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2018 Federal and State Legislative Recap

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

As we begin the 2019 journey, opportunities present themselves from the past year of new government policies and political dynamics. ZHF Consulting was engaged on behalf of our clients throughout the year. To follow are a few highlights from 2018 that impacted Ohio businesses and families which we continue to monitor into the new year at both the state and federal level.

Government Policy


  • Sweeping tax reforms/reductions were enacted by Congress that featured major, permanent tax reductions for larger corporations, as well as certain smaller “pass through” business entities. These tax reductions also impact tax rates and standard deductions through 2025 for individuals and families. While the new “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was passed over a year ago, much of its impact will not be felt until this year’s 2018 filings.

  • Regulatory relief by the Trump administration greatly impacted the business world in 2018. As a result of less regulations, the business community continues to react with positive job numbers and lower unemployment.

  • New tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on China and certain other countries have created a sense of uncertainty in the business sector and has caused a negative reaction in the stock market.

  • Our now have a home in Ohio with the opening of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. Our federal consulting team joined forces with the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation to draft and pass bi-partisan legislation officially designating the new veteran’s museum in Columbus as the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM). This is the only museum designated for veterans of all branches of the military and all eras of war in our nation. This legislation was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in June of 2018.


  • The 132nd Ohio General Assembly enacted 154 bills and adopted three joint resolutions. While the Ohio House struggled in electing a new Speaker, Speaker Elect Ryan Smith took the reins and lead the state legislature through the end of the General Assembly.;jsessionid=a3bc879b859f301efb15c415aa41?0

  • Governor Kasich, by executive order, created new advisory committees and directives for state agencies, including helping immigrants integrate into their communities and receive job training. In addition, the Governor created new initiatives for state agencies to address watershed issues in Lake Erie’s western basin.

  • The Ohio General Assembly, in a year-end unprecedented move, voted to override Governor Kasich’s veto of a pro-gun bill and a pay-raise bill, but came up one vote short in the Senate on overriding the pro-life “heartbeat bill”.

Political Landscape


  • Federal politics were dominated by the mid-term elections that saw the U.S. House of Representatives shift from majority Republican to majority Democrat while Republicans gained seats in the U.S. Senate. With politics on both sides now in high gear, an environment of uncertainty looms over U.S. businesses on the future of our economy.

  • Senator Sherrod Brown was re-elected by Ohioans to represent the buckeye state, while all Ohio’s congressional incumbents were re-elected. Former Ohio State football player Anthony Gonzales was also elected to replace retiring Congressman Jim Renacci.


  • Ohio voters elected Mike DeWine as Governor, with Jon Husted as Lt. Governor. Both have strong ties to the Miami Valley region and bring a wealth of experience in leading moving our state forward. Governor DeWine will begin leading the buckeye state on January 14th after being sworn in as Ohio’s 70th Governor. Our consulting team has already begun working with the new administration to bring positive public policies to the State of Ohio.

  • Republicans were elected to all of Ohio’s statewide offices while Democrats won both of Ohio’s Supreme Court seats in November’s election.

  • State Issue One, an effort to enact major drug abuse and prison reforms in the state constitution, was soundly defeated by voters.

  • In the state legislature, the Republicans held the Ohio House, but Democrats closed the margin by winning several seats. The Republicans retained a solid majority in the Ohio Senate. 2018 Ohio Election Results from Secretary of State

As we move forward into 2019, ZHF Consulting is very optimistic about the new DeWine Administration and the Ohio General Assembly as well as opportunities in Washington, DC. Our government affairs team will be engaged on behalf of our clients to help create good public policy both in Ohio and in Washington DC.

To further discuss our ZHF Consulting services, please contact one of our professionals.

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