This follows Congress passing and Biden signing into law the CHIPS Act as well as the White House executive order on implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act. The Administration has emphasized its commitment to quickly increase production of semiconductors, strengthen research and design leadership, and grow a diverse semiconductor workforce to give the country a competitive edge on the world stage.

The $20 billion Intel investment for semiconductor factories in Ohio includes $50 million in grants to Ohio higher education institutions over the next 10 years and another $50 million for educational collaboration nationwide, to be matched by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The program will be open to Ohio-based higher education entities and staff, including technical centers, academic researchers, faculty, and other educators. Funds can be used to address curriculum development; faculty training; laboratory equipment upgrades; novel research to advance semiconductor fabrication; and student opportunities including internships. This $100 million combined national effort will seek proposals from researchers and educators across the U.S. to develop curriculum that improves STEM education at two-year colleges and four-year universities, including minority-serving institutions, and supports novel research on semiconductors.

In addition to all these dollars flowing into the state from Intel with state matching funds, the following funding will come from the just enacted CHIPS Act:

  • $100 billion — Potential Intel investment in Central Ohio over the next 10 years.
  • $39 billion — Manufacturing incentives within the funding amount, including $2 billion on legacy chips used in automobiles and defense systems.
  • $13.2 billion — R&D and workforce development funding amounts.
  • $10 billion — Amount authorized for investment in regional innovation and technology hubs across the country.
  • $1.5 billion — Money allocated for promoting and deploying wireless technologies that use open and interoperable radio access networks.
  • $1 billion — Funding for the RECOMPETE pilot program at the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to alleviate persistent economic distress and support long-term comprehensive economic development and job creation in the most distressed communities.
  • $500 million — Money provided for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities.
  • 25% — Value of the bill’s investment tax credit for capital expenses for manufacturing of semiconductors and related equipment.

State Funds

In addition to the entire General Assembly and one-half of the state’s Senate seats on the ballot this November 8, there are two constitutional amendments. While just a few months ago, most political pundits predicted a landslide for Republicans in Congress and Statehouses across the country, more recently, polling is shifting. Much can happen in the two months between now and election day, but general elections are looking be tighter than expected. Regardless, Ohio is expected to re-elect Governor DeWine and preserve Republican control of both chambers in Columbus while also maintaining all Republican seats in Congress. The U.S. Senate race between Rep. Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance seems to be the only question mark at this point with pundits labeling it a toss-up. The constitutional ballot issues include:

  • Issue 1 — This proposed constitutional amendment was passed by the General Assembly as HJR2 (LaRe-Swearingen) and will make public safety a required consideration when setting bail amounts. The amendment applies to monetary bail amounts and there are nonfinancial conditions to the bail process that the resolution did not change.
  • Issue 2 — This proposed constitutional amendment was passed by the General Assembly as HJR4 (Seitz-Edwards) and bars noncitizens from voting in local elections.

OPIOIDS

The OneOhio Recovery Foundation will receive more opiate settlement funds than anticipated this year and will begin distributing the money in 2023. Unfortunately, OneOhio has recently come under fire with two lawsuits filed against it accusing the nonprofit of "shady maneuvering" by classifying itself as a private nonprofit organization to avoid following open records law. Harm Reduction Ohio, an advocacy group that works to reverse overdoses, filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court in the hopes of forcing the foundation to turn over requested records. Another was filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas court to declare that OneOhio is a public body not a private nonprofit and has to comply with open records law. At this time, it is unclear if or how the lawsuit will affect distribution of settlement dollars.

Additionally, a federal judge recently ordered Walgreens, CVS and Walmart to pay Lake and Trumbull counties a combined $650 million for the businesses’ role in the opioid epidemic stating the chains recklessly dispensed prescription painkillers in the two Northeast Ohio communities. More than 3,000 cities and counties have sued pharmaceutical manufacturers and dispensers over the opioid epidemic, and this case has been watched to provide an indication of how similar cases might proceed in the future.